Demand Accountability

Don’t know how many people are as fed up with NPR as I am, but if you are, go to the NPR contact page, choose “share a comment” and then “The Ombudsman”, then choose Morning Edition or any program that you want to complain about, and send them the following. Just be sure to customize it for the program of your choice.

Morning Edition has been decimated. It is now two hours of garrulous banter punctuated by a few scant minutes of barely competent reportage.

The interview format is stupid. It is condescending, it is wasteful, and it is deceptive. It makes no sense to have incompetent anchors like Steve Inskeep or Rene Montaigne interview a competent reporter like Anne Garrells or Nina Totenberg. In this manner, the interview format takes time away from a perfectly competent and knowledgeable journalist. This format reduces the amount of information being reported.

The interview format is also a means of muzzling the journalist and/or deceiving your listeners. A perfect example was Linda Wertheimer’s interview with your business editor on Sunday’s Weekend Edition. The editor (whose name I can’t be bothered to look up after the embarrassing piece she delivered) gave us a rosy picture of the US as the world’s leading manufacturer. This assertion cannot be true given consolidation of the European markets. Furthermore, America’s preeminence in production does not remedy its economic ills. The drop in production–and the drop in exports–is a persistent trend. We could very well remain the world’s greatest producer and still have a shrinking economy.

Naturally, Wertheimer participated in this deceptive argument by avoiding asking any of the questions raised above. The pathetic script did not allow it, and the very existence of the script makes NPR a propaganda source.

I have gone beyond the point of halting all donations to my local NPR stations as a form of protest. I am going to start writing my politicians to kill NPR.

NPR is no longer a disinterested source of news. Its content is nearly 50% Republican propaganda, as demonstrated by the persistence of useless “analysts” like Cokie Roberts and Juan Williams. NPR no longer produces as much original reportage as it did 20 years ago. It no longer adds to what the wire services deliver to everyone effectively for free.

In as much, NPR is useless, and I want it off my precious airwaves.

If you want sentiments like mine to balloon into a movement, keep doing what you are doing.


2 Replies to “Demand Accountability”

  1. NPR has more international bureaus than almost any other news organization. They are the only ones reporting about the corrupt building practices in china that led all those schools to collapse in the earthquake and kill all those poor children.

    NPR also did a lot of good work on the Army mis treatment of troops with mental health issues.

    Ivan Watson did amazing work reporting from every corner of central Asia and the Middle East.

    Anne Garrels (and others) have risked her life for the past 6 years, and probably lost a few friends, trying to keep an accurate view of what has been going on in Iraq. if it were not for reporters like her, the government could tell us anything it wants to about Iraq.

    Nina Totenberg might not have her own show, but her reporting and explanation of Supreme court cases are absolutely invaluable to the ordinary person trying to understand what the court is doing.

    i could go on and on, but i wont.

    just because morning edition is not to your liking is really no reason to throw out the rest of it. What other morning show are you going to listen to or watch?

    they do have specific problems on morning edition, but i only email them about specific things i dont like, not a scathing broadshet impunging their entire format. maybe the ‘fakey interview’ thing could be changed, but that is not a huge problem imho.

    1. You may be right that my reaction goes perhaps too far, but you seem to agree with the gist of what I say. NPR used to be a lot better. The interview format is a tool they use to muzzle these perfectly wonderful journalists. That’s exactly my objection. Most NPR news programming is nothing but filler. In as much, I don’t think it merits taxpayer expenditure.

      I only cite a few Morning Edition examples, but the pattern is generally true of NPR news: a fake interview with the reporter has replaced the report itself. The interview format, which is ubiquitous now, shortchanges the listeners. We should not stand for it. I’m not.

      NPR used to be a lot better. It used to be good use of taxpayer expense.

      Thanks for reading and for sounding off.

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