Thursday, December 30, 2010

Q Tips

As 2010 sputters to an end, NPR related comments are encouraged and welcomed.

89 comments:

The Boss of You said...

Is Henry Norr one of us? Hats off to him for his persistence in getting NPR to set the record straight about exactly how many cables Wikileaks have actually published.

larry, dfh said...

Hey B.o.Y.: the next story in the ombud's column says quite a bit as well: "I have always respected the Media Research Center and feel that they do an important job." Of course no where is Glenn Greenwald mnentioned.
But my main gripe today is about the Iran story from a couple of days ago on .. There was some dark concern about the poor of Iran; concern that was as phoney as any M.E. announcer could be. The whole point was the neocon interjection of faux-humanitarianism into the arguement. In fact, the assertion is probably on it's face dishonest. If, as mentioned , Ahmadinejad is in fact driving a wedge between the poor and the clerics, then he is necessarily showing economic concern for the impoverished, as they are the most religious faction in Iran. I don't really know, but I do have Persian friends. And anytime I hear crocodile tears from the six-figure flunkies at standsfornothing radio I get suspicious. Happy New Year to all you curmudgeons out there!

informedveteran said...

Planet Monkey isn’t even trying anymore. I was looking to see if they had done any “reporting” on the ongoing foreclosure fraud catastrofuck and found this instead.

Dan

informedveteran said...

Here’s a sober antedote to the insidious everything’s-OK-go-back-to-sleep-America-cutesyness of NPR.

Dan

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised NPR even admitted they were "careless", though Shepard does her damnedest to present it in the best light possible (quoting the number as of end of December when the number of cables released when NPR first started saying "thousands of cables" was just barely over 1000 and saying "lots of others were "careless in their reporting")

Shepard is the consummate NPR apologist, which, of course, is why they have kept her around so long.

She says what Vivian Schiller expects her to say.

informedveteran said...

Anon:

"quoting the number as of end of December when the number of cables released when NPR first started saying 'thousands of cables' was just barely over 1000"

Good point. Sounds like copy-and-paste "journalism" to me(like the "ground zero mosque"). Did it require such an effort to say "under (or nearly)two thousand"? If you are NPR and your "news" stories are so short, I would think being clear and concise was important - unless you have an agenda/bias..........

Dan

Anonymous said...

Thank you NPR Check is all I can say. I won't turn on WBEZ in Chicago until ME is over and the local programming, which still resembles journalism, kicks in. Listening to NPR, like CNN and the rest of cable news, really makes me stupider and stupider. Livestation.com carries France 24, AlJazeera, BBC, Deutsche Welle RTV and several other news outlets that save the mass media experience for me. NPR Check is all I see of NPR, and you guys are GREAT! Thanks to all who contribute here and happy new year.

Anonymous said...

Glenn Greenwald was one of the first to point out the LIE that wikileaks had released "thousands of cables".

But of course, Shepard would never acknowledge that because Greenwald made her look like a fool with her "tortured" logic over NPR's refusal to use the word torture to describe water-boarding by Bush officials.

So she treats Greenwald like he did not exist, which is actually NPR's preferred method for dealing with people who make them feel uncomfortable.

larry, dfh said...

These holidays are going to have to end, for my general sanity.
1Jan11
While reading about
Mikhail Khodorkovsky,
and after ending up here, I masochistically thought: wonder what standsfornothing radio has about Mikhail Khodorkovsky? Of course, I wasn't
surprised.

gDog said...

Thanks for passing that on, Larry. All Jacob Rothschild got was 13.5B? I'll bet Tony Hayward whose name Liane can't recall, earned more than that in the last 20 years.

gDog said...

This here is some naked propaganda, so badly obvious it might have been lifted from the pages of Pravda circa 1962:

SIEGEL: Is the point here that Vladimir Putin cannot abide a system in which independent wealth has its way and need not submit to the government's will at every turn?

Mr. HOFFMAN: That is exactly the point. Putin wanted to show the oligarchs that he was boss. That at the apex of the power triangle will be the czar, will be the leaders. And that the guys with money should serve them and be subservient to them.

larry, dfh said...

...cannot abide a system in which independent wealth has its way...
Sounds O.K. with me. It's not john roberts approved, I'm sure.
And right now, wbur is running the audio from a C-span program with former justices O'Connor and Souter. It's quite interesting, but they don't currently have a link. Souter comes out look real good.

gDog said...

Yeah, good point. You can read the quote with the idea that Putin is being a hero - but in the larger context they're making him out to be a villain. Curious.

GRUMPY DEMO said...

On this morning's (01/02/11) Morning Edition report:

"Officer's Raunchy Videos 'Clearly Inappropriate,' Navy Says"

NPR: Where smutty videos by the military are a scandal, but wasting billions in fraud, torturing hundreds of innocents prisoners, imprisoning dozens of reporters, and killing thousands of civilians isn't newsworthy.

Quality journalism at it's FOXiest.

GRUMPY DEMO said...

Anyone else notice the new corporate underwriter at NPR?

Goldman Sachs.

Who says pro-corporate, Wall Street Cheer-leading doesn't pay well?

It makes blacklisting Krugman and yelling a Elisabeth Warren worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

Despite the Shepard piece purporting to set the record straight on the actual number of cables released by wikileaks, there has been no real effort on the part of those NPR reporters who made the false claims to correct their "errors".

The false claims still stand on NPR's website.

This piece by Mark Memmott < previous post next post >
Just What Did Assange Allegedly Do? Details Of Accusations Emerge
(a hack job if ever there was one) is a perfect example.

First, note the dishonest "faux balance" game Memmott plays.

Without actually SEEING any evidence himself, Memmott simply re-prints hearsay "evidence" (eg, claims that Assange "sexually molested" two women) and then, presumably for "balance" says that

"Assange has denied the accusations, which he has said are politically motivated and aimed at destroying WikiLeaks."

