18. April 2024 · Comments Off on To the Surprise of Many… · Categories: Media Matters Not

… It turned out that there was one genuine, for real, professional old-line journalist still working at National Public Radio. Was being the operative word, as business reporter Uri Berliner quit, after spectacularly blowing up any lingering pretense of the publicly financed institution being an impartial and unbiased news-gathering organization, reporting on news without fear, favor or partisanship. Frankly, anyone claiming to be the teeniest bit rightish of center and believes that load of codswallop is likely too innocent to be let out in public without a dedicated keeper. They probably believe every word in the NY Times, as well – although as Agent K of Men in Black observed – that publication stumbles into the truth on rare occasions.

Uri Berliner’s final report may yet blow apart NPR federal funding, both that which is direct, and that which is paid to them by local affiliates for the rights to air their various news, information and entertainment features. The new CEO for NPR, one Katherine Maher, appears to be a singularly unappealing progressive apparatchik, a neurotic child of ruling-class privilege without a single shred of a background or experience in journalism … but all the right progressive opinions. (I swear, I’d be a better fit for that job based on a DINFOS shake-n-bake course for print and broadcast journalism, followed by twenty years as a military public affairs specialist!) I’d also swear that Katherine Maher was another generated parody like Titania McGrath, but alas – she’s all too horribly real.

I do wonder if this might be the final straw that breaks NPR. For all their many awards, organizational self-regard, and incestuously close connections to the Washington power structure, they have also been hemorrhaging ordinary listeners in Flyoverlandia for years now. I’m one of those once-listeners myself. Heck, I even worked for years at the local affiliate here in San Antonio on a part-time – on the classical music side, though. Every time I mentioned how I came to quit listening to NPR – a fair number of commenters chimed in with similar tales of disenchantment and outright disgust. NPR used to make at least a pretense at being even-handed, the presence of that lugubrious old talking prune, Daniel Schorr notwithstanding – or Cokie Roberts, the daughter of two (count ’em!) longtime career Democrat Party politicians, Lindy and Hale Boggs. NPR did more than the immediate sensational bleeding and leading coverage of news, and extended features … and then … and then, they seemed to have less and less to say to anyone who wasn’t a bicoastal progressive. For me, the point came sometime between 9-11 then the election of Obama; definitely by the time of the rise of the Tea Party. NPR looked at the Tea Party with the horrified interest of someone discovering a dead worm in their expensive mushroom vol-au-vent appetizer, before thumbing through their golden Rolodex of experts and demanding an explanation … instead of, you know – calling up any of the local Tea Party organizations and asking them.

Ah, well – sic transit all things considered. Will this spell the end of NPR being financed out of the public purse? Or is the organization too close to the hearts of the soi-disant ruling class, as well as employing too many of their otherwise unemployable spouses and spawn? Discuss as you have insight into the matter.

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