Monday, December 14, 2009

Q Tips

NPR related comments welcomed.


Jay Schiavone said...

Ari Shapiro was all over the cancellation of As the World Turns this morning. That badass doesn't care whose toes he steps on. He's not afraid to get his hands dirty. It's a small wonder the equality movement has been so successful in CA and NY thanks to hard-hitting Yale grads like Ari enjoying the benefits of marriage equality, while everyone else struggles. It takes a journalist of great integrity to avoid taking sides in the issues of the day. Ari, the soap opera viewing public salutes you.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same Ari DANIEL Shapiro that appears elsewhere on NPR? He had a spot on Studio 360 where he was identified as Ari Daniel Shapiro. Perhaps this adds gravitas to both Shapiro and NPR.


Anonymous said...

I almost forgot. Last night on GUY Razz show he showed how dope he is as he interviewed hip-hopsters. Down with the kids you know. He is off the chain as far as I can tell.


dopoldog said...

Claudio Sanchez showed his deep grasp of educational issues in his story on North Carolina's k12 system today. He interviewed a thoughtful judge who introduced the possibility of "going in there with a baseball bat a whupping 'em upside the head [if they don't improved their standardized test scores.]" Of course, Sanchez was considerate enough to sidestep the delicate issue of how NC has essentially re-segregated their schools by sending the privileged to private schools that don't do that sort of testing.

GodDog said...

I read "That Old Ace in the Hole" by Annie Proulx (2002) recently. Thought I'd share the first paragraph with y'all:
In late March, Bob Dollar, a young, curly-headed man of twenty five, with the broad face of a cat, pale innocent eyes fringed with sooty lashes, drove east along Texas Highway 15 in the panhandle, down from Denver the day before, over the Raton Pass and through the dead volcano country of northeast New Mexico to the Oklahoma pistol barrel, then a wrong turn north and wasted hours before he regained the way. It was a roaring green morning with green in the sky, and air spiked with sand sagebrush and aromatic sumac. NPR faded from the radio in a string of announcements of corporate sponsors, replaced by a Christian station that alternated pabulum preaching and paunchy music. He switched to shit-kicker airwaves and listened to songs about staying home, going home, being home, and the errors of leaving home.

Nate Bowman said...

The ombudsman tries to explain away Ally Bank's sponsorship of Planet Money and the commercial it airs for the bank. I left a bunch of comments.

A couple of highlights
"NPR calls this arrangement a "special series adjacency."
They just invented the term and tried to give it historical precedent by saying it is like the production credits they give StoryCorps, the Kitchen Sisters and This I Believe.

Elen Weiss, senior vice president for news, and Ms. Shepard dug themselves a hole:

All talk of perception, using up credibility and trust, etc. Let's see how much we can sacrifice without people squawking too much in order to get some more moolah.

Anonymous said...


I made a comment to a friend several weeks ago about Ally Bank. NPR is desperate. It will take money from anybody to say anything. Ally Bank, the ANGA, et al. What I want to know is what they will give "Progressive Insurance"?


dogfood said...

I'm imagining David Kestenbaum and Joe Lieberman on opposites ends of a greased teeter totter pivoted over a pool of hungry crocodiles. Each one one has a rope ladder suspended over his head so that if they reach up carefully (don't slip off the teeter totter!) they'll be able to get a purchase on the rope ladder and maybe climb up to safety. The ladders descend in alternating fashion so they can't simultaneously climb up, so anyone who does necessarily sacrifices the other to the hungry crocs. Of course the rope ladders are rigged to slip away too. Think of it as feeding the animals.

Anonymous said...

I'm imagining David Kestenbaum and Joe Lieberman on opposites ends of a greased teeter totter pivoted over a pool of hungry crocodiles.

The only problem I see with that picture is that for all intents and purposes, with regard to bankers, Lieberman and Kestenbaum are both on the same end, along with Obama, Baucus, Reid, Pelosi and most of the rest of our "representatives" -- and instead of crocs on their end, there is a huge pool of money.

The guy all alone on the other end "balancing" all those fine fellows (which included Pelosi) is Bernie Sanders and he IS surrounded by hungry crocs.

Nate Bowman said...


Boulder Dude said you were nuked at NPR. Any idea why?

Besides that you take them to task on their shoddy work.

dogfood said...

Anon- Well, in my fantasies, reality is a distant and dark blob.

doggydaddy said...

