Monday, June 15, 2009

Q Tips

NPR related comments are always welcomed. Your ears will thank you!


larry, dfh said...

Monday morning had Nina Totenberg with a fairly vapid review of Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor. It was complete with anonymous smears, balanced by attributed paraisings. As Glenn constantly points out, repeating unattributed gossip and heresay is not journalism. Never once did Totenberg describe any possible ulterior motive which an off-the-record commentor may have in smearing Judge Sotomayor.
It seemed like an odd time to bring up the Sotomayor nomination, seeing that it's pretty much a done-deal. Probably npr is filling air time until aipac decides what they should say about the Iranian elections.

.larry, dfh said...

With regards to the previous and really disgusting discussion about the huge water-carrying npr is doing for their corporate insurance/health care overseers, let me point out that the attribution by MTW given to Robert Reich on the Moyers pbs show was funded in part by Mutual insurance company. Despite this, Moyers didn't tip-toe Reich gingerly around the flowers, he let Reich off his leash to trample the whole damn garden. Moyers gave no defference to his (sole) corporate underwriter, and that's the way it should be. Now I'm sure sure Mutual knows what Moyers is about, and they couldn't have been real happy with the show. And I'm sure they knew that if Moyers were to be approached on this matter, his answer would be "So?". THAT is what I expect from a journalist.

Porter Melmoth said...

One thing that Noxious Public Radio banks on heavily: the Don't Touch That Dial Factor. Whether it is laziness on their listeners' part, or because of radio's wake-with-it, drive-with-it, shower-with-it omnipresence, they have a captive audience. Bottom line: the convenience of NPR's easy access makes it perfect for an 'intellectual' approach to mass propaganda. Thus the 'creative writing' aspect to NPR's storytelling. A captive audience, especially a 'thinking' one, must be massaged at all times.

With such an audience, NPR's ace in the hole is to capture and keep listeners who can't stand everything else on the radio, so they turn to NPR as the only supposedly sane source for reliable news. So, sincere listeners become fish in a barrel, to be shot, time and again, by the NPR Controllers.

This is Marshall MacLuhan 101 stuff, but it is purposeful to consider NPR's power within such a context.

Porter Melmoth said...

Is NPR daring to cover this?

* Iraq war inquiry to be in private *
An independent inquiry into the Iraq war will be held in private, Prime Minister Gordon Brown tells the House of Commons.
Full story:

geoff said...


You know the 9/11 Commission was characterized as an "independent inquiry" as well.

What amuses me is the debate over whether, when faced with scandalous evidence of crimes, you do a casual inquiry or a really serious take-no-prisoners approach "like the 911 Commission." Regarding the torture memos, for instance, "Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi,...would like an outside commission, a kind of truth commission, something like the 9/11 Commission."

Daniel Schorr on the same topic (full disclosure: Jane Harman is his "very good friend") Says the Congress is torn over whether the investigation of the torture memos should be conducted by "the Senate intelligence committee or whether it would be kind of a new 9/11 commission, something like that. It is not going away."

But then, that was last April and there's been nada since. Maybe it did go away?

Porter Melmoth said...

Indeed, I'm interested to see if any UK effort might reveal the facts in an edifying way, or if it will be just a variation on American themes.

My expectations are, uh, a tad limited, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

NPR did not cover the Downing Street minutes (they mentioned it in passing (to cover their ass), but that's it), so why would they cover anything else significant related to Iraq?

Nothing will come of the UK "investigation" at any rate.

The leader in the UK is little more than a whore for whoever happens to be US President.

They called Tony Blair "Bush's Poodle", but everyone knows that's a euphemism for "Bush's whore."

geoff said...

Anybody follow economist Michael Hudson or Truth Dig commentator Chris Hedges? Hedges has a new piece titled The American Empire Is Bankrupt that will soil your drawers. An NPR search for yekaterinburg yields this which is about the Iranian election protests, and somehow includes this excerpt: " travel to the Russian city of Yekaterinburg and meet on Monday with President Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of a regional summit. With the image of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in..." It must be in the audio, but I can't stand to listen anymore just now. Maybe tomorrow. I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for a Hamburger today.

Porter Melmoth said...

g: thanks for the Hedges link.

Yekateriburg: where Tsar Nicholas II & family met their ends.

Porter Melmoth said...

Typo! Yekaterinburg...

geoff said...

...and where Rasputin met his desmise. Is that Wagner? I suppose the death throes of the dollar will outdo those of even Rasputin.

WarOnWarOff said...

