Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Dick and Jane and the Off Button

It's nearly four years since I began my little adventure of monitoring NPR news, and it's been both enlightening and maddening. I must say that it blows my mind that so many people still give NPR positive marks for journalism (e.g. the comments in this recent piece, or the nonsense of this article, and the general praise of this piece) when its coverage - that I have painstakingly documented on this blog - is relentlessly center-right to far right in its perspective, and is unquestioning in its loyalty to US state power - economic, military and otherwise. I can not think of one example where NPR news has challenged the fundamental assumptions underlying the projection of US power at home or abroad - domestic surveillance, torture, military spending, government secrecy, aggressive war, so-called counterinsurgency, predatory corporatism, etc.

Over the course of the last year, the work on this blog has started to have a bit of the Groundhog Day feel to it: I've found myself essentially writing the same articles over and over. The situation changes but the fundamental pattern remains the same: NPR parrots Pentagon press releases; NPR ignores or minimizes the grossest violations of human rights and dignity when committed by the US or its allies; NPR refuses to mention international laws and treaties when they are broken by the US or its allies; NPR provides unchallenged airtime for government, military and corporate spokespersons; etc., etc.

I'm going to leave this blog up and post only very infrequently, if at all. God knows what the future holds with the economy, continuing US/Israeli aggression and genocidal policies toward Palestinians, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the tea party extremists, and the possibility of war on Iran. For now I invite anyone to link, borrow or steal from this blog's archives in order to spread the word that NPR news is not liberal, not balanced, not factual, and not worth supporting in any way, shape or form.

Matthew Murrey


larry, dfh said...

Well, now that you mention it...I was reading Glennzilla, concerning the Wikileaks release of the video of an apache helicopter's crew committing war crimes, and one of the commentors mentioned the crumby job npr had done on the story. So I tracked down their coverage, and here are a few of my comments on their coverage. Totn's kneel conan had a very untrue portrayal of the video. He or his guest (some surge-glorifying embedded author) referred to it as 'edited' whereas in fact the entire video was available. Kneel's statement that "at least 2 of them were not carrying weapons" really was a beckian twist, as if the two dead Reuters reporters were the only (possibly) innocent people among the 12 killed. His whole report was a patently base cover-up for the military: "sometimes you see what you want to see", in justifying the murders.
Then there was also morning edition, with pentagoncorrespondanttombowman, who WASN'T EVEN THERE at the time, telling us how it all went down. In the vernacular of "Light 'em up" tom tells us that it really means "to shoot at them". Thanks, tom.
Npr: carrying water for socom.

JayV said...

First of all, I love the Dick & Jane and will use it in my blog roll - using it to link to this blog.

I would have volunteered to be one of the contributors to this the other NPRcheck blog, but honestly, I don't listen to the NPR news anymore. It's good to question media, but I find so many inaccuracies and right-wing slants to their reporting, that I just end up yelling at the car radio. It's only when people on here comment on stories will I go listen and give my two cents. As I mentioned on NPRTeamCheck, a comment I made about the WikiLeaks story was removed minutes - no, seconds - after posting. Letters to Shepard go unanswered; her defensive posture is really anti-listener. I'm in Vermont and my friends swear by VPR/NPR and just think I'm nutz when I tell them they're being brainwashed. What to do, what to do!? - Jay

miranda said...

This blog, and Team Check, have been enormously important to me as a means of understanding the functions and methods of propaganda in the U.S. The fact that the posts were so meticulously researched, well written and deeply felt gave it extra resonance.

I hope you do not feel all that hard work has been for naught, because I believe many have been influenced by reading here, as well as the incisive comments on the npr site by you, Goop, Boulder and others. I hope the blog can continue in some form.

Unknown said...

I feel almost the same way that Jay describes. I too refrain from listening to NPR. One point of history I do want to highlight having grown up the Regan era I found it near impossible to find alternative news outlets in the Midwestern towns. While I regularly found the reporting to be a complete failure even when the facts were given. Thus the "intellectual" discussions I tried to have with others about issues, such as justification for bombing Libya, was simply not possible. What is possible now is an open discussion where facts are in hand via links, this is why I love blogs such as this that provide direct access to the raw data to support the reality presented.

To Jay.
I find the same problem plagues my social situations. One method I have had success in is with leading with the release of a report by red cross, amnesty intl or human rights watch, lancet etc. Then discuss the results of the report. If the audience has heard the NPR version then ask if they actually read the report... I have yet to meet a person who did. Additionally, keep in mind the shill of the NPR report and their past words of wisdom that can be used to credit or discredit them.



Life As I Know It Now said...

You have done some good here and that is not to be discredited.

larry, dfh said...

For all you who want points to refute your friends with paper bags over their ears: mcneil/lehrer coverage before the Iraq war was 97:3 for vs against the war. NO npr shows had anything but the slimmest of anti-war representations. Ask them if they ever heard Noam Chomsky or Scott Ritter on npr. I don't necessarily recommend being like me, but personally, I leave them bleeding. I'm too old and too sick and tired of trying to be polite about matters such as WAR. It's not a pleasant dinner-time conversation subject, it's fucking WAR, and if someone's going to be casual about it, they deserve to feel abused, belittled, shamed. My oldest son admits I'm (always) right, but he finds my methods a bit harsh. Then again, he sent me
Hey, education's hard work, especially if someone's actually making money and think's their poop don't stink. My country's been at war nearly my entire life, and I really don't want to leave that situation as a continuum for my children. And it's always been pushed by the scott simons and tom bowmans and alicia schlepturds. And if you DON't stand up to them, it will only continue.
So maybe your friends will think you shrill; let them try to prove you wrong.

Buzztree said...

Hi Matthew, I just want to add my voice to the many grateful comments here. So often I've come here to find confirmation of things I've heard, and you always put them exactly in their right place.

