Friday, October 30, 2009

Q Tips

As you may have noticed, I'm definitely scaling back on the frequency of posting. So keep the NPR news observations and comments rolling.


Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

Glenn Greenwald has a great take-down of NPR Villager, David Brooks.

Here is a link to Brooks' column.

Not an NPR story, I know; rather an NPR personality "explaining" how he does journalism.

Actually, I might argue that this is exactly how NPR does journalism too. So there is my tie-in, I guess.

Here is Brooks and Dionne on today's ATC. NPR is "weather-vaning" politics and the upcoming November races. Brooks says this NY-23rd race is a fight for the soul of the Republican Party. That Newt is right.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

Speaking of Newt (as Brooks did), remember last fall and this spring when he was a fixture on NPR news? Is it just me, or does it seem as though NPR is talking more ABOUT Newt than Newt is talking about himself? In other words, is NPR relying less upon Newt appearance less? The last time I show that he appeared on NPR was with Scott Simon on September 12, 2009. That was almost 7 weeks ago!

Should we start a line on when he will appear on NPR next? After all, NPR will have to start vetting 2012 candidates soon, won't they?

geoff said...

Yes, David (don't you feel my thigh) Brooks did "what journalists are supposed to do." I guess that's what this other NYT "journalist" did here: Plan to Drill on Colorado Plateau Meets Resistance when he described the push back against blenderizing the substrate with toxic chemicals like this:

But some of the methods of getting at the gas — fragmentation, for instance, which breaks up the shale to get to gas pockets — can also pollute water supplies, critics say.

"critics say"? There ought to be a fine whenever they cite anonymous sources like that.

I know this doesn't involve NPR directly, but it all seems to be of a piece.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a lawyer but given that Congress strictly forbids the use of public funds for propaganda (via a clause included in virtually every budget bill), I'd bet that NPR crossed the legal line (repeatedly) with their natural gas ads juxtaposed with their fracking pieces (notwithstanding what the ombotswoman says)

I bet if someone pushed the right buttons in Congress on this, NPR would get a rebuke (at the very least) and be forced to change the way they operate.

not sure which buttons those would be, but they'd probably be Republican ones because Pelosi hearts NPR.

Anonymous said...

NPR violates that propaganda clause every time they describe what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan as "war" rather than an occupation.

Every time they report on "torture" in some other country they are violating that clause.

Each time they claim that Iranian elections are "flawed" and therefore Iranian leadership should be attacked and destroyed while touting the "democratic" elections in occupied countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Congress is quite content to let it go cause Congress (for the most part) agrees 110% with these positions. The Ministry of Truth and the Ministry of Security have a NPR "desk" I'm sure.


bug!punk!fizzy!binny! said...

^ Yah, might that be this "NPR West" that I hear Jack Spear nasally intoning/droning in his headlines intro? (the only direct contact I permit myself, to maintain - prolonged long term exposure is lethal!)

Gotta say, this ID has a nice ring to it in terms of asserting a flair for their own inflated self-importance.

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

Story about Castrati on NPR this morning. Smarmy Scottie wonders how this could happen? C'mon, Scott. This was music composed by CATHOLIC PRIESTS to be sung by their victims. Both he and Cecelia Bartolli--the singer who recorded the music--tip-toed around the abuse it entailed.

Truth: In the 17th, 18th, into the 19th century, the Italian church was castrating 3000-4000 boys per year in search of the perfect voice. Priests would cruise the ghettos, looking for comely (typically, Jewish) lads, whom they'd kidnap, then geld.

The practice (allegedly) ended AFTER Pope Leo 13, iirc, about 1915...

geoff said...

I listened to Dan Schorr exchange this AM. It seems Schorr is playing the role of the every-man murkin who don't know much about much and thinks actually finding out much about much is kind of a joke. Never mind telling people that the text is actually available for everyone to read on line. Murkins reading would be a threat to Schorr's sense of democracy.

geoff said...

As we head into November, it may be a good time review the missing History channel episode re LBJ and JFK:

Part 3-1
Part 3-2
Part 3-3
Part 3-4
Part 3-5

I'm not sure what to make of this. I wonder if Daniel Schorr will explain it for us?

geoff said...

My wife says she doesn't believe anything she sees on the History Channel. So my question is, where is the fact checking and secondary, tertiary inquiries? It's like, nobody's interested? Certainly not the Daniel Schorrs of the world.

benoit balz said...

Nice tip from Woody about the Castrati piece. It's about lots of tragedy, and no "glory".

Typical stuff. Scott Simon giving no context, no criticism.

Basically a plug for Bartoli's record. A puff-piece waste of time.

Anonymous said...


"Congress is quite content to let it go cause Congress (for the most part) agrees 110% with these positions."

I agree that NPR violates the ban on propaganda on lots of issues and that Congress lets it go because they agree.

but a lot of this stuff is a judgment call.

The fracking pieces juxtaposed with the ANGA ads is in a class all its own. It is blatant propaganda -- and propaganda for pay to boot.

In "excusing" this, Alicia Shepard has shown herself to be completely unethical.

And the fact that NPR CEO Vivian Schiller allows this means she is unethical as well.

Shepard has obviously found a "friend" in Schiller.

Anonymous said...