Then Memmott goes on to repeat the LIE about the number of cables released:

"His site has most recently revealed thousands [sic] of previously secret U.S. diplomatic cables."

So, where is the correction, Marky Boy, you hack?

larry, dfh said...

So, I was reading
this article
about a bucolic-sounding Belarus, when the thought overwhelmed me: What's standfornothing radio's take on the subject? David Greene to the rescue. Thanks to David's 'intrepid' pre-election coverage on

Dec 17
,
Dec 18
, and
Dec 19,
the coverage post-election turns to Associated Press, as Greene's handlers whisk him out of the country, and to safety. So because of the upstanding stooge MR. Greene, we get to learn everything about Belarus, which the c.i.a. wants us to learn.

Mytwords said...

I have to note that the article on Belarus from Counterpunch is written by Israel Shamir. It doesn't reflect well on Counterpunch that they continue to publish this anti-Semite's work(see here and here).
I also have not found Amnesty International to be terribly biased and their reports on Belarus are disturbing.

That, of course, doesn't change the point that NPR devotes reams of coverage to any story that shines a negative light on governments and movements that oppose US hegemony - and are silent on our country's destruction of the rule of law...

bpfb (!) said...

^ Now THAT'S what i like about our own little corner of "malcontents" (i.e. our unified propensity to make some waves when something put forth don't smell quite right); we're just not aiming firebrands at S-4-0... but interacting conscientiously as opposed to ego-fueled sliming. E'er check yahoo news comments' cesspool on any given topic (particularly leaning toward the half-caste one)? yeeeeaaaauuuuuccckkk!!

larry, dfh said...

As a rather thick-skinned Jew let me say that I am not particularly offended by what Israel Shamir wrote. I don't think he said 'Jews only exist to drip the blood of Palestinian children into their matzas' which he claims he didn't. He seems careful to distinguish between 'Jews' and 'Israelis', as do I. My grandparents' families suffered heavily in the Holocaust, but you might not want to know my views on that particular enterprise. Shamir seems like a doctrinaire communist; I think Counterpunch has several disgruntled and maybe even marginally stable columnists. But as you more or less mention, my gracious host, we all know what the party line is.
I want to tell a small story about Zionist Jews, and about my wife's cousin, a Catholic girl, married to a very caring blue-collar, non-observant Jew. She fell in with a father-and-son Hassidim team, who were working exhaustively on her conversion. She was learning Hebrew; and being very spiritual, open-minded and gifted in languages, she would have had no problems. They were getting to the point that "maybe you need a husband who is more devout". I talked with her and simply said "You know, what I can't abide is the hatred". She had ham the next christmas.

jaytingle said...

The liberal NY Times has published their 2nd anti-union feature this week. Commenter # 179 makes reference to NPR as "not a conservative rag." Just so. It is an establishment broadcaster, thus conservative. Evidently the Times is a conservative rag. Warning: there is a good deal of middle class self-hatred being spouted here. http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2011/01/04/business/04labor.html?sort=oldest&offset=8

Anonymous said...

First let me assure you all that I am NOT, repeat, NOT, the Crazy Uncle Ed that the jokesters at NPR talk about but if I was . . .

I would claim that living in the same tribe, clan, family as Inskeep, Norris and Siegel (and all the rest) means there is a genetic deformity involved.

I heard Montaigne actually describe American journalism as not influenced "by fear or favor". I am beginning to suspect that the editors/writers of The Onion have taken control at NPR.

Ed (NOT Crazy Uncle) Kriner

GRUMPY DEMO said...

File under "Damn Liberal NPR" turns out NPR's wasn't happy with Ann Garrels' reporting from Baghdad, it wasn't pro-war enough.

Per Peter Maas at The New Yorker:

"Anne Garrels, NPR’s reporter in Baghdad at the time, has said that her editors requested, after her first dispatch about marines rolling into Firdos, that she emphasize the celebratory angle, because the television coverage was more upbeat. In an oral history that was published by the Columbia Journalism Review, Garrels recalled telling her editors that they were getting the story wrong: “There are so few people trying to pull down the statue that they can’t do it themselves. . . . Many people were just sort of standing, hoping for the best, but they weren’t joyous.”

Read more:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/01/10/110110fa_fact_maass#ixzz1A5DpJxfT

ht Glen Greenwald

informedveteran said...

I had the grand misfortune of serving on the USS Enterprise 1994-1998. "Affectionately" named the Mobile Chernobyl, mainly because of its EIGHT 50-year-old Nuclear Reactors.

I can certainly understand the need to boost morale with all these post 9/11 repeated deployments. The XO was probably just trying (however misguidedly) to make the crew laugh. That ship was constantly breaking down in 1996 when I was on a 6 month deployment on it. I can't even imagine what a nightmare it is now.

I can say from experience working in the Reactor Propulsion Plants that working 6 hours on, 6 hours off, 6 on, 6 off in a 126 degree engineroom for several months straight wears down morale just a bit.

All that being said, the XO(s) we had would have NEVER shown movies like that, and we had barely any women at all on board then (50 out of a crew of 5500). I know there are a lot more women now.

But I'm sure Tom Bowman's story explains all this.........

Porter Melmoth said...

Thanks, informed, for the personal insight.

Most people realize that there's been a bawdy side to the military that predates the Stone Age. But when it's trotted out in front of the public, to me that means there's some sort of evasive action going on.

We had Tailhook during the '91 Gulf War, and now we got the 'Enterprise' porno parade. Sounds like a diversion to get the media to drool over a sex scandal rather than shine the critical light on Afghanistan. Plus, dump it on one officer, as in Stan McCrystal's case. And Assange's. And Madoff's. MSM will always cooperate.

