Monday, January 17, 2011

Q Tips

As always, NPR related comments welcomed.


goopDoggy said...

Not sure what to make of Ike's Warning of Military Expansion 50 Years Later. The transcript is especially odd - it's like a story about the broadcast where, instead of transcribing Bowman's commentary, they quote him (often wrongly) and selectively. One thing I note is that the mention of congress in the audio is removed from the transcript.

Plus, of course, even the audio has no mention of what followed Ike's speech: JFK's inauguration and the fierce antagonism that developed between him and the Joint Chiefs, etc, over US foreign aggression.

When it comes to JFK, NPR has plenty of disinformation available for us. Check out Author Sees Parallel In Giffords Shooting And JFK Assassination, for example. On the other hand, they did cover JFK, Digitized: Presidential Archive Debuts Online.

miranda said...

It's all part of the national mythology -- NPR et al. know definitively what happened in the assassinations of JFK, RFK and MLK, 9/11, case closed (Posner-style). Lone nuts and Muslims, ya know. I had to turn off Fresh Air last night (not a rare occurrence), which had the author of a book about assassin (?) James Earl Ray. Having just heard again on Democracy Now King's anti-Vietnam War speech (so very on-target and prophetic), I just can't buy into the official mythos.

Patrick Lynch said...

I caught about 30 seconds of Fresh Air when the auto stop on my cassette deck kicked in and recognised the guy's voice talking about the King assassination. He has been on Morning Edition in the past shilling his book on the topic. I turned it off.

Patrick Lynch said...

To add to my previous statement. This guy is another purveyor of the official story even though when I heard him with Inskreep, he did admit he wondered where James Earl Ray got his money but then explained himself away so that he didn't really veer from the party line.

Anonymous said...

NPR piece "Faulty Paperwork May Slow Millions Of Foreclosures"

That has to be the understatement of the millennium.

First, in many cases it's not just "faulty" paperwork, but NONEXISTENT paperwork.

And second: it does not just htreaten to "slow" things down, it this threatens to bring down many banks.

People are starting to see that the Wizard (Obama) has no clothes.

The toxic assets that Obama and pals (Bernanke, Summers, Geithner) tried to sweep under the rug are again rearing their ugly heads.

The joke is on them and their banker buddies.

miranda said...

I don't understand why people can't seem to connect dots. I can't say I know what happened or who killed these leaders or toppled those buildings, but I'm fairly confident the truth is different from what's been sold.

People are eliminated when they threaten certain powerful interests; wars are justified by events created to pave the way for aggression. Seems elementary, just as "guns make murder easy" is a more direct response to a violent gun massacre than "Let's all be more civil, shall we?" (as on today's Diane Rehm yawn-fest). But logic is not an American specialty, unfortunately.

Porter Melmoth said...

gDog, regarding Ike's speech, I found the 2005 documentary 'Why We Fight' to be a most intriguing dissection of its aspects. If you haven't seen it:

Just another thought on NPR in general. Its failure as a one-stop news and info source increasingly reveals that NPR has a stranglehold on nationally-accessible (ostensibly) non-commercial radio. Even with the Fairness Doctrine's assassination, there should be a NATIONAL-LEVEL alternative to NPR.

I suppose it would take some Sorros-level cash to pull it off, and the strings attached would be forbidding. But when you've got Murdoch tapping into Apple to create some kind of 'iPod Magazine' monster, why would any progressive type with leverage assets just sit by dumbly?

As a friend of mine, who used to be an NPR devotee, says, 'NPR just ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH for me.'

informedveteran said...

Just for fun, search for the very recent "ground zero mosque", then search for the 50-year-old "military industrial complex" and compare the number of hits(with or without quotation marks). Pathetic.

Anonymous said...


It's not that they "can't connect dots".

It's that they don't wish to.

It's easier to deny reality than it is to face it.

Just look at all the people who deny that humans are having a significant impact on climate.

But acknowledging reality in the latter case means having to change one's energy use an lifestyle if one is not to hand future generations the problems brought on by a warmer world.

And acknowledging physics (see, for example, the investigations by former BYU physicist Steve Jones) means admitting that the official explanation for why the world trade center buildings came down -- and in the almost perfectly symmetrical manner they did -- is "wanting".

But most people find it very easy to deny physics (as long as it does not affect them directly, as in a car crash!) because they know nothing about it.

Anonymous said...

NPR et al. know definitively what happened in the assassinations of JFK, RFK and MLK, 9/11, case closed (Posner-style). Lone nuts and Muslims, ya know.

Everything that is aired at NPR has been fed through the "Official view filter" to make sure it does not conflict with the standard talking points of either the government or the corporations who foot NPR's bill.

Anything that conflicts (to even the smallest degree) is either dismissed (eg, as "conspiratorial") or stripped out entirely (as if it did not exist) if it can not be readily dismissed.

When NPR is shown to have made a major error, as they did on Iraqi WMD, they simply clai, "everyone got it wrong" to make people forget the fact that NPR never questioned the official view to begin with.

I agree with the republicans on this much: NPR really is a complete waste of federal money.

the whole purpose of a legitimate news organization is to QUESTION the official line.

