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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 12:38 PM
Original message
NPR’s Slow Slide to the Right

NPR’s Slow Slide to the Right
by Richard Schiffman
October 25, 2011

The timing could not have been worse for the latest in a series of controversies to hit the nation’s scandal-prone public radio network. But the fact that it was pledge week didn’t prevent NPR from caving in to conservative pressure and canceling their distribution of “The World of Opera,” last Friday after it was revealed that host, Lisa Simeone, had taken part in Occupy DC, a spinoff of Occupy Wall Street movement, a protest against corporate greed which is spreading to cities nationwide. Simeone, an independent producer, was also sacked from the public radio documentary series “Sound Print” for her political activities.

In justifying their actions, NPR spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm stated that it is a conflict of interest for a journalist associated with NPR to take a role in a political protest movement, ignoring the fact that Ms. Simeone is a freelancer and not an NPR employee, and a music host, not a journalist. Leading Time Magazine’s James Poniewozik to jest: “Public radio listeners! Have you long worried that your station was undermining capitalism through its broadcasts of the Ring Cycle? Tired of having your children brainwashed by the socialistic messages of La Traviata?”

For hundreds of listeners who flooded NPRs own blog and switchboard with messages of outrage over the weekend, however, it was no laughing matter. Many saw the incident as merely the latest chapter in the network’s slow drift to the right in an effort to appease republican critics in congress, which funds the Corporation For Public Broadcasting, a major source of NPR’s operating budget.

Critics also pointed out that the network has a double standard when it comes to the political speech of its hosts and reporters. While dropping Ms. Simeone for taking part in a protest rally, NPR routinely permits its own staffers to sound off on the issues that they report on. Saturday morning host, Scott Simon, published an Op Ed in the Wall Street Journal supporting American military interventions in the Middle East and likening antiwar protesters to “a Halloween parade.” NPR reporter Mara Liasson doubles as a commentator for Fox television where she lambasted congressman on a fact finding mission in Iraq before the US incursion and called on them to resign. NPR’s Cookie Roberts regularly spouts off her centrist-right views in handsomely paid corporate speeches on everything from health care reform to the minimum wage.

Read the full article at:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/10/25-5

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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. NPR = "News Prostitutes for Republicans"
I gave up on NPR during the campaign of 2000 when Cokie Roberts "reported" on the Bush "Charm Offensive." She "reported" that W would go to DC and get things done because of his "charm."

"He's charming, oh, so charming!" she said, and he liked to give nicknames...
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I hate that woman!
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. Fuck NPR
The sooner it's dead the better.
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Yep...Lets Hand Them Frequencies To Religious Stations...
That's the long term endgame of the demonizing of NPR. Cut its funding, force them to sell stations that will end up with one right wing religious group or another that surely will present a liberal/progressive view... :sarcasm:
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. No foolin'. NPR was briefly knocked off the air by fundies in Lake Charles, La.
The NPR station in nearby Lafayette served Lake Charles through a translator station. Then the fundies applied for a full-power station on the same frequency. Full-power stations take precedence over translators, so poof! NPR was gone, at least until the Lafayette station moved its main antenna so as to cover Lake Charles.
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. A Major Reason NPR Is Demonized On The Right...
Many NPR stations sit on frequencies that have value only to religious broadcasters who have long skirted FCC rules that allow them to use their "non-profit" status to operate stations in the non-commercial band. Religious groups like the Botts in Missouri would love to grab the high power frequencies to pump out their right wing tropes and get ahold of these frequencies for pennies on the dollar. Defund NPR and the CPB and local NPR stations will fade away.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Remember, those frequencies are reserved for noncommercial *educational* use
as are the UHF TV channels being hoovered up by fundie outfits like Daystar. What exactly is "educational" about being told that I'm going to Hell unless I send the Rev. Smoothtalker another hundred bucks? :eyes:
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. A Long Time Pet Peeve Of Mine...
I've been against religious organizations like Daystar or EMF (K-Love) and other for profit "religious" broadcasters getting access and preference for non-commercial channels based on their "non-profit" status. They violate the major FCC mandate of PICN...Public Interest in the Community Need...especially to those of us who aren't christians.

Cheers...

:hi:
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Oh, and what about those "translators" that are thousands of miles from the main station?
"The Effect" in Twin Falls, ID has a translator station in Hawai'i. Bear in mind that translators are supposed to be used to fill in gaps in a station's coverage area caused by terrain, etc. "The Effect" is just using them to build a nationwide network of low-power stations without all those pesky, expensive applications for full-power stations.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
5. Today, NPR said about the Oakland raid, "It's not clear which side used
the tear gas and rubber bullets".
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stuntcat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. that sounds crazy as Fox
it's such a shame on them
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MedicalAdmin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. WTF? Seriously?
That is nuts.

They said that? Wow.



NPR has got to know that they are playing a dangerous game. If they lose support from their traditional base then they are toast because the righties want them dead and buried.
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dtexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
6. Doesn't always seem that slow.
In any case, I stopped listening, and contributing, long ago.
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cprise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
9. I've noticed it for a long time now
The breaking point for me was around 1997 when they did a piece stating that female pop music was a platform of hate speech against men. And they came to that conclusion using a sharply unfair double-standard.

Reading this article, I see its the same attitudes that prevail at NPR.
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
12. And sadly NPR is so far superior to most RW commercial stuff
there is damn near nowhere else to go.
We have long ago gone to lefty radio on the internet, but if you don't do that what are your choices?
Me? I pretty much gave up on NPR before the invasion of Iraq. I admit I hung on a longggg time hoping their glory days were ahead of them.
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FarLeftFist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
15. Bad move. The RW won't listen to NPR and by abandoning the Left it might as well be over.
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Lebam in LA Donating Member (717 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-25-11 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
16. Slow move?
I stopped watching them during the Bush years. Cheerleaders all the way.

Have they now completely gone to the darkside?
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