Yves here. As this post and yesterday’s article by Mark Ames attest, we are now in the midst of a full-bore fake news onslaught against some well-known media figures who dare to be to the left of the fauxgressives. This incident, NPR’s attack on comedy host Lee Camp, is not what you’d see from a confident elite.
By Lee Camp, the host and head writer of the comedy news show “Redacted Tonight” that airs every Friday on RT America and at YouTube.com/RedactedTonight. He’s a former comedy writer for the Onion and the Huffington Post
I never thought I’d be the target of an NPR attack piece. Through my twenties I even looked to NPR as an outlet full of good, progressive, thoughtful reporting – You know, the soothing voices occasionally interrupted by music no one really listens to but that sounds good between soft-spoken ivy league journalists over the age of 50. Everything about NPR subtly reinforced the idea, “Everything is fine. You’re probably a middle to upper class white person or you hope to be one day, and that’s just great. Everything is fine.” They might not SAY that, but they say that. And for a long time, I was cool with that message.
Then I woke up. About the time NPR was avoiding Occupy Wall Street – or when they did cover it, acting like those of us who supported it were brainless hippies without a point or at least none that would fit easily into the lives of suburbanites with two kids, one cat, and a robust retirement account. In hindsight I should’ve woken up sooner. I should’ve seen the truth about the time most NPR shows were pushing for war in Iraq, buying into the WMD lie. Or maybe I should’ve realized the truth when Kevin Klose took over as President of NPR in 1998. Klose came straight from a nice seat as director of the US Information Agency, described as “a United States agency devoted to ‘public diplomacy’ (AKA propaganda).” So when you have one of the top government propagandists as your president, one can assume your reporting is slightly biased.
Anyway, that leads me to today. A couple days after NPR’s Weekend Edition hosted by Scott Simon did a rather awesome attack piece on me and my TV show Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp which airs on RT America. I’d like to walk you through how to write such beautiful propaganda, as I did following the NY Times smear job against me, which sounded shockingly similar (more on that later).
STEP ONE: Create a subconscious association to old Cold War Russian propaganda
Scott Simon opens his show with “Russian programming is no longer breathless proclamations about tractor production or accolades to the Kremlin. Look at a show like Redacted Tonight.” This opening sentence essentially tells the listener that everything they’re about to hear is modern Russian propaganda. Sure, he doesn’t use the word “propaganda” yet, but when you say something was ONCE accolades to the Kremlin and is now Redacted Tonight, you are priming your audience, giving them a subconscious opinion of the target before they even know what it is. This would be like saying “American programming is no longer ads where a little girl with a daisy is killed by a nuclear blast. Now it’s the Daily Show.” If you had never heard of the Daily Show, you would assume it must be a modern version of a girl obliterated by a nuclear bomb.
STEP TWO: Lie by omission
Scott Simon knows the truth, but he’s keeping it from his audience. My show is not Russian propaganda. Simon knows I’m an American in America covering American news for Americans. He does slip in that I’m American in the opening sentences, but not until the end does he reveal to his audience that I have never been told to say anything or not to say anything on RT America. And after he says that, he immediately plays a clip of me joking that my show is written by heavily bearded Russian trolls. He seems to play it as if it reveals the truth, rather than being a joke. Furthermore, assuming Simon did even an ounce of research, he knows that I’ve been doing the same type of material in my stand-up comedy act for decades – long before I was every on RT. Saying my show is Russian propaganda would be to say that all the shows on RT America are Russian propaganda including ones hosted by Larry King, Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges, Governor Jesse Ventura, Mike Papantonio, and former hosts Thom Hartmann and Abby Martin.
I’ve addressed why I do this show on RT America, and you can watch that here. But for NPR’s listeners who have never heard of me, Simon wants to essentially warn them that they are about to hear nefarious neo-propaganda put forward by dastardly Russians.
STEP THREE: Subtly let your listeners know the target is not one of us
In his second sentence Simon says, “The show is hosted and written by an American comic in black jeans with a hipster beard and long, bobbed hair, Lee Camp.” To begin with, I don’t know what a hipster beard is, but I doubt I have one. I guess Scott Simon thinks any beard is a “hipster beard.” I suppose this means Wolf Blitzer has a hipster beard too. I also don’t know what “long bobbed hair” is other than a way of saying, “He’s a fuckin’ long hair!” This description is all basically Simon’s way of letting his elitist older core audience know, “This guy is NOT one of us. He probably doesn’t even OWN a salmon-colored button-down shirt.”
STEP FOUR: Imply that curse words = enemy of the state
Simon next plays a few sentences from my show, bleeping out the word “fuck.” Then he interrupts and says, “A lot of profanity. In fact ONE profanity over and over…” So Simon’s first sentence about me was to insult my clothing and look. His first sentence about my show was to express near horror at the fact I use the word “fuck”. First of all, I take great exception to the idea I only use ONE profanity. My profanity is varied AND prolific. Name another show where you’ve recently heard Congress described as a “Steaming bucket of mangy dicks.” But again this is designed so Simon can let the nice NPR listeners know, “He’s not one of us. He uses dirty language.” Isn’t it amazing that it’s been a half century since the 1960’s and yet the insults against the “counter culture” are all the same – “He’s a long-hair hipster with a dirty mouth!” As George Carlin said, dirty words can “impact your mind, curve your spine and lose the war for the Allies!” Clearly Scott Simon didn’t get the memo that fearing dirty words is not something most of America is doing anymore. Americans are far more worried about where their next paycheck will come from or how to get healthcare for their sick child. If you look at the situation our country is in and don’t say “FUCK” to yourself, then you aren’t paying attention.
STEP FIVE: Bring in an “Expert” who clarifies how awful the target is
Next, Julia Ioffe is brought on to explain how horrible Redacted Tonight truly is and why your children should be asked to leave the room and cover their ears until the terrifying thought bombs are extinguished. NPR identifies Ioffe as simply someone who writes critically about Russia for the Atlantic and other platforms. What Simon doesn’t want his listeners to know is that Ioffe is a hardcore neocon neo-McCarthyist who spends her days spouting fake news about Russia, such as this lovely piece of fact-free reporting entitled “How Russia Hacked America.” In the credits of that piece she thanks two private intelligence firms for helping her out – Fidelis Cybersecurity and Farsight Security. Fidelis used to be owned by General Dynamics, one of the biggest weapons contractors riding the Russia hysteria to billions of dollars in profits. Julia Ioffe is not even close to an unbiased critic of my show. She’s quite the opposite – a useful idiot for the weapons industry which collects bundles of cash from the deaths of millions.