I must admit to a twinge of guilt that I haven't been able to join team blog and help out there. Unfortunately a new job with a very exhausting commute has actually put an end to most of my NPR listening (I do continue to enjoy the fun shows and the opera on weekends) -- which, as you well know, may not be a bad thing!

I often read the New York Times on my commute (for some perverted reason) and find myself wishing there was a NYT-Check I could contribute to. But it's all the same anyway -- NPR and NYT are interchangeable.

Anyway, thanks for all your hard work -- Keep on keepin' on!!

gDog said...

U.S. Won't Review Inquiry Into 2007 Baghdad Video

"Suspected insurgents" "questions about whether the soldiers violated rules of engagement" "The helicopter group saw men, some of them carrying weapons" "this was what was considered a hostile threat" "weapons were later found at the scene" "rules of engagement change over time" "What one of the helicopter crew said when one of the men was down on the ground" "just pick up a weapon" "the van comes in to pick up the wounded man" "is the helicopter permitted to shoot a the van?" "bushmaster we have a van that's coming to pick up the bodies...and weapons" "on the video you cannot see any weapons, yet they were given permission to open fire" "the key question is was that van considered a threat" "since they were helping the insurgents, they were fair game" ..and wait for the wrap: "even that point is subject to interpretation"

See if you can pick out the lies...

Benoit Balz said...

Dear Mr. Murrey,

As a reader of (and occasional poster to) your blog, I can only express the greatest pangs of regret that things will be less active here. I wish I could contribute more time. The issues you have dealt with are very important to many of us. A "constituency" exists, of course. Any ideas? Contact me personally, if there's anything I can do. I hope the energy behind this effort continues. This space has been one of the most important media-critique voices in the past few years, bigtime.


Benoit Balz,
Brooklyn, NY

miranda said...

I'm happy to see other voices of support for Matthew's incredible work. There is a sense of community here among like-minded individuals, and that too would be sorely missed if NPRCheck ends.

Fred, just wanted to mention that there is an NYT critique site, though it's not focused on issues of global importance, but rather quality and ethics issues with the NYT. Still worth an occasional look.

Anonymous said...

Conan did state that in the Iraq situation the United States was the "aggressor" (3-30-10) but so what? NPR (and most lamestream media lsm) is right to center while the American people are actually quite liberal (if it wasn't i'd have been dead years ago). And NPR's "job" is to influence its listeners.

Influence them by presenting only arguements of A or B, by ignoring news stories that don't "fit", and by making it appear that even the "liberal" media (which NPR fosters as a funding tool) is behind the official coporate/military/governmental policy.

I get the same looks from people especially as I re-post all to FaceBook. The thing is they listen for a short while and . . .
Also i don't think that listeners/financial supporters are any more smarter, or better connected with the world than most Americans; they just like being told they are.


Boulder Dude said...

Well Poo. :(

This was the one place folks could come and info dump on NPR's bad reporting.

Matt, I just wanted to say thanks for your years of effort on this Sisyphus task of trying to keep NPR in check.

Buzztree said...

Miranda, thanks. Took a look at that NYT site. Not at all of interest, when they go after things like misspellings. It's all about the rightward drift (or maybe institutionalization) of the media, NPR and NYT and many others, which has been so well documented here.

Debbie Reese said...

I understand the fatigue, Matt. I have it, too, writing about the ways American Indians are shown in children's books. I told a lot of people about your blog. Just talked it up an hour ago at a doctoral dissertation defense here.

LJansen said...

Thank you so much for all your work. I cannot bear to listen to NPR anymore, and wouldn't... well, maybe I WOULD wish it on my WORST enemy, but that might be NPR so, heck!

Anyway, please enjoy your life of NPR-lessness.

gDog said...

Don't know why I listen anymore. Life during wartime requires special vigilance, perhaps, and without the war on an abstract idea, the vigilance may never end. It's like being forced to drive without ever taking a rest stop.

From Hopes Die With Discovery Of W.Va. Miner's Bodies
Allison Keyes: "Well, we went to a visitation for 25-year old Jason Matthew Atkins last night in Comfort, WV. There were a lot of people there, people that said they didn't know him, they came from the community, they came to pay respects to him and they other miners, also to his brother who is a miner. There was a gentleman there, J.F. Howerton, who's boss at the mines and he's actually very angry because he feels his company is being perceived unfairly:

"They're villainizing the company and I-I-I mean I understand what placing the blame is about - but they're not thinkin' about - we're local guys, I'm boss for them, and I'm not trying to kill people. I'm never breakin' the law. I'm doing everything I can to make sure it's 100% safe - but you're going into a hostile environment.

AK: "The Governor of WV is asking people to observe a moment of silence on Monday."

So I am speechless. The only comment I could muster was this:

I gather Allison Keyes was told to put on the company voice here as the last word: so the company can say that they're being victimized, but holy mother of all that's just and right in the world, how could NPR be so craven and supplicant to these big business criminals? I am in awe of just how awful you are!

JayV said...

The Seminal (FDL), Sat 4/10/10: Today on Npr’s Saturday Weekend Edition Scott Simon and Daniel Schorr ignored Netanyahu’s announcement that he would not attend the Obama Nuclear Summit this coming week. Not even a mention during the weekend round up segment. Not a whisper.

Expect nothing less from NPR than complete cooperation with Israel while she pokes America in the eye.

gDog said...

In references to state budgets, Liane was heard the morning to insert the sentence, "Cutting services also raises revenues."

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the bullet of listening after I couldn't stand it anymore.
Your writing was a delight and a comfort.

Anonymous said...

This American Life and Planet Monkey take credit for dramatizing and distributing the work of ProPublica.

Anonymous said...

PRI = Dramatizers
NPR = Distributors
ProPublica = Journalists

larry, dfh said...

