Monday, November 23, 2009

Q Tips

I'm on break, but NPR related comments are still welcomed.


andywells2009 said...

On their 5:30 tease this morning, NPR mentioned the publication of Darwin's Origin of the Species, claiming it was the work that introduced the Theory of Natural Selection and "Suvival of the Fittest".


Survivial of the Fittest aka Social Darwinism isn't part of the Theory of Natural Selection but was part of a competing theory of evolution published by a competitor 20 years earlier...

Natural selection isn't about who's the biggest baddest cat in the jungle... it's about how life forms adapt to their environment...

Nate Bowman said...

Cokie Roberts and Renee Montagne threw around a lot of fear about the health care bill.

I left a few comments

I agree, boulder dude [about the cost-savings calculated by the CBO]. And Renee Montagne gave her a perfect lead-in by saying "the numbers will create problems for the democrats."

Ms. Roberts says: "Some of these people will have subsidies, but all of this will cost taxpayer money...That's why it's going to be this GREAT BIG BILL costing a GREAT DEAL OF MONEY."

And then:
"A lot of women suspect, due to a good deal of evidence, that they are discriminated against in the health care system. This adds to their suspicion, makes them wary of anything coming out of Washington."

Let's round it off with:
"the contentious issue of mammograms gives Republicans the opportunity to cry 'Rationing'"

So, let's put the fear on great costs into everybody. Then, let's mobilize women against the bill (without mentioning that women's [alleged] fear of discrimination by the health care system is different from things coming out of Washington, which purportedly aim to rectify unfairness.) Then leave the accusation of rationing unchallenged.

Despicable. Who would want to support that bill?

Thank you NPR and Ms. Roberts for focusing on the politics of the issue and jumping to fear-mongering without touching on what would actually WORK for people and what people actually WANT and what their representatives SHOULD BE FIGHTING FOR.

And unless Ms. Roberts is a spokesperson for some political organization or lobby, please make her refrain and do not allow to remain unchallenged, statements like:

"We're already paying a great deal of money because uncovered people are going to emergency rooms. But those are hidden costs. This time, we'll actually know what it costs and we're not likely to like it."


"A lot of women suspect, due to a good deal of evidence, that they are discriminated against in the health care system. This adds to their suspicion, makes them wary of anything coming out of Washington"

It is very presumptuous for Ms. Roberts to use "we" in the first instance and claim to know what women think in the second instance without offering any polling evidence, studies, etc. It violates journalistic principles and ethics for Ms. Montagne to allow the suppositions to remain unchallenged.

Ms. Roberts says:
"But then to add to that to have this panel of scientists weigh in on the contentious issue of mammograms gives Republicans the opportunity to cry "Rationing" could not have been a worse recommendation at a worse time for backers of this legislation."

Don't worry Ms. Roberts. NPR has a very good tactic for dealing with the "opinions" of panels of scientists, no matter how overwhelming their number: They find someone who disagrees with the "premise", gives them equal time (or greater) and weight, and declares the issue "up for debate".

You remember the "differing opinions" about climate change, don't you? And that evolution and creationism are just two differing explanations of the same thing?

NPR is also very good at ignoring information, also. Just read the comments section on any pressing issue, and especially the oxymoronic ombudsman's blog.

andywells2009 said...

Whenever Cokie Roberts is on the radio, whatever the ostensible subject of discussion is supposed to be, the discussion will only ever *really* be about HOW THIS SUCKS FOR DEMOCRATS!

We could see an election in which Democrats won every seat in a landslide, and Cokie would say - THIS IS BAD FOR THE DEMOCRATS!!!

NPR's version of "liberal" is just a "kindler, gentler" version of right wingnuttia...

andywells2009 said...

And yeah, I too heard the comment about implying that it was better to hide the costs of healthcare rather than drag them out into the sunshine... because if we know what the real costs are... WE WON'T LIKE IT!!!

How about we deal with the REAL COSTS TODAY and get people not to like THAT?

Well, because that might actually be an argument *in favor* of reform... and we can't have that...

larry, dfh said...

For the troglodytes who believe in social darwinism, the Theory of Evolution is all about reproduction. Those who reproduce, survive. And since the poor outnumber the rich by orders of magnitude, and since the poor are more reproductive than the rich, we will evolve into a species more and more dominated by the poor (assuming, as a social darwinist would, that socio-economic class is all genetic). Social Darwinism is big among some fundies, as it heps to rationalize their self-procaimed superiority.

gopolganger said...

Nice rundown, Nate.

For my part, I managed to wake up on a Monday without NPR at all. The dulcet intonation of Faulkner short stories is not quite the snapping whip I'm accustomed to, but I'll try to wean myself and just come to this blog for the highlights, thanks to you all for suffering through it.