And those Russian hacking claims? I covered the reality of those claims on my show with former 27-year veteran CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
It’s very telling that while Ioffe and Scott Simon breathlessly attack dissenting voices, they choose NOT to cover how our 2016 election was ACTUALLY rigged as reported on by the nonpartisan Project Censored here, here, and here. I have also covered all of these stories extensively on my show.
Ioffe is not only a pure xenophobe, seemingly trying to angle our country towards nuclear war, but she also is – apparently – an expert on comedy! Her opening lines – “[Redacted Tonight] is very shrill. Lee Camp is very shrill. It looks like the kind of rantings I would engage in when I was an angry 15 year-old.” Apparently when Julia Ioffe was a mere teen, she was angrily spouting about how unfettered vulture capitalism destroyed Puerto Rico even before the hurricane did, or the unlimited war powers that both Democrats and Republicans voted to give Donald Trump, or perhaps the secret family making billions from our opioid crisis. I guess little Julia was once very well informed. But now, as an adult, she has changed her ways – becoming a good shill for the corporate state, toeing the pro-war propaganda line without a second thought.
STEP SIX: Shrug off or ignore any positive attributes
At one point Scott Simon talks about attending a taping of the show where the audience “laughed and cheered when prompted – but sincerely.” In the audio version the words “but sincerely” drip with disgust. This is about as close as Simon can come to admitting Redacted Tonight has very large, active, and excited fanbase of people who see through the ridiculous mainstream media and want something more, something deeper.
Another positive attribute of my show, in my opinion, is the fact that we’re left of the corporate-owned Democrats. Simon mentions that I mock both Republicans and Democrats but that’s where he leaves it. If he watched more than ten minutes, he knows that I don’t simply attack everything for the sake of mockery. I go after our ruling elite who are bought and sold by massive corporations, soulless people who seem fine with a level of inequality that surpasses even ancient Rome just before its collapse. This is the most important thing any viewer should know about my show, but NPR intentionally leaves it out. The reasoning is obvious – because it would attract a lot of viewers. And when you’re busy making new Cold War propaganda, you don’t want such stumbling blocks in your path.
STEP SEVEN: Bring in another “expert” to simply lie
Scott Simon next asks executive producer of Second City, Kelly Leonard, if Redacted Tonight is funny. Leonard response: “It is funny, but there’s a problem. ” Leonard says the real trouble is that I avoid certain subjects – such as hacking of the election. But in fact, I HAVE talked about hacking the election here, here, here, here, here, here – You get the point. I’ve talked about it FAR more than any other comedy news show Leonard can list. The problem is I don’t talk about it from the false narrative Leonard and Simon WANT me to – the narrative that calls it “hacking the election” even though no one is even accusing Russia of actually hacking voting machines, which is essentially impossible from a foreign country. (Instead voting machine rigging happens right here at home.) The accusations only have to do with hacking emails at the DNC (that showed *REAL* corruption) – and even those accusations have been debunked by experts.
So even if Leonard disagrees with my more truth-based views on the hacking, he still provably lied when he said I don’t talk about election hacking. Either he lied or he’s so woefully unfamiliar with my show that he’s hardly seen any of it. Which is worse? Scott Simon then lets this grand lie go unchecked, or Simon doesn’t know that I’ve covered the hacking extensively. Again, which is worse?
STEP EIGHT: Simply call your target evil
Leonard next says, “I think comedy is a superpower. And a very smart person once said, if it can’t be used for evil, it’s not a superpower. And in this case, that’s kind of what I feel is going on.” Yep, my show is clearly being used for evil. A show which tirelessly fights for a more egalitarian and just society – You could hardly find an episode where I’m not covering those issues and giving solutions for how to get there – Such a TV show is using comedy for evil. …Hence the sinister beard and long hair.
STEP NINE: Refuse to have the target on for a live interview
The number one question I’ve gotten about NPR’s attack piece was about this sentence by Simon, “We asked Lee Camp for an interview but couldn’t agree to his ground rules.” Simon is being intentionally vague here. Saying that we couldn’t agree to ground rules makes the listener think I said, “I’ll do an interview but no questions about Russia, and you have to be dressed as a chicken during the entirety of it!” In fact, what Simon doesn’t reveal to his listeners is that I simply said, “I would love to do a live on-air interview.” That is all I said, and I said it repeatedly over email. NPR cannot have me on for a live on-air interview because that would not allow them to cut out all the things they don’t want viewers to know. It would not allow them to redact certain parts and take things out of context. I was told by the producer of Weekend Edition that they rarely do live interviews – which means they do indeed have the capability. I, myself, have an interview show that is never filmed live because it simply doesn’t air live. So I am not opposed to pre-taped interviews played in their entirety, but NPR is not looking for that. If Simon valued honesty, he should’ve stated, “Lee Camp agreed to a live interview, but we were not willing to do that.”
STEP TEN: Bring back the New Cold Warrior faux expert
Julia Ioffe comes back to call me and my team “co-conspirators” and “useful idiots.” (Which is it? Are we conspiring or are we idiots??) She says we are not creating the show “…for the rights and the lives of the little man or the little person. It’s for Putin’s power.” And although I find it hilarious to respond to a moral attack coming from someone spouting talking points on behalf of weapons contractors, I’ll do it anyway. Ioffe is perfectly wrong in her assertion. I’ve been doing politically minded stand-up comedy for nearly 20 years. Long before I ever created Redacted Tonight, I was speaking about the same issues – endless war, gut-wrenching inequality, environmental destruction – all the topics I continue to cover on my show. When I decided to work with RT America, it came down to one simple thought – I don’t believe we have a lot of time to waste. Our world is collapsing around us – for example the earth has lost half its wildlife in the past 40 years. We have to talk about all these issues, which are redacted from our corporate media. We have to provide information to people in new and interesting ways, and I’ve been trying to do that for two decades. Julia Ioffe on the other hand wants to create war, death, and continued destruction while tearing down anyone who dissents.
STEP ELEVEN: One last parting lie – “No one’s watching anyway.”
Scott Simon closes by saying fewer than 30,000 people are likely watching RT America. He says, “That’s not far from the average attendance at a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game.” But one can assume Simon knows he’s lying. Even without factoring in television views, the average episode of Redacted Tonight gets over 30,000 views on YouTube alone, which does not count Facebook and other platforms. Clips from each episode add hundreds of thousands of more views on YouTube. I have recent web exclusive videos that have over 150,000 views each on YouTube. Assuming Simon can do a simple search, he knows he’s misleading his listeners as to how many people watch my show. If he can’t do a YouTube search, it might be time for him to throw in the ol’ crusty “journalism” towel.
