Saturday, January 27, 2007

Timing Is Everything

Yesterday a reader left this comment: "There is something really devious, oppressive, and Orwellian about NPR's ongoing "Crossing the Divide" series of reports(focused on the themes of 'bipartisanship and compromise'). And the timing is, of course, extremely suspect."

Yes, there is something exceedingly perverse about NPR's zeal for "bipartisanship" in the wake of the November 2006 elections. After five years of neocon triumphalism (think of Bush's swaggering "I've got capital" after the 2004 elections) and the accelerated gutting of Constitutional liberties and checks on executive power, the November elections offered a slim hope that the march of far right excesses might finally be checked. Instead of covering events, NPR jumped right in to construct the "issue" of bipartisanship, climaxing in this weeks really bizarre series of "crossing the divide." Here are a few of the lowpoints of this series:

  • On Thursday ATC features drug addict hypocrite, homophobe, racist and sexist radio personality Rush Limbaugh noting mainly that he is "conservative" and not interested in bipartisanship.
  • On Friday Morning Cokie Roberts puts a shine on the good ole' days when Congress was all male, all white, and "knew what a real enemy was — it was a dictator across the ocean, not a guy across the aisle." Not a peep about McCarthyism. Not a mention of the commitment to white supremacy--which her father, Hale Boggs, supported in 1956.
  • Friday's ATC featured a piece on the wonderful compromise on slavery! This report lionized Senator Henry Clay known for the Missouri Compromise, crediting him with putting off the Civil War for decades (I wonder if slaves liked that!). It featured historian Robert Remini who says he believes that Clay could have kept the Civil War from occuring--hmmm.
  • In a most unbipartisan swipe, NPR brings on the discredited bigot and rightist Dinesh D'Souza, who offers his sloppy thinking on Vietnam and Iraq. Not one word about D'Souza's sleazy history and latest extremist remarks.


Professor Braunstein said...

FWIW, here's the comment I sent to NPR on their series: I have been a long time supporter of NPR news, but this insipid "question" : "Can Bush Now Fulfill His 'Uniter' Pledge?" on your webpage on January 21, left me wondering what in God's name you have been doing for the last 6 years as you ostensibly watched, analyzed and reported on the actions of President Bush. Sweet Jesus, this president, if nothing else, has ruthlessly pursued a program of exploiting every conceivable opportunity to split, to polarize, to expand and to metastasize the political, social, and economic divisions of this country. Further, and perhaps worse than what he has done to this point, it seems to me that he has carefully and deliberately laid the groundwork to insure that these divisions wrack the nation well into its future, for many,many years after his eventual return to brush-clearing duties in Crawford. And don't even get me started on how his program has polarized the rest of the world. NPR, get a clue: the uniter train left the station sometime in the first few months of 2001, and George Bush was gaily waving to it from the platform. Can Bush Now Fulfill His 'Uniter' Pledge? When he was on death row did you ask: Can John Wayne Gacy Now Fulfill His 'Clown' Pledge? Christ almighty, what more evidence do you need?

Anonymous said...

Nice letter. And I, for one, am looking forward to hearing NPR read it on-air next Thursday. That IS their day to read listeners' letters, isn't it? With the cutesy typewriter music?

(oh man, John Wayne Gacy's Clown Pledge. Forgot about that one. Wasn't that the oath Cheney took at the swearing in, back in 2001, his hand resting upon a well-worn copy of the Necrinomicon?)

Unknown said...

Once again, not directly NPR related, but a great example of how wishes for bi-partisanship appear when the left gains:

workin' stiff said...

Is NPR (Nation Petroleum Radio) even publicaly financed anymore? All I hear during the breaks is spots for multination companies: ADM, Monsanto, BP, Ford, ect. I listen to NPR when I can't listen to Am Progressive radio. I only listen to NPR to pick up on the incidious nature of propaganda. If you just listen to the adjectives they use to discribe Demos vs. Repubs, it's obvious who they support. I have to scratch my head when some of my progressive friends claim that NPR still represents the public interest? It's like saying the WSJ op/ed is balanced. NPR and Fox News are one in the same, that's why NPR shares it's commentators with Fox News programs. Fox news is going down, I can feel it. They are rotting from the inside. It's time for NPR to follow. I hope some documentary film makers will do something to expose all NPR's pro corporate relationships. We need Media Reform America.

Shopman said...

I like NPR. I find speechs of Karl Rove as interesting as those of George Soros. The former a bald faced liar and uber partisian , the latter an idealist and partisian. I side with Soros most of the time and appreciate his insisight as I appreciate Rove's intellegence,albeit misguided. Where else do you find a network that would expose both to the respectful scrutiny of The National Press Club and broadcast them both? I believe I have the experiance to know when I'm being bullshitted!