Sunday, February 07, 2010

Q Tips

NPR related comments welcomed.


larry, dfh said...

Whyy is having an 'extended' fundraiser because they culdn't make their goal in the allotted time. One of the promos is from the hostess of 'Radio (waste of) Times' going on and on about npr's bein fair and balanced and taking the time to do journalism right, and not like the other new outlets. One of the other staffers described her main interst as 'politics'. This is hiarious in that she doesn't know shit about either politics or journalism, she's no more than a mouthpiece for the status quo, and we know how well that's working out. Npr: the new soporific.

goopDoggy said...

NPR managed to have the Stanford wife claim that her husband (SC governor) was clearly a moral and principled (in the biblical sense) person before his election. What evidence does she offer? He wrote a thirty page paper on why Social Security needs to be privatized.

He ran highly principled campaigns, Sanford said, which were built on frugality and called for measures like privatizing Social Security.

But the NPR audience doesn't necessarily learn the first time you tell them something, so we had Allan Sloan on Marketplace to remind us in his smarmy rich-guy tone that SS is now spending more than it's taking in - and that hasn't happened since 1983, so you know it's got to scrapped.

RepubLiecan said...

Sunday morning one of the top of the hour news headline stories was "Sarah Palin criticizes Obama in her role on Fox News as analyst".

This is news?

Not only news, but it's headline news on NPR. Now I need a radio I can program to turn off at the top of the hour, not listening to the news programming just isn't enough anymore.



One again some of my best work getting deleted by NPR.

'How's That Hopey, Changey Stuff?' Palin Asks by Don Gonyea

Q: How's that hopey, changey stuff? -Sarah Palin

A: Going better that your "abstinence only" sex education for you daughter.

pamela said...

Nice work, grumpy. We need a constantly updating "best censored NPR comments" thread.

goopDoggy said...

Grumps, your link connects to the Turf Grass scandal. While that was a VERY BIG STORY! I missed the Palin thing...sheeesh.

Here's my comment there:
"After three days of workshops and speeches by movement leaders far less well-known, Tea Party convention delegates got to see a bona fide conservative superstar."

Palin is conservative? Really?
Advocating Alaskan secession is conservative?

Shooting wolves from helicopters is conservative?

Lying is conservative?

Being ignorant of American history is conservative?

Are you offended by the phrase “Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?
[Palin]: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.

C'mon NPR - how f^&%$ing stupid do you think Americans are? Don't answer that.



here's the correct link for "the Palin"

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

She supports english-only class rooms cuz that's the language in the Bible, and if it was good enough for jesus, it's good enough for these damned, uppity brown people...

Anonymous said...

How stupid???

Ok, I am going to butcher this but

didn't someone say you'll never go broke underestimating the taste or intelligence of the American public?


goopDoggy said...

Audie's plate was full of putrid worms last Saturday. She interviewed Arne Duncan but didn't utter a peep about his comment about NO school system:

That education system was a disaster. And it took Hurricane Katrina to wake up the community to say that we have to do better. And the progress that it made in four years since the hurricane, is unbelievable."

Unbelievable in the sense of, well, not believable. A prevarication.

This is eerily reminiscent of the observation Naomi Klein made a while back:

Republican Congressman Richard Baker [] told a group of lobbyists, "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did." Joseph Canizaro, one of New Orleans' wealthiest developers, [] expressed a similar sentiment: "I think we have a clean sheet to start again. And with that clean sheet we have some very big opportunities."

This callous disregard for people and shock-doctrine type Chicago Boy opportunism is consistent with Duncan's reprehensible privitization agenda that led him off the cliff with his
SALF misadventure.

To be sure, as Danny Weil has observed,

This is the Walmart model of education.

Duncan closed 75 public schools in Chicago causing [a] countless loss of jobs and pensions to teachers in Chicago. The fact that this was done without participation of the communities affected is reminiscent of the awful yet similar policies promoted by Paul Pastorek in New Orleans, the model from which the whole sordid mess is drawn from and the person whom he replaced in Chicago.

Ironically, these privatization efforts are leading to an Educational apartheid in America.

Nate Bowman said...


You have to warn me.
The coffee came out my nose.

I think the same attitude is going on with Haiti (re)development.

BTW, does anyone else feel the vacuum where Haiti coverage used to be? I guess it was pushed out by the need to cover the tea party convention.

goopDoggy said...


The radio silence on Haiti is not peculiar to Haiti. Try searching for Patrick F. Kennedy to see if you can find anything on his testimony to Congress re FLIGHT 253: LEARNING LESSONS FROM AN AVERTED TRAGEDY. This is pretty creepy stuff.

