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.

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