Saturday, January 21, 2012

An interesting post on NPR

Can be found here.
When most people hear “NPR,” they think Cokie Roberts, Nina Totenberg, Robert Siegel, and for some on the far right, all that is wrong with the mainstream liberal media. But beneath the veneer of the "Minnesota nice," a simmering battle has been waged, and in the balance hangs NPR’s future and perhaps even its soul—as either a nonpartisan defender of in-depth journalism or a target of the partisan sniping of the sound-bite era.
Better yet:
Apart from the occasional stories about gays or Palestinians (and maybe even gay Palestinians), there's precious little on NPR these days for conservatives really to hate. For them, despising NPR and cutting off what amounts to the few pennies it collects from the federal budget has increasingly become more a matter of pandering, or habit, or sophomoric sport, than of conviction or serious policy. The editor of the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol, once confessed to former NPR ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin that he really didn’t believe NPR was liberal; he just said so "to keep you guys on the defensive." And that still seems true.
When you hear about new NPR boss Gary Knell talking about his desire to "depoliticize" the debate, what he means is try to do more to placate people like Kristol. Since that's not going to happen, the only real consequence is to push NPR to the right.

I'll give them a pass.


  1. I still listen to NPR for the "news", such as it is, and for a number of programs that I've enjoyed for many years ("Car Talk", "Prairire Home Companion", "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me", among others). I gave up on the "talk shows" a long time ago. During the first term of Bushjugend the director of NPR was replaced with a party hack and they've never recovered.

    The congressional reduction of their budgets, btw, is done deliberately. By reducing (or, better yet, eliminating) their gummint funding, the reichwingers nudge NPR and PBS into the all too welcoming arms of their "corporate partners".

    The latest assault on the web is part and parcel of a strategy to limit the dissemination of information across that platform. That it would put billions into the pockets of the already obscenely wealthy 1% is a bonus.

  2. They have gotten progressively worse.

    Not that the BBC can be much better. I listened to Radio Nederland for most of the early 2000s.

  3. Second try:

    I've listened to NPR for over three decades now. My impression of their news programs is that they aim at an educated audience. They mostly question whoever is in power at the time. They've had their problems, but so has the BBC.

    These days, our public radio stations play the BBC during the wee hours, and I can listen on-line, but I surely do miss my Hammerlund shortwave. I spent many a late hour listening to the BBC and others, coming in amongst the cracks and pops of the ionosphere.