Monday, December 20, 2010

Where's the Beef?

(original graphic here)

(Update below)
Over the past week or so there were some very important stories that somehow just didn't make it into the main NPR news shows:
Maybe I'm being a bit hard on NPR, after all there is only so much time in a broadcast and it's important to touch on the finer things in life like cappuccino ala Milton Friedman, $60 a bottle wine tasting with Scott Simon, and exciting mail-order gourmet meats (click the graphic at the top of the post) that will help a Tea Party crooner give money to groups like Focus on the Family. Oh baby, life is good!

To their credit, the NPR "Two Way" bloggers did have posts on the anti-war protest and on Pat Boone's creepy creds, but those posts were brief, and don't begin to compare with the exposure of featured, on-air news stories. Furthermore, as readers of this blog have pointed out, the online snippets and AP-wire feeds allow NPR to claim that they are covering news that they are essentially ignoring.

Update (12-23-10)
On Thursday morning, NPR covers the passage of the reduced First Responders bill and essentially ignores the media criticism of John Stewart's scathing episode against the non-coverage of the Republican attempts to kill the original Zadroga bill. It's really a brazen piece of hypocrisy and I'd recommend people to visit the story and post comments...


Porter Melmoth said...

Pretty strong 'meat' here from Chris Hedges:

Time well spent.

gDog said...

The $60/bottle was just a teaser. From their discussion it was clear you could pay as much as you liked.

gDog said...

Hey...what happened to my post? That looks dumb now. I was trying to say something and I wrote "put" instead of "puts" and then...poof!

Ok, I'll try again:

What Mara said was

Polls show the Afghanistan War is now opposed by majorities in almost every country that sent troops, including the U.S. Dozens were arrested today outside the White House protesting the war. But Secretary Gates made it clear the war is not about to end and that the decision to escalate a year ago was not revisited in the current review.

This is what Noam Chomsky calls the Democracy deficit. If you want to keep the public out of govt, having a public radio system that putz, er putsch people like Mara behind the mic is key.

Bebebe said...

Oy. The story Monday evening on ATC on this crazy new thing called "flash mobs" was painful. He actully asked the lady in KC whether they had a snack at the mall after they were done. Now that's reporting!

Anonymous said...

It's not just NPR.

It's the whole mainstream media.

And it shows in the polling

Of course, it could be that the media only report on what they perceive the public to be interested in, but the other possibility seems just as (if not more) plausible: the media actually SELECTS what is "Most important" and the American public responds.

Whether someone is interested in a story has a great deal to do with how it is "framed".

Fred Baumgarten said...

Porter, I'm glad you linked that Hedges interview -- I heard it on DN and wanted to broadcast it far and wide -- he really nailed it.

So, how do you like this? Just in time for continued tax cuts for the fabulously wealthy (well, maybe they were a bit late getting this on the air, but whatever), we have a week-long series on ME celebrating the munificent rich and their contributions to history.

Yesterday we had Robert Morris, whose deep but reluctant pockets we couldn't have won the American Revolution. Interesting enough, but it turns out that was just a warm-up.

This morning it was an African American funeral director from Alabama who, wouldn't you just know it, pulled MLK's fat from the fire and saved the civil rights movement all by himself. You see (in this bit of slimy revisionism), MLK was a hothead who actually was willing to go to jail for his cause, while Mr. Big was willing to compromise with the white power structure. (The fact that he had the luxury of millions to use as he pleased, picking and choosing the causes he wanted to advocate for, while MLK might actually be representing the interests of the great unwashed, is no obstacle to NPR or its talking head du jour.) Lesson for the day: If you play along with the white business establishment, they'll treat you nice.

And the take-home message of the series? That the super-rich are not such pigs after all, of course! They've really got your dearest liberal interests at heart.

Can't wait for the next installment!!


In defense of NPR,

since they won't interview progressive Democrats (just Blue Dogs), have banned Progressive Economist, Liberal journalists, scientists, the unemployed, the uninsured, critics of Bush that were correct about the two failed wars, environmentalist, and can't report any story that reflects poorly on the GOP, Bush, or the Pentagon.

They've got to fill the air with something, so it "happy news" tripe about a hair brained scheme from a has been that hasn't been popular in a half century.

This story has the bonus of "proving" NPR is "balanced" even thought there never is a corresponding story on a Liberal group to balance the scale.

NPR is just modeling it's self after the Morning News shows like Today, GMA, and FOX & Fiends. Happy chatty host, with short simple little stories that are always uplisting.

Afagaistan: Making good progres!
Unemployeed/uninsured: You don't exist.

gDog said...

Count on No Precise Rendering to totally get the net neutrality story wrong: FCC Set To Back Internet Traffic Rules

The Federal Communications Commission is expected to pass proposed "net neutrality" rules Tuesday. Critics say the FCC's proposal is "a solution in search of a problem." Public interest groups say new rules are necessary to prevent Internet providers from interfering with web traffic.

Sounds like a win for net neutrality, huh? So Craig Aaron, for instance, is elated, right?

Wrong: Net Neutrality Haters Love FCC's Rules

larry, dfh said...

Tues, 21Dec10
Of all the things I thought I'd never hear: Tom Ashbrook with a really
good program.
It was about depressing letters sent to Santa and collected by the post office. Tom's voice was breaking up at the end, I imagine he started sobbing as he went off mic, probably thinking of the scolding he was going to get from mgt. for highlighting the lesser people, you know, the non-contributors. But I've sensed in the last couple of days (I only arrived in Boston area on Sunday, so I haven't listened to wbur for several months) that Tom is pretty bummed by the depression; look for his show to be canceled.

Anonymous said...

NPR is just now getting around to acknowledging that there might have been fraud involved with the financial meltdown?

What a bunch of stupid chimps.

Anonymous said...

You mean the guy who was Head of the Ahmed Chalabi fan Club in the days leading up to the invasion of Iraq?

You mean the Tom Ashbrook who was Bush's Head Cheerleader for Shock and Awe?

That Ashbrook?

If Ashbrook was "breaking" up and "sobbing", he was likely faking it.

gDog said...

Yeah, I listened to a bit of the Ashbrook thing and it did seem as if he'd been sent forth with the mission to "make NPR appear to pity the poor immigrant." He sounded like he'd been practicing crying from the very start.

gDog said...

"bradley smith" is owning those monkeys in the comments. He recommends a look at Taibi's Crisis Dominoes Start Falling With Lehman Auditor.

Porter Melmoth said...

Speaking of On Point, I wasted what seemed like a whole Friedman Unit by listening to the man himself (Friedman. Thomas. Friedman.) who is more bizarre, deceptive, and egomaniacal than ever. I don't need to relate to any of you just how frustrating it is to talk about this person, so I won't, except for a sentence or two.

Friedman's big thing is to sound reasonable on a few points (i.e., we've got to 'go green', etc.), then negate anything that might be construed as progressive by revealing his true self: a banal and mediocre 'thinker' (read blabbermouth) who poses as somebody to 'agree with' and to 'turn to'. At least we know where Beck and O'Reilly stand, but Friedman's professional weaselings are the worst kind of media opportunism.

And that other Tom, Ashbrook, who can do a decent show when he chooses not to sell out, always pampers and puffs up Friedman as if he's a modern day seer or something.

And yes, Friedman's 'taking time off' to do the inevitable: write a book. And of course the wisdom contained in it will ensure another whole round of moneygrubbing media moments.

Such media abusers as Friedman are the worst kind of capitalist sharks who inflict themselves on the public today. Via NPR, too.

Anonymous said...

Friedman is the original author of "do as I say not as I do"

Matt Taibi wrote the definitive takedown of Friedman's "Green Crud"

"Where does a man who needs his own offshore drilling platform just to keep the east wing of his house heated get the balls to write a book chiding America for driving energy inefficient automobiles?"

Friedman actually has a lot in common with the folks at NPR.

He's a pompous, self-righteous, condescending twit.

informedveteran said...

Arizona, Nevada Sue BofA Over Loan Modifications (AP) is the only reference I see so far about this ongoing abomination called Foreclosuregate. Maybe if NPR wasn’t sponsored by BofA, Goldman, Ally, Fidelity, Chase, etc. they could actually report on foreclosure fraud instead of being underwritten by it.

informedveteran said...

Here’s a good partial summary of the Wikileaks diplomatic cables released so far(at bottom).

There’s even a quote from On The Media’s insipid mouthpiece.

Anonymous said...

It's going to be interesting to see how NPR handles the promised leaks of BofA documents.

Will NPR renounce BofA's underwriting if the documents show BofA fraud as they should do?

or will they simply try to spin the information?

or will the tabloidians at NPR (Inskeep, Norris, Gross, Gonyea, Liasson, et al) not report on the leaks at all and continue to focus on Assange's love life?

larry, dfh said...

addendum to Anonymous @ 7:02

He's a pompous, self-righteous, c.i.a.-funded, condescending twit.

gDog said...

This morning we had the Valkyries Rachel Martin and Dina Temple-Rastin to polish the buttons our collective green shirt. Intelligence Officials: Al-Qaida Learns From Mistakes. (...and so should we, somehow, would be the subtext here.)

which featured none other than the recondite entrepreneur of deliberative self service: Skeletor!

They learn by failing, frankly. Things that don't work, they improve.
- Michael Chertoff, former Department of Homeland Security secretary

This is the sort of thing Chudnovsky calls "solutions which are causes of further collapse." Chudnovsky says, "It boggles the mind that this diabolical economic/military/security project is being developed. It's a means of controlling the lives of millions of people, essentially [..] It's a totalitarian system. [..] The Homeland Security State is intimately related to the economic crisis. [..] The National Security State has little to do with catching Bin Laden in his cave and more to do with policing social dissent in America under the Big Brother mentality that this policing is there to protect people. This is all implemented under the banner of making people feel insecure [..] so the accept official interpretations and don't question authority - so they swallow the media line and become soft citizens in an environment which is becoming increasingly repressive. HS is an effort the shunt people's ability to think [..] and to impoverish them to the point where [..] they are not in a position to become militants - they're too much concerned with their survival."

informedveteran said...

The 9/11 first responders bill passed after only 9 years, AND only after our right wing national news media was shamed into covering it by the Daily Show and Al Jazeera.

The public does care about these issues when they actually hear about them, and occasionally this concern translates into votes. This is what bugs me so much when I hear some puff piece on NPR instead of an actual news story of significant importance. It is difficult not to assume it is done deliberately to ensure that no tiny amount of power is transferred to the people.


gDog said...

That must be Teehee Boone Chickens?

Merry Mishmash, to all!