Had to wait until Monday to re-listen to the Planet Monkeython, and like their caged primate cousins, they fling plenty of feces. The whole tone of the piece is that of 'exploiting a flaw in the system'. They didn't care to mention what that flaw was: maybe cris cox, head of SEC, or moody's and standard and poors, who rated the feces, or a.i.g financial products, located in London, who signed of on the insuring bets, or ben bernanke and tim geithner, who paid the tab. There was not even the slightest suggestion of illegality. And another point bothered me about the piece: $40 billion was mentioned as being something like a third of all the credit default swaps. Why have people been writing about a couple of trillion?
In the Planet Monkey lexicon, anything done in the name of capitalism is fine. The winners win because the 'exploit the weaknesses'. The corollary, of course, is that the whiners whine because they are weak.

Anonymous said...

I will miss you, Matt. I don't think I could contribute on a regular basis to the blog, but I do hope you will continue it, however infrequently.

Two recent stories deserve scrutiny: a segment on the faux news analysis program On the Media on Sunday, where Brooke Gladstone does her best to relativize the "Collateral Murder" leak by Wikileaks.

Then there was today's Talk of the Nation, where Neal Conan does the same by bringing in a retired military guy and another professor who teaches the law of war--both claiming "well, you have to contextualize," and "well, soldiers are trained to do that," etc., etc., and "who are we to judge?," yadayadayada.

Pretty sick stuff. The spin is on. Now, I heard Wikileaks is going to release yet more footage from Afghanistan. We can only expect more "spin" from National Public Relations. They're so good at it...

Keep up the good work. Don't quit: you provide a valuable public service.


Anonymous said...

"Then there was today's Talk of the Nation, where Neal Conan does the same by bringing in a retired military guy and another professor who teaches the law of war--both claiming "well, you have to contextualize," and "well, soldiers are trained to do that," etc., etc., and "who are we to judge?," yadayadayada. " Anon

I actually got through to screener on this show and said I wanted to put the matter into an even larger context, if the entire war is illegal (and it is, both from a national standard [Article VI of US Constitution] and the UN Charter [Articles 39 & 51]) then aren't all actions actually illegal and thus a crime? I'm still waiting to talk to Conan . . . lol And this from a guy that on 3-30-10 called the US an "aggressor" in Iraq.

But he doesn't even listen to what he is saying because that charge would require we, the people would have to do something or accept that we are all now "good Germans".


Anonymous said...

I was on Ombudsman page and got into a discussion with SanPete(in Utah). He told me that this site is "hackery".

I have offered to carry on "conversations" (NPR's second favorite word) either by e-mail or some sort of group discussion site. No go. I think most people are afraid to deal with anti-NPR listeners/critics because many of us have our FACTS and don't simply spout nonsense like "NPR is liberal because the listeners describe themselves as liberals." I have yet to read anyone that can document that as opposed to the sites that can back up the main premise here; NPR is a tool of the dominant culture and acts as an "influencer" on the cubicle dwellers and the rest of the so-called liberals that comprise NPR's audience.

Of course that requires that you either reject outright the dominant culture's "influence" or at the very least question the vericity of what they are hearing.


gDog said...

It was a couple of days ago I heard an NPR "reporter" describe an area of Afghanistan as "infested with Taliban." This is sort of the Tom Delay (former exterminator) approach to winning hearts and minds, I suppose?

beeg!peenk!fuuzzee!buunnee! said...

Well, now that we've re-migrated back to the Mother Ship, this bunny can once again hop back in & spout off (office blockers prevented access to Group Check). Exposure to source material still self-restricted, but caught one newsreader a couple days back sounding like she was trying to out gootchie-goo-goo Temple-rastin' the Jellicle Cat... and Boobian's still sounding like a transgender.

Enjoy NOW & Moyers Journal while you have 'em this month! - I been taping them jus' for a lil' suntin' to remember 'em by.

gDog said...

NPR unchecked, runs amok.

Anonymous said...

Damn! I just had a post "get lost" but maybe it'll work out. I am engaged with Radio Times producer concerning a recent "interview" with Ryan Conklin who has a book and was originally spawned on MTV. Most-Inane never asked him about constitutionality of war on Iraq.


Anonymous said...

There are no challenges issued on WHYY to guets cause they won't come back. Ain't that the deal - throw softballs and have guests. Case in point: Did anyone ask Conklin if the war in Iraq is legal? According to US Constitution (Article VI) and UN Charter (Articles 39 & 51) it is NOT. But we wouldn't want to point that out on WHYY would we?

my original post


Anonymous said...

The reply from Radio Times producer:

"Denis here: Ed, that's not "the deal" at all. As far as the constitutionality of the Iraq war goes, Marty has done shows and interviews on that subject many times in the last decade. Do you really think a 25-year-old Iraq veteran is the person who sould be interviewed on the war's "constitutionality"? "


What age should he be able to be asked a question about the legality of what he is doing?

Anonymous said...

My reply to producer:

Name me one person that has been on any WHYY show that argued the war is illegal from both a US Constitutional standard (Article VI which binds US to all conditions and rules of conduct stated in any treaties it signs . . . such as agreeing to join the UN) and then tell me any one that ever appeared here that talked about Articles 39 and 51 of the UN Charter. That's why the war is illegal: The rules (which we agreed to) state that a second vote had to be taken before the UN would sanction the war. That vote was never taken and we invaded Iraq anyway.

Yes, he should have been thinking about these things. He was ready to kill and or die so you would think he'd want to know why. But like so many others he blindly "followed orders". And that's why no one would ask him because he would have had to say that he just went along because he was told to.

Actually this show is just another in a long series of propaganda engaged in by WHYY and NPR to re-assure its listeners and supporters that we "had to" invade Iraq and though it might be messy it was the "right thing to do" so keep supporting the war. Or at least don't oppose it publically. Did Ms. Conlkin support the war? I note that she never did say. I suspect she did not but sent her son off anyway. That's the true purpose of propaganda.... See More


Anonymous said...

Ed Kriner What she has had are a number of people that you all cite as "critics" of the war but they seem to be only concerned with either preparations or strategy. See More

about an hour ago ·

I also included links to Article 39 and 51 of Charter of UN which I think were not followed and therefore . . .


gDog said...