It occurs to me that the perkiness that pervades NPR news is designed specifically to get people up and to work with the proper programming (read, propaganda.)

"Productivity is way up and wages are way down so Wall St. had a great day and you will too if you redouble your efforts to keep that job!" [booming orchestra with tympani] "Unemployment is waiting for those who skip work to read a book, so get up and go, go, go!!" [banjo interlude with heartfelt harmonica tugging at patriotic duty strings]

Nate Bowman said...

ATC had a piece on reaching out to the insurgents in Afghanistan.

I left this comment:

The article says:
"When they go to war, governments use certain words to describe their enemies. They call them evil and describe them as fanatics, terrorists and criminals. When making peace, they must rehumanize their foes."

Perhaps if our government hadn't originally dehumanized the foes, limited the response to those who had actually committed the crimes (rather than an entire nation, people and government) we wouldn't have gone to war and the situation would have been resolved a long time ago.

And thousands of American lives and over a trillion dollars would have been saved.
And tens of thousands of American service people wouldn't be suffering the effects of war.
And hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan lives would have been spared.
And millions of Iraqis, Afghans and Pakistanis would not have been displaced.
And we wouldn't need the biggest embassy compound in the world to be in Iraq.

Oh, that's right, i forgot.

Nate Bowman said...

Thanks gopolganger.

Actually, I like "programming" better. I think what they are trying to accomplish is stronger than just propaganda.

Nate Bowman said...

That ATC piece got under my skin.

I went back and posted this:

British Lt. Gen. Graeme Lamb says:

""This was exactly the case in Iraq. They had personal grievances, where we had killed their families or their friends or their fathers or their brothers — WHATEVER THE CASE MAY BE. What we needed to do was establish a point of dialogue...Afghans have a term for insurgents — "upset brothers"."

Does it really take eight years to realize that if you kill someone's family, friend, father, brother (especially since most were guilty only of being in the wrong place) that you are motivating them to retaliate?

And how exactly can a military solution solve this problem? Is it obvious only to me that the way to stop the retaliation is to stop the killing? And that the declaration that "failure (of vague goals that are seldom, if ever defined) is not an option" is just a way to keep populace cowed and the MIC wheels rolling?

jaytingle said...

ME took the opportunity of the anniversary of the publication of "Origin of the Species" to note how popular a figure Darwin is in Britain. I guess we need to be informed of this obvious fact because the report concludes, noting, "Darwin's reputation is diminished internationally." I realize that NPR has to deny fact in order to pander to the lowest element among their potential listeners, in this case the members of imbecile christianist sects. NPR doesn't try to back up the absurd claim that this ignorance somehow has a measurable "international" component. It's simply a gratuitous demonstration of fealty to the Cheney/Palin mob that drives NPR's programming agenda.

andywells2009 said...

Larry, dfh - regret to report that your understanding of natural selection is a bit off the mark... The way it impacts social class is the fact that, despite the pretty beliefs, there is great genetic variation within families... hence a captain of industry can breed idiots... and and idiot can breed a future captain of industry...

The idea that people of superior class breed superior people - THAT'S the lie...

jaytinble - I heard that, too... at least points for NPR for allowing that "fittest" is a concept that's easily misunderstood...

Anonymous said...

Deena Temple-Raston had some interesting comments concerning the definition of TERROR/Terrorism all of which were compromised by the fact that one could easily view American policy through the prism of her "definition". And perhaps conclude that only "they" can be terrorists.


gopolganger said...

Bowman seems to have an inside line to the Pentagon. Do you think? He seems to be very well informed about what O will say tomorrow about how "the corruption has to stop in Afghanistan." Oh, har har har, Mr. Bowman. Bow wow wow. You're the dog's pajamas for that flat delivery of a Fawlty Towers gag.

gopolganger said...

I hear that chocolate rations are to be increased to 25 grams per week!

gopolganger said...

Since we're taking a little break from the madness that is the pentAGonization of NPR, I thought we'd act like true public radio fans and imagine what real public radio might sound like on a day like today, when beaubian was heard to call the Honduran regime "constitutional" and "legitimate."

Here's a bit of history from here.
"While no evidence has surfaced suggesting that State Department officials Bode and Pino knew of Blandón's criminal enterprises, records show that they were not neophytes on the subject of the Contras and cocaine. At the same time they were dealing with Scott Weekly, the two men were trying desperately to get another CIA-linked cocaine trafficker out of prison because of his past assistance to the Contras.

"The federal prisoner, José Bueso Rosa, had been indicted in 1984 for his part in a bizarre scheme to assassinate the president of Honduras, Robert Suazo Cordova, and stage a coup d'état, using the proceeds of a giant cocaine sale to finance it. President Suazo had drawn Bueso Rosa's wrath by dumping Honduran Army chief General Gustavo Alvarez, a fanatical anti-Communist who was one of the fathers and chief supporters of the Contras. Bueso Rosa, a Honduran general, had been one of Alvarez's top aides, and the cocaine coup was intended to restore Alvarez and his men to power.

"Unforunately for the plotters, the two American military officers they hired to murder Suazo went to the FBI. In late October 1984, a collection of Cubans and Honduran arms merchants was arrested at a remore island in Florida with 764 pounds of cocaine valued at between $10 million and $40 million wholesale. 'The announcements at the time of the arrests made by the Departments of State and Justice quite properly categorized this case as a triumph for the Administration's policy against terrorism and against narcotics," former Sate Department official Francis J. McNeil would later testify. But not everyone in the Reagan administration was happy about it. Bueso Rosa was one of the CIA's main collaborators in Honduras on the Contra project, working closely with the agency in setting up Contra bases, supply lines, aircraft repairs, and a host of other, still classified, activities.

"In the summer of 1986 the Honduran's attorney flew to Washington and met with Colonel Pino, who began a vigorous lobbying campaign at State and Justice to turn Bueso Rosa loose, even though he had been indicted for racketeering, conspiracy, and attempted murder-for-hire. 'The colonel asser[ed] an American intelligence interest in Bueso Rosa, in getting Bueso Rosa off," McNeil testified. As Pino explained to Iran-Contra investigators, 'General Bueso Rosa...had information shich he could use against us, as he had been privy to a large amount of specific information.'"

Anonymous said...

Story about GM/General Motors today (11/30) and as usual it was remain "upbeat" while Capitalists ruin your lives. I guess NPR would not be able to tell its listeners about the price the town and the counties and the state paid to get this Saturn plant to this town (i wonder how GM used southern labor practices in their determinantion NPR never mentions it so I guess that was NOT a consideration).

No mention of mistakes made by GM (no new Saturns for 4 years) and a lack of capital investment there.

By concentrating on the individual, NPR doesn't have to deal with "bigger picture" issues.


larry, dfh said...

Sunday's me had a very telling back-to-back comparison of detention and torture. Ole jacki leyden was so impressed with the new detention protocols being followed (if they feel like it) by the army in Afghanistan. I't only 2 weeks, max, with twice daily 'interrogations'. How nice! COmpared to the evil that is Iran, where we learned from the ever-gushing leyden how the Iranians TORTURE people they ILLEGALLY DETAIN WITHOUT CAUSE. I sure am glad we don't do that!Leyden was so full of shit my radio started to stink.

Anonymous said...


Deena-Temple raston was breathless (almost lol) when her and Guy Raz were discussing the transfers of detainees from Cuba. I guess they never heard of the Bush Administration extraditions cause if they had they would know that America can and does move "terrorists" all over the place

And KSM WILL NOT be able to gaze upon the site of the former Twin Towers! After all, the last guy when he was flown by said that when he had "more dynamite" the towers would fall. I think KSM would chew right through the fuel lines of the corporate jet used and crash into the White House so it is a good thing he is shackled, blindfolded, and drugged.
I heard that from Rumsfeld on NPR!


Anonymous said...

From one "non-profit" to another with love!


gopolganger said...

Ed, If buildings could talk!

larry, dfh said...

Monday PM I had some driving to do, so I caught the trash-talk on all-things-critically Ignored. We learned from jason baffoonier...well...absolutely nothing about the Honduras elections, except the 'conservative candidate won'. Thanks jason, I'll be checking in with Amy Goodman in just a minute, where I might actually learn something.
One of the witnesses to the atrocity that is npr on this blog mentioned 'framing the discussion'. That perfectly describes what was broadcast today on the gwot. We got to hear from some wendy sherman lady, from Clinton times, tell us about 'dismantling Al Qaida globally', and then we learned from mike gerson that we don't like no cut'n'runners, whatever the hell that means. Over the weekend, my b.i.l., who is from South America, described the whole gwot as the 'Big Bad Wolf philosophy of government'.
I've been thinking of starting an Al Qaida in Delaware chapter. Maybe we can have cool uniforms and a secret handshake, wear funny hats. Anyone out there on speaking terms with the terrorist lurking under their beds, send'em to DE. Maybe I'll learn the proper spelling of Al Qaida, while I'm at it.

gopolganger said...

Bowman: "There are Taliban running around in Afghanistan." Oh nooees! Don't they know they should be sitting quietly and preparing for their annihilation? Brave Bowman will his people have their people fix that!

Anonymous said...

