Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Guess What, What, What?

Aren't you getting sick of me bitching about NPR? Well, I am!

As for myself, the perniciousness of NPR has once again fried my (critical) tolerance of that outfit.

Again I have to jettison its wearisome infiltration of my relative well-being.

The Neocon (to use a generic term) agenda continues unabated at NPR, but it is particularly the increasing vapidness, banality, and downright insulting hodge-podge of sick-making ingredients that's causing me to eject their noise this time. What with the little 2-3 second sound bytes of, say, a snowblower in action (stock library sounds, or actual on-the-scene recordings in snow-struck NYC??), or some frikkin' 'report' about a part of the brain that makes it possible to talk with Awful Uncle Ed at Xmas, I've once again HAD IT with Nauseating Public Reaction. (The 'Awful Uncle Ed' epithet is an actual term employed by a particular second-string NPR smartass. STUPID, STUPID, STUPID. And the problem remains: what if you love your old Uncle Ed? People with beloved Uncle Eds should bombast NPR with mockery.)

NPR tries to be breezy, blithe and savvy, with a touch of the swagger, so as to appeal to the hipster quality that less discerning listeners respond to as they might the latest Mall trend.

And then there's the quality of the 'ho-ho' in the ho-ho news. I'm not the only one who thinks it's abysmal.

NPR's just trying to be funny, ya know. What are they trying to be FUNNY for? Audiences love comedy, but why the hell would you ever go to NPR's news people for comedy? Oh, I know, it softens all the otherwise depressing news. But for anyone who's depressed by the news, try to DO something about it, even in your own tiny way, or don't complain. One of the best tiny ways is shutting off NPR. With the Net, there are many, many other more reliable sources to get one's (depressing) news than depressingly-bad NPR.

(The most obscure Groucho Marx joke is infinitely more hilarious and memorable than ANY attempt our NPR lifers have made to make me crack a smile.)

Anyway, this is all nothing new of course. But the new, dumber-ed down NPR is not-so-mute evidence that Viv & Co. are wasting no time in new audience capturement, so they're radically ramping up the 'ho-ho news' as they used to call it in the post-Spiro Agnew Speech era.

This is of course a blatant misuse of the public trust, as any amount of vapid, shallow and silly radio can be found elsewhere just by twisting the dial. In fact, commercial radio, which found its place long ago, is basically less sickening than NPR, because at least it’s not subverting our expectations.

NPR's continued decline into audience pandering is blatant evidence enough of NPR's commercial/corporate mandate: increase ratings for corporate sponsorship, otherwise, what corporation in their right mind would want to waste the money? I suppose there are enough austerely Neocon organizations who would continue to hone NPR's propaganda potential, but if listeners decline, you can't propagandize them as widely.

Anyway, I'll continue to peruse here, but NPRadiation Exposure is restricted to the occasional newsreading - at my peril.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's A Brilliant Season

(Image courtesy of Mytwords @ NPR Check)

On DN!, Chris Hedges unreservedly declared Obama 'a disaster'. Wow.

It's still difficult for me to accept our fate, our Great American Curse: Ye Shall Be Ruled By The Skilled In Corruption.

Merry Christmas all, IN JAIL!

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's Winter. Cold Duck Time - I Mean, Cold War Time

Yes indeed, eNdtimes Public Radiation seems to be getting more whacked out than ever lately. Even Frank Browning (in Paris) sounds like he's been commanded to drink NPR's Happy Kool-Aid, so as to get more 'expression' into his delivery, so as to keep the young people from texting distractions. I really think they're getting that desperate.

Some of the druggy reactions don't seem to be going that well, though. Auntie Liane sounds depressed, Beardsley sounds like it's a real hassle just to say 'in Paaaris', and Jack Speer recites his last name as if it's the most boring thing on earth (he may have a point).

I know, these are tinkertoy details, but to my mind, very telling as far as what's going on behind the scenes. I would imagine that there's a certain terror about losing corporate funding, and the looming doom from Juangate that awaits in the next Congress.


Q: When you have a hole in a regular old axis of evil, how do you fill it? (One word answer, please.)

A: Belarus!