Zellikow weighs in on trusing government. He's authority on the topic, after all.

Anonymous said...

I think I might have found one of the military domestic "influencers"

Iraq-Afghanistan Deployment Impact Fund $1m +

Three-year support to expand international, national and local news and feature coverage on the impact of deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan on American military personnel and their families.

Grant: $4,143,440

NPR is an internationally acclaimed producer and distributor of noncommercial news, talk and entertainment programming. A privately supported, nonprofit membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 26 million Americans each week in partnership with more than 800 independently operated, noncommercial public radio stations

This gets funneled through the

California Community Foundation

I notice lately there are no impact of war stories. Maybe the source dried up.

edk Even a blind pig finds an acorn once in awhile it just has to keep grubbing in the dirt.

gDog said...

I liked this comment re Zelikow:

"I was stunned that Philip Zelikow did not answer the question, "Why is there declining trust in government?' with "It's all my fault!" You neglected to mention his important role on the 9/11 Commission. He fired lawyer Dana Lesseman for trying to pursue the Saudi connection. He kept in regular touch with Dick Cheney and Condaleeza Rice, despite a promise to discontinue that obvious conflict of interest. He shaped the Commission Report so that it conformed to Cheney's version of 9/11 events despite the conflicting testimony of everyone else who was with him. No-one with any knowledge of 9/11 believes the Commission's "official" version; those with extensive knowledge of Philip Zelikow's behavior, know that he was the chief instrument in the whitewashing of 9/11.
And you acted like he was an academic, an expert, a disinterested observer. Liane, how could you???????????"

JayV said...

There's this Facebook group I joined (I'll see how active it is before I make a judgment about it). It's called Keeping the Public in Public Radio. Anyone a "fan"?!/pages/Keeping-the-Public-in-Public-Radio/107942542579499?ref=mf

I really think it should be called Putting the Public Back in Public Radio! Ha!

larry, dfh said...

Monday, 19 April 'On Point' show had a bland and misleading segment on the SEC's fraud charges against goldman sachs and fabrice toure. The interview w/ Matt Taibbi was interesting, but, frankly, he's a little late to the party. One of the supposed experts was all tearful for young fabrice, how he may never find work again and all. Boo frickin' hoo. Not a breath out of anyone about all the pension funds that were stolen, or the aftershocks to state tax revenues. Putting it in perspective, that's what it's all about; from the point of view of the big-shots, of course.
Yesterday was scenic road-trip day. Seeing the private roads for 'members only' on the MA coast (Boardman Ave, Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA) certainly put it all in perspective for me. It was nice for npr to shed a few tears for these folks.

HopeSpringsATurtle said...

Just found your blog and I couldn't agree with you more about the consistent drift to the right on NPR. Most noticeable was the departure of Bob Edwards from Morning Edition and the entrance of Steve Inskeep. Has anyone else noticed the barely veiled tone of contempt when he interviews democrats or anyone left of center? And the softballs he tosses to conservatives or corporate shills is so obvious. In any case, thanks for the blog and your hard work to keep up with the Chinese water torture NPR has become.

tenacitus said...

I discovered NPR Check about a month ago and I found that your analysis and commentary was very good, concise, and accurate. I don't know if you were trained as a journalist but the work you have done fact checking and lsitening to NPR is better than a lot of reporting I have read from people who are paid to write news and commentary.

Thnaks for what you have done and created if you have to move on to better things that is good, and thanks for doing your part to bale out the sea of lies spread by NPR and other mass media with your little teaspoon.

gDog said...

Andrea Seabrook this morning greenlighting the AEI to be the arbiter of all that is fair and balanced.

"Congressional scholar Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute says the low numbers are "no great surprise." "


larry, dfh said...

And didn't I hear ari shapiro on Wednesday afternoon say that the dnext supreme court appointment WON'T change the fundamental makeup of the court?

Unknown said...

This morning at the top of the hour, they teased an interview with Merle Haggard by hinting he was upset with Obama... About two-thirds of the way through the interview, they baited Haggard on the issue and elicted the response they wanted ("So is that his name?" Haggard replied when asked about Obama.) There was nothing... nothing at all political in the songs on Haggard's new CD, which included a song tributing mariachi bands...

It was like *they made a point and went to some effort to make Obama look bad*.

NPR - a kinder, gentler Limbaugh...

Anonymous said...

Scott Simon had whatever her name is from her perch on Wall Street and he claimed that his listeners were "savvy" and so they wanted to know: what she thought of being the "Money Honey". That's the level of sophisticated, savvy listeners he has. I guess it was the only safe question he had cause everything else would have shown her to be nothing more than a cheerleader for capitalism.


Anonymous said...

Scott Simon had whatever her name is from her perch on Wall Street and he claimed that his listeners were "savvy" and so they wanted to know: what she thought of being the "Money Honey". That's the level of sophisticated, savvy listeners he has. I guess it was the only safe question he had cause everything else would have shown her to be nothing more than a cheerleader for capitalism.


larry, dfh said...

Saturday,24 April, the stupid morning news show: scotty simon interviewing some 'financial advice' lady, who describes the economic meltdown as being caused by too much regulation! Apparently, there were 438 agencies who should have been regulating a.i.g, but there were sooo many that NOBODY did anything. Simple as that. I'm not saying that the regulators weren't AWOL, but I would have thought that re-incorporating in DE expressly for the lack of oversight, and running a shell operation out of London (aig-fp) may in fact point out that there just may have been something a little shady going on. But not for scotty's guest. Nooo, the major insurer in the world suddely takes on the most insanely risky behavior out of a little office in London because there was no regulation! Apparently criminality just isn't something that these high-bred financiers engage in.

larry, dfh said...

