Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dumping The Corp For Pub B'casting

I think that the US Gubmunt should get out of the public broadcasting biz. There’s just too much corruption potential in action to make it work any more. If we still had the Fairness Doctrine, there’d be hope, but we’re now seeing the full flower of its abolition, and the product (NPR) is rotten and toxic. Sorry Member Stations, a new architecture will have to emerge, and through this reinvention, new opportunities will develop.

As usual, ignorant hacks like the CPB-hating Republicans (and most everybody else in Congress) are barking up the wrong tree. It’s two failed wars and a morbidly obese Defense Dept. that should be hacked at FIRST. Uh, duh!

The Brits may have been able to pull off the BBC for over 80 years, but they’re laying off people right and left. The Beeb is being cut past the bone. I was in BBC’s Bush House in London recently and there was a hard-to-explain but palpable feeling of impending doom there. Americans may not know that citizens in the UK pay hefty fees to support their BBC. I remember paying 17 pounds for a black and white TV license in the early 80s. Colour TV cost about 45 pounds – a huge sum back then. That was just to HAVE a TV. (Those damn Brit socialists! Never mind that fees were an incentive for the BBC to conscientiously provide high quality news and entertainment to a fee-paying public.)

No, I think that the US is just stuck in their ongoing adolescent behavior as far as public funding for broadcasting is concerned. And here’s the wringer: if the Congress has allowed NPR to become what it is today, they are complicit in propaganda production, the whole of which needs to exposed. (But probably never will be.)


Indeed, Inskreep was at his majestic-powerful best today, trying to (subtly) rip the Wisc. Dem senator a new one. He makes sure that his rapier verbiage takes pride of place, especially when talking to a cowardly runaway pinko with his diminished cell-phone voice and all. And then the I-kreep trademark: leave ‘em twisting in the wind at the end by the little pause and the fake cordiality at the end. And the interviewee, wondering if he/she’s just been screwed (via creative editing), is nevertheless obliged to offer up the now standard parting: ‘My pleasure’. The pleasure was all I-kreep’s. You can imagine his smile as he wipes his sword off with a satin sheet. Oh, but he’s way too suave to be a ‘gotcha’ dude. He’s more like ‘I believe I just sautéed the nuts off that, that, conceited (fill name in blank)’. That’s maybe giving him too much credit for any sophistication, but standard NPR smugness can cover it on all occasions.

‘My pleasure’ they say, even after covering a drone party in Pak. Everybody’s high on ‘pleasure’ at NPR. Of course, the difference between pain and pleasure has always been a bit of a blur.

These are among the tools that help keep NPR on the winning side (they think).

I actually wonder how big people at NPR (e.g. Viv et al) actually, truly, privately, regard Inskreep: insolent prick or genius hip journalisto? Amphetamine-popping goldmine or potential quick burnout, entirely dispensable? Sexy boytoy or closet perv?

Who could have foretold that US media would have ever sunk so low in the sewer?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Now That NPR's Under Fire, Some TOUGH TALK

If commies, hippies, Jews and Islamofashionistas can wage a War on Christmas, then by golly (as Rummy would say) the Republicans can wage jihad on NPR (and PBS - but that's not our concern here; I simply never watch it no more...)

War, war, war, that's all we ever hear about anymore. If I hear 'war' cried once more, I'll just scream!

But there is a sound of war in the camp. Holy war, righteous war. And woe unto NPR for ever, EVER having fired Juan the Yawn Williams.

Now just hold on a minute.

Here's a LINK! to a particularly handy summary that brings us up to date on the NPR that's supposedly a hotbed of anti-Fox liberalism that the GOP is so rabid about.

Mytwords (of NPR Check), thanks for the helpful digest that illustrates NPR's true identity. I'll refer others to it. I particularly needed it yesterday when I was discussing NPR with friends I trust, and sadly, they gave me that 'he's over the top' look regarding NPR. As has happened many times before, they got very quiet. No debate resulted because they didn't want to hear that 'their' NPR wasn't what they thought it was. I've never wanted to evangelize anybody on this matter, but just provide food for thought.