OK, I'll try to keep it brief, but it's been pretty hilarious (pathetic, is more like it) to hear NPR's limp attempts to paint Belarus as a citadel of neo-Soviet satanism. Never mind that the US is in tight with Uzbek and Turkmen 'leaders', there's a Stalin wannabe in Minsk, and he's bound to go viral before too long.

David Greene, perhaps the greatest master of smug-smile talking at NPR, wasn't smiling so much during his 'coverage' of the election there though. Seems somebody on his crew had a Prince Charles moment amongst some protesters, and I'll bet that really pissed him off.

Anyway, Greene's been doing yeoman work in the former USSR, what with the hubbub in Kyrgyzstan, which he just happened to turn up in time for, and who knows what else. He probably can't get access to Putin, so he's working on 'containment' from the fringes. Sort of takes me back to the good old Brezhnev days.

Auntie Liane, her quirky voice sounding more world-weary than ever, tried to rev up a little Cold War zing, but Greene didn't have much to give, though Linda Wiesenheimer got a bit of action out of him today.

Here's a possible future scoop from NPR: David Greene discovers that all the dictators/tyrants of the world (you know, Chavez, the Kims of N. Korea, Morales, Castro, and that guy in Minsk) all share Facebook pages. That'll knock that smartypants Assange guy out of the headlines all right.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

NPR Thoughts That You Don't Even Have To Have Heard On NPR To Know What I'm Talking About

In a recent report, some NPR reporter explained how you can add phosphates to your dishwasher in case they've been banned by the state in which you reside.

Unbelievable. Typically unbelievable. More proof that NPR will stop at nothing to establish itself as Definitive Explainer for the alleged Thinking Masses.

Ever since it was determined that there was money in that there Journalism (remember all the Ron Baillie schools?), becoming an American Storyteller was doomed to corporate capturement. It's obvious that nearly every NPR-oid is an ambitious egotist, whether in the faux-intellectual showoff department or the blatant moneygrubbing department (lots of overlap there).

And speaking of Alicia's Shepherding of we the listeners, did anyone happen to catch her on On Point a few weeks ago? It was at the height of Juangate (remember that?), and it was the first time I'd actually heard her voice. She was just another snot-nosed narcissist that fit perfectly into the haughty halls of Beltway broadcasting. More than 'nuff said on that miserable subject.

Just a thought on NPR's witty commentary and supremacist humor (I get kind of tired of using quotation marks for what is already over-obvious). That is, whenever Inskreep & Co. crack a little levity before daintily diving into Ivory Coast or choleric Haiti, the implication is that the humor usually describes some stupid act by stupid people, and that everybody stupid is OUT THERE someplace. You know, that such stupidity could never apply to the lofty hosts & literate readers of NPR. And you the listener can join in and parrot these stories of stupidity to your co-workers, so as to prove that you yourself aren't stupid at all, and you never will be because you're smart and listen to smart people. And then you can crown your moment by saying, 'I HEARD IT ON NPR'. 'Nuff said again.

Of course, this is part of the success story of NPR creating its own elitist flock. Like the GOP: you're welcome to support us, but you will never really become one of us.

Egads! I'm guilty of 'doing an NPR': WORDINESS!!! AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!! Help me!!! Somebody help meeeeee!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

National Public Responsibility: To Be Perfect So As To Be Trustworthy

Despite all mine criticism, doesn't NPR seem like it would be just the gee-whiz-iest FUNNEST place to work in the universe??

Why, everyone's so polite, civil and merry with one another, I'll bet they don't have a single soap opera amongst themselves to gossip about, especially now that Adenoid Andie C-brook's married up.

They're all so damn supportive of one another! How possible is that? Perhaps it's all due to the free allowances of Ambien, Xanex, Angadrene, certain selected anti-psychotic medications, and other prescription nightmares, generously (and quietly) supplied by Big Pharma. That’s gotta be it.

Steve, Happy 'Kreep that he is, just plain gets along with EVERYBODY. Donny Gonny, the 8th Dwarf, seems to be having a ball, what with all the 'witty commentary' and taking the opportunity to grandstand his illustrious service to the nation as Certified Dubya Sycophant, and all.

Because, when you're part of the In Crowd of Smugly-Smile-When-You're-Talking-At-The-Great-Unwashed NPR All Stars, you have ARRIVED, baby!