This may help explain my antithapy towards Kestenbaum this am. Of all the stories one could file from Copenhagen, he gives credence to hack skeptic Lomborg who has been thoroughly discredited. What a doofus and a tool is the Kestenbum.

Anonymous said...


I got nuked by being vulgar and profane. NPR parsing was so sickening that I just flamed them. That was my intention all along. Their financial desperation is clearly evident. They have made deals with the devil that they can never undo. Listening to Shepard, Weiss and the lot of the NPR minions' contorted explanations is simply more than anyone should have to endure, and its more brain damage that I can withstand.



Anonymous said...

Planet Money now ruining PBS.

I clicked on Financial Crisis and found this tidbit:



Nate Bowman said...


You're absolutely right and I understand.

I'll miss you there. I've looked forward to your eloquent, thoughtful, incisive comments.

I hope you still stop by here.


bg!pnk!fzzy!bnny! said...

Re PBS: Just received an alert from FAIR that Moyers' Journal is to be ending early next year and NOW is supposedly in danger as well.

Yeah, like why not. If this does come to pass, what is left? Antiques Roadshow?

(and 'Frontline' was getting my goat with those voiceover collages for dramatic effect - among which was the dribblings of the Kreepiest InsKreepster)

where the heck is Porter Melmoth hiding these days???

larry, dfh said...

If it's any consolation, npr has a long history of association withg nefarious business: Waste Management, Arthur Andersen, ADM, UBS, New Era Foundation. In fact, if I hear an ad spot on npr for a company, I assume the outfit is crooked. IMO, Bunny, frontline is a front, for the c.i.a. Just watch the show "Bush's War" and see how many times the word 'oil' is mentioned (less than 1).

Nate Bowman said...


I was so upset, I misspelled your name.


Anonymous said...

Peter Overby on NPR today does his fake investigation of the energy lobby.


Did anyone catch this?

Economist Paul Samuelson Remembered

"Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Samuelson died Sunday at the age of 94. [snip] Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman, a former Samuelson student, remembers Samuelson."

So, the only way Nobel Prizing Winning Economis Paul Krugman can get on the air is if a friend of his dies?

If only he where a member of the American Enterprise Institute or Cato, we'd hear from him on an almost daily basis.

AEI "Heard On Air" 313 times versues Krugman 49 times, ratio of 6:1 (

FYI, Cato "On Air" 127 times (

Damn Liberal NPR.


RIP Madchen


The Commissar Vanishes

Nate Bowman said...

There was a piece on morning edition today, ostensibly about the lobbying wars in Washington to get included in the Climate Bill. It basically reviewed the gas industry (and specifically fracking) talking points, played up ANGA, all but ignored environmental and human impacts and FAILED TO SAY THAT ANGA HAS CONTRIBUTED SUBSTANTIALLY TO NPR.

I left comments at the piece and at Alicia's


Interesting news on NPR from the St. Pete Times: "Poynter dean headed for NPR as diversity chief"

Liked this nugget:

"In October, the National Association of Black Journalists criticized NPR for firing one of only two black men in its newsroom's management circle; currently, the organization only has one black male reporter on staff. The same day the manager was fired, the company's director of diversity management resigned for health reasons."

I've thought it quite telling that the only Black male voice on NPR are Juan "FOX News" Williams, Tavis Smilley (Right Wing enabler) and that screen writer that hates unions.
Yet, based on the last three Presidential elections 95%+ voted Democratic. Great that NPR gives a group that is less than 1 in twenty almost exclusive access on issues of race and politics.

If I could find a uninsured Conservative disabled libertarian, maybe NPR would then report on the 44,0000 uninsured, of course it would be from a FOX view.

Unknown said...

Stuff White People Like. Limo Liberals love diversity, hate people of color. The dog and pony show continues at NPR.

madchen vapid

Anonymous said...

I don't care if kestenbuam does have a PhD in physics from harvard.

The guy is essentially an idiot.

That he would take the time to interview Bjorn Lomborg who is neither a scientist NOR an economist on the issue of global warming really speaks volumes.

here's Kestenbaum:

KESTENBAUM: Lomborg believes global warming is real. But he thinks about things economically. And here's the question he asks. If you had, say, $50 billion to spend, why not spend it now to fight disease or save billions of lives. Climate change is a problem for future generations. But 100 years from now, everyone will be much richer, so who do you want to help?

Mr. LOMBORG: It seems to me the answer is very obvious, we want to help the poor people now.
//////////end quote
of course, Kestenbaum is "merely" representing Lomborg's view (or at least he would like you to believe that), but when you consider the other "skeptics" whose views he has represented in the past (teenager Kristen Byrnes), described by science journalist david Appell here, the pattern becomes pretty clear.