Nate Bowman said...

Thanks for the link goop

I clicked through on a bunch of links and it's over an hour later.

Have you noticed that a lot of great investigative journalism on the US comes out of our neighbors up north?

Anonymous said...

Apparently, Adumb Davidson is in Haiti.

He said this about a woman running a "chicken neck" business there:

"she runs what turned out to be a very elaborate small business.

Here's Adam:

We got lots of tape of her business stuff, and it's way more complicated than I remember now. [She had a] sophisticated understanding of interest rates, rotating capital, credit, etc. She has to maintain long-term relationships with lots of different market players.

The irony is that while this Haitian woman undoubtedly knows more about business than Adumb or his sidekick David Kestenbaum will ever know, she is probably earning less in a year than they make in a day.

bpfbbpfb!!!!!!!! said...

Ah, snickers & grins all around as bpfb gets up to speed again on the return ~

Andy said...

Okay... This morning they covered the death of John Murtha and explained his anti-Iraqi invasion stance as, get this... HE WAS OK WITH THE INVASION BUT JUST WANTED THE SOLDIERS TO BE BETTER EQUIPPED...

Any of ya'll remember it that way?

I sure as hell don't!


Anonymous said...

Larry from Newark:

had to go 11 days of funding to reach goal of 7800 members and $700G and there still has been no acknowledgement from "Dollar Bill" Marazzo thanking us for the sucessful fund drive. Second time (in 6 efforts) he can't bring himself to "thank" his public. WHYY has not met a goal since at least the first drive of '08. But . . . I heard that this "model" has been successful for 50 years!

Most-Inane and GasBag Gross were out there and Gasbag read from the Mission Statement for NPR which she claimed was written by a guy that ran WHYY in mid-'70's. I thought I was listening to an altenative broadcast from Bizzaro World.

And larry, have you noted how the blizzard was responsible for their failure. But check the timing of this. The snow never really hit until late in the afternoon and so WHYY listeners had to choose between getting ready for the Blizzard of '10 or being willing to stand and be counted (by donating cash to WHYY). They can not be expected to do both!

I thought it was kind of strange for them to tout their "news" so I kept track of fundraising "news" stories and I'll wait two weeks and chart non-fundraising "news" casts.


The Boss of You said...

Mara Liasson's top of hour news report referred to the bipartisan health care summit Obama proposed a 'pow-wow'. WTF? Doesn't anyone edit this crap? What's next?

larry, dfh said...

EDK: I wasn't aware that whyy hadn't met a fundraising goal since early '08. Yeah, the big snow really made it impossible to pick up a telephone and pledge, or log into a computer. I suspect the public's broke and sick and tired of being told to 'suck it up' by people getting regular paychecks at really good money.

Anonymous said...

I have never liked the Two Way, as I think they pick out what is likely to be provacative from other sites, never fact check, then post it on their blog.

I have just realized it is worse than that, they are actually in league with ppl at Free Republic and Drudge. Recall their BS about Olbermann being cancelled and now this nonsense about the billboard, that ppl were, apparently directed at Drudge(according to a commentor) to support.
There have been many Obama bashing and tea bag marveling "article" there.

Is the goal to get the posting count up to keep Memmott and James employed or is it simply to smear and propagandize??

I feel really foolish when I take the bait and jump into those and run their numbers up.

Someone pleeez explain this to me??!!

Anonymous said...

goop, that link really made me queasy.
Palin wolf shooting.
Conservative? No,she's power mad hillbilly.

Anonymous said...

Planet Money supports the myth that efficiency in our economy is the most important thing. It's not and the focus on efficiency to the detriment of relationships and commerce by those who train CEO's (Eg, Harvard Business school) is what got our economy into the current mess it is in.

"On today's Planet Money:

We look at the world through the eyes of Matt LeBlanc, an efficiency expert (or lean expert), who runs around with a stopwatch and equations, trying to figure out how to eliminate waste in our economy. He finds it everywhere."

that's what the Planet Monkeys and their idiotic "efficient experts think.

The reality is quite different, of course.

The following is from
"Wall Street Run Amok: Why Harvard's to Blame
A Harvard Business School alumnus argues that the brand of business taught at HBS and elsewhere is seriously in need of an overhaul"

"Harvard Business School led the charge away from an approach to business centered in relationships and commerce, and toward one rooted in markets and competition. They promised us competitive advantage and efficiency. They delivered.

But those benefits came at a cost. The cost included a Hobbesian view of business—nasty, brutish, and every man for himself—and a rejection of the idea that ultimately we're all in this together. Which is precisely what we do not need at this time of increasing global interdependence."

goopDoggy said...


Yeah, I love wolves. They're really kindred spirits for humans...or some humans.


Anonymous said...

Ah much better! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

How long has Tina Brown had a segment on NPR's Morning Edition? This morning's chat with Tina (aka "Word of Mouth") was won of the worst, most catty, insipid, shallow things I'd heard for quite a while. Horrible.

Anonymous said...

(jeez, won = one. I was listening to the end of Tina's segment while commenting. Sigh... must... preview...)

Anonymous said...


Matt LeBlanc, the "efficiency expert" quoted by the Planet Monkeys (see above) is a Yale School of Management grad.

I rest my case.

As a country, we really have to stop listening to these Ivy league nitwits.

larry, dfh said...

This snowy Wed. a.m. we got to learn the value of a good embed. SiriasirHOTTIEnelson embedded in Afghanistan, repeating her minder's words with that npr precision; cadence, if you will. We heard how those sneaky Talibansters 'melt into the mountains', just like we heard about how those sneaky VIet Cong used to 'melt into the jungle' (ain't that right, Woody? Didn't they just Melt?). So there are about 200 Talibansters, and they're a diggin' in, and not a fleein', althought several hundred civilians have fled (Hmmmm). Nelson didn't mention how many millions of dollars it's going to cost for each ear harvested. And there were all the other gov't talking points: the taliban is funded by the poppies (very generous of those litttle things), things are much better with the U.S. security umbrella in place, back to normal, in fact. I expect nelson to be quite the cheerleader for the carnage of empire, just as planet monkey is the cheerleader for carnage of the free market (sic). In fact we got to hear jason bobobien and his oh so prescient economic analysis state with a strained and increased pitch in his voice WHEN THE ECONOMY RECOVERS. I swear he almost yelled these last words of up-beatedness. As Elaine says: the Dark Ages was a recession, for 1500 years.

Anonymous said...

Two remarks:

What a pimp report from sheera frenkel (sp?)the other day on israel's PR response (as if there were any other respponse Israel ever considers making) to Goldstone's (pretty damn compromised to begin with) Report -- just more "balanced" reportage from the two "what must poor maligned/embattled/democratic [pick one] Israel do?" camps that represent the spectrum of Washington opinion. How many NPR Israel/Palestine reports come from anywhere besides dateline Jerusalem? That should start to give us a hint as to what kind o coverage is allowed out of there. But not to NPR -- what garbage.

and number two: glad to still be hearing peter overby reports even though the depth and relevance of his coverage seem so totally unusual for NPR that I'm always surprised when i hear his voice on National Pentagon/Propaganda (take your choice) Radio: Like, i find myself wondering if he only gets on the air 'cause the rest of the sheep and flacks that work for NPR happen to be out at some beltway ball getting their egos stroked or their opinions handed to them and OVerby only sneaks in & gives his reports after hiding in the bathroom for hours waiting for the chance .... Anyway, "Super Bowl Ads Vs. Political Campaigns" was another great one Peter O, please keep them coming.

larry, dfh said...

Hey, hey, I think alot more happens in bathrooms than many people realize, especially with regard to career advancement, political aliances, and the inevitable blackmail.
This snowstorm is really bad for my morale, as regards ear-time with the radio. So the 'fresh-air-light' hostess on whyy had some rupert murdoch hack and his new anti-conspiracy book. I've always been amazed how effectively someone with an English accent can deliver a lie, with just a little sincerity and dedication, kinda like the '45 minutes', or was it '45 seconds'? Anyway, apparently the U.S. was completely powerless to do anything on 9-11, because someone with an English accent told me so on npr, or was it a bathroom in the Minneapolis Airport?

goopDoggy said...

Anyway, apparently the U.S. was completely powerless to do anything on 9-11, because someone with an English accent told me so on npr, or was it a bathroom in the Minneapolis Airport?

Yeah, that Aardvark...or what's his name? Erronovitch? Exxonowitch? He's been blanketing the airwaves with his cadre of commenters ridiculing the "scholarship" and "special quality of thought" that allows "sheeple" to pursue rational inquiry.

As long as you're suffering snocopalypse in the loo, you can read all the comments ... or not.

So while Voodoo Histories is getting plenty of play, we have complete radio silence on Russ Baker and his eye-opening book "Family of Secrets."

Dina Johns said...

I am deliriously happy that I just found this blog. I've been screaming at the radio for a long time too, writing the OMBUDSMAN to no avail. What makes NPR worse than the other mainstream outlets is their slick pretense at being oh-so-high-minded and well-balanced in their coverage. At least when you listen to FOX's churlish buffoons there can be no doubt whom you're dealing with. NPR is just as busy as the TV networks in dismantling health care reform, promoting the TEA party, denigrating Obama, and in general doing the bidding of their right wing puppetmasters. Thanks for the opportunity to vent.