It's like NPR itself, which wants all of us to think that everything's just dandy and familiarly non-dysfunctional in that organization. I think this false front is covering up some franticness, though. Bad sign: they're using dull old Paul Brown to multi-task. He’s covering a suspiciously wide arrange of stories. Brown's fairly new, so he's undoubtedly working his ass off for cheap, in order to sustain Inskreep & Co's princely sums. Viv probably still says: 'If we wanna keep 'em, we gotta pay 'em'.

Sounds like the 'Mobile Chernobyl's ready for the Bangladeshi break-up beach. Now THAT's a scandal worth telling, cuz the public thinks the USS 'Enterprise' is just as hot a craft as Scotty's starship.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone been aware of MeShill Norris sightings? Since the book tour she has been absent and the last google can give me is book tour in september.

edk

Patrick Lynch said...

informedveteran: thank you for what you said about the condition of the USS Enterprise. That is indeed a scandal. I read somewhere that the carrier underwent a massive refit to address the 1990's era problems. Knowing how the government works, who knows if it resulted in any actual improvement or not. Probably not. The link doesn't go into great detail about the full extent of the refit.

http://www.suite101.com/content/navys-uss-enterprise-underway-after-final-dry-dock-renovation-a227646

While admitting to being a Star Trek fan, I've never had any illusions about maintenance of naval vessels in the era of the low bid contract. Unlike at least one person who commented on the article.

Porter Melmoth said...

Interesting point, edk.

No sign of MeeShill, on or off the marketing route.

I've often wondered:

Do NPR staff get paid per broadcast story, or continuous salary? Contractors no doubt get paid per story, but what about NPR regulars?

I mean, what's Michael Sullivan doing all that time between stories? Sipping pineapple drinks in Bali? And certainly Ann Garrels couldn't be prepping yet another Russian river story while David Greene gets all the Cold glory.

(Garrels was told to sex up her Baghdad stories, huh? Wow - I guess she complied. Remember Sarah Chays in Afghanistan? She resigned rather than kowtow.)

Does NPR operate like a tenure-track university, with all the perks?

Anyway, just wondering how the NPR spoils are divided.

Anonymous said...

Do NPR staff get paid per broadcast story, or continuous salary? Contractors no doubt get paid per story, but what about NPR regulars?"

Meeeeeeeeeshell Noooooooorisss is on salary. The last number I saw was for 2007 and was $200K per year (plus benefits). So she probably easily costs NPR listeners over 1/4 million per year.

But even more surprising is the the ombot salary: $150k per year plus benefits.

No wonder Shepard sticks around. Not bad for the nonsense she writes.

And then there's Vivian Schiller who get over half a million per year in salary. Not bad for a complete idiot.
What a total waste of donor dollars. she is.

Porter Melmoth said...

I suppose MeeShill thinks her too-cool voice by itself is worth it, baby. And speak of the devil, she's BACK, too-cooler than ever. I suppose da NPR brass think she sexes up the news just by reciting her Neocon Approved (TM) script.

Besides, as Harry Cohn used to say about Rita Hayworth, she brings in a little 'flesh impact' to contrast with M'lissa's lollipop innocence and The Blob's ballsy gravitas.

Worth a cool 200k? You better believe it, sweetheart.

Anonymous said...

The salary I remembered for Norris was actually for 2003

That same year (2003) Robert Siegel made $260K and in 2007 he made $350K.

Also, Bob Edwards made 250K in 2003 and over 500K in 2004!

So I suspect that Norris is now making over 300K per year in salary.

Of all the people on NPR, Norris has to be one of the most nauseating.

But someone out there in radio land must like the Meeeeeeshelll Noooris routine of they would not pay her the big bucks to read the script.

Mytwords said...

So Mara Liasson reports that Obamney-care was "the last great middle class entitlement." Sheesh. And though not perfect, Garcia-Navarro covered the killing of a Palestinian by Israeli tear gas. Is this the first time NPR has reported quickly on the death of a Palestinian protester? I get a sense that Garcia-Navarro tries to get decency in her stories...
I dropped comments on both stories.

Anonymous said...

jaytingle,

Far be it from me to defend the establishment NYT, but I don't see how the Steven Greenhouse piece is an "anti-union" piece -- seems like objective reporting on a disturbing anti-labor trend. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

NPR does an piece on Haiti a year after the quake and NOT a SINGLE mention of the $1.1 billion of aid that was promised by Obama but never materialized.

Also, no real questions about "why" there has been so little reconstruction progress over the past year.

Could it be related to the fact that so little of the promised billions were forthcoming? Naaa

Beaubien simply takes the word of a UN official that

"We are not rebuilding, because what existed for most poverty-stricken Haitians before was totally unacceptable. It's building, it's transformation, and that's going to take a long time," Fisher says.

Yeh, right. So over 1 million people are still living in tents and much of the rubble has STILL not been cleared after a year because we want to put up condos?

Typical NPR reporting.

It's always what they leave unsaid that is most important.

Anonymous said...

NPR == "News Purged Radio"

"All the news that's fit to omit"

Anonymous said...

All,

If anyone gets a chance, head over to Planet Monkey and watch Bradley Smith (BSJones) rattle the cages. He's been doing it for months!

If MM could entice him over to NPRCheck, it could double the output.

Don Q. Public

Tom Roche said...

If it's not too meta, take a look @ Folkenflik's 2-parter on media and ideology (and the comments): part 1 on the British press and part 2 on US "impartiality.

informedveteran said...

Check out Wikileaks: Israeli Blockade Targeted Gaza Economy AP. I wonder if NoPalestinianRadio will do any actual stories about this, or just disappear the AP story and forget about it.

Patrick Lynch said...

For this page of posts alone, Bradley Smith (BS Jones) is my new hero!