The American public is more vulnerable to propaganda than ever before. NPR, which appears so trustworthy, enjoys high standing, especially among those whom Hedges rightfully quotes as 'progressives' and 'liberals'. (Quotes implying a dubiousness...)

I include a timely Chomsky quote from Truthout:

"To understand why independent journalism is vital to regaining our self-governance and breathing life into our democracy, we turn to renowned philosopher and activist Noam Chomsky. Speaking recently about the way politicians fear the wave of democratic revolution in the Middle East, Chomsky said:

"We should remember there’s an analog here. I mean, it's not the same, of course, but the population in the United States is angry, frustrated, full of fear and irrational hatreds. And the folks not far from you on Wall Street are just doing fine. They’re the ones who created the current crisis. They're the ones who were called upon to deal with it. They’re coming out stronger and richer than ever. But everything's fine, as long as the population is passive."
(End quote)

Indeed, I've long held that NPR as it is now should be dissolved. It's developed past its useful purpose, and it behaves like the commercial enterprise it is but denies being. And other reasons regularly show up on this blog.

Of course, like GM, I don't expect NPR to disappear. However, if its budget was drastically cut back, perhaps there's a chance that it could be reinvented. As illustrated in the helpful comments above, if their cost-heavy trophy personalities were fired en masse, funding would not be so acute an issue, and NPR could evolve into a leaner, meaner, and even exciting info source. But not under the current personnel roster. No way.

This is a 'scorched earth' approach, but I agree that most of the current staff are hopeless as a result of their ambition, indoctrination, and their perverse, narcissistic versions of journalism are concerned.

Sorry to get 'Old Testament-like' here, but the children of Israel couldn't get to the promised land until all the 'golden calf' generation WAS CONSUMED. (I love that line towards the end of DeMille's 'Ten Commandments'!)

I mean, if CBS wants to blow 30 million on Katie Couric because she's 'good', so be it. They're a wholly commercial enterprise, and ratings are all that matters. When NPR aspired to get into that league, they became an instant failure.

Another problem is that NPR, in all their puffery and Neocon connectivity, aspires to do too much. They think they can do it all, and do it well. They want the gravitas, the comedy, the show biz and the concern, to be packaged in a 'creatively-written' and easy to pop pill - for the 'thinking masses' as I like to call them. Then they can posture as being above everybody else, whether it’s NBC or 'The Daily Show'. (They've never taken on Fox because they're so much alike - just a different wardrobe.)

But look at Al Jazeera. They don't want to do it all. They've basically kept their coverage pretty specific. They touch on 'magazine' issues when they have time, but they're obviously lower priority. I get the feeling that NPR is not only jealous of Al Jaz, some within NPR might think, 'that's what WE used to be like...'

NPR also adopted the classic commercial tactic of 'you can't live without us - you need us on every day, all the time.' And of course they're being so noble and all by providing such a 'service'.

Ultimately though, there really isn't much point in revamping NPR, as their monopoly is becoming rapidly meaningless. In the 90s it could have been done, before the raw corruption of the Bush Era fully set in. But NPR was too ripe a plum to be plucked by the Corporatists, and NPR, in its vanity, solicited the plucking most willingly.

But now it doesn't really matter. Viv might do her darndest to keep the vitality going, but as the baby boomer-plus generation (who still rely on the services a structured radio apparatus provides) age and disappear, there just won't be much point for an NPR anymore, and no one will want to pay for it, even as a propaganda tool, unless it goes wholly commercial. And Fox already exists, so why bother?

NPR is famous for being late on the scene for the story, and in the wider sense, it's too late for NPR to be saved from itself.

If doofus Republicans in a doofus Congress wanna get tough on NPR, fine. They don't know anything about it anyway. True alternatives have already emerged.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Another, Grander Kind Of Donald

Fig. 1 His favorite jammies

Ages after his confessional was published, NPR finally got access to The Donald Rumsfeld's dance card.

What resulted was a dueling of the egomaniacs. Inskreep was determined to 'do a McNamara' on Rummy, and Rummy used his incredible charm to imply that Inskreep was somehow 'strange'. His trademark feistiness, which only made his voice sound reedy once, was kept in check, though he seemed to regard Steven as a pesky insect.

It made for gigantic radio.

Inskreep's big innovative, bottom-line question: was it worth all the mess just to bump off Saddam? Well of course Rummy's gonna say yes.

My big bottom-line question: how many book sales resulted in this NPR interview? I ask Rummy: was it worth it?

PS on Rummy’s addition to the Bush/Blair/Feith Library of True Neocon History: in gangland etiquette, it is always acceptable to bump off your pals if they double cross you or get uppity or don’t stay bought. Former pal Saddam had it coming after he refused offers he couldn’t refuse. The Don was in the thick of all that, as we very well know.

It’s also good gangland manners to let your supposed enemies escape. Rummy accidently revealed to Inskreep that he’s on a first name basis with Bin Laden. The Don to Osama: ‘We’ll bomb the shit out of Tora Bora, which’ll cover your getaway… Then I’ll dump the blame on Tommy Franks, who always follows orders.’

Osama needed The Don as much as The Don needed (and still needs) Osama.

PPS: In the Inskreep interview, I'm surprised Rummy didn't take credit for the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, having paved the way for the heathen after 'liberating' Iraq and all. (Assange in comparison is a punk nobody.)

But, being the good honest Neocon that he is, and as a leading soldier against democracy, he couldn't possibly do so.

However, he may have wished that he had taken credit, as the domino effect in the region opens up all sorts of Neocon dreams. The advent of Greater Israel might be at hand, what with the Prophet Glennbeck's forecast of The Caliphate's certain return!

Rummy may have to reinvent himself for a 4th Act.

Stay tuned for the big new movie version, starring Arnie Schwartzenegger in his triumphant return to acting as the Evil Caliph, and Chuck Norris as the Avenging Angel.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

In This, The Post-Pharaoh Hosni The Last Era . . .

I did a few minutes of the Simonizer this morn, and he's really been discombobulated with post-Mubarak Egypt. Usually swaggeringly confident, the SS, like the rest of NPR, acts like they've just lost their patriarch.

What to do? Before Israel kicks in with their persecution trip, best to be a little condescending to all the euphoric Egyptians, but then get down to work on the negative. Like, stay tuned for the Brotherhood and all that.

Then it was with much relief that the SS could turn to mocking streetcars in American cities with an Eleanor Beardsley-style snottiness (she's a great influence, doncha know).

These are obvious times to trash most American media as not only worthless, but more harmful than ever.

One question though: it took 30 years for the long-suffering Egyptians to dump their patriarch. How long will Americans put up with their crappy media?

A dear friend of mine, a passionately progressive-thinking person through and through, thinks that the media are all-powerful and that they have the American public permanently under their thumbs. I disagree. I certainly agree about their power, but I just don't think it's what it was. Like the US itself, their power has peaked. Egypt has proven that things will go in different directions now. That's what's so exciting about the here and now.

I was also elated when Al Jazeera had that awful, awful Nicholas Burns on to comment on the Egyptian situation. The interviewer just didn't buy Burns' lullaby-voiced 'gentle' words, and made him look like the worthless 'kindler, gentler' imperialist that he is.

On the other hand, on the recent Al Jaz 'Empire' show with Sy Hersh, Thomas Pickering, old-school American imperialist that he is, was nevertheless hip to fact that change is in the wind, so get on board. At least he was posing as more progressive.

As for NPR, despite Viv's futile attempts to make them the hippest cats on the block, NPR's dinosaur fate is really showing. She's gonna have to sack all the old farts and go commercial if she wants to save that mess.