RepubLiecan said...

Dina, welcome to NPR Check. Perhaps you've heard the advertisements for Weekend All Things Considered in which Guy Raz tells us we will be surprised by the range of opinions we will hear there. Surprised, indeed, if we ever hear something even slightly progressive or left of the conventional wisdom.

We Republiecans are loving us some Nationalistic Propaganda Radio more and more. You get nearly the same content and range of opinion that is presented on Fox News, including key personalities (Juan Williams and Mara Liasson), with fewer commercials. The best part is we can still beat them up as typical liberal media when they don't cheer loudly enough for us. It's what we like to call a win-win situation. Then again, we all know, everything is good for the Republiecans.

Anonymous said...

Hitting a new low, even for NPR:

With absolutely no PROOF, NPR's Planet Monkey's pass along one individual's pure speculation that "locksmiths, custodians and people of that sort" are stealing property at a California University:

"Times are pretty rough here right now; funding is low and we've had a lot of people laid off around the college, especially locksmiths, custodians and people of that sort.

Recently, we had a rash of flushometers -- the metal rods you push to flush a toilet--stolen from bathrooms all around campus, but especially in the College of Chem. It even made the news. Our police department suspects that someone is stealing them to sell the copper."

That could be, but it is highly irresponsible to be repeating this claim with no evidence.

Of course, this is to be expected at NPR, especially from the Planet Monkeys.

Evidence? What's that?

Anonymous said...

"What makes NPR worse than the other mainstream outlets is their slick pretense at being oh-so-high-minded and well-balanced in their coverage.'

What I find most disgusting (and ironic) is their condescension.

These are people who could not get a real journalism job if their life depended on it, but nonetheless act like God's gift to journalism.

They act like they are the Oracles that the rest of us are supposed to listen -- and bow down -- to.

Anonymous said...

speculation that "locksmiths, custodians and people of that sort" are stealing property at a California University:

of course, what NPR leaves unmentioned is that the vast majority of the people 'of that sort" are minorities: Mexican and African Americans.

In other words, this is clear racism.

The NPR reporter should be fired.

of course, with people like Vivian Schiller and Alicia Shepard around, they will probably get promoted for such racism.

goopDoggy said...

Of course the people who are really stealing at UC are the administrators whose ranks have swelled at the same time they pull down ridiculous salaries for doing nothing - the pattern of behavior is to create new positions that do the work you used to do when you did work. The result, when combined with cutbacks in funding, is a huge increase in student fees (don't call it tuition and whatever you do don't call it a tax.)

I received a letter this week from the UC chancellor to explain the problem and what they're doing about it (I got two kids at UC). It start with the words,

I and the other members of the board of regents...

This is of course, bad grammar. You put your "I" after the others, not before - but then, these folks always put "I" first, don't they?

goopDoggy said...

"This is, of course, bad grammar."

Yeah, I know: people in straw huts shouldn't play with matches. But then I'm just a teacher, not a UC chancellor. And this is not a letter to the people to which I'm charging ridiculous new fees as explanation as to what they're doing about it.

Grace said...

That absurd bit from Frenkel on a softer image for Israel indicates how lost they are in their own propaganda.
Another Frenkel gem was
Vigilantes Patrol for Jewish Women Dating Arab Men which referred to the "women" as girls that needed to be protected from themselves. That was just brilliant! The Ombutts even had to respond.

Now that they are known as the world's greatest bully(next to us)
rather than teeny tiny defenseless
(4th largest nuclear stockpile)victims, all the spin in the world won't get that geenie back in the bottle but Frenkel will give us plenty of giggles while they try.

goopDoggy said...

to who...damn

larry, dfh said...

Anon @ 6:47: I had a friend who was a grad student in Chem. @ UCLA, and a more mischievous demon I've never known. As soon as I read that about a Cal. Univ. Chem. Dept. all I could think of was some grad student who thinks he's funny. The more I consider it, the more I think I'm correct.

Grace said...

"You put your "I" after the others, not before - but then, these folks always put "I" first, don't they?"


Flashback to note writing etiquette that explains putting "I" first indicates self absorption!
Bad, bad chancellor.

goopDoggy said...

I left a couple of comments at the Planet Money place, including:

Hey, Planet Money can contact CUE to give another perspective on this business!

This is a pretty smart and effective union. I wish my union were that good. I very much doubt Planet Money will go within a parsec of CUE if they can help it.

