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Is Masterpiece Theatre really that important?

NPR embraces the suck. Their ombudsman:

[As of 9/26] NPR hasn't aired a story on the "Occupy Wall Street" protest — now entering its second week

Wow, shocker.

And so what about Lake Wobegone?

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Submitted by cg.eye on

"Nader's complaint is a broader one about how much he and other progressive war horses of his generation are interviewed on NPR in comparison to Tea Party leaders and the like. Nader is no longer the political player he once was and the left is not as organized as in the past. See this New York Times article that ran yesterday. Still, I do want to follow whether the left is being shortchanged in coverage."

SO. Obama was supposed to be the progressive kwitsatz haderach, the man who'd turn the conservative tide. That means, doesn't it, that progressive issues, perforce, would have some interest for a DC-based broadcaster?

War horses? Hmmm. That means that the Congressional Black Caucus oughta be glad NPR namechecks them in February and April, huh?

And the mainstream media using Bellafante's review of OWS as theatre (note, this was the broad who thought Game of Thrones included rape and incest to bring in the chick audience -- no shit, SHE REALLY SAID THAT) as legitimate critique, is laughable. And if he wanted to check whether the left is being shortchanged in coverage, all he need do is tote up how many centrist/conservative commentators appear on NPR -- and how few of any other stripe appear.

This isn't about Nader, or war horses -- it's about people, non-commentators, non-Versailles puppets -- trying to survive when everyone in Versailles is against them. One can only hope that those of Versailles who still pretend they care about leftish issues will make NPR taste the pain, next pledge drive -- but whom' I kiddin?

BillF's picture
Submitted by BillF on

We get a beg-gram from the local NPR affiliate about once a week. I used to be a contributor many years ago, and that probably accounts for their incessant flow. Almost every one of their missives begins with a line like, "We've never sent a letter like this before..." and goes on to say how they're going off the air if I don't respond immediately. Mailing after mailing, year after year, saying exactly the same thing. Whenever I see them, I catch myself muttering, "promises, promises".

BillF's picture
Submitted by BillF on

Believe me, I would, but their return envelopes are not postage-paid. Now the DNCC "survey" messages are another matter. They go back immediately. The amount contributed block is marked "0" along with a brief explanation as to why. Fat lot of good it does, but it makes me feel better.

Submitted by jawbone on

as I understand it, loss of government support will indeed mean many local public radio stations will not make it. They pay NPR to run their programs (and, within the dross, All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition still contain gems which actually inform listeners), and the smaller stations with less state government support do much less local programming. But some of them do have local programs which introduce local musicians, local issues, etc.

I don't know which station(s) your Beg-o-Grams are coming from, but mine come from NYC's stations. My main public station is NYC's WNYC, which Giuliani cut off completely from city support, and he actually was going to sell the station's 93.9 location to the highest bidder. Public reaction was furious, and there's enough Big Money in the NYC metro area with charitable bents to put together a large foundation endowment which kept WNYC in it's spot on the dial and kept both the AM and FM alive. And well, but, to my ear, slightly the Monied Classes That Be.

Because talk was getting more listeners than classical music, WNYC cut out its classical music except for short evening programs -- which is when I stopped donating. Then the NYTimes Corporation decided it could no longer afford to keep WQXR, its classical music station, on the air, and worked out a deal that the WNYC Foundation would take it over--on a higher, not as strong dial location (105.9, which WNYC Foundation has since strengthened).

This year Gov. Chris "We Dasn't Tax the Rich" Christie cut all funding to NJ's public radio system, with some southern NJ stations sold to Philly's public radio station. Same for the NJ public television system. WNYC Foundation also got WBGO, Newark's public radio station which is mostly jazz. Both WQXR and WBGO have expanded their digital presence, and WQXR has several channels with different types of classical music available over HD radio and streaming over the internet.

But the access WNYC has to Really Big Money is not there for every station. Many of them do need the public's donations. Some, but not all, do great work in keeping regional and local music and discussions alive.

If I could afford it, I would still donate to local stations, but not to the NPR or PBS.

Without public and government support, public radio seems to be consolidating, with larger stations controlling smaller stations, unless they're being sold off or just going off air. Some of the big evangelicals are getting control of those signals down in the public radio zone. Thank goodness for the local university public radio stations...which also need support.

NPR needs to get the message it's not meeting the needs of the public, but, still, studies have shown that listeners to public radio are more well-informed than those who get their news elsewhere. But with NPR and PBS's need to gain corporate contributions, they are being increasingly compromised. A great loss.

(Bob Edwards, fired from NPR -- implication was he was sounding too old or something-- was on Diane Rehm's show Monday. He said that working for NPR had become tedious and tightly controlled. It had become a top down directed organization. Which may explain why the news seems to be so often clearly protecting the Powers That Be....)