If they are not doing so, they are not doing journalism and they (and their member stations who pay for NPR programming) should certainly not being funded with tax money.

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to one of the talks Stephen Jones has given.

incidentally, NPR has never even mentioned any of the studies Jones has done on 9/11.

I have an extensive background in physics and let me just say that Jones knows what the hell he is talking about.

he's a scientist and asks ALL the right questions.

He doesn't claim to have all the answers but he picks apart the "official story" piece by piece and points out where it conflicts IRRECONCILABLY with the facts (gathered from videos, photos, analysis of the dust and steel from the twin towers, etc.

I don't expect a news organization to have the knowledge or analytical expertise of a Stephen Jones, but I DO expect them to seek out such individuals and to (at the very least) present their side of the story.

Instead, NPR purposely ignores people like Jones (or dismisses them as (nutty) conspiracy theorists (as if anyone at NPR would know enough about physics or engineering to assess what is real and what is crackpottery.

geoff said...

To paraphrase Karl Rove: "Physics is what we do while you are figuring out your theories." the reference has it more or less:

in what we call the reality-based community, [there are people who] believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.

Pause for you to nod and murmur something about Hegel vs. Heideger, how "Language is the house of the truth of Being." Newton vs. Einstein in the relativistic attributes of combustion ... before being cut off:

That's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.

Anonymous said...

Incidentally, for anyone who is interested, here's a paper that Stephen Jones et al published in 2009 that documents the presence of "nano-thermite" (a highly energetic material) in dust from the WTC "collapse".

The science does not lie.

...but, unfortunately, the same can not be said of our politicians.

And Rove and his ilk may believe they are "creating reality", but they are simply deluding themselves.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to NPR's little "booboo"

"Giffords' Husband: 'I Thought She Was Dead'

"To hear that she died is just, it's devastating for me."

His family was on the plane with him. His two daughters, Claudia and Claire, started crying, and his mother, "I think she almost screamed," Kelly said.

end kelly quotes

Of course, NPR's management and ombudsman used the usual excuse "everyone else got it wrong too", though in this case, "everyone else" [sic] got the wrong information from NPR.

What a bunch of pathetic, disgusting clowns.

DEFUND the whole sorry organization from NPR on down through member stations.

geoff said...

One of the most pernicious effects of the NPR stranglehold on local stations is the tendency of these local stations to emulate NPR in their local reports. I don't know about other stations, but at about 7 minutes after the hour, KCRW (Santa Monica) gets a few minutes to do state and local reporting. This is often on the most important topics to people in SoCal and yet (1) it's not archived or available on line, (2) it's often got the same weirdly filtered right-wing/corporatist slant as NPR. If NPR would just go away, or at least shrink to half its current size (which could be accomplished by eliminating redundancy and cutting top brass salaries by half) there would be listener-donated funds available for local reporting that lasts more than 3 minutes on the hour. Where is the discussion of revenue sources like the extraction tax? The oil depletion allowance? Taxing derivatives? The creation of a state bank of California? Nada. Zilch. Instead, higher ed is being squeezed *again*. Without popular awareness, people like Gov. Gerry Brown have little elbow room for doing right thing by the people. I'm sure there's a similar story in every state in the union.

Anonymous said...

Ironically, the way to break the stranglehold that NPR has on th emember stations is to actually take away federal funding form those stations.

Without such funding, the member stations would not b able to afford the costly NPR News and they would drop it like a hot potato and return to what they do best: local programming and local news.

They could still get their national news from the wire (which is pretty much what NPR does anyway on their website). It couldn't be any WORSE than NPR news, at any rate and the local stations would not have to pay and arm and a leg for it.

The last advantage, of course, would be that, without a captive market (member stations) to purchase their overpriced programs, NPR would have to shrink down considerably.

Defunding the member stations may well be the ONLY way of "fixing" NPR because as it is now, they are essentially insulated from direct funding cuts to NPR, which they are always keen to point out.

What they are not so keen to point out is that they depend on such funding for the member stations.

informedveteran said...


Here in eastern PA one of the huge concerns among the informed is FRACKING - and this blog has well-documented NPR’s unbelieveably shameful stance on it. In PA our new right-wing-nut governor refuses ANY tax at all on marcellus shale gas extraction (despite a HUGE deficit) and the local NPR “news” media just shuts up and bends over. “Fresh Air” comes from my NPR station WHYY so I guess they are doomed to be forever delusional since they think they can do no wrong.


big!pink!frackin!bunny! said...

^ Oh c'mon Vet Dan - flammable tap water's good for ya!

bigpinkfuzzyPS said...

Oh - supporting document in case any Stepford S40 fan lumbers in and reacts with "gee, I didn't know that..."

geoff said...

I've got a pal southeast of the Erie Canal where I'm from (upstate, I hear ya) who's a judge now. He seems to think the extraction is inevitable. This is the unique freshwatershed of NYC...I'd bet Scott Simon's bought some Tucson real estate to hedge his risk there.

Porter Melmoth said...

Diane Rehm this morn: top brass showcase of CPB, PBS and NPR.


Porter Melmoth said...