Kestenbaum is essentially using this as a method to express his own views on the subject.

It's rather pathetic, actually.

Boulder Dude said...

Their's Madchen!

Okay, glad that mystery is solved, and I'll miss your comments and fighting the good fight too. :(

Anonymous said...

All of you make some great points in the comments box on the NPR site, and I encourage you to continue to do so. But by doing that, you are giving NPR the best content it produces. Too bad MM can't get some more of you to produce for this site, because NPR doesn't deserve your insights.


Unknown said...

I was listening to Steve Inskeep injecting spin into some random interview this morning, and it had never hit me before, but Inskeep really does inject his opinions into his so-called reporting quite a bit...

And this is the state of the art for journamalism...

Bill the Cat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


Red pill or blue pill? You cannot go back. From this point forward you will probably start referring to him as "Increep."


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I prefer Inskreep.

Anonymous said...

Madchen: Though your "voice" has been stifled at Ombudsman site you are still in my thoughts as i post there. I am convinced that you really do "get it" (along with most of the rest of the regulars here) and that bothers Alicia and the rest of the drones. People like you force NPR to "parse" unto the ridiculous.

You did good, dude!


Anonymous said...

Inskeep really does inject his opinions into his so-called reporting quite a bit..."

I'd characterize it a little differently:

"Inskeep really does inject actual news into his opinion once in a (very great) while ..."[imagine that]

If you had a filter on your radio that removed all the opinion (Inskeep Noise) from Inskeep's reports , you would hear nothing but dead air most of the time with an occasional brief "blip" ..and then back to dead air for a couple more months (or is it years?)

I bet "Inskeepaway Headphones" based on such a filter would be a hit.

Anonymous said...

nate says: "It basically reviewed the gas industry (and specifically fracking) talking points, played up ANGA, all but ignored environmental and human impacts and FAILED TO SAY THAT ANGA HAS CONTRIBUTED SUBSTANTIALLY TO NPR...I left comments at the piece and at Alicia's"

Nate: this is precisely the kind of ethical issue that an ombudsman is supposed to take very seriously.

but, alas, Shepard has acted FAR more like an NPR lawyer/apologist than an ombudsman - -carefully parsing the rules that (supposedly) govern NPR to assure listeners that NPR has not broken any of those.

"While it may appear that it was pay for play, it was not..."

One can only play this game so long before people start to see it for what it is: a charade.

Shepard may not realize it, but I think she is really damaging her credibility, at least among real journalists.

She may be closing doors on future opportunities as a result of her own behavior.

Anonymous said...

Shepard is not closing out opportunities, in my opinion. This is the new journalism; or if you prefer, the old propaganda. She will continue to do what she does wherever she goes, because there is a demand for it.

As for asking for NPR to "resign" people like her, Liasson, Williams and the rest of the dolts, there is no way it will ever happen. For NPR the downside is too great. It would financially ruin NPR if any of "the resigned" sued. Since NPR has not enforced it's own policies, any decent lawyer would use that as evidence for a non merit-based (political) reason for firing them. As for the other financial downside, conservative individuals listen and conservative companies support NPR.

It might seem ironic, but much of the squealing from the left regarding NPR's rightward, pro-corporate and pro-government movement has further emboldened NPR. So while sites like this provide some good to the discourse and offer some relief for the frustrated listeners, I'm not sure what other good it might do.

Obviously, NPR is hurting for money, which is why they are taking tax money recycled through corporations that receive sweetheart news' sponsorship deals.

If our dire economic situation turned around, would NPR change? Probably not. They have modified existing policies and created new ones to justify their actions. They have solidified their "seriousness" by creating feedback mechanisms to show they are "empathetic" to listeners questions and issues. Of course, they have created these mechanisms within the confines of an organization that NPR bureaucrats control. "We the People" are no more "the public" in public radio than we are the "the citizens" in our own government.

doppledog said...

Kestenbum farts flammable methylene odorants from his mouth: "And how did you get to Copenhagen?" is his innocent quarrelsome query. "They used carbon," is his wink to the murkins. He doesn't care much about why people went to Copenhagen, or what they are doing there, so he doesn't ask about that. Really, my fantasies about what I'd like to do to that dweeb in a dark alley are disturbing to me.

Anonymous said...