Hell, I'd rather witness Sen. Mitch McConman hawking up his collective viscosity than having to suffer one minute of NPR cuteness as one of the gang.

Mitch, who of course should be ditched, always reminds me of some fussbudget nobody who's playing an elderly maiden aunt in drag in a high school play. Prim, priggish, and pole-up-the-ass. And sitting in the audience, I have plenty of rotten tomatoes at hand.

PS: In order to con us and keep conning us, NPR must come off as strong, united, resolute, and most importantly, NON-DYSFUNCTIONAL. And don't forget DOWNRIGHT HAPPY as a requirement.

Only then can the powers of propaganda, persuasion, and snake oil dispensation be properly applied, and in perpetuity.

Rove-ism in action. The Neocons knew the Bush Administration might not last. But a propagandistic news organization - now THERE's a plan!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

A Neocon Wetdream Named Julian

Tom Gjelten just LOVES Julian Assange. To him, Assange is heaven-sent. There, in the form of one person, is proof positive that a New, Colder War ™ is not only necessary, it’s already started, and Gjelten has been there from the start, warning us and warning us again, his patience wearing thin. And now, there’s triumph in his warning us yet again – this time with conclusive proof. He’s going into turbo Bruce Willis mode now. And today, he doesn’t even sound all that constipated either. Julian’s given him a whole new lease on life. Cyberwar is what he pants for, and now that he’s got it, he’s going to be there more than ever for us, leading the charge. Like Wolfowitz, Gjelten’s a True Believer, just what the shadowy Neocons want for their publicity campaign.

Conversely, Philip Reeves’ report on Assange’s current legal situation was well measured and indeed, cautious. But that’s typical of Reeves, who has never fallen for NPR’s ‘Creative Writing’ BS. Strategically, NPR editors placed Reeves’ story BEFORE Gjelten’s so that the awesome horror of looming cyberwar, in which the evil menace of Assangism will be utterly annihilated, can be dangled before the good honest folks that tuned into NPR this morning.

NPR seems to be ‘trying out’ Reeves on the London beat, perhaps because they can keep a closer eye on him. He and Quist-Arcton are about the only international ones I trust at NPR. Times are tough. Reporters need gigs. I don’t look down my nose at them for that.

I mean, when you’ve got Juan Forerro, who always sounds like he’s been sampling the choicest Columbian, or maybe even the best crystal meth from the back alleys of Sao Paulo, or the Condescension Story Time from Gwen Thompkins, or the anger-management mutterings of Michael Sullivan (wow, haven’t heard from the last two for some time; still on NPR payroll?), what’s the point of trusting America’s Storytellers to deliver the goods?
Speaking of bizarro spew from our American Storytellers, wonder-boy Guy Raz took time out from his cooking class on ATC yesterday to ask a guest about a particular vet who had his legs blown off in Afghanistan. Seems the vet is kind of mad at the Fred Phelps church psychos who plague the funerals of slain soldiers. (Kind of understandable, huh?)

So Raz gets to the point in the interview when he gingerly asks if the vet MIGHT BE SUFFERING FROM PTSD or something. Not even an inkling of insight that maybe it's the Fred Phelps zombies who are the ones who are utterly and horribly insane.

It was a brilliant thematic link to Auntie Liane's 'gotcha' psychoanalysis of Julian Assange. You see, it’s really these lone Oswaldian weirdos that we must fear. And you WILL fear them, because that’s what the media commands you to feel. Because they’re entirely reasonable and objective about their duty to warn you of the imminent threats we face. (Never mind their falling down in light of all the pre-9/11 warnings that were so freely available…)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

NPR's Inevitable Progression Towards Irrelevant Entropy

One of the reasons I carp about NPR on this blog is because of what NPR SHOULD be: a truly open forum to examine current events and their effects with as much care as possible, and with the best minds available.

But because it isn't anything close to that, it's important to be aware of what 'thinking' people are being led into.

More and more I resent NPR News for their assertive role in dominating the notion of what listeners think is the only 'sane' option out there. That is, by coming across as the ONLY alternative to so-called commercial news organizations. They have the luxury of utilizing an already-existing network of stations that they have co-opted (why not say hijacked?) for their own purposes. In my book, that's a case of gross misuse of public opportunity under the guise of a Murrow-like integrity.

