Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Randoms: Wanna Get Gnarly? Listen To NPR And Learn To Criticize Them!

On today's unmissable All Thingamabubs Considered:

- An absolutely contemptible report by someone called Karen Grigsby-Bates on a medical marijuana outlet in LA, and how stupid it is. Smug isn't an adequate enough word. All the classic NPR touches of offensive delivery, innuendo, and barely-disguised disdain were on parade. NPR's peevish priggishness at its very worst, though nicely exhibited for us to alternatively snicker and scoff at.

- A 'witty' postmortem on Ghouliani's quitting the prez race, where this Bob Smith guy takes Rudy's 'Leadership' book and makes fun of the things that Rudy said in it but DIDN'T act upon! Zowie!! Yes, it's a rare bit of 'gotcha' journalism (while trying to be clever, too!). That kind of stuff's pretty hard to find on virtuous NPR, but heck, they only wheeled it out when the scene was safe, (Gawrsh, can you imagine having Rudy MAD at you??) and when it's OK to show off a bit of drivel-y NPR 'humor'. As Major Hoople used to say, 'HAAAAWK-KAFFF!'

- John Edwards' media freeze-out lasts to the end. Much more time was given to Ghouliani's bailing than Edwards' bow-out, with very little exposition.

Morning Edition Low-note:

Terrible-quality Frank Deford satire on the Super Bowl, via Shakespearian recitations. No great horror in itself, except that he had some NPR stalwarts do the different character voices. Big mistake. No wonder Ari Shapiro didn't make it in acting school. Broadway musicals' loss is NPR's gain in torturing we captive listeners.

Morn Ed Hi-note:

- My good Philip Reeves had a nice little segment on India's new mini-car, the Nano. The way he 'did the numbers' as a demonstration of the multiplying of the car population in India should shock the shit out of those timid NPR devotees, trembling at the oncoming Brown (and Yellow) Peril!

Friday, January 25, 2008


I didn't much appreciate the extremely poor and sneaky decision to reveal, at the tail end of Steve Inskreep's interview on NPR's 'Morn Ed' with Imran Khan from Pakistan, that Mr Khan didn't know what C-SPAN was, and the general implication was that he is some sort of country bumpkin or political naif, if not a fool. How helpful of NPR to point out this fact, and in such a gently condescending manner. The sophisticates in the listening audience no doubt chuckled in their subtle way.

Imran Khan has long enjoyed a huge following as a sportsman in the British Commonwealth world (cricket, that is), and has devoted much of his efforts to philanthropy in Pakistan, and now politics. I'm glad NPR is just discovering these things.

So, Imran Khan, let it be known, didn't know what C-SPAN was. Conversely, I wonder if anyone at NPR knew who Imran Khan was (without looking him up in Wikipedia), and what he has accomplished?

This is a continuing problem for such on-air 'personalities' as Steve Inskreep, who tend to speak faster than they can think.

Despite success in ratings, NPR has long moved into a realm where they are hardly a first-stop source for news and insight concerning current events. They may score interviews with VIPs, but opportunities are usually squandered by the lack of talent or quality to be found amongst most of the NPR stalwarts.

Whether Mr Khan agreed to let these 'personal' bits be broadcast or not, I think Inskreep and NPR owe him a public apology for their adolescent abuse of broadcast principles.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saudi Sword Soirees Combined With Kingly Kissin' 'N Cuddlin'

Fig.1 While Bush frolicked with kings, Mega-Ted Klaudt was sentenced to 44 years for doing horrible things to his foster kids

Fig. 2 While Bush and King were doing swordy gavottes, Mega-Ted Klaudt, former GOP 'lawmaker' in SD was getting ready for 44 years in jail

Fig. 3 While two kings kissed and told, Mega-Ted Klaudt hogs the news at home; you mean he didn't? well he should have, instead of this bushy-tailed bullshit!

It was darn funny to see those pictures of Dubya bozo-ing about with the topmost players in the Saudi Empire. Goofin' around with swords, chompin' on the local crisps, frownin' at that old Arabician book, and diggin' the kissin' of Cousin King, which'll sure make Holy Joe (Liebermann) jealous as a hick rival at a barn dance! Yassir, it was a Tex-ass Triumph of a trip!

And then I heard some of the coverage of BushCorp's epic voyage on that there NPR. You know, that station where they do the 'different' kind of commercials, then ask for 'pledges' for their corporate welfare protectors? Indeed, this is the sort of watery spinnishness so dear to NPR's heart, that sort of half-genial half-smug cooperative balderdash that's smothering the craft of journalism to death. 'Worthless' is a banal enough term, but it's about the only one I can think of anymore to summarize NPR's contributions to news-gathering. We know who the good ones are in that crew, but the rewards are so few and far between...

