Sunday, July 27, 2008

Right Out of the Movies

NPR was in a festive mood on Saturday, celebrating the 100th birthday of the FBI. On Weekend Edition Saturday, agent Temple-Raston was excitedly telling us about the heroics of 102 yr. old former FBI agent, Walter Walsh. Completely ignoring FBI assaults on our civil liberties (as usual), NPR simply lionizes the FBI.

Temple-Raston describes the career of ex-agent Walsh in adoring, comic-book style:
  • "Walsh was an FBI agent in those days when the life of an agent seemed right out of the movies."
  • "...he's sharp and funny and there's a twinkle in his eye."
Then on All Things Considered Andrea Seabrook runs with the movie metaphor, telling us "Here are a few of our favorite FBI flicks [sound clips play from G-Men, Point Break, Breach, Silence of the Lambs, and Catch Me If You Can ] - just a few of the great FBI moments from movie history."

Seabrook finished this commercial with an invitation: "What are your favorite FBI movies, visit and click 'contact us' and send us a note with 'FBI Movie' in the subject line." Call me gullible, but I took NPR up on the offer. Here was my note to them:

Dear NPR staff:

Andrea Seabrook invited suggestions for FBI movies. Here are a few that might take a bit of the shine off the celebratory tone that NPR has adopted for the FBI centenary:

The Murder of Fred Hampton
The U.S. vs. John Lennon
Incident at Oglala
Ruby Ridge: Anatomy of a Tragedy
Waco: The Rules of Engagement

These movies would help correct NPR's lopsided portrayal of the FBI as simply heroic and would convey its more troubling role as a weapon of government power exceeding and often abusing its legal role.

Stay tuned...


Anonymous said...

Haha - good one! Missed the infomercial (oh drat!) but they'll most likely scuttle away your valiant effort to throw a couple pesky ants on their tidy lil' picnic blanket (you meanie, you).

Anonymous said...


Life As I Know It Now said...

I hope you do a post on their response.

Anonymous said...

Nice letter. Don't forget about COINTELPRO: The FBI's War on Black America. Keep up the important work.