I watched the “Operation Veritas” film of the guy and woman at NPR talking to supposed members of the Muslim Brotherhood and I kept waiting for the horrible part. It’s about a 10 minute film and the guy from NPR has his opinions. There is one part where he talks about the “Jewish media” and that’s out of left field, but he clarifies himself well by saying some Jewish organizations, like some Muslim organization don’t want fair opinions — they want their own opinion out there.
I know it infuriates some people that they’re talking to supposed members of the Muslim Brotherhood at all, but that makes those people the very xenophobic people Mr. NPR said they were. They don’t like being called “xenophobic” because it hits too close to the truth.
Next, he talks about America and the Tea Party claiming Christianity, but not really being so — more like a section of supposed Christians. I have said this numerous times in this blog.
Next, he portrays America as “anti-intellectual”. Well, no duh! I wuld bet that in America, far more people watch “The Jerry Springer Show” than listen to NPR. Besides that, more people in America want to be on the Jerry Springer Show than being interviewed on NPR.
Next, he says that NPR could actually be better (more independent, for instance) if it weren’t funded by the government. Isn’t that what conservatives say all the time? Maybe he’s right. Maybe they could survive, but it makes our government looks more democratic to have free expression on the radio, supported by the same government that they criticize. Republicans are probably saying that NPR is ungrateful for the money the government gives them, but it’s not the press’ job to be grateful or ungrateful. It’s the press’ job to tell the truth. Let the other radio stations have to Kowtow to their advertisers. That’s capitalism and they have the right to complain if they don’t feel like they’re getting “bang for their buck”. But couldn’t we have some honesty or objectivity in our news, so that we could make up our own minds.
For my NPR-supporting friends: don’t get upset here, but the reason that NPR is so boooooring is that they do a lot of fact-giving, and balanced opinions and that kind of thing takes time. Years ago, when Reagan was President, NPR apparently covered his entire speech, not just the cool “sound bites” that his people wanted to be heard. Friends who listened to NPR’s unedited version of the speech said he sounded dumb or out-of -it or something. The Great Man who played to the sound bites didn’t sound so great when you actually heard everything he said. I didn’t like (didn’t agree with) the sound bites I heard, so I “wasn’t surprised” but was basing my opinion on not-the-whole-truth. NPR didn’t criticize him and make him look bad, as every other pundit does. It let him make a fool of himself — or be the Great Man that so many think he was– all on his own. That’s the mark of great press and the Man from NPR on the video is saying just that here in the video that caused his “downfall”.
So NPR would take $5 milli0n dollars from the Muslim Brotherhood? As scary as that sounds, I don’t know anything about the Muslim Brotherhood. Maybe they’re like the Islamic Nation’s YMCA. Given that, I’d like to hear what they have to say, so I can make up my own mind.
If they’re terrorists, I can figure it out for myself. If there’s a shred of decency in them, I can figure that out, too. And if they are followers of Gandhi, I can figure that out, too. That same stance goes for the Tea Party, the Republicans, Democrats, and Hamas.
I’m not a big fan of NPR, just because it’s not how I grew up. I like Car Talk and Garrison Keilor is OK, but I only listen if we’re in the car and it’s on. I know lots of people who stay home on Saturday nights to listen to A Prairie Home Companion. “Fresh Air” is good. But the news on NPR is a quiet, un-opinionated, lengthy story after story, with a few opinion pieces thrown in. That they play Marketplace and talk about economics as capitalists should, doesn’t make me like them any better, so there it is — even I’m not happy with everything on NPR. I, more often than not, find it drags on and on.
On the other hand, they are the classiest news organization out there, precisely because they don’t try to be showy. Facts are, frankly, boring. But if you need to know something, they are exactly the thing you need. It’s what makes the New York Times a “real” newspaper. Not only do the write formally, and I agree with their opinions most of the time (yes, they are liberal often), but often they simply print the text of a speech or a press conference without ellipses or brackets or quotation marks. It is then that there is no arguing with the Times. It’s not a liberal paper or a conservative paper. It’s a newspaper.
CNN at one time filled the need for facts — and it’s good for lengthy trials of Congressional hearings or whatever. They’re on TV. The Times is in print. NPR fills that need on the radio.
Pundits are a dime a dozen. Opinions are like … well, you know… everybody’s got one. This is what the man from NPR said about Juan Williams. Journalists lose their credibility when they pretend their opinions are facts. Actual news coverage, based in facts is different — and a good thing. It needs to be funded — and I would say, by the government, because it’s a tool required by a democracy.
But the fact that a man who works for NPR and is in it’s upper echelons has opinions doesn’t surprise me. He’s American. He’s entitled. The fact that he didn’t say anything I haven’t said in this column — and something that liberals around the world believe — leads me to think that, instead of an NPR “scandal” where people are “appalled” by his opinions, we should say “Yeah, so…?”.