Thanks for the link, gopol. Amazing (not!) this story ain't getting the coverage it should.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

I usta think I was a pessimist, until I read Chris Hedges...

Mytwords said...

What! You mean the planet monkeys didn't cover this? Shocking!

Anonymous said...

During an interview with Peter Orszag Tuesday on ATC, the female interviewer (missed name-Michelle Norris? Voice had that whisphery quality, but that seems to be a new criteria for women on NPR's air....) asked him how long it would take to get the currently uninsured covered under Obama's plan.

He talked and talked and never gave any kind of date (that I heard--I kinda tuned out about the same old, same old). He did say it would take "awhile" to set up the exchanges for people to be able to buy insurance.

Which made my blood freeze: It appears the WH thinks that's a Really Good Idea. Great. And what do people do out of state, whether for business or pleasure? I've been caught in that trap and it's not pleasant.

The son of a friend was home in WI over holidays and blew out his knee. His HMO through a NY university would cover the initial ER visit to stabilize the knee, but nothing else. The ER doctors said the sooner the rest of the work was done, the better for a good outcome -- so holiday cut short.

He'd driven out to WI, but could not drive himself back. His parents took off work and drove his car and their own car out to western NY state. He got good care, but it was extremely painful riding in a car for 12ish hours. And his parents got back home exhausted.

Gotta love those Big Insurance parasites' denial of care tactics.

Hope you cover the Orszag interview!

Porter Melmoth said...

g: Is that Wagner?

PM: Verdi's 'Requiem'. Most fitting.

Porter Melmoth said...

I heard that Orszag interview - why I bothered, I couldn't say.

It was indeed MeeShill, seductively blowing smoke in the geek's direction, trying to out-sophisticate him. MeeShill failed. His geeky cherry remained intact.

Once again I am reduced to commenting on superficialities when approaching an NPR Melding Of Advanced Minds. Because... because, I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT. Thank Vishnu that there are those at this here blog that can help my fainting soul understand the ultra-high-level intellects who float way above us - in Never-Never-Land Public Radio!

PS: How come I can understand Chris Hedges, but I dare not approach MeeShill's musky boudoir?

geoff said...

Verdi. Good, thanks Port. Verdi's contemporary with Wagner and alphabetically approximate - my father (rip) would have known.

I heard the Orszag/Meshill interchange and all I can really take away from it is that Orszag's office is historical (war secretary's place) and ornate. There was stuff about how long health reform would take (at least a decade) and to quote Port, "I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT." Mostly because they weren't discussing any sensible policy at all. But then, we are told that "politics" (the making of policy) is bad and, like sausage stuffing, best not observed. So I'll cherish the vestigial images of war secretaries of yore and of ornate ornaments.

As for planet monkeys, I heard (why do I do this? - it follows Harry Shearer) This American Life's last episode and it featured faux economic this and that and featured Aaaaaaaaaaadam and others from PM. My favorite parts are when the music twists your consciousness away from reality and into pulp fiction and you're supposed to feel like this is last.

big!boo!hoo!bunny! said...

Wha'? Nomoreiraglass? (to textualize his oh-so-lively patter)

boo. hoo.

Anonymous said...


As for planet monkeys, I heard (why do I do this? - it follows Harry Shearer) This American Life's last episode and it featured faux economic this and that and featured Aaaaaaaaaaadam and others from PM.

Yes, when you listen to davidson when he wants to know what happened to the regulators, don't even think about how mr davidson treated Elizabeth Warren.


big!pink!ambiguous!bunny! said...

Ooopsie, Mea Lupina Culpa. Was it wishful thinking when I misread "This American Life's last episode" in the context of FINAL rather than MOST RECENT?

geoff said...

Yes, bpab, Ira {cue wobbly, hard boiled violins} glAss persists. {Metal rod strikes devastating blow to triangle} But what can you do? {crescendo/decrescendo on timpanis} He's got the only sober eyes on the whole opium den. {organ glissando capped by diminished minor clavinet chord through phaser}

big!pink!audient!bunny! said...

Bitchin' orchestrations ya got goin' on there, Gopey.

Eat yer heart out, Bernstein! (Elmer or Leonard?)

Anonymous said...

from wikipedia:

"Elizabeth Warren is the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where she teaches contract law, bankruptcy, and commercial law"

In May 2009, Warren was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World"

Who is Planet money's Adam Davidson?

A nobody -- and on economic matters, little more than a quack and a hack.

Why anyone would listen to a word that guys says about economic matters is an utter mystery.