I mean, if you're mocking streetcars, which work astoundingly well in cities from Calcutta to Riga to Zurich to Portland (all of which I have personally used with great satisfaction), you're not only a bozo, you're not long for your position of 'influence'. Sorta like Pharaoh Hosni The Last.

Monday, February 07, 2011

WELL . . .

Fig 1. He Was Ahead Of His Time (image courtesy of The Stranger - Seattle's Only Newspaper™)

My favorite Reagan anecdote:

RR happened to be on the Royal Yacht and he was being served coffee by members of HM The Queen's staff. Presented with steaming java served in a tankard that Henry VIII had quaffed out of and spit up in, the Gypper asked QE2, 'Is that decaf?'

Well . . . (as RR himself was wont to say!) I guess that after Tom Gjelten definitively proclaimed Ronald Reagan to be a genius (present tense, now and forever), all I need add is the following link to cap things off:



Thought I'd make a couple contributions to the Reagan Legend:

I heard a rumor that there's a team of 'experts' currently embalming the Gypper for installation in a mausoleum to be built in the Mall that'll make the US capitol look like a gopher hole. Eat yer hearts out, Comrades Lenin & Ho & Kim Il Sung, and Chairman Mao, too!

After Warner Bros. dumped his contract, RR amazingly succeeded in getting selected for the US presidency thing. To show Hollywood a thing or two, he also succeeded in getting an allowance for a Cult of Personality to be authorized by the US Gub'munt on the occasion of his 100th birthday, and to celebrate 30 years in the Oval Office.

Happy First Century to Our Permanent Leader And Teacher!

And finally, for your LOL pleasure, one of the most famous secrets in the Reagan Legend:

Fig. 2. I always bust a gut with this one! NOTE: This sequence was filmed before they knew how to properly synchronize sound and pictures; 'The Jazz Singer' had just been released, and the Vitaphone hadn't been perfected yet; your patience is appreciated

BONUS: A Few Non-Reagan Cult of Personality Notes, Comin' At Ya!

Yup, and on 'All Thinktanks Considered', Blob Siegel seemed far more interested in 'considering' euphemisms for excrement than anything else today. Very telling.

He was at his double-dipping, unsavory best, posing as the bemused professorial type, daintily curlicu-ing his icky curiosity around his guest's (scholarly?) book on euphemisms, poking about in a sticky box of dainty words with naughty meanings, as if he were salivating over second hand lingerie or something.

Of course, wasn't it all very amusing and droll, and all that rot. Another fine NPR smugfest, with the host as the winner in every respect.

Oh, and he prefaced this encounter by giving us an almost Simonized sermonette about how he learned that the term 'retarded' really wasn't very acceptable, (apparently that process took many years!) despite poring over his dad's books that gave proper definitions for 'moron' and other feeble-minded conditions.

I tell ya, it's getting harder and harder to lampoon NPR, mainly because they're doing most of the lampoonable work themselves. I long ago overcame the Blobert Siegel Projectile Vomiting Reflex, but I imagine I'm in constant danger of it returning full force. All this is is BAD BROACASTING, BAD BROACASTING, BAD BROACASTING.

Oh, and Missy M'lissa Blockhead was especially squirty-cute today. She got positively juicy and squishy with all her scrumptious inflections and nuances, and yes, it's enough to make you puke stomach lining chunks.

I know, it's because everybody's 'fed up' (a la Hosni) of yucky old Egypt, with all their screaming Muzlumanians, bitching, bitching, bitching, spitting on stability and expecting big gub'munt to bail their sorry asses out. And everybody’s always YELLING, just like all those other Islamidextrous places – you know? They’re always yelling and pushing and busting up stuff. Because I heard it all on NPR!

I mean, don't they know they've got a perfectly Reaganesque leader to take care of them?

NPR sets an example to live by. All we need do is listen and obey.


At Dina's Temple of Doom, the buzz is that when you get down to it, Al Qaeda's an EGYPTIAN thingie, and that, hint-hint, if we dump Mubarak, they'll BE BACK. Uh, no mention of Saudi Arabia at all. A Gjeltenian conclusion if there ever was one.

