Friday, December 14, 2007

Open Thread

NPR related comments welcomed.


Porter Melmoth said...


What one can expect when emailing 'This I Believe' follows below. Not the worst reply I've ever gotten. My purpose is to contribute my two cents, as I don't expect a cogent reply. However, 'This I' wants to make it clear that (apparently) they are not affiliated with NPR News. So what? Neither was the Firesign Theatre, who no one at NPR understood, so they were 'let go'.

At any rate, the reply below seems civil enough, though the 'Free Speech 101' paragraph is a bit cloying.

Well, whatever...

And now, if you will, a special message from the folks at 'This I Believe'...

"(This I believe:)Thank you for your email to This I Believe. We have shared your message with our production team. We appreciate the time you took to write, and we have noted your objection to this week's essay from the former soldier and interrogator.

Our intention with this series is not that everyone should agree. Indeed, we expect that many may disagree with a given essay, even profoundly. Each essay describes the personal belief of a single person, and is based on that person's experience. All essays go through an editing process and all are verified with other sources. We impose no editorial sanction on the belief. Over the course of our series, essays and criticisms of those essays have come from the political right and left, from the religious and the non-religious, and from myriad perspectives and sources. We ask only that people listen to one another.

One last clarification about our relationship with NPR News: We are a non-profit independent production company whose work NPR distributes.

Thanks again for your feedback.

The staff of This I Believe"

Porter Melmoth said...

OK, I'm not here to 'pick' on our courageous Jamie Tarabay, but the thing is, she is as curious as her Not-Sure-Which-Accent-To-Use:
'Stralian-Or-'Murican manner of speaking. Today she profiled street kids in Baghdad. A worthy subject for a story, but for such a seasoned reporter, everything she was discovering seemed to have a 'new' glint to it, as if she were just discovering a new phenomenon. Well, apparently, she is. But hell, look around a little bit. That same story could be told in Bombay (especially!), Lagos, or Bogota. I've personally seen a lot of it, 'it' meaning the crises of people who are totally neglected. War of course exacerbates everything. If you're going to do a story on war victims, you have to have hardass and graphic coverage, not the wispy little trifles that NPR serves up as 'reminder' feature fillers.

I'm not expecting much from NPR, but a little holistic perspective could help those xenophobic listeners back home, Jamie. I don't know why NPR caters to low common denominators. Problem is, many of the reporters aren't the brightest things in the world. They try to be clever rather than wise.

Anonymous said...

Our intention with this series is not that everyone should agree. Indeed, we expect that many may disagree with a given essay, even profoundly.

Ay carumba! Ooooooh, so the Great "This I Believe" Mau Mau believes what you're objecting to is simply a contrary worldview??? Have they no sense of the context in which we as Americans find ourselves, no outrage of the horror filled reports of torture, and no doubts that this administration which is well known for shameless propagandizing could EVER infect the consumate PURITY of NPR...oh, 'scuse me, THIS I BELIEVE? Gag. Harrumph.

Anonymous said...

Yow, they laid themselves wide open with that pat statement. By that reasoning and criteria as stated, then can we expect to hear an unobjective essay by a cannibalistic serial murderer lauding the virtues of a delicious home-cooked meal? Or am I just being a little too extreme in my analogy?

Porter Melmoth said...

I was proud of Francis Ford Coppola as far as how he dealt with Bob-Bob Siegel in their interview today. He didn't fall for Siegel's little coyisms and attempts to be contrarious. Plus, Coppola was actually allowed to do the lion's share of talking - very unusual for NPR, where the staff gets to hog the mike most of the time. I imagine that Coppola doesn't need NPR in his life except to do the publicity rounds for a picture he's done on his terms, not Hollywood's or NPR's. Talk about artistic integrity! Bravo, FFC!