Well, since the server ate my original posting, I'll re-write but a little less gently. Sat a.m. news show, 24 April, scotty had some shit-head of an economic adviser on who blamed the whole a.i.g scandal on: excessive regulation! Apparently there were soooo many agencies that were supposed to regulate a.i.g that none of them did. Gee, I would have thought that setting up a dummy company in London (aig-fp) and re-incorporating in DE for explicitly lax regulation would indicate that maybe when the world's largest insurer suddenly takes on insanely risky policies there is something a bit underhanded going on. But according to scotty's little blowhard quest (the money honey, she's called)it would appear that criminality isn't something that these high-bred financiers do.

Grace said...

I am very sad to see this go but have really enjoyed this blog and MM's analysis. If NPR could deliver half the well researched posts that have been here and check2, I wouldn't complain so much about them.

Thank you Matt and Cheers!

Jay, I can't really listen to NPR when I'm in Dallas because everyone around me views it as liberal or alternative!!
Of course these are the same ppl that look at me as if I'm nuts for inquiring if there are growth hormones in the milk if I get a latte!

Unknown said...

It occurred to me this morning that any comment on any of Cokie Robert's 7 Minutes of Monday Morning Glory boils down to this:

"Once again, Ms. Roberts explains how whatever happened last week is good for Republicans and bad for Democrats"...


gDog said...

Classic NPR moment: when, after barfing in your mouth over some awful propaganda, you change to the classical music station.

Driveway moment: when, after listening to some outragious misrepresentation of the facts, you drive way to recklessly.

NPR: Always On (until you turn it off.)

Anonymous said...

I thought I found a "cut-out" for DoD to funnel money into NPR to produce their "Impact of War propaganda. I found a site for California Community Foundation and they (CCF) are connected to Booze-Hamilton- Allen:

Booz Allen's core business is contractual work completed on behalf of the US federal government, foremost on defense and homeland security matters, with limited engagements of foreign governments specific to U.S. military assistance programs.

(I googled Booze-Allen CIA).

I wrote to Ombudsman and got no answer. I mentioned the 4+m CCF gave to NPR to produce Impact of War on her "blog". I can't find the web-page where I found the grant and noticed Booze-Allen was part of this CCF. And when I mentioned this connection on her blog the time for questions was over.

Makes me think . . . Uhm. I'm just saying.


gDog said...

Beardsley's cartoonish characterization of Manuel Noriega: "he fell in with the bad guys" was...hilarious?

JayV said...

Grace, that's funny, but also sad. When I lived in Houston, I would tune into the public radio station for classical music, but for news I listened to KPFT (Pacifica). Now, in Vermont, I have to put up with Vermont Public Radio's "Vermont Exceptionalism." Ugh.

Jay Schiavone said...

Evan Thomas this AM on "War-horny Edition":
Spanish American War- "At Congress, they were basically having pep rallies," Thomas says. "The country just wanted a war."
Iraq War- "We wanted to -- to put it crudely -- to kick some ass... We got sucked into something that actually has turned out OK."
These events are as inevitable as they are repetitive. I am absolved of any moral responsibility.

JayV said...

Thanks, jaytingle, for the comment on the Evan Thomas interview. Here's what I wrote on the story's comments (my last comment at NPR was deleted, so I'm not sure if they'll keep this one, either!):

"We got sucked into something that actually has turned out OK." While I agree with most commenters' reactions to Mr Thomas' insensitive & ridiculous statement, let us not forget that he's mouthing the current spin to make the Iraqi bloodbath a success, as Obama moves troops to Afghanistan. (NPR's other embedded reporters are guilty of this, too, if you search past stories.)

Kevin Severson (Historyfan) wrote (Tue Apr 27 09:30:31 2010): "The author left out one profound reason that TR was so driven to go to war. [...] To restore the family name, in his view."

If I'm not mistaken, restoring the Bush reputation was one of the reasons G.W. Bush attacked Iraq and caught Saddam Hussein, as his father failed to send troops right into Bagdhad and capture Saddam in the Gulf War.

Anonymous said...

Happy, happy. WHYY (a wholly owned FOX subsidary) is fundraising. They said the cost of programming rose to 1.4+m which is up from the 1.2m they claimed in winter drive.

And you listeners? You are "smart" according to these dweebs. And the news is fair, responsible, and balanced. Unless you happen to ask us when Radio Times had a legal opinionated guest that talked about Article VI of Constitution and the UN Charter Articles 39 and 51. Numerous shows discussing "constitutionality of war on Iraq" but they couldn't seem to name even one.


gDog said...

From: TPM

[note that Inskeep sets up Boehner to make these ridiculous assertions and then, of course, doesn't challenge him]

"Inskeep asked Boehner if he would also repeal some of the more popular and immediate parts of the bill, like allowing kids under the age of 26 to stay on their parents' health care plans, or ending the insurance company practice of canceling coverage when someone gets sick.

"Boehner said: "Both of those ideas, by the way, came from Republicans and are part of the common sense ideas that we ought to have in the law."

"Of course, Boehner has long criticized the Democrats' plan for not incorporating any Republican ideas, and as recently as February 25 wrote a statement saying: "Democrats' job-killing health care proposals do not implement a single major GOP reform that would lower costs for families and small businesses."

"Still not convinced? He also wrote: Look "beneath the newly-minted rhetoric and actually look at the text of their bills, it quickly becomes evident that they haven't actually incorporated any of the major health care reforms Republicans support."

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your efforts Matthew. I always found your posts to be on spot. I stopped listening to NPR on a regular basis after I had come to the painful realization that they were no longer the journalistic organization that I had come to appreciate so many years ago. I now only listen to NPR to get an update on the latest sleazy "Inside the Beltway" group think and propagandistic garbage they peddle in order to see what these media monsters are lying about. You lasted a long time given the Sisyphean task you undertook.

little.filthy.threadbare.lupine. said... went black in late '08 and I still mourn its loss... Moyers Journal and NOW replaced with what appears to be a "kinder, gentler" public affairs program (sponsored in part by Boeing or some other corporate meister I should not wonder) ... and NPR Check barren.