Grace said...

I wish I had googled the English accented Aaronovitch when I first heard his interview.
I would have found he is a Hasbara writer and chief Islamaphobe not to mention a big cheerleader for the Iraq invasion and he is now drumming up support for attack on Iran.
This explains alot about his anti conspiracy book,
Just one of many with Gilad Atzmon!

Anonymous said...

larry dfh

That was my thought too.

it's actually much more logical that it was some kind of prank than that they were stealing "for the copper". I looked up "flushometer " and it looks like the copper in it consists of a "ring" which probably does not weigh more than a few ounces.

At 3$ a pound, it would take one hell of a lot of flushometers to make the whole effort worthwhile.

Actually, when it comes right down to it, the whole story really sounds "made up", like something you would read in the Onion" or on April Fools' day.

But NPR reporters (especially Planet monkeys) are actually gullible to repeat a completely bogus story, especially since they don't check facts.

..and if it did turn out to be a bogus story, they always have Alicia Shepard to defend them: "hey, the police said it was for the copper (or did they say crapper?) so who are we to question it?"

goopDoggy said...

The New Low in California story is an obvious instance of propagandizing by turf grass letter writing (something about witch Breitbart to protest too much). I encourage readers to look at the CUE stuff.

Anonymous said...

I and the other members of the board of regents...

This is of course, bad grammar. You put your "I" after the others, not before..

"I before me, except after we."

larry, dfh said...

Grace, thanks for putting the clothes pin on your nose and reading about aaronovitch. Just from his name I thought he might be a dual (U.K/Israel) citizen. Now why would an Israeli want to scrub any 9-11
conspiracy theories?

Anonymous said...

RE 'Obama bashing" (referred to a a few times above)

I will just say that not all of it is unwarranted.

Consider, for example, Obama's split (Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) personality on banker bonuses:

First (a couple weeks ago), we heard from Dr. Obamajekyll:

"I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street. They're still puzzled why is it that people are mad at the banks. Well, let's see, you guys are drawing down $10, $20 million bonuses after America went through the worst economic year that it's gone through in -- in decades, and you guys caused the problem. And we've got 10% unemployment."

-- From an interview with 60 Minutes a few weeks ago

Now, just a couple weeks later, Mr. Obamahyde weighs in:

"First of all, I know both those guys," [Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, and Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs] They're very savvy businessmen. And I, like most of the American people, don't begrudge people success or wealth. That's part of the free market system."

The only thing about the analogy that does not work is that Dr. Jekyll was actually aware of the evil things Mr. Hyde was doing 9and committed suicide over it) while Obamajekyll seems oblivious to Obamahyde's existence.

Anonymous said...

oh, and I neglected to point out that in that Bloomberg interview, Obamahyde was specifically addressing the just announced $17 million bonus for Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase and the $9 million bonus for Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs.

and recall Dr. Obamajekyll's 60 minutes interview:

"you guys are drawing down $10, $20 million bonuses after America went through the worst economic year that it's gone through in -- in decades,"

20 million vs 17 million
9 million vs 10 million.

Six o f one, a half dozen of the other.

If the inconsistency were not so outrageous in this case, it would be humorous.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I just discovered from a google search on "Obamahyde" (to see if anyone else has used that term before me) that the Jekyll/Hyde analogy goes even further than I had thought.

Obama is from "Hyde Park" in Chicago!


Anonymous said...

and yet another similarity:

"The Jekyll Island Club was a private club located on Jekyll Island, on the Georgia coastline... thrived through the early 20th century with an exclusive limited membership consisting of many of the world's wealthiest families at the time, most notably the Morgans, Rockefellers, and Vanderbilts.

from wikipedia

goopDoggy said...

I wrote some like this:

In Iran Claims New Success In Uranium Enrichment we have George Jahn just repackaging the malfeasance of journalism that has been thoroughly debunked by Jason Ditz who is interviewed here.

When is NPR gonna stop pounding on the friggin war drums?

Which earned me the following:

Inappropriate language

Your comment may contain inappropriate language. The comment has not been accepted. Please edit your comment and re-submit.

goopDoggy said...

Musta been the "friggin." What does it mean that it's inappropriate?

This got through ok:

Here we have George Jahn just repackaging the malfeasance of journalism that has been thoroughly debunked by Jason Ditz
who is interviewed here:
When is NPR gonna stop pounding on the war drums?

The Boss of You said...

Top of the hour nonsense: Billy Tauzin retiring after years of contributing pharma perspective to health car reform. Thanks, BT, you're really smart.

ellen said...

Zinn-ophobia at NPR:

Anonymous said...