"So while sites like this provide some good to the discourse and offer some relief for the frustrated listeners, I'm not sure what other good it might do."

I think one thing that is done is allow us to develop our critical thinking skills. To see how words are used by NPR to "bait and switch" their audiences. We also can point out the in-authenticity (in a philosophical sense) of most NPR talking heads and many of their listeners in the professional/managerial class.

I cruise many social networking sites and when i find like-minded people I tell them to check this site out. Some do and some don't but . . .

And who knows where serendipity may lead? I used to think NPR was a voice of the people, a liberal/progressive outlet but those days are over.

keep on keepin on!


Anonymous said...

"It might seem ironic, but much of the squealing from the left regarding NPR's rightward, pro-corporate and pro-government movement has further emboldened NPR"

NPR is to journalism what Lieberman is to politics?

I shoud clarify what i said above about Shepard closing future opportunities.

If she wants to keep working in mainstream media, that will not be the case.

but i think she really is closing opportunities in alternative media.

Same goes for people like Vivian Schiller, Steve Inskeep and the rest.

of course, they may not care, but that's another issue entirely.

Anonymous said...


I agree with what you wrote.



Anonymous said...


I agree with what you wrote too.


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

I nearly went inside the radio this am, when i heard that lame-ass report on the "carbon footprint" required to host the Climate Summit, and the ever-so-condescending snarkiness of the lazy, smirking, sold-out creeps and asswipes reporting it.

Just once, I'd like to hear some proper context, like what is the size of the carbon footprint of just one day's operations by the USer military in Central Asia.

biggo!pinkko!fuzzo!bunno! said...

"but i think she really is closing opportunities in alternative media"

And I'm sure Rapunzel REALLY cares.
She's already trumpeted that NoPR is a MAINSTREAM media outlet.

"Corporation for Public Broadcasting" is truly a contradiction of terms when ya sit down & really think about it. Sorta like Orwell's 'Ministry of Truth' or something to that effect.

biggerbox said...

God save me. Another Planet Monkey segment based on the premise that NPR listeners are bright 5th graders and should be talked down to, followed by a 'fact check' segment that drew a false equivalency between Thune's outright lies and Franken's accurate statments.

I've really got to stop listening to Morning Edition.

dogdoo said...

Biggerbox. I regret to confirm the Franken frame up. Franken says that "some" of the provisions of the health bill will kick in right away and they do a "fact check" contradicting this by saying that "not all" will kick in right away. The illogic is enough to make you ill.

Boulder Dude said...

Today's was a doozy.

David Welna intentionally lied by omission in his piece this morning.

He was comparing the Thune/Franken debate and cut off the sound bite at the point where Franken was going to list off the benefits that kick in immediately, and the goes off to “fact check” Franken….listing all the things that Franken listed in the vid.

Boulder Dude said...

Oops, forgot to link to the story.

Still no response from Alicia yet, of course.

doggone said...

What a boring gas bag and gossip monger is Scott (flushable wipe) Simon.

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

That uppitty al franken shut down Dewlap Joe Lieberman and according to Dan Schnorr on NPR this AM, this sort of thing has never happened before, and it is shocking and disgraceful. He was somnolently and ponderously OUTRAGED, his wattles were shaking with indignation ... How long has he ridden along on his being a "minor" Nixon enemy? He's been carefully and assiduously fellatory of power ever since.

Then followed the requisite anal/lingual "supplication" of the (still) dead charlatan Oral Roberts. I'm sure Wan Williams would have followed sooner or later, so I just turned on the cd player...

hotdog said...

I missed the Oral Roberts coverage - thank you gods! I'm assuming it didn't include this:

underdog said...

Russ Baker, author of Family of Secrets on Boiling Frogs.

larry, dfh said...

Not surprisingly, guy raz, on his sat. pm atc forgot to ask tom daschel any questions about his wife's very lucrative employment. When asked if he favored a public option, daschel sidestepped the question. He was portrayed as some kind of grand political fascilitator, when in reality he, and npr, are shilling for the 'industry' at the expense of the paying public.

boilingdogs said...

I wonder if they play NPR at Guantanamo: bore the prisoners into confessing whatever, you know.

biggerbox said...

I hope I'm as coherent when I'm 93, but Daniel Schorr is really showing his age lately. That bit about the Franken/Lieberman episode was just sad. I guess he'd heard about McCain's little tirade, but missed the reports that, despite McCain, the same thing had happened earlier that same day, and the even McCain has done the same thing in the past when presiding. Dan should just finally retire.

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