Feelin' like quite a neutered bunny 'bout now.

editor_u said...

I wrote to Matt to express my thanks and feeling of loss just after made this post, so I won't repeat all that here (others have expressed themselves rather nicely on the matter already).

Now I realize that Matt didn't say he was turning this last post into a permanent tell-us-what-you-heard-last-night thread, but I can't help passing this (typical) gem along for those who have stopped listening to NPR altogether. It involves my second least favorite NPR twinkie (she should be THE least favorite, due to her being on the air more than the winner of that honor, but the other one is so annoying that I turn off the radio as soon as I hear her voice, no matter what she is commenting on -- kind of like when I'd hear the voice of the unelected fraud eight years in a row -- though I find I'm doing that with B.O., too).

This is, perhaps, the year 2010, right? And Hurricane Katrina was 2005, I think. I'm just guessing, as apparently was the dreadful Michele Norris yesterday on ATC. She was talking to Trent Jordan from Port Sulphur Fisheries in Louisiana about the horribly leaking oil well (it's absolutely ridiculous to call it a spill, which implies that a finite bunch of oil spilled out and that's that).

(This is from the transcript at

"Mr. JORDAN: Actually, they just started a crop insurance policy, I think it was two years ago. I think we're in the second year of it now.

"NORRIS: Was that after Katrina?

"Mr. JORDAN: It was after Katrina."

I turned it off quickly. It's not even fit for background noise.


gDog said...


You missed the best part! I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I kept listening. It turns out the insurance doesn't cover oil spills. My jaw dropped when I heard that, but Meshill just took it in stride and moved on. I'm thinking there ought to be a follow-up question to that, huh? Like (and this should be in all-caps) They we're aware enough of the risk of a spill to realize it wasn't economical to cover it, and the gov. regulators let it go on anyway? If it's too expensive to insure against, then isn't it just too expensive?

ellen rosner said...

Sorry to see Mathew stop, altho can understand how it appears to be deju vu every day.

Only on npr:
On the 40th anniversary of the Kent state shootings - and the Jackson State shootings - heard on npr-
"Some people think the students brought the violence on themselves."

I listen very seldom, but when I do npr makes my jaw drop.

editor_u said...

goopDoggy said..."…I kept listening. It turns out the insurance doesn't cover oil spills. My jaw dropped when I heard that, but Meshill just took it in stride and moved on."

I guess I did miss the best part. But I didn't want to stop the car AFTER I got to the plate glass window on the shop in front of me, so I took preventive measures when Michele pinned my stupid-meter.


Anonymous said...

I add my thanks and am glad I was able to enjoy this blog for a while.
WHYY's membership pledge drive has me again reflecting on their fair and unbiased and invaluable journalism.
As the NPR reporters give quote after quote from spokespersons,officials, and 'experts', rarely speak with any persons in the streets of the places they are investigating, and softball question after question with nary the thought of a follow-up question, then have the prices made evident, I ask: Is it worth it? To have them talking down to their audience? To have as many non-commercial (er, supporter-acknowledgment) breaks as is possible to wedge in the pie-chart hour schedule of programming?
To have lack of transparency of where that money will be invested?
To reinforce their ever more corporate structure of top-down management and executive pay increases?
Is it worth paying for MSM?
-Al Hoover

Anonymous said...

I can't seem to post anymore.


gDog said...

Unbelievable: Professor Siegel weighing in on for-profit colleges after receiving beau coup buckaroo bucks from Capella. Softballs and mellow-jello inquiry never felt so warm and fuzzy.

iginkuzzyunny (bunny in entropy) said...

PBS Check: Anybody get on board the maiden voyage for 'Moyers Journal' & 'NOW's successors, 'Need to Know?'

Think "NPR-TV" - that's just how lite & fwuffy it was! (interviews with those rabble-rousers Wm. Clinton & Mayor Bloomburg! Wowie zowie!)

Anonymous said...

glad to see that someone's on the ball here on NPR being taken over by the "corporate "message.
NPR is not the only media outlet taken over by the right. who are given often free voice while the left are silenced.
the content of the news tends to be to the right(ie centre of america) but the blogs.. they seem to be the bastion of the crazy right "centrists" (or whatever they think they are this week, a while back they thought they were al supermen, right?)
retired folk have more time to blog, and earn stars from the GOP.
keep up the good work. The BBC has a few sites written about it and about the bias there. Every one of them written by the zionistic anti green tea baggers saying it is anti semetic.
the right shut down any conversation about their involvement.
one of the big offenders there is the company that runs hte moderation service. I suggest a similar problem for NPR.
look to the moderation company for your answers.

Boulder Dude said...

Well, sadly it looks like Suzanne F and I have both been banned by NPR, I have written to the Ombudsman but I do not expect to hear any response from her on the subject, as per normal.

So, I ask you all to write her as well about the abuse of power that One Trey Graham has been excersing in his overzealous censorship and banning.

He has decided that any comment that is critical of the person writing a piece on NPR is worthy of the ban hammer.

Thank you and I will see what happens.

gDog said...

BD rocks the house!

It's nice when NPR/PEW just get all brass-tacks, "here's your propaganda, unadulterated by any pretense of sneakiness."

In Opposite of Radical: Today's Youth Trust Uncle Sam, Tovia Smith (who "specializes in in-depth features on a variety of social issues." - gosh!) opines,

It's a pretty good bet that these young people will begin to care more as they start looking for work in coming years. And ultimately, it may be the economy more than anything else that determines whether or not they continue to trust the government. If the recession ends sooner, young people may give the government the credit — and their eternal trust.

But if the economic downturn persists, their positive attitude most likely will not.

This prompted astute listener, M Tennyson, to remark,

What a strange interpretation of the survey results. If you assume that more information will result in a no answer, then an opposite interpretation of the survey results appears. That opposite interpretation is simply that when we are young more of us are ignorant, and some people remain ignorant their whole lives (where the need for the word stupid came from).