After listening to this morning's historical "explanation" for the wage and wealth discrepancies between Haiti and the Dominican Republic by Chana Joffe-Walt and Adam Davidson, I'm of the belief that Planet Money should be shuttered for good (and I'm tempted to say the whole team ought to be fired, actually).

pamela said...

Ellen: Good critique of NPR's Zinn obit by Alterman, but Alterman's own critique is a bit depressing: Zinn's work was initially exhilarating but, by the time Alterman got his Ph.D. it had magically become "schematic" and "ideologically driven."

Alterman was liberally quoted in the film documentary on Nader, "An Unreasonable Man," trashing Nader for "ruining" the 2000 election (provably untrue). He has a problem with what he considers left-wing "ideologues."

Nate Bowman said...


Thanks for the link. I posted the last paragraph over at the ombudsman's blog with hat tip to you.

I agree.

Alterman seems to not tolerate dissatisfaction with Obama. i am not sure what the unhappiness with Zinn's support of Nader involved.


Ok guys, had just recover for a four day fun fest of flu/cold, I felt like I was hung over for four days! (Without any of the pre-hung over fun). Slept most of the time when wasn't on sofa simultaneously watching Bonanza, Syfy (hate the new title), and Food Network.

What did I miss?

Was feeling better yesterday, than a 4PM during a record Dallas 12 inch snowfall-BAM!-Power went out. Last time it went out in July, and our deregulate power company only need four days to fix the problem. So now at library using their computer network: Good news, free-Bad news, Dells, not Mac.

Hooray for libraries!

Hooray for librarians!

Horray for Matt!

Nate Bowman said...

The only thing worse than a grumpy is a grumpy with a flu.

Welcome back, grumps! Glad you're feeling better.

I don't know if you missed this, but in her interview (link at her blob) Ms. Shepard said that it was time to get away from the word objectivity and replace it with the word professional...getting the facts, putting them in context...

That, to me, was a cause for optimism.

At the end of the interview, she is asked what the hardest part of her job is and she says, you guessed it, "Dealing with the problem of objectivity and balance."

bee!pee!eff!bee! said...

Earache Alterboy?! ("thanks Ralph thanks Ralph thanks Ralph")

Yuck - I personally detest his whiney-ness as much as any NPR-er.

pamela said...

Me too, bunny. He nails NPR for pissing on Zinn's grave, but basically levels the same criticism (polemicist, not historian), though in more civil terms than Horowitz.

Anonymous said...

I think Alter's criticism of Zinn was good strategy. It shows his disgust with the obit wasn't kneejerk. The more poltically varied the critics of the outcry against this shameful incident, the better.

Anonymous said...

Good brief and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you on your information.

goopDoggy said...

Been looking into Marcello Truzzi's development of the idea of a pseudoskepticism, and much of it seems to apply to NPRism.

Pseudoskeptics exhibit one or more of the following characteristics:

1. Denial, rather than doubt
2. Double standards in the application of criticism.
3. Lack of scholarship, where judgments are made without full inquiry.
4. The tendency to discredit and debunk, rather than investigate.
5. Use of ridicule or ad hominem attacks in lieu of arguments.
6. Pejorative labeling of proponents as 'promoters', 'pseudoscientists' 'woo-woo's' 'kooks' (etc.) or practitioners of 'pathological science.'
7. Presenting insufficient evidence or proof for claims.
8. The assumption that criticism requires no burden of proof.
9. Making unsubstantiated counter-claims.
10. Making counter-claims based on plausibility rather than empirical evidence.
11. Suggesting that unconvincing evidence is grounds for dismissal.
12. The tendency to dismiss all evidence: "There is no evidence for..."
13. Unwillingness to consider evidence in probabilistic terms.
14. Advocating a narrow view of what constitutes scientific evidence, in such a way as to rule out undesirable evidence which in other circumstances would be accepted.

Anonymous said...

The Boss of You said: "Billy Tauzin retiring after years of contributing pharma perspective to health car[e] reform. "

Click here to find out more!
Your request is being processed...

Paul Blumenthal says:

The Legacy of Billy Tauzin: The White House-PhRMA Deal

Obama's deal with Tauzin has destroyed his credibility.

His presidency is effectively over and he has only himself to blame for it.

goopDoggy said...

Given the hugeness of the news about Wall Street raids on public pension funds, NPR's last feeble attempt to cover it on The Two-Way, or whatever it's called, is pathetic.

I read with interest an article in the LA Times recently: PENSIONS: Two L.A. firms to pay settlement in probe of New York 'pay-to-play' scandal

and that reminded me of another recent story: Teachers pension fund is $43 billion short

Both are by Marc Lishfer.