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/storyComments.php?storyId=132440238&pageNum=3&pPageNum=4

Porter Melmoth said...

I'm sure Adumb Davidson wouldn't ever have the guts to personally answer Mr. Bradley Smith's (NO-bsjones) statements.

informedveteran said...

The Ally ad is missing again from the Planet Monkey page.

informedveteran said...

A Tale of Two Polls

Most Americans say tax rich to balance budget: poll. “Sixty-one percent of Americans polled would rather see taxes for the wealthy increased as a first step to tackling the deficit, the poll showed. The next most popular way -- chosen by 20 percent -- was to cut defense spending. Four percent would cut the Medicare government health insurance program for the elderly, and 3 percent would cut the Social Security retirement program, the poll showed.”

Can’t seem to find coverage of this poll on NPR. They managed to cite polls that celebrated the tax cut “deal” though.

Obama's Tax Cut Deal Clears Senate Hurdle “A survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that overall, 60 percent of those surveyed approved of the deal, while just 22 percent disapproved. Similarly, a Washington Post-ABC News polls found a 69 percent approval rate.
But the latest survey from USA TODAY/Gallup found the public less enthusiastic about the package: Just 49 percent of respondents said they supported the deal, while a third opposed it.”

Patrick Lynch said...

The ME people were all but having multiple orgasms this morning over the Republicans taking over the house. The joy is undisguised.

Both yesterday and today, I noticed that the NPR and CNN nitwits kept going on about the "peaceful transfer of power". NPR has someone stationed on the capitol steps yesterday. Inskreep asks if anything is going on and the reporter says no. I heard that bit of stupidity at six thirtyish in the morning. Of course there's nothing going on! What did they expect Nancy Pelosi and some House Democrats storming the building with pitchforks and torches?

Anonymous said...

This story was particularly hard hitting:
http://www.npr.org/2011/01/06/132693795/gop-freshman-grapples-with-historic-mundane

Anonymous said...

To all my friends at NPR Check: I am sorry I conjured up Norris.

edk

gDog said...

Proof by Fiat at NPR

In Obama Picks New Nominee for Legal Counsels Office we hear Society of American Business Editors and Writers award winning Carrie Johnson report that

Indiana law professor Dawn Johnsen was the Obama administration's first nominee for the job. But Johnsen stepped aside in April after months of waiting in vain for the Senate to vote on her nomination. Republicans thought she was too liberal on national security issues, and they used articles she wrote during the Bush years to prove it.

I'm convinced!

Porter Melmoth said...

"To all my friends at NPR Check: I am sorry I conjured up Norris.

edk"

Quite all right, edk. I'm pretty much sorry for spreading around the NPR horrors as much as I do. It's not exactly helpful, except to exorcise the self-inflicted horror from within. Illogical, I know.

Speaking of MeeShill, she had a smugfest of a time yesterday when she mentioned that Ted guy who's now a street person but used to be in radio with the hi-fi voice. Her whole smiley-smug performance was couched in an attitude that screamed: 'look at me because I not only have a fantastic voice, I didn't muck everything up and become a street person - in fact, I'm sittin' on top of NPR right now, so eat your heart out, Ted!'

Her little sign off with 'Good luck Ted!' was the very epitome of NPR self-aggrandizement.

NPR's lovefest with the universe-changing new Congress continues with unashamed pride. Seabrook's squealing all the way to the Boner worship trough, and Blob Siegel's typically giddy about the Neocon heavens opening up. I can't imagine a more worthless 'coverage' of the DC circus.

Horrible horrors, as near as your dial.

Porter Melmoth said...

PS: Pelosi was 'interviewed' by the BlobbleHead yesterday, who was on best behavior so as not to give away his bemusement. Pelosi, to her credit, has never fallen for the Blob's gentle charms.

PPS: I happened to be at the tire store the other day and of course Fox News was on the tube. Some time-filler chat show was on, but I was struck by how the host and guests, conservatives all, were actually pretty hard on the GOP as far as their probable effectiveness is concerned. Rand Paul was on and said virtually nothing. He was on his own.

You'd never find that kind of thing on NPR, as our dear all-stars bend over backwards to facilitate their GOP interviewees, so as to present the best showcase possible. WHO's 'fair 'n balanced'?

(Fox News is what it is, but there was an irony in there somewhere to appreciate...)

Anonymous said...

Breaking news:

NPR Senior VP for News Ellen Weiss resigns over the Juan Williams firing.

Patrick Lynch said...

An interesting tidbit about the Juan Williams firing:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/06/review-of-juan-williams-f_n_805350.html

GRUMPY DEMO said...

Mixed feelings re: NPR Weiss getting canned, of course NPR has ignored it Ethics Code for years, (every year Juan Williams worked there) so the stated reason it true, . . .

but she's probably just a scapegoat to the GOP.

NPR doesn't understand, no matter how had they try with FOX Lite Center Right framing, the Rights hates them and wants to destroy them.

Anonymous said...

Weiss IS a scapegoat.

If anyone should have been fired in the Juan Williams firing, it is Schiller.

Her behavior in the whole thing was completely unprofessional -- both before and after the firing.

So, she won't get a bonus for 2010.

Big deal.

She gets paid a half million dollars a year (equivalent to 10,000 pledges of $50 to NPR member stations)

Don't get me wrong. I think Williams is a total hack, but there are right ways of doing things and wrong ways and the way NPR handled that thing was completely juvenile.

What it really showed is that Schiller is an idiot who has no business as CEO.

But of course she has the "full confidence of the board" because firing her is basically an admission of how badly they screwed up when they hired her to begin with.

Porter Melmoth said...

While the gals are squabbling over Juangate, there's still a real man's man doing point work that really MATTERS at NPR. He is, of course, Tom Gjelten, a patriot of Paul Revere proportions. Woe unto those who might question his insight. His latest peril to pant over is, as they used to say, Yellow. Or, uh, Red. China, that is.