If I really wanted to get down in the mud with Simon, I might mention that he has nearly 1.25 Million Twitter followers and yet his tweets – almost without exception – receive between zero and ten retweets. This either means Simon isn’t saying much of value or his 1.25 million followers aren’t listening to him to begin with.
It’s also a bit comical Simon picks Milwaukee as the city to use in his parting jab. Milwaukee also happens to be the home of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, which helps fund NPR and therefore receives glowing segments like this in what seems to be a pay-to-play scenario. Even when corporations are not influencing NPR’s coverage, they are still benefiting from what NPR proudly calls “the halo effect” simply by being an underwriter. Basically NPR brags that they scrub clean the image some of the worst corporations in the world, making them angelic – corporations like ExxonMobil, Goldman Sachs, and Wells Fargo.
Furthermore Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting did a study (“Some Things Considered Mostly By White Men”) that included Weekend Edition and other NPR shows and found that most of the commentary is by white men and in recent years there is less and less political coverage. The lack of political coverage is actually by design. NPR’s job is to cast reality in a pro-corporate pro-war light via two avenues, one is by straight up propaganda, such as hit pieces against dissenting voices – anything outside the corporate unfettered-capitalist paradigm. (I covered this in a recent web exclusive video.) Another avenue is to simply fill the airwaves with useless information that makes us feel smart and comfortable but contributes nothing to informing the population about what is REALLY happening. This is why Scott Simon produces pieces like this one about waiting in line. (It has 9 retweets as of this writing.) If you listen to the piece, he actually could have gone deeper and made the segment meaningful. He could have talked about how our system seeks profit over all else, even over the innately fair process of waiting in line. He could’ve discussed how those ideals then become codified in our cultural mindset, creating an immense level of misery and inequality. …But instead he left it as a weak version of Andy Rooney (which is impressive because I thought Andy Rooney was a weak version of Andy Rooney).
When he does cover politics, Simon has proven to be war hungry. Right now he seems to be Cold War hungry – which could lead to nuclear war. In the past he supported the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In case it was never mentioned on NPR, the Iraq War killed over one million people according to Reuters. Even in 2003 he reassured his listeners that not finding weapons of mass destruction (the entire premise for the war) didn’t really matter that much anyway because the greatest threat to Iraqis was the regime that the U.S. had taken down. (One assumes he doesn’t mean the greatest threat to the million who were killed during our obliteration of their country.) Simon helped manufacture the consent for such a horrific bloodbath, and I wonder whether that sits with him at all.
Since Weekend Edition did a poor job of finding guests who could speak intelligibly on the issues at hand, I did it for them. Author Max Blumenthal said of this segment, “NPR only interviewed neo-Cold Warriors, giving figures with no expertise on Russia a platform to hold forth on Russian meddling, and offering figures with no experience in comedy a platform to criticize Redacted Tonight‘s comedic value. NPR interviewed Lee Camp’s fans but no media professionals from the left who could have offered a nuanced perspective on RT. And they deliberately obscured Camp’s principled left-wing positions by claiming that he bashes the GOP and Democrats equally, with the Dems as a stand in for the living, breathing left social movement that Camp is part of. If anyone is looking for slanted propaganda under the guise of news, look no further than this piece by the semi-official radio outlet of the US government.”
And Scott Dikkers, co-founder and longtime head of The Onion publicly stated to Scott Simon, “I was disappointed you thought it necessary to tar [Lee Camp] as little more than a Putin Stooge. He happens to be a talented and hard-working comedian on the populist/left end of the spectrum.”
This is the second major attack piece on me and my comedy show in recent months, one on NPR and one on the cover of the NY Times Arts section. These smear jobs are similar in nature, and I’m far from the only one experiencing such attacks. Many dissenting voices have been attacked, suppressed, and maligned, and it’s up to those of us who value truth and open debate to stand up and demand better. The good news is that corporate media and the profit-over-people they uphold are right now fighting for their lives, and the only way of maintaining their power is by drumming out those of us calling attention to the reality.
Hmmmmm. Should there be a line drawn between this attack on the comic Lee Camp by NPR and that on the comedian Randy Credico by Mother Jones (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqNSiQZCo6I) about a week ago? Not what you’d see from a confident elite indeed. It may be that the elite do not mind criticism as they always ignore that because of their power but what they cannot stand is to be publicly mocked and satirized!
“The Devil, the proud spirit, cannot endure to be mocked.”
– St. Thomas More, 16th Century
Indeed and in thought.
Lol,that’s my business model! Devil-mockery! Thanks,Flora! Keep your head up Lee Camp,more peeps wake up daily.
Around here we all knew NPR and Scott Simon were tools but I was surprised to see Second City’s Kelly Leonard ready to pile on Camp. I get so many fundraising emails from them.
Perhaps this might be an interesting place to share the exact moment when I knowingly STOPPED listening to NPR and never trusted them again. For me it was their atrocious coverage of the 2014 Longshoreman’s strike. It was the most lop-sides load of crap where they spent the bulk of the segment interviewing economists on the strike’s adverse affects on the economy and not one single explanation about WHY labor was striking.
NPR is home of a daily show called Marketplace, which of course is neoliberal propaganda. Note there is no daily 30 minute show dedicated to labor issues.
There used to be a program developed by labor unions which did address issues pertinent to, well, union members and all workers.
It was broadcast, toward the end of its time on PBS stations in the wee hours of the morning, a wonderful time for people who have to get up for 7AM work starting time….
It was quite interesting and well done. I tried searching for its name, but haven’t found anything so far. Anyone out there recall the program??
Oops — typo on my nym…should be jawbone
Yep. I listen to that drivel just to understand the neoliberal mindset. what i understand from the show is: everything is for sale, everything is a commodity, and everything for profit!
Marketplace has always been an ignorant waste of 30 minutes, but the focus seems to have shifted in the past couple of years. Previously they were blatantly anti-business, but now oddly enough they are very pro-corporate. Extremely ignorant coverage of the closing numbers on the dow (but usually no significant mention of nasdaq), while ignoring intra-day moves.
Now they are heavily pushing the new tax bill, saying reduced corporate taxes will bring great prosperity. At least one interview per week w/ a business owner who promises they will take the pass-thru savings and hire dozens more workers.
Labor force participation rate is the Number that Must Not Be Named.
