Saturday, August 22, 2009

News Check

Readers' critiques or analyses of specific news reports from Morning Edition, All Things Considered, or Weekend Edition Saturday or Sunday.


Porter Melmoth said...

Good plan, Myt, with your sanity-preserving management of NPR's nonsensical world.

Not a news story, but a very telling one as far as the NPR Mindset is concerned:

NPR's favorite lifer Earth Mom, Susan Steeamberg, swung on down to (socialist) Uruguay on this morn's ME, making an ersatz pilgrimage to the writer/philosopher Eduardo Galeano. Well, it's ersatz because SS isn't there to sit at his feet, but to maybe put him in his place for having impressed Hugo Chavez - and now Obama (maybe), with his seminal book, 'Open Veins of Latin America'.

Now, listening to Galeano (she actually lets him talk a bit - and she's damn lucky that he speaks elegant English), is the first time I myself have heard him. (I must admit, NPR actually INTRODUCED me to Galeano - but it was the WAY they did it that prompts my critique...!) Anyway, it took about two sentences to realize that he is obviously a wise, poetic, and profound man, whose courage and guts in truthful offerings is beyond doubt. But because he has been so truthful through the years, he has naturally become a target for those who don't exactly like his truths.

I lack the will to fully dissect SS's treatment of him, but her obvious (and predictable) approach demands BS-calling. After branding him a 'lefty', she figures he's just a dreamy old duffer, probably loony, and the best way to handle him is to go the Gringo route and put him in his place: a little cabinet of wistfulness, so as to disempower what is obviously a fearful notion to her - and NPR: the power of words. She is oh, so gentle, but when you think about it, thoroughly condescending and dismissive.

Stamberg, and NPR in general, never seem to grasp the value of Latin American literariness - the injections of fantasy, wit, drama, and zest, that make the stale DC-centricism look like cheap white bread. And after the segment was over, the sense of embarrassment in the voices of Inskreep and Renaay was palpable. They not only just don't get it, they are too dainty to see any possible value in it ('it' being cultural realities that might rival their own narcissistic beliefs). Plus, they're unspeakably jealous, of course.

To me, Galeano is a great comfort: an impeccably sane voice, and best approached via non-NPR avenues. We need mor Galeanos and fewer NPRs.

Porter Melmoth said...

DM!'s Galeano interview: