A community of NPR critics monitoring NPR for its corporatist, Pentagon friendly, pro-US foreign policy coverage of the news.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Q Tips

NPR related comments welcomed. Seems like the comments setting was a bit restrictive; it should be better now.


Andy said...

Cokie Roberts shows her ass on NPR this morning:

INSKEEP: Republicans are saying “this is extraordinary, it’s unusual”. Democrats are saying “Come on, it’s a simple majority vote. Republicans have used it all the time.” Who’s closer to the truth.

ROBERTS: No, they, it’s, it’s, they, uh, the Democrats are closer to the truth, uh, in terms of who’s, whether they’ve used it before, but it is rare, it hasn’t been used that many times.

# # #

Well, as they reported on NPR JUST LAST WEEK! Reconciliation has been used 22 times… 16 times by Republicans… That’s between two-thirds and three-quarters of the time…

But, of course, the folks who work at NPR don’t listen to NPR and are not informed by their own product… Funny That!!!

It really took an effort for her to admit that the Democrats were more truthful, and even then she had to caveat it to make them look bad.

Cokie is definitely part of the problem with The Villagers... to them it's all a game, without any regard for what the people of America actually need or want from their government.

biggerbox said...

Be fair to ol' Cokie - I thought her face might have cracked apart when she had to admit it was Democrats who were closer to the truth. (Thank goodness for radio!)

They did nicely segue into how David Patterson's problem in NY was still more bad news for Democrats, so we can rest easy knowing that the rule that every piece of news is bad for Democrats and good for Republicans is still in effect.

Anonymous said...

I note that NPR has been happy to join in the sickening "USA-Ra-Ra" jingoistic hysteria for the past 2 weeks regarding the Winter Olympics. [Thank God it's over and Canada won the ice hockey -- otherwise we'd never hear the last of it].
I remind myself that NPR is supposed to be "Public" radio. That it can engage in this kind of "reporting" as easily as military-contractor-owned NBC is surely further evidence (if any is required) that the US is very heavily propagandized ...

Anonymous said...

Anyone else notice a strong pro-nuclear power slant on NPR of late?

biggerbox said...

Yes, I have noticed a series of pro-nuke stories, to the point where I was wondering if their Natural Gas friends realized how NPR was two-timing them. First the Stewart Brand interview over the weekend, and then a piece about Vermont Yankee that worked hard to avoid drawing attention to the whole potentially-poisoning-the-Connecticut-River thing.

Nate Bowman said...

I listened to the interview with the ombudsman on Radioactive (speaking of nuclear power) on WMNF and AS repeated the "There are historians how say his [Howard Zinn's] work did not live up to standards."

I left her a comment about it.

Other gems:
"It turns out that Oklahoma bombing was not terrorism."
"I explain NPR to the listeners and explain the listeners to NPR."`

goopDoggy said...

Andy, Nice transcription.
"No, they, it’s, it’s, they, uh, the Democrats"
Verbatim. As Chris Hedges and Pogo has observed: I have met the they, and they are us.

goopDoggy said...

hav observed...I added Pogo as a togo order and ended up in missed grammar's class.

Boulder Dude said...

~moves over to new site~


Andy said...

Yeah - I wanted to transcribe it myself and avoid the NPR-scrubbed version:

INSKEEP: Is it worth taking a few seconds - because you've followed Congress for so long, Cokie - Republicans are saying this is extraordinary, it's unusual; Democrats are saying, come on. It's a simple majority vote and Republicans have used it all the time. Who's closer to the truth?

ROBERTS: The Democrats are closer to the truth on terms of whether they've used it before. But it is rare. It hasn't been used that many times. But, you know, these process things can be very difficult. You'd think it would be an arcane argument to use in the election year, to say he voted for health care on reconciliation? What? What are you talking about?

Andy said...

This morning - Nina Totenburg actually started off a story with:

To understand the issues at play here, you have to know some history.

Sorry about that, folks - you just do!

This is not the NPR of my childhood...

Sorry, folks - we actually have to be EDUCATIONAL!!! WHAT WORK!!!

goopDoggy said...

Over at the TPM Editor's Blog, Josh Marshall notes,

It's become clear over the last 24 hours or so that Sen. Bunning (R-KY) isn't really alone in his filibuster that's triggering all these Medicare and Unemployment insurance cuts. He's being actively assisted or at least encouraged by a number of his Republican colleagues. But in a lot of press reports, not only are reporters unwilling to call it a filibuster, they don't even mention Bunning's name. It's just "senate gridlock."

Some of this has to do with the fact that even a few days in a lot Democrats seem bizarrely eager to keep this whole thing a secret. But it's really a press failure. Can you let me know when you see examples of the use of this phrase or other efforts to obscure what's going on here?

Medussa Liasson filed a story yesterday, Democrats See 1995 Parallels In Latest Showdown, where she frames the Bunning filibuster as a lone wolf operation - she has on Mr. Toad, er, Tony Blankley, to help explain:

He was always a difficult character, you know, former great athlete. And not only did he never, you know, represent the leadership, he was usually contrary to it and is cantankerous to boot but it clearly is not a Republican Party position.