I hate the right-wing commentators on Marketplace, but this year there have been an increasing number of commentators who are not right-wing. say moderate. And occasionally hosts who ask real questions – which never happened before. I think they’re willing to criticize Trump. (I sometimes listen in the car, so I don’t have a solid survey of all this, but they seem to be positioning themselves to survive when Trump falls.
Actually, Marketplace is American Public Media, not NPR. (A distinction without a difference)
Still, particularly after Brancaccio went to Moyers’ show and was replaced with Ryssdal, it went major league neoliberal.
They lost me during the 2016 election cycle. The Inevitable Hillary rhetoric was the reason.
And don’t get me started on Marketplace. A snarky program if there ever was one.
Agreed. They were so pro Hillary and ignored Bernie Sanders to a very large degree. That is when I realized NPR is just like the rest of the for profit media outlets and not to be trusted or listened to.
Absolutely. On the same superTuesday primary, NPR repeated ad nauseum pleas by John Kasich and Shrillary to get out and vote for THEM. NPR wasn’t trying to report the campaign, they were intent on BEING the campaign. They should change their name to TPR because they are more like a talk show than a source of news.
nice polite shills
That was my wake up call also. That illuminated the split within the Democratic party between the bought and the unbought.
On the morning of 9/11 I realized they were reporting what they were watching on television and not reporting first hand – because they have no reporters and don’t “do” news. They are a “news” magazine, much like they old Sunday paper magazine supplements that told you what movie stars were doing with their careers and horoscopes.
And it’s not like they didn’t have offices in DC and NYC on 9/11. Yeesh, someone in either of those offices could have taken recording equipment out to do some on-the-street interviews.
As for western PA, where Flight 93 went down, well, there’s an NPR affiliate in Pittsburgh, WQED. They could have sent someone out to Shanksville. It was only a one-hour drive from Pittsburgh.
No planes crashed anywhere on 9/11/01!
Tim Roemer said it was a missile that hit the Pentagon, and I think that he’s right.
They lost me in the early 2010s. In the late 00’s the Planet Money podcast “The Giant Pool of Money” offered a rather innocent explanation of the GFC — a global savings glut that led to excessive risk-taking on the part of investors desperate for yield.
This seemed persuasive at first. Through progressive “alternative media” (NEP items by Bill Black, for example, and a number of NC pieces) less innocent aspects of the agency and purpose of the changes that made the financial system more vulnerable to contagion (and to fraud) came to light and I lost faith in the “public interest” orientation of NPR. Stopped listening to their news and analysis about that time and haven’t looked back.
What is the motive for the attack on LC? Perhaps NPR recognizes that intelligent progressive alternative media are a threat to their hold on their listenership (and their funding). It certainly detached me.
I think the attack on LC is part of a larger attempt to neutralize outspoken lefties. I think we can expect much more of this kind of thing in the next couple of years, as the pressure mounts for a reform of the Democratic party. What is most depressing to me is how many of my liberal friends buy into the whole Russian propaganda thing without questioning it.
I’m a really old fart. I knew who they were when they pulled Ray Bonner from covering Central America in the 1980s after he covered El Mozote accurately. But I kept listening, because as with the NYT and WaPo, it’s useful to know what the different elite factions are saying to each other.
I stopped listening when they refused to use the word “torture” when Americans were doing the torturing.
I exited during their coverage of the First Intifada, 1990 or so, when they did a piece on how Israeli soldiers were traumatized by breaking the bones of Palestinian demonstrators.
As things are going, NPR has likely boosted Camp’s audience. I’ll be tuning in. Some enterprising student of the MSM should be tracing the arc of its self-demolition. Is anyone aware of anything like a panel study being done?
I hope someone does!
Amen, brother Marco. And I have to say, one doesn’t have to like Camp’s humor to see that he is actually covering topics and issues in a way never seen on NPR, which always supports the ruling class line. I used to think it was the relentless Republican attack to cut its funding and the list of those who underwrite the programs that made it engage in toothless reporting, but I now realize it really is just a propaganda arm of the elite that will never bite the hand that feeds, mostly because it has had all of its teeth removed, if it had them to begin with.
I’ll echo Slim: the 2016 election totally soured me, though I had been feeling this vague dissatisfaction with them for a least a few years. I previously considered Diane Rehm to be a fair, take-no-shit kind of host, but her nearly audible salivating for a Hillary presidency and brutal slams of the Sanders candidacy (if she even acknowledged it) went from unseemly to straight vulgar.
She even announced that her retirement would occur shortly after the 2016 election, if I recall. No doubt it was timed to happen right after the election of Hillary, a swan song destined to be remembered as the beginning of a new era. A better person than me would not have taken so much delight in the fact that the dreamed-of coronation was instead replaced by a Cheeto-colored turd in the ice wine.
I turned it off for good in 2001, after hearing Cokie Roberts explain why GWB cutting off aid to international family planning agencies who had the audacity to discuss a medical procedure with their clients…one that’s legal in both our country and theirs. I’d already been being rubbed the wrong way by Marketplace for quite awhile, and this was just the last straw.
NPR supported the Iraq war and Scott Simon was one of the most egregious. I never listen anymore because blood pressure.
I started to realize NPR weren’t the good guys during Iraq war, when I would hear commentators fawning over the weaponry used in the attack on Baghdad.
Agree. NPR is not the reliable source for even-keeled news. I’ll take Lee Camp any day. Late night comedy news is more honest than NPR, our national treasure has been looted
Your reason, Marco, is more alert than mine. I stopped listening to NRP because Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me is such pablum, mind-numbingly dull-witted. The most horrifying part is that their audience willingly laughs at such drivel.
Shows that NPR has an audience hooked on SOMA.
When NPR refused to call torture “torture” the line was finally crossed for me.
That’s been 15 years of relief.
For me the exact moment was when then-NPR ombudsman, Alicia Shepard, refused to be interviewed regarding NPR’s ban on the use of the word “torture.” I don’t think I’ve listened to even five minutes of NPR programming since.
@Marco, 12-20-17, 7:01 am , et al.
Oh my. That’s a keeper…Thanks JZ!! Truly ashamed I lasted until 2014 although I am a bit dense.
I have replaced NPR with podcasts. Jacobin Radio’s “The Dig” is my favorite. Open to hear any other suggestions.
I also listen to “The Dig”. Here’s a list of podcasts I scribe to you may like:
KPFA, public radio out of Berkeley (not NPR), makes much of their programming available as podcasts. “Against the Grain”, “Letters and Politics”, and “Behind the News with Doug Henwood” (though I think “The Dig” carries him too).
“Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill”, “This is Hell”, “Ralph Nadar Radio Hour”, “Project Censored”, “Counterspin”, “Economic Update with Richard D. Wolff”, “The Jimmy Dore Show”.
I also much enjoy Citations Needed (Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi), Dead Pundit’s Society, and that old goodie, This is Hell.
Intercepted – great podcast with Jeremy Scahill
And please realize, one may find the podcast “Moment of Clarity”, Backstage of Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp.
@Marco, 12-20-17, 4:51 pm – You’re welcome.
I only discovered it about 3 years ago through the streaming service I have, Pandora.
I guess this is the thread where we share when we dropped NPR as a resource? I guess I’m with Lee Camp and the commenter below who mentioned that on 9/11, they noticed NPR was simply reporting what was on TV, doing no independent reporting of their own. I’ve always seen NPR more as a transmitter of values than a source for news. I would tune in when I wanted to feel comforted that “everything was okay” (like Camp says), or, considering myself less generously, when I wanted to feel that everything was at least okay for me, as a middle class white person.
I grew past looking for that comfort partially because it stopped being one. The marginalizling (like now with Camp and everyone else who won’t buy into the russian narrative), the omissions and outright lies began to bury any sense of well being. The soft guitar and poetry enclave vibe stopped working; I guess it was somewhere in the oughts for me.
So up Lee Camp I say! It sounds like I have a new source (for news, not comfort:))Up with NC and Jimmy Dore and Wikileaks and elites losing confidence!
For me, it was a combination of getting fed up with Cokie Roberts’ daily morning condescending republican talking points, getting fed up with pundits constantly referring to NPR as a liberal radio station, and people that I know who appear to be left of center and are smart enough to know better perceiving NPR to be some sort of media bastion of sanity.
Marco: I, too, was surprised to see Kelly Leonard’s name in the posting by Lee Camp. But Simon and Leonard are part of a midwestern old-boys’ network. Very old. Very boy. And some allegations of sexual harassment have started to spill out of Second City, too. Luckily, we can’t possibly be in a fully brimstoned apocalypse if such mediocrities as Simon and Leonard are melting down. It’s something else: McCarthyism?
Npr has become a disgrace.
Try calling in to confront one of the transparent lies they peddle and see how far you get.
I group it with VoA now as a propaganda operation.
One classic example has been their Syraqistan reporting. After years of taking the neocon lying line that Russia wasnt fighting ISIS and that they were deliberately targetting civilians NPR recently released a report noting that civilian casualties in the Mosul assault might have been way higher than in the SAA East Aleppo seige.
How strange that they only figured this out after the assault was long over. Shame they werent reading RT where it was regularly reported that the civilian death toll was particularly high.
Which circle of hell are the panderers and hypocrites in?
I think that false reporting (and its effects on the perceptions of people who trust the reporters) would fall into Dante’s category of “evil counselors”.
They are in the eighth chasm, where they exist embodied in the form of flames.
“Try calling in to confront one of the transparent lies they peddle and see how far you get.”
I got through to the Diane Rehm Show back around 2008-09 and asked then-Governor Strickland of Ohio a question about why he didn’t support single payer. And I had the distinction of having Diane Rehm hang up on me. I considered it a badge of honor.
I tried twice. Once for Robert Gates who had just asserted that Russia wasnt fighting ISIS (so who killed that Russian general in Deir el Ezzor?). Sorry we ran out of time. And another time when discussing KSA intervention in Yemen – 10k of civilian dead? Really? Cos they said 10k civilian dead last year too.
Well done for actually getting through!
They’re in the one where they are buried upside down in a sea of excrement. They get to eat in hell what they were spewing above. Seems wonderfully apt.
Yuri shut off npr after watchignChomskys Manufacturing Consent ; every trope he identifies is commonly deployed.
Yes, the elites and their mouthpieces — from NPR (National Propaganda Radio) to the New York Times — are clamping down big time on dissenters and information providers. I am sorry Lee Camp was attacked yet again, but it does show that they fear his brand of no-b.s. honesty. The dinosaur media is dying. Its final task, it appears, will be to take down the rest of us with it. To hell with them.
The problem is that the “dinosaur media” is now set to take over the internet. They are just getting started…
We can call them dinosaurs. It does not do them justice.
They are The Thing. Constantly adapting, incorporating, corrupting, destroying everything it touches. It is all it knows to do.
This is an excellent, and pungent post. Thank you, Lee!
I abandoned NPR many years ago because its trajectory was clear. But it is still jarring to see just how far it has fallen.
Excellent post. It is such a relief to hear this viewpoint. Thank you.
Here’s oldie about Naked Capitalism and NPR from 2012.
Most egregiously, MPR and its founder, Mr. Kling, (also worked to establish NPR) worked hand in hand with Wall Street to skim millions from middle class with “new advice industry” with advent of IRAs and 401k’s.
Kling and Wall Street, through Marketplace and Sound Money- both funded and originated with MPR- took Wall Street funds – “Sponsors” not “advertising” which is prohibited by Public Media.
MPR/NPR spread the message of the new industry for retirement savers now that DB pensions were going the way of the dinosaur. Wall Street and MPR’s Sound Money and Marketplace perpetuated nonsense every worker needs a salesmen (oops advisor) to hold their hand to create learned helplessness on Wall Street intermediaries.
Why financial literacy efforts failed-Wall Street wrote the Curriculum and Public Radio spread the Message
Planet Money rewrote what happened on Wall Street after the financial crisis, filled with WS propaganda and continues to push dependency on redundant Wall Street intermediaries.
NPR did not just happen to fall. As I recall there was a series of mighty pushes, starting in the Reagan years, to defund them. The “Iron law of institutions” then pretty much guaranteed the current outcome.
Our local NPR/PBS affiliate actually does good local and regional reporting that is worth supporting.
Sadly there is no way to contribute to it without a large part of the donation
flowing uphill to the national organizations through programming fees. So we don’t.
Thats exactly what i was going to say. The only reason i end up listening to NPR is because the local affiliate (KERA) does some really good local reporting. I dont mind the hourly headlines either, as they seem straight off the AP feed. But when i hear all things considered, i want to vomit. All elites considered should be the real name.
I stopped listening to NPR years ago when I found out that many of their commentators also worked for Fox News.
I gave up on NPR when the parent organization took all that money from Ray Krocs’ widow. My thought at the time was that McDonalds had bought itself a radio network. The same disgust goes for Newshour. Remember when MacNeil and Lehrer were the frontmen there?
