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.
AND - BONUS ENTERTAINMENT SECTION FOLLOWS:
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.