The SacBee also has the story

Some of the back story is here.

This is broad daylight thievery is flabbergasting. How is it possible for NPR to miss it so thoroughly?

goopDoggy said...

hmmm Pension funds raids, the Mortgage crisis and Iran/Contra/Cocaine are related?

Using government guarantees to insure mortgages in a neighborhood [West Philadelphia] makes sense. It protects investors from concern about the value of real estate.
The value of residential real estate reflects first and foremost the safety and well being of the neighborhood. If West Philadelphia were financed with private mortgages from big Philadelphia banks, then they would lose money on the economic withering of neighborhoods. If they pooled all the mortgages in mortgage pass-throughs and sold them to the pension funds without government guarantees of any kind, the pension funds would start losing money if defaults started to happen.

For the banks, of course, it is impossible to refuse to make mortgage loans in a neighborhood in which they are channeling the reinvestment of narcotics profits. First, there is the branding problem: they can not tell people they won't finance their homes because they prefer to reinvest the profits of folks who sell narcotics to their children and they can not make money on both. That is a problem as well because the banks' core business is based on using taxpayer's credit, and moving the losses to the taxpayers when things go wrong. For large
banks and corporations to extract equity out of a neighborhood, it is essential that the local values not impair their assets or the mortgage securities they create and service. That is where government credit provided by agencies like HUD comes in.

goopDoggy said...

Oh dear: the one-two punch of enpeeArgh's embedded Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson (fresh from the Orange County Register's Schwarzenegger beat) talking about separating the "good guys" and "bad guys" in Marjah where civilian casualties are inevitable - followed by mush-brains Schorr talking about the failure of diplomacy - more or less implying that diplomacy is a fool's errand.

Consider it a KO: I'm tuned out of NPR consciousness.

goopDoggy said...

Civilian casualties are inevitable.

goopDoggy said...

I've heard Dr. Michael Hudson use the phrase, "useful idiot," when referring to Helicopter Ben Bernanke. I think the phrase may well extend to many of our public servants...not least of which are the staff at NPR.

Nate Bowman said...

More on Billy Tauzin from the NYT:

After about two dozen years in Congress, Representative Billy Tauzin of Louisiana was after bigger game — the giant, 200-pound whitetail deer that run through the area of south Texas that hunters call the Golden Triangle.

So in 2003 Mr. Tauzin, then chairman of the powerful energy and commerce committee, made a deal. Though still on a modest Congressional salary, he paid more than $1 million for a 1,500-acre ranch there. And he invited a dozen friends — mostly executives and lobbyists with interests before his committee — to cover its mortgage by paying him dues as members of a new hunting club. It did business as Cajun Creek L.L.C., based in the Baton Rouge office of a lobbyist who was a member.

...his spokesman said that the House Ethics Committee had approved of the clubs...

...PhRMA lured him away from Congress with its $2 million-a-year offer.

All of this, out in the open and he not only gets to keep his job in Congress, but leverages it into a sweetheart lobbying deal.

I know I shouldn't be surprised, but when I read the details, it's galling.

pamela said...

Anon: Not to belabor the issue, but I don't understand why only liberals must be concerned about "kneejerk" reactions. Examples of WHY Howard Zinn's history was inaccurate or simplistic or schematic, whether the accusation comes from "liberal" Alterman or right-wing Horowitz, would be appreciated.

Alterman felt the need to disavow Zinn before crying foul on NPR's obit, and I'd like to know his reasoning. I don't understand it any more than I understand his seething hatred of Nader.

Anonymous said...

hi pamela

The reason liberals have different rules is the other side doesn't play fair. It sucks.
I think its good that a person who didn't even like Zinn (no matter how dumb his reasons) agreed that this obituary was shameful. That theoretically stop arguments that our complaints are lefty kneejerk.
It's strategy not right vs. wrong.
Thanks for responding to my comment. Yay.

goopDoggy said...


Scott (moist flushable wipe) Simon is back from the hospital where he claims to have gotten a wisdom implant. I guess that's how he knows what a hero Charlie Wilson was (no negative contributors to the obit here). Just a refutation of such:

In recent years, Charlie Wilson disputed those who said that arming Afghan rebels just put weapons in the hands of people, most notably the Taliban, who would use them against US forces after 2001.

As I understand it, Wilson chose the the most ardent and rabid reckless religious zealots from the Taliban and infused them with the same slice of the Wahabis and, insto-presto: Al Qaeda. So what could have been an honest resistance that the Afghans would have won on their own became a fanatical religious extremist movement that reigned terror over Afghanistant when the Soviets left.