"In Afghan Debate, Few Antiwar Op-Eds
Elite papers marginalize public opposition"

of course, it is not just the elite papers that do this.

This is also precisely the game that NPR plays (not just on war but on every important issue that effects the public: health care, for example)

They "control the debate", restricting it to very narrow predetermined bounds, so they can control the effective outcome of that debate.

They make it appear that the actual "official" available options are very limited -- eg, that they do not include withdrawal, in the case of Afghanistan.

They marginalize and/or do not even mention certain views -- or make them appear to be "extremist".

of course, this game is extremely dishonest and goes against everything journalism is supposed to stand for.

Benoit Balz said...

Nice piece of pro-military propaganda on ATC this afternoon. A slam-dunk, Pentagon Propaganda Puff-Piece. Ya gotta love it, right? Gee, thanks, I guess, Jon Kalish?

Film Puts Spotlight On Green Berets by JON KALISH

Anonymous said...

On Monday's ToTN Ted Koppel claimed that Iran was "on the verge" of getting a nuclear weapon. Needless to say there was no dissent and I guess even worse, no attribution.


biggerbox said...

God save the Afghan people if we're sending 30,000 more rocket scientists like the ones we heard on ME today, who were grumpy because the Taliban gets to gun down and blow up as many civilians as possible, but we have to be careful who we kill. You could call it "being hamstrung by rules" or you could call it "being a civilized military force, not a bunch of terrorists". I trust most of our troops understand the distinction better than these guys.

Anonymous said...

BoAmerica has begun a campaign waged on NPR (and I'd guess other media) to influence public opinion (imo) and burnish the image of this bank.

I hear commercials extolling the trillion dollar/decade effort aimed at "poor and moderate" folks designed to help them. No, no, no, not the bank silly. It's to help poor and moderate income folks. I guess.

And that 45B we got from the suckers? Some of that has to go toward the Image Protection Plan offered to us by the media.

Is this a great country or what?


Anonymous said...

168 hours in a week and WHYY spends

20 of them on Radio Times, 12 on Fresh Air.

4 hours on Praire Home Companion and American Routes.

5 for MarketPlace

2 hours each for This American Life, Car Talk, Voices in the Family, Studio 360

If you exclude BBC (which i find only marginally better) there are 126 hours of which 53 are essentially repeats of banality.

And yet they got enough cash to pay Marazzo "The executive's salary is tops among CEOs at public broadcasting affiliates nationwide."

a really nice new building commensuate with the important work WHYY is doing.

Like BoA says: Is this a great country or what?

I can't remember who it was that talked of paying people not to understand things. But here the rubes are paying in order to NOT understand anything that may endanger the dominant social/political culture. Meanwhile here in my little city we have to close all three branches of the library.



Anonymous said...

How does one reform npr? who are the program producers responsible for the content? who is responsible for inkeep's over-inflated salary on ME? has anyone mentioned his credentials? this cannot be a mere oversight! he contantly gets in the way of the real npr reporter! who is running npr into the ground?! if the national npr is charging the local stations who beg grandma, who can't afford it, for $75- with a gift mug, shouldn't they have to reveal how much mara liason is being paid to tell us yesterday's news?! Montaigne's salary?!! npr = newshandlers profiting relentlessly! what about the real npr reporter - fire inskeep montaigne & the other hosts and give the reporters and staff raises - they do the real work. how does one legally sack the npr board?! this is so gross!

pamela said...

Koppel with NeoConan on TOTN: Dumb and Dumber.

doghead said...

A native of Carmel, Indiana, Inskeep is a 1990 graduate of Morehead State University in Kentucky. In 2009 his alma mater awarded him an honorary doctorate.

So that's "Dr. Inskeep," to you.

Seems like a bio ought to say what his degree is in?

dogface said...

Anybody catch Richard Gonzalez' story on Richmond, CA yesterday? He mentions how,starting in the mid 80's, funding for schools started to drop. As if there were no public policy that led to this drop, but that it was just kind of an act of nature. No mention of Prop 13. In fact, July 18, 2008 NPR did a piece describing how Prop 13 has led to "stability" and that it's a GOOD THING!

dogthedog said...

BATES: Wherever he is, Howard Jarvis is probably nodding in satisfaction. Karen Grigsby Bates, NPR News.

Wherever he is? He's friggin' dead, thank goodness.

Anonymous said...

"A native of Carmel, Indiana, Inskeep is a 1990 graduate of Morehead State University in Kentucky. In 2009 his alma mater awarded him an honorary doctorate." DogHead
Can not find anything about "major" for the "Dr. Innskeep" though he was sportscaster at Morehead and he was truthful enough to admit he "didn't deserve the award . . ."


Oh and Tom Bowman? His colleagues say he is "a team player".

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