Mr. Toad is ever the clarifying voice of moderation and reason. For example, his book, The West's Last Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations? argues that Radical Islam poses a greater threat to Western society than the Nazis did during World War II and that the intention of Islamists is to destroy Western civilization using any means, including weapons of mass destruction. He explains liberalism causes nations to become vulnerable to threats to freedom posed by Islamic extremism.

A vox rationis crowning the pinnacle of sober and careful reflection that is modern Republican and conservative thought.

goopDoggy said...


Yeah - Nina (baby girl) Totebag really showed some empathy there with us tired amnesiacs. Scaisenma derit su htiw ereht yhtapme emos dewohs yllaer gobetot (lrig ybab) aniN - haeY. Yeah - Nina (baby girl) Totebag really showed some empathy there with us tired amnesiacs. Scaisenma derit su htiw ereht yhtapme emos dewohs yllaer gobetot (lrig ybab) aniN - haeY. Yeah - Nina (baby girl) Totebag really showed some empathy there with us tired amnesiacs. Scaisenma derit su htiw ereht yhtapme emos dewohs yllaer gobetot (lrig ybab) aniN - haeY...

Huh? Wha...it's like translating "deja vous" into French. They just don't have a word for it.

Nate Bowman said...

I listened to Mara trying to reinvent reality.

From the lead-in to the piece:
" For some it brought memories of a government shutdown triggered by Republicans during the Clinton administration 14 years ago, a political loser for the GOP, BUT THIS ONE MIGHT BE DIFFERENT."

Mara, of course, then goes on to offer no evidence or reasoning for this, except to interview Republicans who say so.

She then ends the piece:
"And, by the way, its expected the furloughed workers will be reimbursed for any pay they lost."

No harm, no foul. He didn't really harm anyone. It is EXPECTED workers will be reimbursed. We won't tell you who said that and if it turns out to not be true, you will have forgotten by then, anyway.

Anonymous said...

I'm grateful that NPR has started announcing their corporate sponsorship by Booz Allen Hamilton; whenever I hear it, it's a jarring reminder of what helps guide NPR's reporting angles..

goopDoggy said...


Also revealing was Booz Allen's sponsorship of the editorial in the NYT, "Kill More Civilians"


larry, dfh said...

Glad to see the comments section is usable again. I was getting this 'members only' message when I tried to use it. Shades of Groucho.

Nate Bowman said...


Shades of Groucho

I've snickered every time I've read it.

Andy said...

Among this morning's atrocities, one of NPR's little reporterlets (and have you noticed that they, too, have devolved to interviewing each other instead of to, you know, newsworthy people?), said to the female host that the resistance to HCR was not industry but "the grassroots".

Excuse me?

HCR was polling as very popular for most of 2009, and the numbers started coming down only after months of negative press.

And that's what passes for "grassroots" these days?

Then, this same girl trotted out the old "bad for Democrats" line by saying that it's always bad for Democrats when one of theirs undergoes an ethics investigation.

Why, o, WHY do they NEVER say ANYTHING's bad for Republicans?

They have their share of ethics violators, too...

Boulder Dude said...

Andy, you forgot one simple fact.


It's Okay if you are a republican.

No matter what happens, no matter the party, whatever it is, the DC Villagers proclaim that it is going to be good for Republicans/Bad for the Democrats.

You can count on this with the regularity of the Sun rising and setting.

Oh, and the woman was FOX news employee Mara Liasson.

Nate Bowman said...

Mara was also interviewed on The Brian Lehrer show on WNYC this morning.


ML: "The four Republican points included by Obama in the new health care plan are not major point. A major Republican point is to NOT PASS ANY COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AT ALL."
"European style healthcare would make the US less competitive."

Andy said...

Nate - Wow... Mara... No rest for the wicked, huh???

Andy said...

This morning's main atrocity was bringing back Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson to recount FOR THE SECOND TIME how a soldier with whom she was embedded was killed on Valentine's Day before he got a chance to use Nelson's satellite phone to call his wife.

And for the second time, Nelson broke up while telling the story.

All I could think was, "lady... you're doing this FOR MONEY..." Going on the radio TWICE to CRY and GET WORKED UP...

What the f**k does this have to do with news?

It's whorish pandering... Selling a personal tragedy...

Fake Rupert Murdoch said...

Be nice to Mara, she's one of me favorite employees.

Steve Hall said...

Today Morning Edition introduced a story about Charles Rangel by comparing him to Republicans:

"A few years ago Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives in a swirl of ethical scandals. Now ethics problems are hitting Democrats."

I don't mean to excuse Rangel's problems, but it is disingenuous to say the least to compare the ethical problems of one Democrat to the systemic problems of the Republican Congressional leadership (Delay, Santorum, et al.).

More of that false equivalence.

Boulder Dude said...


Adam Davidson today decided to lie about Jamaica.