Yak Attack

This is an interesting blog, “The Yakkings of Melmoth,” particularly to those interested in the dirt on NPR. In this recent post, (Porter) Melmoth savages “Blob” Siegel’s interview with Colin Firth, closing with this:

When delivering his prize-win speech, I would guess that, like Paul Wolfowitz, Siegel probably punched it up with genial anecdotes and crackerbarrel wisdom, so as to display his ‘real’ talents as a multi-purpose media guy of the people (besides being a ‘really neat guy’ and all that), but also like Paul, any smugness passing as humor always betrays a gloat factor.

Radio being the instantly-disposable medium that it is, despite archiving on the net, Siegel’s type of ersatz intellectualism thankfully becomes disposable and quickly forgotten (I shall continue to TRY and forget, anyway…). Thus, he fits in perfectly with NPR’s increasing flakiness and irrelevance.

(I noticed that just this morning, NPR got up the courage to finally tell America about Bradley Manning and the ‘Lady Gaga CD’…)

I keep coming back to Mike Wallace’s famous putdown of NPR, in which he had no intention of getting lost in the wilderness of National Public Radio. (Also a veiled putdown of former colleague Dan Schorr, I should think. Dan who…?) In spite of NPR News’ new standing (for nothing), the wilderness is more intact and denser than ever.

PS: I heard that, when sending cash to WBUR Boston, you can specify that no funds will go to ‘NPR.’ I assume that means NPR News (?).

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2 Responses

  1. “I’m for reform of community stations whose leaders won’t listen to the public, and undoing the costly snafu of HD Radio…” Precisely. Add to that stations — such as KUT in Austin — who hide behind state law and refuse to disclose finances (then claim financial hardship to justify their actions). Any business that receives public funding should be required by law to fully disclose how it’s spent.

    The problem with the CPB involves spending $50 million of taxpayer money to get public radio stations to put up HD (43% of HD channels now) so that NPR, PRI, etc., can sell them canned shows, too often at the expense of local shows — in Boston, folk and blues, in Austin, free-form music and jazz, in Houston, student radio, etc. And HD is just a scam and money pit.

    As a follower of NPR since nearly its inception — and as a journalism grad and news junkie — I too strongly support objective news coverage. A future post (as some other posts have done) will deal with instances where coverage seems to be affected by the prevailing winds, foul though they may be. Keep in mind that when you post every day, not every one will be Pulitzer material.

  2. That Mike Wallace “quote” came from 1999’s “The Insider.” So it wasn’t exactly the great Mike Wallace takedown of public radio.

    What a smug bit of internet-ejaculate, that link, with no specific criticisms, just vague complaints of tone.

    These on-the-side snarky potshots you like to take at NPR cause some pause: are you for reform of the public radio system, or dismantlement? Does NPR (and PRI, APM, etc.) have a place in your idyllic public station?

    I appreciate things like the investigative work NPR has done, even this year, on pharmaceutical companies, soldiers’ under-treated head and brain injuries, explaining the financial meltdown…these are note-worthy contributions to our national understanding and discussion.

    I’m for reform of community stations whose leaders won’t listen to the public, and undoing the costly snafu of HD Radio…but I’m still for keeping NPR. And so are most of public radio’s listeners. Sorry…all local all the time won’t cut it, nor will the underground of poorly-funded discussion shows. I need an outlet with international bureaus and serious news. NPR can be improved, certainly, especially with as much as it uses tanks like the Heritage Foundation, but it still does good work a majority of the time.

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