Gjelten is ecstatic. He doesn't come out and state that China is our next super-enemy, but look at the evidence he gives. He doesn't have to come out and say it. We, the listeners must assume it, given his stark evidence.

China is of course moving at warp speed to become the world's biggest military power. This on a show where Bob Gates is talking about Defense cuts. Thinks about it, folks.

Gjelten makes the year 2020 as the crisis point with China. By that time, he will have ascended to an oracle position at NPR that will make Dan Schorr look like a mere disc jockey. And his first 2020 declaration will naturally be: 'I told you so.'

gDog said...

Inskeep turned to Ydstie for some econometricology this ME. Ydstie sounded soooo authoritative in his reading of the script that I thought I'd look into his bona fides a bit.

¡Aha! Reason he can read so good?: degree in English from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN - part of Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area. The name suggests there might be a few Otellos on the loose, but, well, "few" would be the operative word. Moorhead is:

92.08% White, 0.77% African American, 1.94% Native American

Don't confuse Moorhead, MN with Morehead, KY - Inskeep's place of edification, though you might forgiven the conflation.

It is, I read, the primary abode of Bunny Lebowski and the last destination of Buddy Holly, who will abide.

William G. Moorhead was the head of the Northern Pacific Railroad Northern Pacific Railroad whose surveying and building clearly and boldly broke the 1868 Treaty with the Sioux Indians. One General Custer and the Seventh Cavalry escorted a Northern Pacific Railroad survey team of 373 men and 275 supply wagons to Yellowstone river valley from Fort Rice.

This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps!

But Concordia is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, whose mission is to

influence the affairs of the world by sending into society thoughtful and informed men and women dedicated to the Christian life.

That's all Ydstie needs to know about the economy to read authoritatively, I gather.

Porter Melmoth said...

Yes gDog, thus are the Hosts Whose Burden It Is To Influence and Lead America forged in their crucibles of duty.

Shallow dude that I am, I always found Ydstie's sibilance to be severely distracting, plus the memory of his magical basketball career has admittedly prejudiced me from ever considering Y. to be any kind of expert on ANYTHING besides small town basketball in 90+% white ND.

Indeed, NPR's 'experts' are mere Vacuform printouts, as easily procured as swinging into the nearest Academia and doing one-stop shopping to find the expert of your choice. . You know, do a thesis based on a bunch of others’ research, and you’re an expert. Oh, and publish a book. That oughta do ‘er. These are our Standards - not to be questioned.

I still find it hard to believe that a network with all the resources and potential that NPR has could ever turn out to be such a pathetic, worthless and offensive entity. Most of my critique of them is based on this deep disappointment and outrage at their abuse of broadcasting for propaganda purposes. Plus, those who inflict their personalities on us cause most of my superficial response.

And, in a rare morning cameo, The Blobblehead offered a few little thoughts on the Weiss crisis within Juangate, and waxed a trifle indignant about how sloppily the whole thing was handled. Does this mean the great Blob, the Great Humanitarian, doth emerge displeased with Lady Viv? Are her days as CEO numbered? Cuz I mean, how could anyone survive if they had the Blob against them?

Porter Melmoth said...

PS: Personal note: aside from stacking boxes in a factory and about 20 other manual labor jobs, I did work in Academia enough to yak a little about its inherent BS. I'm certainly pro-higher ed, but NPR seems like they use the worst aspect of Academia as their model - a sort of tenure-track racket, where the wrong people get tenure and the best people are shut out.

Even Louis B. Mayer, the most powerful and most feared mogul in Hollywood's Golden Era said, 'Don't be afraid to hire people smarter than you are. You can learn from them.' That's a loaded statement, for sure, but NPR is such a 'controlled' outfit, so conventional and mediocre, which is what the Corporates want, so as not to be suspected of blatant propaganda.

Anonymous said...

NPR's motto: "Don't be afraid to hire people stupider than you are (if you can find them)"

Patrick Lynch said...

I listened to the story about Juangate this morning and wondered why it was even necessary to trot out the Blob for his plummy voiced opinion. But what caught my attention more was this statement:

"Republican lawmakers threatened to target federal funding for public broadcasters — an act that would threaten NPR member stations far more directly than NPR, but with potential ramifications for the network. Member stations pay fees to NPR to run its news programs, and their officials hold 10 of the 17 seats on the not-for-profit company's corporate board."

The two NPR stations in my area constantly go on about how if it weren't for their listeners who still cough up pledge money they would go under. I need to go back and read how the member stations are really funded. There have been times during pledge drives I thought I detected a bit of resentment at the fees member stations pay NPR for the dreadful programming that replaced the music they used to play. Not to mention something about this statement sets off my B.S. alarms. Why does it affect the member stations more than NPR itself?

Which brings me to something else. Yesterday, a co-worker of mine and I had a conversation about how far down the tubes NPR had gone. He was noting how the ME crew was bending over backwards to welcome their new Republican overlords. The co-worker used to DJ at one our local stations and he had given up on listening to the actual radio broadcasts and instead selected individual podcasts of non news shows. He also thought that the slant of the news had gone to his mind very obviously to the right.

This guy was especially disgusted by the attempt to pander to a younger hipster audience and write off all of us middle aged folks who still like music and news that is actually thoughtful and accurate.

It was kind of refreshing to know that I wasn't the only one disgusted by the changes at WEKU and WEKY. I mentioned NPR Check to him.

Anonymous said...

"Republican lawmakers threatened to target federal funding for public broadcasters — an act that would threaten NPR member stations far more directly than NPR, but with potential ramifications for the network."

That's an understatement if ever was one.

NPR would cease to exist in its current massive, bloated, form if member stations stopped buying programming from NPR.

And most of the member stations would not be able to afford to continue to do so (or at least would not be able to justify doing so to their listeners) without federal funding.


Funding for NPR member stations is NPR's Achille's heal.

NPR is worried about talk of cuts that will affect member stations because that will significantly affect their own bottom line.

So they play the "fear factor" -- telling the listeners that it will affect member stations more than it will NPR.

Ironically, the best way to put the "public" back in "public radio" is to cut Federal funding for member stations.

My guess is that many of them ARE resentful that so much money goes to pay for overpriced NPR propaganda and I bet a lot of them would actually be glad if they were provided an "excuse" to drop it.

gDog said...

The Republican strategists are far to savvy to actually defund one of their main instruments of propaganda - especially since it's one the veal pen libs actually volunteer their own money to help fund their own self-induced delusional psychosis of "news." That's the golden calf for these propagandists. Of course, threatening to defund it makes the veal penners cling ever so more strongly to the poison that's infected their soft gray tissues.

gDog said...

too, too.

gDog said...

Snotty (MFW) Psyman was sure eager to burnish the creds of the Agency this WESat in Our Man In Tehran Was A Canadian Hero

Snotty plays the gushing school boy wanting rush up and shake the hand of this fine Canadian ambassador who, through the aid of wondrous CIA "spycraft" was able to save 6 Americans from clutches of the evil muslins.

For a contrasting perspective on the events leading up to and ending the hostage crisis, MFW Psyman would do better to interview Russ Baker, but since Snotty is himself a principal agent of State Crimes Against Democracy (SCADs), that is not very likely.

The Feb/2010 issue of The Behavioral Scientist makes good reading in this context. In Beyond Conspiracy Theory: Patterns of High Crimes in American Government Lance de-Haven Smith writes,

In 1980 if not sooner, [..] the [national security] apparatus began to be used in domestic politics. An example is the so-called October Surprise in the 1980 presidential election, where the Reagan–Bush campaign is alleged to have made a deal to sell arms to Iran in return for Iran delaying the release of the hostages until after Election Day (Parry, 1993; Sick, 1991). The principals who secretly negotiated the arrangement in Paris reportedly included [Poppy]Bush and former intelligence officers Bill Casey (Reagan’s campaign manager) and Robert Gates.

[..]Given what is now known about Iran-Contra, it appears likely that the Iran-Contra operation grew out of the October Surprise agreement. At the direction of President Reagan and with the direct involvement of Vice President Bush, the apparatus began selling arms to Iran at highly inflated prices and funneling the profits to the Contras. The Contras were also brought into the drug trade
and were given assistance in smuggling cocaine into the United States (Ruppert, 2004; Webb, 1998).

Patrick Lynch said...

Having just read the Wiki page on NPR funding it isn't hard to see why they don't want to piss off their corporate masters since 26 percent of their funding comes from multinational corporations looking to pull the wool over the eyes of "liberal" listeners and gloss over their corporate misdeeds.

Has anyone done a study showing the correlation between corporate sponsorships and the decline or elimination of negative news coverage of those corporations by NPR. As a listener I've noticed that when State Farm started sponsoring NPR, the stories about their malfeasance after Katrina pretty much vanished. Same for big drug companies, Toyota and others.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that the folks at NPR would put up with Schiller.

Weiss (who has worked at NPR something like 30 times as long as Schiller) took the fall for the Juan Williams thing while Schiller got off with a slap on the wrist (no bonus!)

It's surprising that the folks at NPR who have been around for a long time would actually put up with such crap from a clueless, pompous, incompetent twit like Schiller.

Schiller is simply not qualified for the job she is supposed to be doing. She has virtually NO experience as a journalist (unless you include her time as a "tour guide" in the former Soviet Union).

If the folks at NPR can't see through this charade, then there is absolutely no hope for them.

Anonymous said...

Well, NPR screwed up very BADLY indeed ( again).

They reported that Congresswoman Gifford had died, only to change the story just a few hours later.

Do the "journalists" at NPR EVER check their "facts"?

Can't get much worse than this: reporting to millions of listeners that someone has died when they have not.

What if some of Gifford's relatives had been listening?

What a GROTESQUE example of incompetence.

And notice how NPR tries to "splain away their error". They use the "everyone got it wrong and our source was bad" excuse:

"NPR and other news organizations reported earlier Saturday that Giffords had died. NPR member station KJZZ in Phoenix reported the congresswoman and six others had been killed based on a source in the Pima County sheriff's office."

gDog said...

Yeah - a lot of bloggers have been burned by copying NPR re Gifford's exaggerated death: Wonkette and HuffPo, for instance.

Anonymous said...

It's basically a repeat of their Iraqi WMD screwup.

Same total (unquestioning) reliance on a single source without bothering to verify.

Same lame excuse for why they screwed up: "Everyone else got it wrong too and our source was bad" [In other words: "How could anyone have known?"]

Apparently, nothing ever changes at NPR.

Working for such an organization would be an embarrassment to any REAL journalist.

larry, dfh said...

Anon @ 1/8/11 5:46 PM
Some people have left standsfornothing radio because, well, it stands for nothing. I think you can pretty much assume that those remaining are immune against qualms of angst, and joyfully read the cue-cards provided by the 'company'. That they have the ever-present excuse that 'everyone else was wrong' is a built-in strategic element. That way they never have to give air time to anything BUT the view they are trying to foist on their listeners.

informedveteran said...

Patrick,

I don't have any official study to cite but a good place to start would be to track their abysmal reporting on foreclosures. One might think that millions of Americans losing their homes would be a huge story that needed every aspect of it studied - NPR doesn't think so. But I'm sure their sponsors BOA, Fidelity, Ally, Goldman Sachs have nothing to do with their blame-the-borrower "coverage".........

Dan

informedveteran said...

Here’s some required reading/viewing on the state of the state of Arizona. I don’t think I’m being too cynical in assuming NPR won’t cover this important context.

gDog said...

Good find, Dan.

Arizona...West of the 98th parallel. "Settled" by frontiersmen who couldn't make it all the way to the gold rush and so occupied themselves with killing Apache, Choctaw, Yuma and Navajo. Resettled by newly retired amenity migrants with plenty of time on their hands to resent the NAFTA migrants, or "illegals."

“These people had seen Americans in plenty, dusty laggard trains of them months out of their own country and half crazed with the enormity of their own presence in that immense and bloodslaked waste ….” -from Blood Meridian

Anonymous said...

Scott Simon is shameless.

Where has he been all this time while the "nuts and cranks" have been poisoning politics?

Where was he when Sarah Palin put cross-hairs on the districts of Giffords and other members of Congress?

MIA, that's where. He was absolutely SILENT on the issue.

Simon has not done a single story on this stuff before now.

And now he is using a terrible tragedy to make himself look like some kind of caring person

Simon is disgusting.

gDog said...

Anon - Amen!

gDog said...

Looks like yours truly got the censor treatment for my comment on the Simon story. Here's my response to being censored there:

What did I say that has offended the moderator, I wonder? I questioned Simon's sincerity - is that sacrosanct at NPR? I'll say it again: SS was an early and consistent promoter for the wars in AfPak and Iraq and, as such, is a very valuable propagandist for the military/industrial powers that rule the US Gov. A piece like this one here is designed to buy credibility with the left-leaning types who listen to NPR but don't really understand its insidious promotion of state crimes against democracy (SCADs.) People in the soft middle who are easily manipulated by suave persuaders such as Simon.

When has Simon ever taken serious exception to the Pentagon mouthpieces the frequent his show?

Miss May, I think you misunderstand my nausea at Simon's opportunistic grandstanding: I have very deep sympathies for Gabby Giffords and her friends and family - I just doubt that Simon is really among them, as he claims. Sure, they may have met in DC once or twice at a professional engagement, but this sort of faux friendship is not likely as deep as he suggests.

gDog said...

Me-n-Silke, down by the schoolyards, has had a little go of it in the comments at Simon's Giffords Grandstand. A curious exchange with a true simonized believer.

* Plus, I thought my earlier reference to Bunny Lebowski would get a rise from our Lupine fellow of the fuzziness...no?

Anonymous said...

Wow! So much to talk about and I only have 11 more years alloted to me by the biblical human lifetime of 72 years. Anyway . . .

Seabrook said yesterday that she considered Giffords a "colleague". Is this how modern journalism works? Simon used the word "friend". Just as embedded reporters are suspect friends and colleagues are suspect.

Get ready for full-blown "false equivalencies" as NPR paints "left and right" as equally responsible for poisoned atmosphere in America. "Off the Pig" might be equivalent to "Second Amendment solution" but I can't recall a candidate on the moderate center (what most "liberals" as identified as such by NPR) ever using that term. And what about mamma grizzlies? You all get the idea i think.

And in reality (as I see it) this is just another step on the road to something. Create chaos, fear, and confusion in the great masses of Americans and they will beg for "injustice before disorder".

edk

big.pink.remiss.bunny.dude. said...

aww, sowwy to be an inadvertent disappointment, gDawg. Went o'er my pink, pointed ears, whatever it was. I'd only seen that flick one time; guess my cinematic tastes way too dour (think my current charley horse affliction caused by trying to view through Tarr's 7+hr 'Satantango' as without interruption as possible).

Nice work tellin' 'em what-for, though! They can't deep-six ya here in our "Embassy."

Anonymous said...

We are seeing the true colors of the folks at NPR this week.

First, we see that Schiller threw Weiss to the wolves on the Juan Williams firing.

Now, Simon uses the Giffords shooting to bolster his cred with the bleeding hearts.

When are the millions of NPR listeners going to see through the fakes at NPR?

Patrick Lynch said...

The false equivalencies parade has already started on Morning Edition. Inskreep's interview with Gifford's predecessor will filled with it and Inskreep set it up in such an obvious way as to require a facepalm.

Tom Roche said...

Anonymous: "Get ready for full-blown "false equivalencies" as NPR paints "left and right" as equally responsible for poisoned atmosphere in America." Yep, already begun.

But what's more shameless, IMHO, is NPR's complete silence on gun control, e.g. the fact that the Tucson massacre is only another case of a nut with a gun multiply murdering. NPR appears to be completely on their collective knees before the NRA. Will try to raise that @ the John Roll eulogy story, but expect to get moderated away.

Anonymous said...

There is a glaringly obvious fact that NPR has ignored in the case of the Giffords shooting:

The fact that security was SO lax.

The US spends hundreds of billions (and strips air travel passenger naked with their machines) allegedly to make us all safe from foreign (read: Islamic) terrorists.

At the same time, a home grown terrorist is allowed to literally walk up and shoot a Congresswoman (a Democrat, but of course that has nothing to do with anything, right?)

And NPR asks no questions about security.

And RE: false equivalencies regarding hate mongering, I too await as much from NPR. Just as they told us that "everyone was doing it so no one is to blame" when it came to the financial meltdown, they will do the same in this case.

There is no REALITY at NPR. Just he said/ she said.

They even said Giffords had been killed, only to admit a few hours later that she had not. Perhaps it's a bit like Schroedinger's Cat of quantum mechanics fame? (half dead, half alive)

Anonymous said...

Mark Memmott perpetuates a straw man argument related to the Giffords shooting.

One can rarely attribute an attack like this to any single cause (eg, the Sarah Palin cross-hairs, which she claims -- and Memmott simply repeats without challenge -- were a "surveyor's symbol").