There was a “Golden Age” kiddies. Dick Cavett, Steve Allen, Edward R Murrow, Rod Serling, the list goes on.
I have ‘quit’ several times— most recently was the hour of empty podium Trump left for the media, while Bernie was across town giving The Speech Of His Life, the one few of had an opportunity to hear, one week before the dimocrap convention summer of 2016. Of all media, one would have thought that NPR and PBS would cover the Bern at that moment.
I now listen with a very jaded ear… never a penny donated to either. And I do send them critical emails the moment I smell a rat with bad gas… enough to gag a maggot, most days.
Back to my harness and flag blanket- time for this tax mule consumer to pull the thing along…
What wrecked NPR may have been Reagan’s 80s defunding of public broadcasting which forced a much greater dependence on corporate contributions and listeners who have enough dough to make those pledges. Not for nothing do PBS drama shows now commence with ads for Viking River Cruises and Ralph Lauren. Follow the money.
And in NPR’s case they are headquartered in Washington and doubtless munch their cocktail weenies with the best of them. Scott Simon’s commentary during the Clinton impeachment saga could have been written by DC society doyenne Sally Quinn herself. While Cokie Roberts once made jokes about “inside the Beltway” and outside the Beltway you don’t hear much of that any more. These days NPR is as inside the Beltway as it gets.
Where are the baby boomers who were against the Vietnam war? Don’t they care about the massive killing machine we have now. I silently screamed at their NPR’s coverage of W’s plan for war. That was when I could no longer be calmed with the sonorous talk.
Since Vietnam it’s been made clear that war is not to be on the front page, or at the top of the newscast, if it is mentioned at all. I think frankly most boomers are for the most part blissfully unaware and like it that way. The bigger question to me is, why aren’t the millennial generation (who outnumber boomers) out in the streets? They are the ones who are really getting the shaft.
NPR knows its audience. You get the same sense about the NYT. They are going after affluent liberals who basically like the system as it is. Trump upsets them not so much because of any given policy— if Obama had achieved his Grand Bargain many would have been fine with it even if it had hurt as many people as the Republicans are planning to hurt now. It is Trump’s utter lack of class that bothers them. Bush II bothered them for the same reasons. And Cheney has the affect of a Bond movie villain, so he was easy to hate.. Liberals professed to think the Iraq War was the most catastrophic blunder in American history. Then Clinton ran and people like Krugman brushed off her support as a triviality and praised her vast foreign policy experience.
Yep. So many liberals i used to look up to in my 20s let me down. Turned out to be selfish and hypocritical. Especially about war.
If they don’t like Trump’s utter lack of class, then how did they endure the LBJ presidency? That guy really pegged the boorish meter.
Andrew Jackson would have been another object of scorn.
NPR lost me during the run-up to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, when they daily interviewed or requested comment from Republican elected officials and rarely interviewed or requested comment from Democrats. It was very one-sided.
The Democrats lost me with the Affordable Care Act. Forever.
Carla, I agree with you 99.99% of the time, really.
All Things Lightly Considered.
Disillusionment with NPR finally rooted during the primaries. Every chance they got, particularly on the magazine shows, they stuck the knife in Bernie with Hillary talking points.
The opener in this scribble from the wayback has Scott Simon as exhibit A.
Thanks Lee, your show is funny and pointed and these people don’t get comedy. They have been given the point by their boss and can’t imagine people being allowed to think for themseleves when it is their job to give you all you need to think. I remember when NPR was sold to private interests to do propaganda for George II the idiot. cue music, announcer, “NPR; spreading tedium to the tranquilized”
wow. The Clintons trail a cloud of mob hysteria – even the “polite” NPR variety of hysteria – in their wake like a cloud of flies. Starting in Bill’s admin with the ginned up mob hysteria over day care centers, followed by imprisoning people on what later turned out to be false charges, and military/police raids on private homes. Then there was the mob hysteria fomented in Ukraine to achieve dubious political ends. And now a combo of sex hysteria ginned up out of a real issue (that’s been hijacked for political ends) and cold war level smearing to silence critics of the Dem and neoliberal economic estab.
Thanks for this post.
NPR presents itself as the standard for what is good and moral, and implies or states that people deviating from that standard are not good and are not moral. Once they have taken that high ground, and have defenses paid for by their select group of masters, they tend to ignore the listeners except during the pathetic pledge drives.
They lost me as a regular listener decades ago when I caught them lying by omission and by commission on a story. Now, I get slight entertainment out of listening to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me as that coincides with time in the car on Saturday errands.
There are periodic ripples in the NPR universe fabric, such as when some uppity Republican proposes funding cuts. How Dare They we hear, and then there is self-righteous moralizing followed by sputtering, with some listeners having a dash of schadenfreude, and then the news cycle ends.
It would be a fun propoganda excersie to compare the number of Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me jokes at the President’s expense in the Clinton/Bush/Obama/Trump administrations. That show alone should have resulted in NPR getting no federal funding at all.
I received my paper copy of the January issue of Harper’s Magazine. I was disconcerted (to put it politely) at the latest maunderings by Rebecca Solnit, the female Scott Simon, in the Easy Chair, the magazine’s opening essay. Although Solnit usually goes after self-produced straw men, and they are always men, in this latest issue of Harper’s she goes full Joe McCarthy.
Notice the paragraph in the middle where she admits to trying to connect disparate facts (including electoral hacking by the evil Russians, as noted by Lee Camp above): It is the equivalent of “I have a list of 200 commies in the State Department.” [And the same syndrome described by Camp and noted by commenters above]
Considering the news that Jill Stein is being dragged, McCarthy-like, before the Congress, I am wondering just how far the Hillary-Dead-Enders are willing to go. For the addled Solnit, there seem to be no constitutional provisions worth protecting, no slippery allegation of hacking too improbable not to repeat, and no sense of the consequences of her endless anger-curdled accusations.
NPR. New York Times. Solnit. Nothing completely unexpected here, ironically.
I was thinking of giving a Harper’s subscription to a loved one for Christmas, but am having second thoughts after reading Solnit’s piece.
I find a lot of Solnit’s work valuable, especially her ongoing “list,” but I have to say my biggest problem with my Harper’s subscription and gift subscription is that the magazine comes with truly horrible perfumed ads so that anyone with any sensitivity has to chuck it in the trash before even opening the plastic covering. Don’t do it.
Harper’s Magazine doesn’t come plastic-wrapped or with perfume ads. Are you getting Harper’s Bazaar?
Just read the Solnit piece you referenced. Lovely middlebrow atmospherics and a leisurely pace – perfect for people who haven’t actually read Jane Austen since High School, but appreciate Jane Austen references in comedy-drama TV shows featuring quirky, intelligent single-mom white women with careers. Then the actual “fact” content, found half-way through: “The evidence of Russian interference piled up like wood for a bonfire, but somehow it never became a powerful enough story to prompt the outgoing administration to act decisively or to make urgent the question of whether one candidate was colluding with a foreign power.”
But … but … no. At this point (this is in the Jan 18 issue, btw), can we just go ahead and call this a lie? “Russian interference” … “colluding” … given what we all know, this is Glenn Beck (remember that guy?) territory. The sort of thing that our chardonnay drinking cognoscenti are supposed to laugh at.
But this isn’t crude propaganda. Crude is when a comedian uses the F word alot.
I crossed paths with Solnit on Facecrack a few years back. She was on the vanguard of protests about the influx of tech workers moving into the Mission district (Google busses etc.). She spoke about these kids as if they were some sort of lower life form she had to scrape off the bottom of her shoe. She, of course, had recently purchased a condo conversion in the Mission (after selling her old condo to a Google engineer) and was probably miffed becasue of the long lines at Tartine. I realized then the moral bankruptcy of liberal elite punditry.
Besides, her writing is tedious and stultifying. WTF is that Harper’s piece, anyway?
Since Solnit rotates month-to-month with Walter Kirn (an excellent columnist), the magazine makes me feel manic depressive. I get a totally different feeling when I find Harper’s in the mail on a Kirn month, and I almost dread picking up the magazine the month after. This month, I believe, we get a Andrew Cockburn article to make up for her terribleness.
I still marvel at the episode of Planet Money where Christina Agulerria (sp?) was, in person, asked to evaluate a youtube video.
The video consists of a rap battle between Hayeck and Friedman.
Friedman stood in for the *liberal* end of economic thought.
Before allowing her to watch it, the video’s authors had to quiz her to make sure she understood enough about economics to properly review the rap battle.
I think about this incident a lot.
I started yelling at Nice Polite Republicans during the 2016 primaries. My wife and I timed their morning news coverage of Trump, Clinton, and Sanders on several occasions, and the typical results would be: Trump, 15 minutes; Clinton, 5 minutes; Sanders, 10 seconds. They’d play long clips from Clinton TV ads, would report a Sanders primary win as a Clinton loss without even mentioning Sanders, etc.
Alas, I cannot donate to our local public radio, which has a fine classical music channel, because some of the money would go to the news channel, which is larded up with NPR trash.
I heard the NPR report, and I’d characterize it as hit-piece-lite, most of the intended “damage” being done by a supposed expert on Russian propaganda, but also some breezy chuckling. Of course, NPR made no real attempt to address in any detail the content of Camp’s program. They did, however, point out that Camp was invited to be interviewed, but he declined after THEY declined to accept his ground rules — and they didn’t bother to describe his ground rules.
For me one of the most important points here is that an artist is under attack. I expect we will be seeing more of this in the future. It’s worth watching for more attacks on artists of all sorts.
lee, as always, well supported argument. I wouldn’t worry too much about the attacks though; unfettered capitalism has one good side effect — people have become “consumers” of whatever is popular. The more you are mentioned (for good or ill) the higher audience you’ll get. Had you not already been my main news source, their criticism of you would have prompted me to go and see what kind of thing you were doing.
I remember angrily tweeting at Scott Simon after he did a story called “A Meditation on Evil” right after the chemical attack in Syria that Trump responded to by pointlessly lobbing some Tomahawks and boosting Raytheon’s stock price. Simon’s story just wanted to talk about “the different ways we understand evil in modern times.” NPR is for pernicious children who think they’re the good guys because they’re “liberal.”
Podcasts, people. Lee Camp’s is Moment of Clarity. Subscribe. Download. Rate, review on iTunes. Others include Dead Pundits, Unauthorized Disclosures, LeShow. NPR is so Bush administration.
Thank you Lee Camp– your show is a public service. Redacted Tonight and The Jimmy Dore Show have been a beacon of sanity for me over the past few months, replacing the void left when The Daily Show, John Oliver, and Colbert turned into rank propaganda outlets and Larry Wilmore’s Nightly Show got cancelled.
My friends all look surprised when I tell them that the only place to get real news these days is RT, but that’s the world we’re living in.
I’m on Lee Camp’s e-mailing list. He just sent a link to this article.
Which could bode well for the growth of his audience and the one for this-here NC community.
Thanks so much for covering this. As we say in the vegan movement, these attacks, false information and smears are just evidence of “rising anxieties” among the establishment. Shows Lee Camp is having an impact with a mere 30,000 Youtube views!
I never listened to Mr. Camp, but I have heard many other shows on RT which have expressed valid and valuable ideas that you cannot find on MSM. I listen and contribute to NPR mostly because of music, local coverage, and car talk reruns. I have to vent about one member of the NPR talent pool. David Green. No matter who he interviews, he always attacks them from the right. It is really pathetic, and mind-numbingly predictable. Just this morning he interviewed a Democrat opponent of the tax bill, and hounded him with Ryan’s talking points. Fox News could not find a better robot commentator than this guy.
In his assiduous sucking up to the right, David Green is classic NPR. He’s a big reason I switched off NPR.
Our handlers do have to know enough to run us, and to keep their story straight — that is the function of outlets like the NYT and NPR. They have to maintain a high enough factual standard to enable people to run us, which means their pieces are pitched at a high enough standard of reporting that you can watch their hands as they move from reporting to swindling (for example, the notorious NYT Judy Miller story about the discovery of the equipment used to fabricate the Iraqi WMD…sourced to a man in a baseball hat!). Ditto for The Guardian, WSJ, BBC, or RT.
You don’t get enough information at Fox News to see how the con works, but you do at NPR, and that is a great help in inferring why the liars want you to believe what they are handing out. So they do have their role to play. “Now go back to sleep.”
Eva Bartlett is also taking a hit
I stopped contributing to NPR years ago. They refused to cover a story because it involved one of their sponsors. More recently when congress was considering across the board cuts in the budget NPR had a show with several pro-military people arguing to exempt the pentagon. No one presented an opposing view. At the end of the segment one of the military people thanked the host for supporting the military for so many years.
First they ignore you.
Then they laugh at you.
Then they attack you.
Then you win.