Bush's putzy pronouncements were merely to gloss over his trip's real purpose: to cap some mega-sized arms deals with some quality Crawford crackerbarrel joshing, and to get out the butter so as to arouse the region for some very sexy Iranian penetration.
Oh, and what happened to Pakistan's status as 'Most Dangerous Nation', or whatever?

I read a good article in the Moscow Times about Gorbachev, who says Russia isn't fooled by this preposterous missile program that's supposedly meant for Iran. It's meant for Russia, folks, the latest devil-baby spawned by frozen-out Cold Warriors who wanna make a comeback before they kick the bucket.
Chomsky wrote a trenchant article called 'Cold War II' last August, very worthwhile.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Ryan Crocker Is Delighted To Present: The Biggest-Titted Success Story EVER: I R A Q!

Welcome, gang, to the wonders of 2008!

Great news for ye who seek refreshment from the sagging slog of that old front in the War on Tare. You know, Iraq? It's so . . . over.

Because, you know, I heard this interview on that, you know, NPR?

Renaaay Montayyyn, our favorite sexy fashionista of the 'public' airwaves, was like, making out with St. Ryan Crocker, the US Ambassador to the Highly Sovereign Nation of Iraq, and it was cool, because now we know all we need to know about how that place is doing these days. And heck, a beginning of a new year Report was perfectly in order, and indeed, a pretty nice courtesy to offer us.

But really:

Indeed, Crocker has made a whole career out of that fake self-effacing modesty act. He's a major player who's deeply committed to the sham - what other role could he possibly play? And to me, NPR is absolutely complicit in the PR machine that Crocker & Corp needs to promote, especially now, with the supposed 'lull' in Iraq in full display for all the world to marvel at, with a collective sigh of relief! It's a no-brainer that part of the Surge deal with the media was that coverage of the daily death in Iraq would be drastically reduced. The Surge has been like a black hole as far as journalistic documentation is concerned. Who knows what the actual reality has been? Objective reporting has been downright banned.

Fat 'n Fluffy Freddie Kagan, one of the Surge's chief schemers, certainly enters the halls of the American Enterprise Institute in high triumph every day. In the not too distant future, all of America will point to him and declare, 'It was he who saved Iraq!'
(NOTE: I deplore the use of the term 'architect' for anyone wangling a war in the sub-sleazy way that Iraq was pulled off. That rather distinguished profession involves design, but design that usually involves building, not destruction. There is nothing whatsoever of Frank Lloyd Wright or Norman Foster to be found in the likes of the reprehensibe Wolfowitz or Rumsfeld - or Kagan. Please, good people of the public and of the media, desist from using this term in that manner. Besides, it smacks of Luntzism, and that's as low as one can get.)

And NPR's breezing along, glad that they stuck by Bush Doctrine while others fell by the wayside. They held steady, like, you know, Bill 'Howdy-Doody' Kristol has, and now Bill's gettin' his place in the sun at the New York Times. Thus are patience and loyalty rewarded. And NPR wants a piece of that action. Their audience, weary of 'scary' stories out of I-rak, is getting a well-deserved break. Noble-but-misunderstood Ann Garrels is fuming with self-pity in DC ('Why do they hate me out there? Why? But I'll show THEM - I shall return!') and 'Kid Jamie' Tarabay is shopping in Dubai (sounds boring; not even funny).

I guess we won in Iraq, huh?

We can well imagine that NPR gets these plum interviews like Crock-up and other big players, only on the conditions that complete cooperation is assured, with no controversial lines of questioning allowed, and certainly, with final approval rights built in. Another violation of Smith-Mundt Act (e.g. no public funds shall be utilized for propagandistic purposes). Sure, they let NPR toss in a few token and timid 'probing' questions, just to make their shill news outfit sound credible, but we all know what a joke that is. I think it's controlled to that extent, certainly. No conspiracy theory necessary. BushCorp/Cheney Industries would tolerate nothing less. Nothing can be left to chance.

When Ry Crock appears on Democracy Now!, or equivalent, then maybe I'll pay the slightest attention to his empty and tiresome life insurance salesman's banter.

Last night at our modest NY's Eve party, we heard some gunshot-sounding fireworks going off down the street. A friend commented, in mock-Petraeus style, 'The Surge is working.' We about fell off our chairs laughing.

Happy New Year, gang. It's the home stretch.