Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Q Tips

NPR related notes, comments, and observations welcomed, as always. Let's get cooking!


Anonymous said...

NPR has now taken up fundraising for Libyan rebels:

Libyan Rebels Look For Ways To Fill Coffers

Hey, I've got an idea. Since they don't need the money from the Federal government (according to former NPR exec Ron Schiller), they can send that over to the rebels.

It might only amount to a few millions, but hey, that rebel leader could sure use a new house, right?

From the NPR front piece on their website:

"In Libya's rebel-held east, cash supplies are dwindling, shortages are emerging and prices are rising as officials scramble to hold the economy together and fund a revolt against a much stronger army. The opposition government will need an infusion from somewhere soon to keep meeting demand."

Can you say "shill"?

Anonymous said...

Legal Drama Over Gulf Oil Spill Could Last Years

Get that?

It's a "drama"

As if it were all just some legal "show" (for entertainment?) played in court rooms, right?

Where is the "in depth" (or shallow, for that matter) NPR reporting on the shattered lives of those who lost their livelihoods after the spill?

Where is the reporting on the scam that BP calls a "claims" system?

as reported on by Dahr Jamail in

BP Handling of Claims Slammed by Gulf Residents

These folks at NPR are just callous.

Everything is a big "drama" or "game" to them.

They don't give a DAMN about the lives of the people they don't report on.

All they care about is getting their funding dollars so Steve and Scott and Michelle and Terry and Don and the rest of the gang can keep pulling in 6 figure salaries.

It's not journalism but it IS disgusting.

Anonymous said...

This morning there was a discussion about "lying" on ME. OtM talked about "blatnat fabrications" in Egypt. But there was NO discussion about the Irv (to his friend Bob) Halter lie/blatant fabrication/statement not meant to be factual about the NATO bombing of the bridge. Nor was there any discussion about Rep Price with his L/BF/SNM2BF statement concerning the "reform" of Medicaid/Medicare.

And to think that people actually believe this "network" is somehow "on their side". And they actually pay for the tripe they listen to.


Anonymous said...

And another thing. The banksters and fraudsters have a problem in their drive to destroy America. They know they probably can't get a Republican elected on a platform of making old people die after eating too much cat food or having your kids go hungry so my kids can go to Harvard or fill in the blank. But Obama can do it but he has to be provided cover. And this S&P "warning" is designed to start that process. When the banks melted down the ratings agencies claimed they were only offering an "opinion" and therefore could not be held responsible in any way for what had happened. Today? S&P "warning" is from God's lips to America's ear. They will threaten to destroy most of us so they can reap the benefits. And O'Bush will fight and fight and fight right up until he throws in the towel and delivers what Wall Street and corporate America wants. And the media will be right there to warn us all of the dire consequences if America defaults by not cutting entitlements (except defense/security etc) and regulations on banks and companies.


Anonymous said...

Market Pace lead story on the 18th of April was about the debt. It really seemed to be pushing for cuts in the government. Not once did they mention raising taxes on the rich which is very popular!

Anonymous said...

Remember all the reports on NPR about Mubarak thugs attacking Egyptian protestors?

That's right, you don't remember because there weren't many.

And those times when NPR did report, they used language like "some claim that groups supported by Mubarak have attacked protestors".

Well, surprise! (not!)

Now NPR is running the following AP story on their website:

"At least 846 Egyptians died in the nearly three-week-long popular uprising that toppled long-serving President Hosni Mubarak, electrifying the region, a government fact-finding mission announced Tuesday.

In its report, the panel of judges described police forces shooting protesters in the head and chest with live ammunition and presented a death toll more than twice that of previous official estimates."

That those attacking protestors and otherwise inciting violence were Mubarak thugs was really no deep secret.

The mere fact that they were driving vehicles (and at one point riding camels and horses) into crowds using machettes and guns shoul have clued anyone with a brain in to that fact.

But not the stupid twits at NPR.

Note that this fits the NPR pattern perfectly.

They originally did not wish to say anything negative about Mubarak for fear of breaking with the official US government line, so they tried to paint the thug attacks as unsubstantiated hearsay.

It is only long after the protestors were successful and Obama and our government recognized the ouster of Mubarak that NPR can now admit the obvious.

But, of course, there is no admission of error on the part of NPR.

The pretend as if their previous articles never happened.

My guess is they have probably even wiped their servers clean.

Anonymous said...

I dug up some links to comments I made previously back when NPR was poopooing the claims as "hearsay" that Mubarak thugs were attacking protestors:

sEE this comment for example

and this comment

And I'm going to have to say that I don't see Garcia-Navarro's reporting from Cairo as "neutral".