The assumption of the person interpreting this survey is paramount to the resulting meaning. What a bunch of propaganda from Pew.

And Chewbacca chimes in,

You should never completely trust anyone who has a significant amount of power, be it government or corporate. There needs to be constant vigilance and oversight.

It's particularly disturbing to me that young people are most likely to trust the government, since we are at the age when the government harvests us for the military.

If there's one thing about the government you should absolutely be skeptical of, it's the idea that you should kill people to "fight terrorism".

Also, the headline should be changed, since the evidence presented in the story shows that a majority of youth DON'T trust the federal government. They're just less mistrusting than any other age group.

Well, this whole story is just so rife with twisted propaganda, it's hard to know how to come at it. Many of the listener comments are very good, but I'll miss BD.

I'm worried about you BD! I'll write the ombot, but I strongly recommend you stop listening to NPR if you've got no venue for venting steam.

gDog said...

Also re the above,

"Trust in Government: The Season of Discontent"
The drama that NPR creates with this series is fantastic, if only the news content matched the hype. NPR "feels the news at me."
- DonQP

gDog said...

Ha ha! The ombot contact link is brokeswords:

Nate Bowman said...

Boulder Dude

I'll miss your posts.

Till you reincarnate yourself.

: )

Did you send me a wall post Tuesday? I got an email that I had a message but there was none. I then thought to check out if you were still there.

JayV said...

From Mondoweiss: "NPR report on West Bank expulsion order makes horror a she-said/she-said debating point"

... nowhere does Garcia-Navarro grapple with the terrible inhumanity of a regime that has kept other people stateless for 60 years, depriving them not just of civil but human rights. A military occupation that arbitrarily defines the legitimate owners of a land as "infiltrators" is unspeakable. Why is "our" U.S. government paying for the illegal expulsions?

To do Garcia-Navarro justice, the on-air report gives details curiously absent from the transcript, but holes nevertheless remain. NPR’s transcript changes many terms and the order of the actual Garcia-Navarro report that aired this morning.

I've included choice bits of the actual broadcast that were not included in the online transcript of the story below. Why were they removed? They smooth over the ugly facts of the original broadcast. I guess we should also ask Lourdes Garcia-Navarro about the alterations.

Boulder Dude said...


I did, but it was while Trey Graham was busy banning me. It's very odd, I can still visit anyone who is a friend's wall, post things, but nothing actually shows up to anyone but me.

Still no word from The Ombudsman or anyone else as to why I was banned, nada.

Now the contact the Ombudsman page is not working. One is a 404 error, and the other won't let you select a "show", so it won't let you send in the email. 3 Phone calls today and no reply from that avenue either. said...

^ That jus' showz ta go ya. Don't be messin' wit' Rapunzel's 'do.

gDog said...

Re the story I wrote something like "I guess it's easier to get Halley Barbour to talk like an idiot than it is to investigate the environmental science of the disaster."

I got "Inappropriate language

Your comment may contain inappropriate language. The comment has not been accepted. Please edit your comment and re-submit."

Anonymous said...

There are only two things that make NPR palatable, and you have to keep them uppermost in your mind at all times to suppress the gag reflex: there are no commercials and there is no alternative on the airwaves.

larry, dfh said...

Thursday, 13May It wasn't peter orszag on planet monkee, but it might as well have been. Another smug ivy-league prick, kestenbaum gave the low down on the situation in Greece. Seems those pensioners and government-salaried people have driven the country into a hole (their analogy), and the shovel isn't big enough to fill the whole (their analogy). I seem to recall that most of the rich in Greece avoid paying taxes, but getting a bigger shovel never occurred to kestenwhiz. It was all about the pain and suffering that the average (and legitimate) taxpayer will have to bear. A creepy, malicious, mendacious tart this kestantoinette is, breaking us in for a future of serfdom.
And 'anon' above, npr certainly does have commercials, lacking only the 'call to buy'. And many of their sponsors are crooked.

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected: They so cleverly camouflage the corporate trough at which they snort and slurp by unctuously announcing their sponsors with a pseudo "in the interest of full disclosure" piety matching that of those public calls for a moment of silence to commemorate some historical atrocity. Clearly more effective in the Orwellian sense without that 'call to buy'. It has just been shown to lull a smug self proclaimed critical listener into oblivious acceptance: Oh alright then, they have just honestly let us know who their sponsor is so they must, must, just really must be aware of their grave responsibility to journalistic integrity.

The real Greece take away, studiously avoided by the NPR cw thumpers? If Americans had the brains and the cojones of the Greeks (who DO understand WHO got them into their predicament)they would all have the bankers, the wall streeters and their wholly owned subsidiary -members of congress- at the wrong end of their guns the right to carry they so insist upon.

geoff said...

"Teachers, postal workers and lake-drier-uppers" was the phrase Adumbson used on Planet Monkey to describe the perceived free-loaders in Greece.

larry, dfh said...

Friday, 14 May, The World (pri) actually had an extended segment on the real freeloaders in Greece, Italy, Russia: the tax cheats.

Anonymous said...

Hi fluffy here.
just a note to say "who are the moderators for the NPR site?
I'm not sure I got through here with it I tried to find the answer but must have missed it.
they seem to be able to also take all the mail heading to the NPR (or BBC) and prevent even complaints going through.

good luck boulder Dude and Daddy. Hopwe to see you again.

larry, dfh said...

Saturday, 15May. Lil' snottie today claimed an npr 'exclusive', through exhaustive research, that the bp oil disaster is actually 10x larger than admitted to. Apparently 'research' at npr means an intern reads FireDogLake!

JayV said...

If you are troubled by the downward spiral of print, television and radio journalism, listen to this presentation by Robert McChesney and John Nichols at PULSE - "Can Journalism Be Saved?"

geoff said...