But we all know that NPR-niks don't wanna hear about gravitas shit. Their bubbly comfort zone will forever be populated by Gyppers with sunny personalities, strong Pharaohs, dysfunctional hosts 'n guests, and cheerily peppered with fun euphemisms, word & soundbyte porno, and Barbie fantasies.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Where Is Egypt? Show Me The Way!

Fig. 1. This is NOT Hosni, but the most excellent Sir Cedric Hardwicke in the role of Pharaoh Sethi in Cecil B. DeMille's Technicolor production of 'The Ten Commandments', in VistaVision

I join in solidarity with the pro-democracy movement in Egypt, as any right-thinking person would or should. Surely they can come up with a better government than we have here in the USA. Egypt deserves the chance to reinvent itself, which they haven't been allowed to do in this modern world.

Mubarak said of Obama (paraphrase), 'He is a good man, but he doesn't understand Egyptian society. If I leave, chaos would result.' I add: 'Yes, an Egyptian society that YOU created, influenced, coerced. It stands to reason that you doth protest.' A dictator may address a 'weak' president in terms both condescending and haughty.

His is the classic failure of a dictator whose time has run out. His slaughter of the innocents shall not be forgotten.

The imminent departure of Pharaoh Hosni The First and Last must and shall be - imminent.

To quote Yul Brynner in 'The Ten Commandments', 'The royal eagle has flown unto the sun' (e.g. Saudi Arabia). No Moses awaits at the Red Sea to provide an avenue, but any number of US-supplied aircraft can be scrambled at a moment's notice. Beverages served.

So shall it be written, so shall it be DONE.

I've found Al Jazeera, Democracy Now! and Link TV to be valuable sources throughout this intense situation. BBC wasn't too bad, either, for more mainstream audiences.

On a more banal plane, I haven't been wasting time with NPR, but here's a little news item of interest:

Tom Ashbrook had a classic Neocon approach to Egypt on 'On Point' this Fri.

That is, David Sanger and - get ready - Tom Gjelten. Uh-huh. And yesterday he had Nick Burns on, whose lullaby-voiced BS has caused a lot of trouble in the world. (One caller-in astutely labeled Burns 'part of the problem' of Mubarakism (my term).)

Anyway, just an observation about Gjelten (who deserves sustained criticism for the foreseeable future): on this show, he said absolutely NOTHING. Not only nothing of value (naturally), but nothing but filler words parroting what's already known. And he got paid for it.

My point: when he's got a CIA-approved script in front of him, he's Mr. Gravitas, but when he's semi-off the cuff (he couldn't survive without a 'cuff' of some kind), he's as vacuous as Sarah Palin.

Thus, as we know, Gjelten is the perfect vessel to fill by others then pour out onto Neocon Public's airwaves.

Prediction: these overpaid blab-heads in their comfort zones will really start to lose their audiences, because their audiences have already figured out this stuff and have advanced past it. They will get their info from other sources, making things like NPR irrelevant, unnecessary, and prohibitively costly.

Gjelten's most profound statement in the show: 'Ronald Reagan's genius was his sense of timing. He sensed that the Berlin Wall was about to fall...' etc. Spoken by a true believer.

And not bad for an Alzheimers' dude! They can have epiphanies we can't even guess at - I guess. Viz: Ron Reagan's insights on his dad's illness; Gjelten & Co. will no doubt deny Ron's 'skewed' outlook. Conversely, it's like The Don (Rumsfeld) blaming the rush into Iraq on his son's drug abuse. If you were The Don's son, you'd do drugs, too. And there’s no one better to blame a war on than a druggie.

Or, what I meant to say was: believing that Reagan 'sensed' that the Berlin Wall was coming down is like Rumsfeld going along with BushCo's Iraq war desires because he was 'distracted' at the moment by his son's drug problems.

Psychotic reasoning is always a criminal's best defense.

Job opportunities for otherwise disenfranchised sociopaths are always available in top leadership positions in this world.