Starting them on Ayn Rand young:

"Economics teacher Heather Hanemann has developed a curriculum based on several of the Planet Money podcasts. We visited her classroom to see what the kids thought of the show and hear how the economic crisis has played out in their lives."

geoff said...

Is it just my perception, or has the number of food/music/art/oddity segments multiplied? Especially those not involving politics our which might offend the pay-masters. I'm all for having an arts station and a food station and a music station - plenty of room on the fm dial - but NPR news has diminished to a tiny postage stamp of pay-master approved propaganda, and we're meant to feel good about this because we learn about exotic percussion instruments from outer Tanzania and Susan Stamberg's rediscovery (again) of the wonders of Parisian cuisine.

Anonymous said...


I take note of the trend also. If it ain't a kind of commercial it is banal this or that.

NPR: Fluff & Stuff


geoff said...

As has often been noted here, it's just as revealing to see what NPR doesn't cover vs. what it does cover.

Consider the coverage of Reverend Moon - or the complete lack thereof.

Apparently Reverend Moon is preparing to make a hoopla of his 90th birthday, and this is creating big waves among The Villagers, but it's not making it to NPR.

If you're not up on the Moonies, here's a little sampler. People like Tony (Mr. Toad) Blankley are kind of a talking muppet for his holiness.

geoff said...

Here's a more enlightening take on the Moonies:

Anonymous said...

The coronation scene in that movie was hilarious -- like something out of Monty Python.

My guess is that the Congressmen (who said they were duped) were probably there for the free food (or free something else).

Just shows you how goofy a lot of our "representatives" are.

Then again, our former Pres was a born again fundy Envangelical who subscribed to the Rapture story, so nothing should be surprising.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Vivian Schiller and her minions at NPR have just uncorked the champagne.

(Makes reporting simpler when there is only one candidate's name to remember, you know)

"His excellency Hamid Karzai, who has won the majority of votes in the first round and is the only candidate for the second round, is declared by the Independent Election Commission as the elected president of Afghanistan," Lodin said.

Despite a short hianus, the puppet strings have been successfully re-attached (both in Afghanistan and here at home).

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

Conaway Blasts Off From Planet Monkey

C'mon, the title to that entry is like a Planet of the Apes gift! Am I right?

Anyway, her reporting (if you can call it that) was abysmal. Yet, I am sure she will find a way to parlay her recent experience (and show awards) to get some other important job where she can continue to showcase her familiar blogger style:

1. X happens.
2. Y happens.
3. What's up with THAT?

Anonymous said...

I am sure i am not the only one who has noticed that virtually every "news" item that NPR "reports' on their website now comes from AP.

How's that for "balance" for you?

I wonder: Is this why people contribute money to NPR members stations? So NPR can merely reprint AP articles and then pocket the donations?

geoff said...

1. His excellency Karzai & mob steal an election
2. A "run-off" is scheduled.
3. Abdullah^2 drops out because the same fraud is clearly going to repeat.
4. NPR declares Karzai the "elected leader."
5. Now that a legitimate government is in place, BHO must decide to escalate.
ω. What's up with that?

biggerbox said...

Sure was nice of Mara Liasson to tell me that Tuesday's voting has the possibility "to be seen as a rebuke" of President Obama. Otherwise I might have thought that the results of a handful of primarily local elections might have nothing to do with national political trends at all, much less how people feel about the President or his particular policies.

I think, though, that she was being honest. The results "will be seen" that way, by her, and other GOP-leaning punditroids looking for a pretext to pretend they didn't lose the 2008 elections.

geoff said...

Inskeep announcing that "NPR's political brain trust of Ken Rudin and Mara Liaison are back" is enough to make me shudder.

Anonymous said...

Contrast coverage of Iranian elections with the coverage of Afghani elections.

Ken Rudin still believes Columbus "discovered" America.

Bob Garfield actually acknowledged yesterday on OtM that there are actually people out there that think NPR is "working for the man".


Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

Even without Barbara Bradley-Haggerty, NPR still manages to get religion reporting wrong.

Maybe NPR should just take all the Catholic Holy Days of Obligation off?

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

"Huerfano County's Contaminated Water Supply Has Gas Company Playing Defense"

What the frack? , More natgas news missed by NPR.

Anonymous said...

"Sure was nice of Mara Liasson to tell me that Tuesday's voting has the possibility "to be seen as a rebuke" of President Obama"

Obama's gonna get his "rebuke' all right -- in 2012 when official unemployment is still above 8%.

RE: NPR "working for the man".

Reminds me of the lecture Ned Shneebly gives about "The Man" to his class of school children in School of Rock.

but I thought NPR was now "working for the Wo-man".

Anonymous said...

NPR's tried and true reporting methodology:

1. ShXt happens.
2. ShYt happens.
3. What's up with THAT?

geoff said...

The first half of Flashpoints was pretty good today. Discussion of how the military/banking complex has wrapping it's giant vampire squid tentacles further and further over the face of government these last 3 or 4 decades to the point where...what, drugs, real estate and war are all just levers of domination it seems. Discussion of Gary Webb, to boot!

Anonymous said...

Dewey Finn (aka "Ned Shneebly")Lecture on the "The man"

Fits Vivian Shiller to a T.