1. Dramatically increase expenditure for community service and local public broadcasting.

2. Teach journalism to young people - do a News Americorps. Just a bunch of underfunded web sites is not enough.

3. A daily low-profit or non-profit newspaper.

4. If journalism is a public good, then we should get funding to copy editors to have research access to government data. Any non-profit accepting tax-deductable donations from citizens can provide 411 to Americans thirsting for good, honest news.

Nate Bowman said...


"2. Teach journalism to young people - do a News Americorps."

WNYC has a radio rookies program. I often marvel (and hope that the "professionals" can learn) that the results are better than the regular pieces on both NPR and WNYC.

I also like the Principles developed by the Pew Research Project on Excellence in Journalism.

It's based on "The central purpose of journalism is to provide citizens with accurate and reliable information they need to function in a free society."

And because it does NOT talk about fairness and balance.

Anonymous said...

An historic moment: NPR actually had Noam Chomsky on today for 22.43 seconds. Describing Israel as reminiscent of 60's South Africa no less. Either someone messed up and is due to lose their job shortly for letting this get on the air or they're really hard-up for a "see, we're not owned by AIPAC" moment that they can trot out.

geoff said...

Really, I'll have to check that out. How did they frame him? The fuddy duddy boring monotone intellectual with an axe to grind perhaps?

Hey, word verification is "buggr" What's that sposta mean?

Anonymous said...

"The fuddy duddy boring monotone intellectual with an axe to grind perhaps?"

Dead fuckin' spot on. Except you forgot the "geriatric has been, no longer relevant -not that we admit he ever was" which is now ever more openly and shamelessly out of beta as Mr. Chomsky advances in age

And I might have gotten the length of time he was on, wrong. It might have only been half that before someone on high noticed who was on and pulled the plug.

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you for your work.

I hope that this can stay here for a while.

You did more than many of us.

Now as one month of oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is upon the nation, it seems that the facts have some how been obscured and misreported.

Thanks again for exposing the complicity of NPR and it's corporate and political masters.

Left wing media... R.W. Media in drag.

gDog said...

Andrea Seabrook has her camel nose under the Republican tent again this morning. Talking crap about how moderate Dems are in danger... Was she alive on Tuesday night? Apparently she has no awareness of actual elections...only the threat to those who dared vote for things like health care and unemployment insurance. Good thing she's got the mouth of Pete Sessions (R-TX) to strategize for her.

b.p.f.b. (less than enthused) said...

1) I fail to correlate how this month-long gush or hemmorage can be so blithely deemed a "spill?!" It's not like lil' Mullet tipped over his sippy-cup and Mama bolted for the roll of Bounty.

2) Yeah, so one tea-baggie gets selected in a primary in Flyover Gooberland and all of a sudden it's a viable third party?! Didn't hear any crowin' like that when any Greens got in office.

Anonymous said...

NPR is CIA-controlled media, a domestic channel of Voice of America meant to indoctrinate and contain a certain demographic.
That's why it is so formulaic. The manual for doing this is called Army Field Manual 33-1 Psychological Operations and has been used since WWII when OSS called it "Morale Operations" and then Korea when it became FM33-5 Psychological Warfare.
Propaganda has a critical role in Total Warfare, the social science of utilizing all civilians as assets of military operations.
This blog has been and remains an important tool for capturing psyops smoke in a net. I encourage everyone to continue documenting the Lie Factory known as mainstream media run by CIA, DIA, FBI, and State Department propaganda specialists.

Anonymous said...

Memo to Scott Simon:

Mr. Simon:

We have spoken to Leon Panetta and he has been kind enough to offer your services this coming Saturday morning on NPR. We will of course deposit a "speaking fee" in your off-shore account(s).


Doug Suttles COO B.P.


larry, dfh said...

Saturday, 22 May. The re-re-re-broadcast of 'fresh air' was a complete kiss-up to the 'journalist' who got caught in N. Korea. Let's see: she went to do a hit-piece on North Korea, she entered China under false premises (lying on a visa application may be criminal), and she crossed into North Korea. That sounds like espionage to me. The 'fresh air' guest host did his propagandistic best to paint her as the hapless victim. She was lucky she didn't end up in Guantanamo or Bagram.
And then the neo-libs @ planet monkey had a very long segment about those ignorant mango farmers in Haiti; how if they'd only trust Uncle Sam and his buddies in the international 'aid' community, all their ills would be gone. These two back-to-back shows, the latter in particular, treat their listeners as if they were children. I constantly get the impression that they're speaking real s-l-o-w-l-y so as not to exceed my capacity. I guess if one is stupid enough to contribute money to these obvious fronts, one need things explained in the most simplistic terms.

gDog said...

Scott Simon is a toady extraordinaire.

Boulder Dude said...

So, based on today's message from the Ombot in training Lori, that is was banned for reasons that they seem to be unwilling to disclose, but that she felt that I was rude.

I am thinking that we need to start a campaign of flagging any and all comments on certain stories and sections with the same tag to test this theory of "fair and balanced" moderation of Eydar Peralta.

Suggested tags:

Other: Troll

Other: Rude

Other: Off Topic

D.O. said...

I just got finished using my hot air sickness bag after being subjected to yet another NPR puff-piece on the teabaggers. Here's my response:

>> Dan Shays (tribalscribal) wrote:

Not since NPR (and the vast majority of the mainstream media) promoted George Bush's bogus invasion of Iraq have we seen the kind of pandering NPR is doing with regard to Palin and the so-called Tea Party. Even knowing full well that the "Tea Party" was made from whole cloth by Faux News and far-right operations like Freedom Works, NPR continues to pump more hot air into this frontgroup. And speaking of Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq, where was NPR when far, far more numbers of U.S. citizens were protesting across the nation for years? So much for the "highest standards of public service in journalism"! It's more like NPR's stated goal: "Adapt our business model to sustain the present and secure the future" adapting to a world of corporate facism?

Sat Sep 18 09:18:12 2010<<