Mini-review for those of you who won't be tracking this one down:

The DR show was wincingly predictable. Viv was shilling at her usual high level of evasive action. DR's questions were pretty softball, and she failed to follow up, but at least some notions were brought out into the open.

The top brass basically just gave a 101-level PR course on 'what we are and what we do', and of course they're doing it brilliantly, and on the cheap, too! Very, very little of substance was examined, particularly CONTENT.

Someone complained about salaries (e.g. The Simonizer), but of course Viv said that, compared to 'commercial' media, NPR's salaries were not at all excessive. Yawn.

Viv's only emotion was as a mother tiger protecting her Mara-baby.

A Texas congressman chimed in with why public funding for broadcasting, no matter how small it is, has to be cut back, along with everything else. He was low key and compliant with DR Politeness. The top brass were protected from sparring with him, as only DR dealt with him. DR also noted that he was the only Congressman (out of 30 calls) who agreed to come on the show.

As a supporter of equality issues, I always hoped that women, once they ascended to positions of power, wouldn't simply ape men as far as power tactics are concerned. I know many women are compelled to conform, but in this case, it looks like women will be doing the dirty work as the (mostly) Corporate guys sit back and watch the show.

Like the tobacco and automotive CEO's, these three are girding themselves for battle on The Hill. ('We're selecting our outfits'.) No doubt one of their favorite bluebirds, Andie Seabrook, will be safely covering the clashes for NPR believers.

Porter Melmoth said...

Just one more yak:

Why does The Beardsley, witnessing the Tunisian revolution, apparently firsthand, sound like she's just been watching the stupidest, most sophomoric movie, and she's going to imply how trivial it all is via a snotty drawl? Just WHY does she have to talk like that? She sounds like a spoiled, tiresome, and tedious brat, entirely self-serving and distracting. Even at pervy NPR central control, is there NOBODY who's maybe, you know, finding her delivery a trifle, you know, stupid and sophomoric-sounding? Well, perhaps because her actual reportage is fairly straightforward, but still!!

I know, I'm too touchy, but sometimes style out-trumps substance in the transmission of 'news'. If you're going to attempt top-drawer news-gathering, you just can't have reporters with stumbling-block characteristics. REPORTERS SHOULD NEVER INFLICT THEIR PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS ON THE CONVEYANCE OF NEWS! Of course, I imagine that such fuddy-duddy notions don't apply at loftier-than-anyone-else NPR. Like the Neocons, they think they're 'above' the banalities of History.

PS: On DN! Juan Cole said that the Western media were basically ignoring the Tunisia revolution. He did not mention NPR at any time.

Anonymous said...

compared to 'commercial' media, NPR's salaries were not at all excessive. Yawn.

You know when they start defending salaries that they are worried.

People are starting to put 2 and 2 together.

You donate $50 to NPR and where does it go?

Well, let's see Scott Simon makes over $300k per year.

So it takes over 6000 such pledges just to cover his salary.

And Vivian Schiller? Over 10,000 such pledges.

And Ombot Alicia Shepard? Over 3000 such pledges.

Michelle Norris? Over 4000.

That's over 23,000 pledges of $50 to cover just 4 individuals at NPR.

So if you donate $50, it provides almost nothing of any value as far as real news is concerned.

It simply allows Vivian, and Scott, and Michelle, and Alicia and the rest to continue to live high on the hog and to rub elbows with the rich and powerful.

big!pink!$50 richer!bunny! said...

^ Now that's some good number-crunchin' there, Kemo Sabe!

Anonymous said...

Check this out:

What price Public TV?
Bill Marrazzo and the $740,000 question

WHYY, Philadelphia’s public broadcasting outlet, used to be known for its national radio interview shows, “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross and “Radio Times” with Marty-Moss-Coane. Lately it seems to be most famous for its president’s paycheck.

Bill Marrazzo’s salary— $415,993 in fiscal 2007, plus $324,097 in benefits and expenses, a grand total of $740,090 for running a not-for-profit operation— has been assailed by the Inquirer columnist Karen Heller (in August 2007) and by Steve Volk in Philadelphia Magazine (October 2007). Most recently, a lengthy front-page article by Carolyn Davis in the Inquirer (Nov. 9) noted that Marrazzo is paid far more than his counterparts at other public TV stations, some of which are much larger and generate much more original programming than does WHYY. That article in turn has generated outraged letters, editorials and follow-up stories pointing out, among other things, that Marrazzo makes more than the CEOs of the Public Broadcasting System and National Public Radio, not to mention world-class cultural organizations like the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. WHYY has never been mistaken for a world-class organization.

I work on an $86 average contribution. You do the math!

This is one reason I can not get ok'ed for WHYY's NewsWorks site - cause I talk this crap. I call them on their bogus "messaging", their utter fails at funders (11 in a row), and their willingness to toe the line, right down the line.

On the plus side? A new funder about to start with an "experiment" - only 2 hours "live" on Wednsday where they hope to raise 25k. I love fund raising on this station cause it really exposes the people that work here as the shallow, ignorant (in the sense of not knowing things), dweebs that they are (and I suspect have ALWAYS been).


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

^ but-but-but... they're Gross Air HQ!!