She clearly downplayed (presented as "hearsay") the efforts by Mubarak thugs to stir up trouble (and brutalize and murder protesters).

and This one
NPR's idea of "neutrality" is to "balance" well-documented reality (eg, brutality by Mubarak thugs against protesters, documented by HRW) with total BS (eg, denials by Mubarak officials.)

NPR's faux/Fox "balance" meme has grown very old.

Anonymous said...

More previous comments regarding NPR's non-coverage of attacks and incitement by Mubarak thugs.

This one

From Democracy Now! ( Photojournalist Shot by Egyptian Police Recounts Experience)
"Wally Nell is a Cairo-based photojournalist who works with ZUMA Press. On January 25, Nell was shot by the Egyptian police while photographing protests on the October 6 Bridge. "We were very deliberately targeted... The guy drove up, saw us, and then fired," he says."
//my comment
NPR has not even MENTIONED the fact that Nell was shot.

If the clowns at NPR won't even cover the targeting of their own colleagues by Mubarak/Suleiman thugs, how can one ever expect them to cover the targeting of ordinary Egyptian protesters by the same thugs?

and This one

"Looters included undercover Egyptian police, hospitals tell Human Rights Watch"
"Human Rights Watch confirmed several cases of undercover police loyal to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's regime committing acts of violence and looting in an attempt to stoke fear of instability.." -- Washington Post

Oh my.

NPR now has egg on their face for trying to paint the popular uprising in Egypt as led by a bunch of criminals.

geoff said...

It's a "drama"
Yes, and we're all just actors on NPR's stage.

Anonymous said...

More Market Place correction via the naked capitalism blog:


When will they interview Yves?

Hope Democracy Now will do so soon!

geoff said...

Made a rag pile of my shiny clothes
Gonna warm my bones, gonna warm my bones
I got silence on my radio
Let the air waves flow, let the air waves flow

Anonymous said...

More on the S&P rating that NPR ignores, trying to crush Social Security and more?


geoff said...

Obama Defends Deficit Plan At Town Hall shows that Obama and Mara would both benefit from reading Yves Smith: S&P Negative Watch Smackdown Wrap

Pres. OBAMA: If people keep on having to finance America's debt, at a certain point they're going to start charging higher interest rates. We won't be able to afford investments in education or clean energy.

LIASSON: The president got a taste of what a creditor backlash might look like yesterday after the Standard and Poor's rating agency downgraded its view of the country's long-term credit outlook, because it was pessimistic the two parties could overcome their gridlock to solve the fiscal crisis. That sent stocks tumbling.

But here's Yves quoting Dean Baker:

Reporters should be given 40 lashes when they tell us that some specific event explains a movement in stock prices. The reality is that the reporter does not know what caused a movement in stock prices, all they can do is speculate….


It is also worth noting that S&P has a horrible track record for judging credit worthiness. It rated hundreds of billions of dollars of subprime backed securities as investment grade. It also gave Lehman, Bear Stearns, and Enron top ratings right up until their collapse. Furthermore, no one was publicly fired for these extraordinary failures. Investors are aware that S&P’s judgement does not mean very much.

Anonymous said...

Let's see how NPR covers the "fracking blowout" in Pennsylvania.


Here's my bet: NPR (which gets underwriting money from America's Natural Gas Alliance) will downplay any risks by airing the assurances of an "expert" who claims it poses no hazard.

I'll even predict the name of the expert they will use: Colorado School of Mines professor Geoffrey Thyne.

Thyne, whom NPR has used as an expert before, is on the record as saying that "that's there's absolutely no danger" from fracking.

His actual quote (by NPR)
"Let's prove to everybody what we're saying — that's there's absolutely no danger — but let's do it in a rigorous way we can defend"

Anonymous said...

I will also predict the "argument" used by the fracking expert to assure people there is no risk from the Pennsylvania blowout:

he will provide some "calculations" (ie, guesses) about the amount (and type) of fluid that was ejected and the area covered.

He will plug that into his supercomputer and pull a number (out of his supercomputer's a**) that is far below the level known to cause cancer in adult elephants.

How do I know this?

Because this is the pattern NPR uses for everything.

geoff said...

"It's just one of those things," said farm owner Randy Morse. He leased his property to Chesapeake. His beef cattle will no longer be able to drink from the brook that has been contaminated. Morse is broken up over the whole thing, hoping others don't blame him.

Money, money, money, money. That's who did it.

Anonymous said...