Also missing from SS's new wisdom is the fact that Wilson opposed the current US occupation of Afghanistan.

goopDoggy said...

Surprise! Both the NYT and Huffpo have scooped NPR on the indictment (takes some serious gumshoeing to discover federal indictments as they are published in the public record for all to see) of Sergey Aleynikov.

As "getta life" (good advice, for goop, huh?) comments at Business Insider,

They should give this guy the Nobel Prize for exposing this front running scheme, even if he did so inadvertantly. We now know that GS is basically skimming the markets daily like a mafia bag man skimming a casino. Since GS owns all 3 branches of Government and the Fed I am not surprised they have control the Justice Department and the FBI also. As the economy crumbles the banksters know that they control the last cushy jobs for retiring regulators and former legislators. They literally become more powerful as they destroy everyone else.

goopDoggy said...

It's "interesting" that when you search NPR for Elliott Broidy (who I'm interested in because he's funneling my retirement fund to Goldman/Sachs and Israel) you find only this story from the heat of the fall campaign. There is much more to say about Broidy, some of which is said by WSJ blog Private Equity Beat.

Well, I find it interesting, but maybe that's just cause I'm interested.

goopDoggy said...

Hey, zumadogg on broidy. GoopDog is a different dog, really! This is good for chuckle.

Grace said...

Speaking of getta life, I look a bit too forward to reading NPRCheck's comments and links, at times(like these!)

Grumpy, glad you have recovered.
It is surprising how often Dallas loses power, often for days.
Tucson loses power often during the monsoons but it is a border town. Dallas is a major US city, with more than a handful of very wealthy, influential people who also go without power. I find it astonishing that so many people just accept it.
Pretty clever to think of the library!

Goop, great job exposing(quickly!) the George Jahn, AP piece(Iran's nuclear enrichment) NPR ran,as total propaganda.
When an AP piece is that ripe with
inaccuracies/disinformation that it is pulled, that's amazing.
More amazing was how shamelessly NPR ran the slightly revised version.
Jahn and Aaronovitch seem to be two of a kind!

Grace said...

Soraya Nelson straight off the Schwarzenegger beat for the OC Register?!!
Actually it explains how perfectly she will fit the NPR narrative of US good guys, Afghans either bad guys or expendable.
I guess she won't be reporting on our good guys handcuffing, then executing young schoolboys but I bet she gets in the favourite two words of todays war propagandists in a pinch: "girl schools". Whenever a mission goes awry for us, they are always on the way to/from a "girl's school" or there in an effort to build a "girl's school". There must be polling that shows Americans support them so when the objective seems inexplicable(paying off Taliban for road access so we can battle them)fall back on "girl school"!
Yes, Nelson will be perfect for the job!

ellen said...


I love it!

Grace said...

Thinking back to the revelation that Harry Reid made very racist comments about Obama, I now believe that many of our AIPAC senators may not trust a black man, or in Reid's eyes, a negro, with US foreign policy.
When Obama made the Cairo speech calling on Israel to end settlement building, many senators
in fact most(79) protested and signed a letter asking Obama to lighten up on Israel/Nutanyahoo.
Now we see the Senate jump ahead of Obama with their own sanctions on Iran with the Iran Refined Petroleum Act
to agian tie his hands.
You also see the lack of confidence in another high profile man, Eric Holder, questioned as much by Democrats as by Repuglicans. Case in point is the KSM trial. Chuck Schumer even rolled out his buddy Mukasey to smear the decision and Feinstein had no problem casting doubt on the handling of the undie bomber.
These are not only big AIPAC beneficiaries but Clinton people who may also share Reid's lack of confidence in people of colour making high level decisions, regardless of fact that these are probably the most qualified people to have held these positions.
Jane Meyer has said Rahm had made a backroom deal not to hold KSM trial in NYC. That would help explain strength of the opposition to Holder and is evidence of the fight Obama has within his own party, that Republicans never face.
I can't help but wonder if this is a "token" administration that the Clinton/AIPAC folks are eager to replace asap.

Anonymous said...

Pamel says "Alterman felt the need to disavow Zinn before crying foul on NPR's obit, and I'd like to know his reasoning. I don't understand it any more than I understand his seething hatred of Nader.

Both have the same source: a desire on the part of pundits like Alterman to remain "credible' in the eyes of the American media.

Those who admit that Zinn or Nader might have something valid to say (or even worse, claim that they are actually great Americans!) are ostracized -- sent to the wilds of Borneo.

It's really little more than a manifestation of lack of self-confidence and desire to be 'accepted" by one's (journalist) peers.