I hope NPR does lose its federal funding by Kicknz

Before I get too far into this, I would like to point out that the only radio station I listen to with any regularity is my local public radio station, WUFT.  So, I’m not writing this article as someone that knows nothing of public radio.  Also, my problems with it are not political, as I am not some wild rightwinger.  No, here are my reasons.

I don’t know what public radio’s mission is and I’m not going to look it up.  What I will say is that, having listened to a great deal of it in the car with my dad as a kid, I got the impression that there was supposed to be some sort of commitment to the fine arts, or culturally relevant arts that might not be widely disseminated in a commercial capacity (largely, (Western) classical music and jazz).  Well, if that’s the case, then public radio in Florida has completely fallen off the boat, as my station no longer PLAYS ANY GODDAMN MUSIC.  Except for a few weekly specialty shows, classical and jazz music have been removed and we’ve been left with an all-talk format.

And what a bunch of piece of crap talk-based shows.  Granted, it’s not all bad, but a lot of it is.  Diane Rehm is awful – a terrible, underinformed interviewer that I imagine thinks of herself as a radio Larry King.  This American Life is grating.  Ira Glass should not be allowed anywhere near a microphone and the pettiness of the topics that his show covers is unforgivable, even if it is intentional.  Additionally, it should be called This New York Life, as an inordinate number of the lame stories originate there.

I’m forever annoyed by the sad and constant attempts to be politically correct, like correspondents going waaaayyyy out of their way to pronounce a name “correctly” within the context of some language, especially if it’s Spanish.  But in their ignorance or perhaps arrogance, they pronounce Portuguese names as if they were Spanish, even though the pronunciation rules are very different.  Also, can someone please explain to me why everyone that works for NPR news and “story” programs is either Jewish or Hispanic?  I’m sure that some will find that question to be racist but I’m simply asking a reasonable question based on the large number of members of those groups that work for Fresh Air and Morning Edition, etc.  Are they racially and ethnically profiling?  Are they using quotas?  Are they attempting to hire people that would not find a job in the private sector?  If you are offended by this line of questions, then you are being dishonest with yourself and non-pragmatic.

And, yes, NPR is definitely very left-leaning.  Inskeep and Gross give it away with their inflections in practically every statement.  If you listen to NPR and don’t hear this, then again, you are deluding yourself.

Now, as I said before, I listen to NPR.  It offers the least worst news on the radio that I’m aware of.  There are many good programs that avoid a lot of the biases, PC nonsense, and amateurishness.  My complaints stem from the fact that NPR receives federal assistance.  This is nonsense.  There is no reason the government should be paying for a radio network.

The fact is, if funding were pulled today, NPR (after a name change) would get along just fine as a commercial network.  According to Arbitron ratings, Morning Edition is the SECOND MOST LISTENED TO national radio show.  So, clearly something is being done right.  It just shouldn’t be done with taxpayer’s money.

4 responses to “I hope NPR does lose its federal funding by Kicknz

  1. I, as Kicknz knows, actually enjoy most of the programming on NPR. I even like ‘Fresh Air’ and ‘Morning Edition,’ although this can be attributed as much to the fact that I find certain vocal rhythms soothing as to any particular program content, I suppose. I’m much like an infant, in that regard. Goo.

    But in reality, I like to hear about cheesy plays and books, and when directors or authors are pompous on ‘Fresh Air,’ etc., I enjoy laughing at them, too. More often than not, though, they’re humble and cute. Recently, I heard a piece about the history of baseball and a separate piece about Hugh Martin (who wrote “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”). Both of these stories were fantastic and informative. I also really like ‘Science Fridays’ (I never bothered to look it up, but I think this is actually one portion of a larger show that is not broadcast for us, locally).

    That said, I absolutely HATE ‘The Diane Rehm Show.’ I complain about it/her fairly frequently, as I always have NPR on, in the background, while I’m at work, and that means I hear her obnoxiousness every day. I’m not even talking about her voice, because I could get over that… she is just a terrible interviewer, extremely biased, and rude to her guests and callers, alike. The other day, she took a call, the caller stated his name and where he was from, and before he could ask his question, she interrupted to say, “I just want to remind everyone that you’re listening to The Diane Rehm Show.” SERIOUSLY, Diane Rehm? You couldn’t wait a couple of minutes to say that? You couldn’t plug your own show/preach to the choir AFTER this caller had asked his question? What a friggin’ unprofessional “host.”

    As far as the federal funding goes, I’m torn. I DO think that NPR should be more even-handed if it’s going to accept tax dollars. I’m not totally against funding it, and * I * would certainly continue to contribute my tax dollars to it (especially if I had the choice between monies going to radio broadcasts or to warS, but that’s a totally different issue…), but I don’t necessarily feel that other people should be compelled to do the same. Hrrrmmmm. ‘Twoud seem as though this post were just as useless as the one I made on facebook. Sorries.

  2. Whoa! Strike that last bit, if you please!!! It was totally worth posting, if only to see myself represented as a heart-shaped potato with dragon legs, a tail, squiggly arms, and bunny ears.

  3. "Scrumptious" Gabe Hargitay

    Just so as to make certain there is equal representation given the more nugatory side of this argument, I’d like to concur that Ira Glass is the most annoying idiot on the planet, non-hyperbolically-speaking. It seems as though NPR thought they’d scored a demographical coup, or somesuch, by employing, in high visibility, someone who sounds like they’re constantly channeling Christopher Walken, post-helium hit, while suffering a stroke.

    Too, one gets the sense that he interviews his personal friends almost exclusively, so trivial and poorly-crafted are the “thematically-linked” narratives surrounding most of the show’s material. Plus: Fuck Ira Glass.

    “A Prairie Home Companion” is just as annoying, albeit a zillion times less “standardized metro-homo-Hebraic,” in general makeup. I wish Garrison Keillor would DROWN in Lake Wobegon, and pull Paula Poundstone down to the watery depths *with* him, while he’s at it (yes, I realize it’s a different show—like it MATTERS).

    Overall, NPR’s general statement of purpose seems to be, “The more innocuously quirky something is, the more value said something automatically holds.” This renders their programming self-nullifyingly quaint and none-too-confrontational. Yeah, that’s what the world needs: More wishy-washy crap that KNOWS and self-celebrates the fact that it IS wishy-washy crap.

    Now, “Car Talk,” on tother hand…? [An instant erection magically blooms forth]

  4. I’ve changed my mind. I don’t care if it’s unfair to make people pay for radio programming to which they will never listen. I can’t STAND hearing NPR/local public radio begging for money, on air. They are trying to lure me into donating by promising a chace to win a Kindle or a tote bag. GAH!!! Make it stop!

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