Well, NPR opted NOT EVEN TO COVER the fracking blowout in Pennsylvania, DESPITE the fact that AP (which NPR REGULARLY uses as a source for news on their website) wrote an article on the blowout
Fracking spill pollutes Pennsylvania water (By MICHAEL RUBINKAM
Associated Press)

A search on NPR for the first words in the first sentence of the article

"A blowout at a natural gas well in rural northern Pennsylvania"

returned nothing about the blowout.

NO AP article, nothing.

But a search on "fracking" in the NPR search produced two recent AP articles that NPR has run:

"Gas Drilling's Promise, Perils Rile Townsfolk (by The Associated Press)"
and an AP article the DAY BEFORE the blowout
"Pa. Wants To End Gas-Drilling Wastewater Discharge"

The first article presents the "facade of balance" that has become typical at NPR , with a rather clear slant, using the tried and true technique of presenting the claims of one side as hearsay: "some complain" (without reason, of course)

"Fracking opponents complain the industry has taken environmental and safety shortcuts in their zeal to reap the vast stores of gas once locked tight within the shale."

and relating stories about threats and the like:

"She got several death threats from anti-drilling residents or activists — one woman declared she was "gonna shoot you with my thirty-aught-six" and a man advocated in an online post that "one well-placed bullet" be put in Schweighofer's head."

and the typical balance of claims made by people vs those made by corporations:

"Residents believe at least one domestic water well was contaminated and that gas operations killed horses on a ranch not far from the compressor — a claim the gas companies dispute."

Anonymous said...

So, now NPR has taken to advising corporations on PR methods.

I guess they should know a little about that, being the experts at public manipulation through the media and all.

BP: A Textbook Example Of How Not To Handle PR"

"After the oil rig exploded last year, BP failed to communicate key messages to assuage the public."

"BP didn't have a public relations strategy. It failed to communicate the three key messages the public needed to hear: That BP was accountable for the disaster, deeply concerned about the harm it caused and had a plan for what to do."


Yeah, as we all know, the biggest issue (by far) with the BP oil spill was that Tony Hayward said a lot of stupid things.

NOT all the dead wildlife (which NPR hardly even mentions).

and Not the Gulf residents who have gotten sick and/or lost everything they own as a result (which NPR hardly even covers)

Funniest of all, the NPR piece contains this gem:

"They were putting out this messaging saying, 'Trust us we'll be able to make things right,' at a time when they obviously couldn't. The oil was gushing like crazy and they couldn't cap it. I think that that was a horrible misstep," Selig adds. "It's very hard to believe that everything is going to be OK when you're still in a crisis. What we need to hear at that point is we're doing everything we can to get it under control."

Isn't "telling people that everything is going to be OK" precisely what NPR has been doing on the Japanese nuclear disaster?

Do these folks at NPR (Elizabeth Shogren and others) have ANY clue at all how stupid they sound most of the time?

Apparently not.

Anonymous said...

There was an "interesting" item this morning on ME concerning PR and BP. Aside from the fact that the focus seemed to be this was nothing except a PR fail I wondered about something Nate Erbacher found (on Ombud "blog [speaking of PR snark] Think Tank discussion.

"On the subject of experts, WE Sunday interviewed Dean D'Elia of LSU who told us "he has to be optimistic" about the future of the Gulf after the BP disaster.

Of course he has to be optimistic.

"LSU to get BP grant for oil spill research"

Examination of the contract with BP reveals that "This is not an agreement to do research for BP...This is an agreement to join BP's legal team. You agree to communicate with BP through their attorneys and to take orders from their attorneys. The purpose is to maintain any information or data that goes back and forth as privileged."

I listened to this also and don't remember his being so identified which doesn't mean it wasn't mentioned; it just means I didn't hear it.

Here's "the story" from this morning: http://www.npr.org/2011/04/21/135575238/bp-a-textbook-example-of-how-not-to-handle-pr or just go there.

NPR: Nothing Particularly Real


geoff said...

Yeah, since NPR is essentially a public relations firm for US and international corporations, for them to do a story on PR is a weird kind of meta PR. The audience finds themselves standing shoulder to shoulder "outside the box" with the hosts looking in. The hosts are telling us that (subtext: the disaster is not the biggest problem) the big problem is that BP just didn't have good PR. That blows me away. It's kind of like the derivatives where party X sells party Y a share in the probability that party Z will lose value. It's all about X and Y. Z can go take a long hike off a short pier.

Anonymous said...

environmental coverage on NPR: the piece by Susan Stamberg about green. It's a color, a concept and a cause (heavy emphasis on the color part).


gDog said...