But that largely misses the point.

When one allows an environment rife with hate speech and threats of violence to persist (eg, calls to assassinate Julian Assange), one is just asking for trouble.

And the idea that the cross-hairs were supposed to be a "surveyor's symbol" is just ludicrous, given all of Palin's other weapon-related rhetoric, including a tweet that "Remember months ago "bullseye" icon used 2 target the 20 Obamacare-lovin' incumbent seats? We won 18 out of 20 (90% success rate;T'aint bad),"
and this
"The same day Palin posted the image with the scopes over congressional districts on her Facebook page, she tweeted, "Don't retreat, Instead - RELOAD" and asked her followers to check out her Facebook page for details." -- also from above linked-to Atlantic article

memmott should have pointed out just how ridiculous that claim was.

The fact that Memmott did not challenge the "surveyor's symbol" claim either means that he is lazy or simply dishonest.

He's just playing the "balance" game that the folks at NPR love so much.

Is it just me or does anyone else get the impression that Mark Memmott is one of the worst reporters at NPR?

gDog said...

"Get ready for full-blown "false equivalencies" as NPR paints "left and right" as equally responsible for poisoned atmosphere in America."

Yep - this from Inskreep's interview with the Republican who used to occupy Gifford's seat:

Kolbe: "The polarization of our system is such that it's very shrill on both sides."

For every sober, pragmatic patriot willing to suspend their pacifist inclinations and go to war to protect the free speech rights of hippies there's shrill code pinker pulling some prank and screaming at a congressional hearing. That's about where NPR's got the Overton Window centered.

gDog said...

Wow, does Glenn Beck actually have a novel titled, "The Overton Window." Praise cheeses, will these Orwellian wonders never cease?

informedveteran said...

Yesterday NPR had a picture of the SarahPAC graphic with the "not" crosshairs. Today it is gone gone gone. I assume it was too much of a troll magnet for them.

I just knew they would remove it so I took a screen shot of it last night. I can't believe how spineless they are.

Anonymous said...

The "not gun sights" are gone, just like NPR's original story that Giffords had been killed.

Compare and contrast the behavior of NPR who changes and even entirely eliminates stories with no trace with that of the good bloggers, who make corrections by leaving the offending stuff in place with a line through it.

Not NPR.

They just "disappear" it and then, if they make any correction at all, bury a lame excuse for why they erred way down near the bottom of the "corrected" story.

Anonymous said...

Informed veteran:

It's actually much worse than simply being spineless.

By removing stuff, NPR is being thoroughly dishonest and completely unethical.

They are pretending that it never happened to begin with.

Tom Roche said...

On the "false equivalencies" tip:

Today's ME story on The Onion's parody of ESPN, SportsDome, is making hear the sentimental, unctuous voice of Weimar Public Radio's Simon Scott doing a Saturday morning op-ed in January 1933, in which he notes that

* Communists, gays, Gypsies, and Jews are publically claiming that the Nazis are planning mass killings.

* But the Nazis claim that's a lie! And that Jews are killing and eating Aryan babies.

* Therefore the shrill rhetoric on both sides needs to be toned down.

[copout/] Someone (with more time and audio chops than I, alas) should start "archiving" Weimar Public Radio.

Porter Melmoth said...

When you’re a National Correspondent (whatever that is) at NPR, just think of the power you have, and the power trip you can go on.

Mara Liarsson weighed in on the Tucson tragedy this morn, politicizing it to an offensive degree, and then having the audacity to imply that others are doing the politicizing, but of course, she isn’t.

Well, that’s unkind of me. She was just commenting on how presidents respond to great tragedies.

Predictably, she invoked the Greatly Exaggerated Communicator. I was a bit shocked though, when she said that Reagan’s Warner Bros. -scripted tribute to the Challenger astronauts was ‘beautiful’, while to me it sounded more like a Ding Dong School/Sunday School competition than a eulogy.

And then Mara picks the new illennium’s defining moment: Dubya on the national altar of rubble, the ‘America Hears You’ funeral oration. Mara as publicist doesn’t even have to say much, as we all fervently believe that speech to be our young nation’s finest moment. Yeah well, I think it was the weakest, limpest performance by a national figure ever. Sophocles, had he been there, might’ve asked, ‘Who’s the comedian with the mega-horn? Get me someone who can SPEAK!’ Alas, Olivier was no longer with us. Elia Kazan wasn’t there to direct, either.

Then Mara, supreme Clintonian critic that she is, mentions Bill’s hopelessly inadequate attempts to restore his political capital after Timmy McVeigh’s patriotic gesture in Oklahoma City. She spent quite a bit of time on that analysis. She now awaits Obama’s upcoming (andcertain) failure in that department in Tucson, as well.

The life of a National Correspondent! The awesome and majestic duty of dispensing power and influence, and doing it wisely! As Mara looks down from her Olympic heights, she grows wiser and more powerful every day. She and Gjelten are the visionaries, who reside above the fray, who descend unto the rest of us because we need help and guidance. They also get to choose their own stories and don’t have to do fill-in host duties and other peasant jobs.

And Mara, comfy both at NPR and Fox, would never, ever be stupid enough to ‘do a Juan’, though no doubt she has considered a cleaner angle in order to score that juicy Fox contract money she so covets.

PS: I used to waste considerable irreplaceable time by catching some ‘Fox & Friends’ clips over at Crooks & Liars, just to see how bad things were. I never, EVER heard Mara say ANYTHING of value, even Foxified value. She was so utterly worthless that her contributions made even Bill ‘The Bloody’ Kristol look like a quarter-wit instead of the eighth-wit he is. At least Kristol’s a-hole beliefs are unabashed, while Mara works the ‘dark side’ of power, influence and profit. And when you’re media egomaniac, you’re in it for yourself, and yourself only.