Wednesday, June 13, 2007

NPR: A Place For Fun-Loving Prigs...and Others

I must vent!
My Reprehensible Reporting Award of the Month (soon it will be 'of the Day', then 'of the Hour'...) goes to: Gwen Thompkins. Famous for her genial and chucklesome reports from that Annexation-In-Waiting to the Axis of Evil, Sudan, I was truly disgusted with her comic book portrayal this morning of a security conference in Khartoum. Readers can hear it for themselves on today's Morning Edition website, because there's no reason to describe it all here. She tries to be funny (why is EVERYONE trying to be FUNNY these days??) by waxing wry about a few things (and playful, too!), then, with all the inconsistency of a Dan Quayle speech, decides when to be properly sober, just to satisfy the NPR quota for 'seriousness' as an appropriate tone for a report from a 'serious' part of the world - you know, Darfur and all that stuff...
Predictably, this excreta was set up by Steev 'n Renayy, with all the self-amused priggishness to be found in many of their white yuppie/baby-boomer listeners.
To me they were communicating something like: 'Now, get a load of what those bozos in icky Sudan are up to! It's quite amusing...'
My dog vomits up far more acceptable discharge than this brain-dead 'infotainment'.

In the same show, I was reminded yet again how limited the range of demographics of the NPR listenship is (that's GOOD, isn't it?). Even though NPR boasts of getting letters/call-ins from truck driver types, I can't conceive of it being of much use to blue collar listeners. NPR has always been content to write them off to the nether realms of talk radio, while preferring to woo persons of higher quality - and income.

At any rate, there was a segment about what to do about having a new boss in the workplace. Nothing too terrible in itself, but it was so blithely exclusive as far as its audience was concerned (upper echelon office types), it was just another example of NPR's self-absorbed aspirations. But at the end of the piece, after one of Steav's jackass-laughing fits, he makes a bid to remind us that NPR is still of The People when he announces that Terry Semel of Yahoo's salary last year was in the 70 millions, and the implication was 'that's rather excessive'.
End of venting. Thank you for your patience, understanding - and pity.


  1. Yes, you've got my pity, or maybe admiration. I certainly couldn't put up with so much NPR. You describe it very well--its bizarre overall tone, especially. You're so right--what kind of insane emperium do we live in, where our "national" "public" radio is so blithely brain dead, so insistent that despite how much worse the world seems to look whenever the next time is that we look at it a bit more closely than usual, despite that, "our" lives and loves and livers and mostly everything else are all still okay, and in fact, hey! downright good, when all is said and done!

    Oh, the humanity!(whatever that means anymore)

    Anyway, please keep documenting the atrocities, someone oughta do it.

  2. Thanks Willie. I shall continue to wobble onward in spite of everything.