Bernays: "Don't call it propaganda - people don't like that word. Call it public relations.

larry, dfh said...

of onr rally. The key phrase is: "feed" mike.

larry, dfh said...

That was supposed to be:


of one rally.


The NPR apologist, er (not an)Ombudsman must be on vacation.

The interns are posting. They seem to be having a contest on who can write the most "Shepard" like post i.e. inane, obtuse and devoid of internal logic, while claiming NPR did nothing wrong.


Whether you're celebrating Easter, Passover, Spring, allergy season, or the end of school - Happy weekend everyone!

Anonymous said...

Tow days later and still not a single peep from NPR on the fracking blowout in Pennsylvania.

Propaganda by omission is what National Pravda Radio does best.

bee!pee!eff!bee! said...

Cracks me up: spotted a $-4-0 sponsor ad square for...

"Cargill - food, agriculture and risk management solutions"

Yah, I guess I could see how that can all go together in the field of agribusiness/corporate food. But had to to a double-take to be sure it wasn't parody.

(word verification: "endes")

gDog said...

Well, big pink, the labor rights groups may document child slavery to benefit Cargill, but that doesn't mean NPR can't equivocate that way.

How's this for a masterful bit of smudging:

But there's a long continuum between the worst kind of work on cocoa farms, and kids taking a job to help out their family in the recession. Where do you draw the line?

If you're NPR, the line is called "the bottom line."

Anonymous said...

Where do you draw the line?

I draw a line on the budget through funding for NPR and its member stations.

They would be better off without it, anyway.

Former NPR exec Ron Schiller said so in a moment of rare forthrightness.

Anonymous said...

Three days after the fracking blowout in Pennsylvania, STILL not a word from NPR even though AP (which NPR uses ALL the time for their news) put out an article on the blowout the day it occurred.

Can you say "NPR is ANGA's whore"?

ANGA = America's Natural Gas Alliance, one of NPR's underwriters.

gDog said...

I was wondering if the SF protest song at BO's fundraising dinner would get a mention. It did - but all mention of the main cause of that protest: the unconstitutional and egregious treatment of alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning, was wiped and flushed.

larry, dfh said...

Did anyone hear a S-4-0
(one of several out there now)about oil contract for BP/Royal Dutch Shell pre-Iraq invasion? Searches of S-4-0's web site for 'Greg Muttitt' or 'Lady Symons' gave nothing.

larry, dfh said...

This was posted successfully, and then vanished:
Anybody hear anything on S-4-0 abut this

(one of several) on Iraq oil contracts for BP and Royal Dutch Shell pre-invasion? A search of S-f-0's web site for 'Lady Symons' or 'Greg Muttitt' gave nothing.

larry, dfh said...

Did anyone hear anything on S-4-0 bout this
(one of several out there)about oil contracts for BP and Royal Dutch Shell prior to the Iraq invasion? A search of the S-4-0 website for 'Greg Muttitt' and for 'Lady Symons' showed nothing.
Also an obnoxious story today about the high price of gasoline was blithly explained as 'supply and demand', despite numerous articles to the contrary. I wonder: if supply and demand really applies, why is there such an oversupply of mediocre journalsits paid so handsomely? And the stupid PrairieHomeCompanion had Bill Keller as a guest. Assholes making nice with assholes.
The disregard S-4-0 has for it's audience is astounding and boundless. The audience is supposed to cuddle up with their security blankies, knowing that every tired cliche is real, yet they are safe and snuggly.

informedveteran said...

I have been keeping an eye on NPR's "coverage" of the clusterbombs being used in Libya. Much to my surprise I came across Clinton: Gadhafi May Be Using Cluster Bombs. It actually provided CONTEXT about the US use of cluster bombs and failure to sign the treaty banning them. Then I came across another AP story with the same date and a whole lot of the same text - minus anything that makes Uncle Sam look bad U.S. Says Gadhafi May Be Using Cluster Bombs . Any bets as to which one NPR disappears?


informedveteran said...

"U.S. Says Gadhafi May Be Using Cluster Bombs" is apparently one of those "by NPR staff and wires" monstronsities but just says "Associated Press". I guess they are too lazy now to even identify it as such.

AP search for cluster

NO "U.S. Says Gadhafi May Be Using Cluster Bombs"


Anonymous said...

La Show had item(s) about BP and Shell and it was wiki-leaks (no news here) documents showed how this went down.

Fracking is being covered somewhat locally through WHYY but . . . (you knew there was one right?) never a mention of political contributions and it is way too late now because this fracking train is halfway to Hell by now. WHYY always too little too late. But send money cause WHYY is all about YOU!!~!.