Send in the Clown

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) posted a story called “NPR: And Now, a Word From Our Sponsor,” here, that takes a dig at corporate “underwriting” on NPR:

NPR Morning Edition (4/5/11) keeps its audience informed about important business news (that just so happens to be about an image-burnishing campaign by the company whose heiress gave them a 9-figure bequest a few years ago):

RENEE MONTAGNE: And our last word in business today comes from another Illinois-based employer. The word is McJobs.

That word has meant low-paid work at a particular fast food chain. But McDonald’s is trying to, quote, “turn the word on its ear,” as one marketing executive put it to Ad Age magazine.

Yesterday, McDonald’s launched a McJobs campaign, with the goal of recruiting 50,000 workers. It’s aiming to recast its jobs not as dead-end work, but in ads starring its own happy employees as desirable employment.

And that’s the business news on Morning Edition, from NPR News. I’m Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, host: Don’t you mean Renee McMontagne?

(laughter)

INSKEEP: Just checking on that…

MONTAGNE: No, McInskeep. Hello.

INSKEEP: And I’m Steve McInskeep.

Comments to the story run a bit . . . strong, shall we say?

Doug Latimer: That’s so goddamn cute it just makes you want to throw up, don’t it? As for the ad campaign, will the tag line be: “You want lies with that?”

Alan Pogue: Democracy Now! is what NPR might be if it were not beholden to government and corporate funding. I support Democracy Now! because they don’t have to pull punches or not mention what is actually happening. Amy Goodman was on the plane with Jean-Bertrand Aristide. She is as close to the news source as one can be. Democracy Now! never had to pretend that the war on Iraq was anything other than an oil fueled war crime.

Helen Bedd: While NPR is pimping McJobs, they don’t mention full time gigs pay less than $20k a year and the medical “coverage” workers get offered is a McJoke.

MK Ultra: Yes, NPR is a good little corporate shill. Their loyalty to Bank of America’s ‘underwriting’ proves it.

And this from another post on the FAIR site:

From a Q&A with NPR ombud Alicia Shepard (CJR, 4/11/11):

I also got a call last week from Ralph Nader. He was saying how NPR is really just a corporate toady, and that they don’t have enough progressive voices on, and I hear that quite a bit. I hear that more from people who actually listen to NPR.

Funny how that works.

Perhaps more interesting is the response on the NPR site to a loving look at Paul Ryan, R-WI — fitness buff, Led Zeppelin lover, and architect of the plan to dismantle Medicare and Medicaid:

Flora Hazelton: Oh goodie — another disciple of Ayn Rand dealing with the finances of our country. He must have missed Alan Greenspan’s little epiphany about the depths to which those guided by “rational self-interest” are willing to stoop to put one over on the untermenchen. Reduce 99% of the population to peonage, and they’ll put up with anything the 1% Ryan and his ilk serve.

Steve Faure: The closest this thing veered into journalism was the revelation that Mr. Ryan’s education was provided courtesy the SSA. Talk about pulling the ladder up after oneself…

Dave Gagne: This is pathetic. He is running a con job and you are facilitating him. Simply pathetic.

Michael Miles: Why should I care what Ryan is like? Will that inform the debate? What is relevant to me is that he wishes to implement his Objectivist philosophy (“the cause”) through the House Budget Committee, which will arguably financially imperil 98% of the country, fail to control the deficit or the debt, and transfer huge amounts of wealth to the “John Galts” who will live comfortably behind security gates, while we serve Slurpees to their children at the mall because we have to pay for our healthcare premiums after retirement.

Is Michele Norris uncomfortable about delivering this kind of schlock? What about Robert Siegel? I can’t believe he is happy about capping a great career with this kind of trollop.

Thom Wheeler Castillo: Regarding Paul Ryan: Father, Fitness buff, etc, was this really worthy of air time? Why not focus instead on the document he authored? Its inconsistencies and its flawed numbers? Where’s the journalism NPR? I am gravely disappointed in you.

George-Sandy Dran: Must you do such puff pieces without ever checking the validity of what is being proposed? I have respected your reporting over the years, but this seems to be too much pandering to a set political interest. Do you homework and report accurately about his wonderful bill that will hurt millions of people.

Dave Campbell: Two words: Ayn Rand. All we need to know about Ryan’s ideology is summed up by virtue of his belief in ubber-selfish policy ideals of Ayn Rand and Alan Greenspan. Was Rand/Greenspan ideology not proven to be a complete an utter failure as evidenced by the Great Recession? These people truly believe some people are meant to accumulate wealth and other people are meant to die poor premature deaths, and if they have their way the government will actually sponsor just such policies to accelerate that path.

Frumpy Demon: Ryan wants to kill old people and children in favor of making the super uber rich even superer and uberer and in favor funding obsolete weapons to kill people who pose no threat to Americans . . . so we need to know that he’s all around nice guy?

James Vos: Wow, you don’t make your syncophantic pandering to Republicans obvious or anything, do you? Michele Norris should be ashamed of herself to have offered these “tidbits” as newsworthy.

The Modest Egotist: Here’s the REAL Paul Ryan:

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00004357&cycle=2010

Koch brother tool, social Darwinist. Love the fact he received benefits that he wants to kill, typical Republican.

And that’s just some of the comments . . .

One Response

  1. I listen to NPR at work so I heard both of these pieces when they ran. But I really can’t say that I was surprised, NPR has been desperately kissing corporate/conservative butt for years. And it’s just gotten worse since the Tea Party idiocy started. Morning Edition and All Things Considered are only interesting now in the way that car crashes are interesting. Fresh Air is still pretty much just that but even Terry Gross got smacked down by the NPR ombudsman after Bill O’Reilly threw a fit and walked off the show.

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