Thursday, March 20, 2008

Open Thread

As always, NPR related comments are appreciated.


Porter Melmoth said...

Just a note indicating that I'm of course not down on everything NPR airs. I think most of us have noted the positive side of things from time to time. This morning my good Reeves filed a harmless little feature about Kathmandu, Nepal and the vestiges of the hippie culture that survive. It was authentic and sincere. No one-to-three second sound bytes of dripping water or someone yelling, just examples of the music being played in various Kathmandu venues, to illustrate the theme of his segment. And in light of the ongoing political turmoil in that country, he implied that certain aspects of life there are unchanged. Unlike many NPR reporters abroad, who seem to walk about in an insulated bubble, Reeves is obviously connected with his environment and refrains from that sickening NPR-style judgmental tone, whether subversive or overt. A nice report, with no NPR-style baggage at all.

Anonymous said...

That's the trouble, PM. I miss out on those RARE glimmers of substance by insulating myself from the rest of their hazardous waste, which sadly has the tendency to tip the scales.

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you for creating your excellent blog that so effectively and passionately stands up to the endless sickening and outrageous stenography that has become so prevalent at NPR. It makes me so crazy that I find myself less and less able to listen to them. Yesterday morning, during one of the bridges between stories they said something to the effect that "5 years ago Iraq happened to find itself in a war . . ." "HAPPENED?" How about "was invaded in a breach of international precedent set by the US itself at Nuremberg-mainly that idictment 2 of 4 was: "Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace." SHEESH

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir or Madam,

Why must NPR dumb down the negative economic news, and who at the NPR editorial offices decides how to frame and spin stories about the economy? (Economy's Toll on Average Americans Assessed - All Things Considered, March 22, 2008)

"The economic news this week was troubling and confusing" is how NPR describes the situation. Andrea Seabrook even calls it "way confusing". It certainly is. But NPR's "Average Americans" didn't seem to have any real economic problems. Couldn't NPR find anyone who is out of work, underemployed, or foreclosed-upon?

Sole expert commentator Marvin Goodfriend is correctly identified as a Carnegie Mellon economics professor, but NPR omits the fact that he directs the market-oriented Galliot Center for Public Policy. According to the Carnegie Mellon website "the center's goal is to develop original and pragmatic solutions to public policy problems that limit government intervention and allow markets and the private sector to evolve and adapt." A right-leaning think tank?

Too bad for Goodfriend, because he then goes on to reassure listeners that the government is doing all it can to help economic victims - and repeats the talking points we've heard so often this week - that the government DID NOT BAIL OUT Bear Stearns and is not bailing out Wall Street's house of cards.

But if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck...

C'mon Andrea, you could have asked Goodfriend about the house of cards, instead of lamely characterizing his spin as "trickle-downish".

Whatever, right? But this piece of fluff was just one more in a long line of NPR stories that beg the question: Who at the NPR editorial offices decides how to frame and spin stories about the economy? (And the war, and the military, and private contractors, and Israel policy, etc.)


Benoit Balz
New York, NY