(No, that's not parroting Gingrich or Palin or O'Reilly-speak. Their NPR critiques were nothing more than bozo blather of the moment, a limp display of ersatz rage that was about as effective as Jesse Helms' tantrum about public broadcasting. We've seen just how sincere Tea Bagger whining turns out to be...)

Meanwhile, the true alternatives, like Democracy Now!, GritTV, LinkTV, the News Dissector, and other excellent sources are on the upswing. They haven't achieved NPR's accessibility yet, but if they can sustain their independence (with further success, they risk hostile corporate coercion), they will increasingly make NPR News irrelevant.

That's not only my hope, it's my expectation.


Boy, it's becoming increasingly apparent that NPR's really going for the laughs these days. It could be in order to foster a bit of seasonal cheer, but I detect that it's part of Viv Schill's circling of the wagons.

This morn Inskreep was about as chucklesome as he could get. Oh, he was careful to sidestep any Assange humor, but at just about every break, he was there with what Blob Siegel calls 'witty commentary' for us to brighten our existential day with.

After NPR's notre dame de Paris, Eleanor (d'Aquitaine) Beardsley gave a little postcard sketch of Paris's bookstalls along the Seine (perfectly accurate, but fitting as filler for Fresh Air or whatever), Inskreep made a barrel of monkeys quip about 'books, a famous river, and dogmeat', and that NPR was the only place where you might hear such a combination.

Aye, the Schill-er Era is a desperate one, tis true.

You know, some listeners may find Mme. Eleanor's spoiled (ugly) duckling quacking to be sort of charming, but... but... I've said it before, and sorry to be tiresome, but it's so STUPID sounding! So utterly distracting!

I mean, they've got the very nondescript Frank Browning covering the Paris beat, but obviously someone in DC has the hots for cutesy deBeardsley. How can NPR afford to have all this overlap coverage? I know they're both contractors, but where's the moneysworth in such a rinkydink setup?

I'm not a Paris snob, but I do harbor lots of pleasant Parisian memories, and I can't stand how this Beardsley person portrays things Parisian or French via her show-offy teenage snot tones, as if French stuff is essentially really stupid or something. She's a Freedom Fries relic, a perfect example of Narcissist Personality Radio in action: SO distracting, SO worthless.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

A Priceless and Pithy 'Get Your War On'


Does Anyone Else Find Julie McCarthy's Pronunciation of 'Pakistan' Sort Of, Well, You Know, DISTRACTING???

This morning on Morning Edition, Renaay Mundane played a dainty game of softball with 20-star Field Marshal Richard Mills, our Viceroy of Particularly Troubled River Valleys in Afghanistan. Their helpful dialogue was one of the most preposterous field reports yet heaved onto the rubbish heap of Af-Pak propaganda yet. Giving Mills some benefit of the doubt, I can imagine that he exploded in laughter after hanging up on Renaay. 'Well, that's another bucket 'o BS I just dumped on NPR...' he might have said... 'They always buy it and sell it without us even trying.' Or whatever.

And it's as if every NPR-oid in the region is nervous. They've even brought heaviest of weights Corey Phlintoff to fabled Kabul to help out! His singular methods of expressive news-reading should be most helpful in keeping Talibanians and other assorted Insurgentioids at bay.

Our Miss Julie McCarthyism even seems to rush through her unique trademark pronunciation of the nation she's a guest in - say 'POKK-ee-STAWN' as fast as you can!

Sorry for the ongoing ditzy name-twisting. Now that I am a more 'serene' occasional monitor of NPR, such trivialities help get me through the torture sessions.

(Suggestion to Cheney & Associates: for a dandy NEW torture technique at Gitmo, just play a medley of the best sermons from the Simonizer to all the terrorists in residence. At top volume, especially during tears and guffaws. Repeat as needed. Satisfaction guaranteed!)

PS: That reporter who suffered through kidnapping at the hands of insurgents in Af-Pak is making the marketing rounds. He's on Diane Rehm today, but that's one torture that others will have to endure without me.