– Gandhi (misattributed)
Man, this and the Ames article are just sickening. One wonders about people like Lally and Simon: How do they justify this stuff to themselves? Have they bought their own snake oil, or what?
The God that failed. The outraged “I gave up on NPR when…” comments remind me of the ex-Communist NeoCons I knew back in DC during the1980s;
So let’s examine where NPR/ PBS/CPB went wrong. First, the backbone- the real value and power- is in the ownership of the station licenses. A few pioneers (MN, NYC, Boston) go back to the 1950s but most local licenses were given to committees of nice, young establishment liberals in the 1960s. They and their children still run them; the “Board of Directors” the contributors get to vote on has no power. Only when there is a direct challenge to the very nice but ossified licensed boards will the system change. And then maybe not for the better. Think National Sympathy Orchestra and the Met in NYC. Ossified boards not of liberals but of the rich.
Second is the money flow. To be an NPR station you must commit to buy NPR shows. Some of the money flows up from the local contributors to NPR National; a surprisingly small bit flows from the U.S. government to things like the Corp for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to create programs. The rest is foundation money (meaning nice upper class liberal kids working for established foundations like Ford and Pew) or “new liberal money”- read the list at the end of the Charlie Rose show, mostly rich NYC and CA types. In TV five big public stations decide what gets funded via CPB and the foundations. So we get soft-focus 1960 liberalism (civil rights shows and Ken Burns) and very limited funding for local programming. I’m one of those who thinks that Federal money has led us into a 1960s Soviet trap- old leaders we can’t replace living out the dreams of their youth. Maybe we should found users groups that get money together and offer it to the local station for the sole purpose of providing local programming- cultural, political and social.
Here in Austin my money goes to a local, non-NPR classical music station, KMFA (I deliver the money in cash to stay off the mailing list) and a spin-off of the U. of Texas, NPR-public radio station KUT called KUTX, a place where the real DJ’s, like that grand old eccentric John Aielli, live on.
The educated people I know here in Austin listen to NPR for one reason; it sounds like normal, upper-middle class conversation. A surprising number of conversations revolve around what NPR reported today, so they still have an audience. But if they and PBS continue along the present route they will become the BBC and CBC of the 1950s and 60s- literate, kind, liberal in a soft way and increasingly irrelevant.
D-I-A–I like what you did, pulling things apart into reasons. Like Mr Lee did in citing those 11 ways in his essay. You say:
Maybe we should found users groups that get money together and offer it to the local station for the sole purpose of providing local programming- cultural, political and social.
Scratch Local and insert Alternative and I would say that kind of paraphrased NPRs goal 40 years ago.
Implied in many comments is Cred gone Bad. I heard NPR build up a lot of that credibility with solid, insightful and alternative journalism over the 38 years I’ve listened. Enough of it was so good it got you hooked and gave you other sources. It built credibility enough that people gave their money.
Then things got changed up in the 90s and now its different.
And it would do us all well-as you have started–to be very clear–step by step clear- -as to how and why the NEWS Bureaus of our (the Publics) NPR/PBS/CPB have become this way.
I think it started to go down the drain when Newt Gingrich insisted that funding for individual programs be tied to audience ratings as measured by Nielson, IIRC. That was the beginning.
NPR, in general, is nothing more than “slick” radio. Been this way for decades.
Scott Simon and his Bozoness is a good weekend ruined.
Democracy Now! kicks NPR’s ass every day.
Lee, it seems you’ve moved beyond the “first they ignore you” phase.
I turned NPR off (indeed national propaganda radio – along with Propaganda Broadcasting station) a while back when I noticed that Cokie Roberts referred to Congress as if it was one being that talked in one voice. “Congress says this…” “Congress does that”. I would cringe when I heard her name including for her insipid books on Booktv: “We are our mothers daughters”? No kidding. She gives journalism a bad name. I discovered real news on alternative media of which there are many – Jimmy Dore and Lee Camp being two of the best recently for me. DemocracyNow most times; The Real News Network also – http://therealnews.com/t2/. Patreon is providing access for many others as well where Youtube as been censoring much. I worry that the loss Net neutrality will destroy all this.
One side note about PBS I stopped watching when I realized that shows like Foyle’s war were edited to FIT the PBS time slot – whole chunks of episodes would be lopped off to fit the time allotted. So OF COURSE NPR/PBS limits access to real, detailed news – it’s what they do, with everything as Lee Camp explains above. Now I watch ROKU which has Acorntv, MHZChoice, France24 and lots of other channels that have European programs and news. ROKU used to provide RTTV until it was suddenly dropped – no reason given. I worry that ROKU will just disappear as well – with the loss of net neutrality… I also use a regionless DVD player for DVDs from all over the world. American versions are frequently “santized.”
NPR and Scott Simon? How about the whole PBS system?
The presenters and the executives are card-carrying members of the Elite. Their kids go to the same private schools, and they golf and socialize with other Elites. Media rock-stars like Simon are millionaires. How many progressives are there in the MSM?r Does the MSM have any real liberals?r
Yes, I put NPR and PBS in the MSM class. I still enjoy music, drama, and art programming, but I can’t help being suspicious when I watch them now.
And I avoid their news and political shows.
It’s pseudo-liberal programming for the Elite class. Perhaps it soothes their consciences a little, but it sticks in my craw.
. .. . .. — ….
When NPR sacked Bob Edwards some years ago, that ended regular listening for us…also, the late Dan Schorr slowly morphed from a gadfly anti-Nixon journalist into a pro-war, stodgy neo-con apologist, aided and abetted by his handler, the exceedingly tiresome Scott Simon, which left absolutely NO REASON to listen on the weekend mornings…wheezing hackery of the worst sort.
My 17 year old son asked me how the world works. I said (a Dad response) “Why do you want to know?” He said “The news makes no sense.” I suggested he start with Chomsky’s “Who Rules the World?” He read it and came back to me and said, “Dad, you’ve got to watch this guy Lee Camp!” So we do, together, regularly. Thanks Lee from out here in regional Australia.
My q12 year old asked the same question and I could only quote Stalin. “_all power grows out of the barrel of a long rifle” I
I’m with you on Bob Edwards. Even though NPR had sadly deteriorated long before he left, the Edwards firing was the last straw for me. There was a time when his mellifluous baritone was the morning.
Just to add that even though our US public broadcasting isn’t what it was, PBS in particular still has some excellent shows–many of which come from overseas. The non public affairs side of public broadcasting does still deserve our support if we care about an alternative to commercial broadcasters. And even the news shows, however bad, can never be as bad as CNN.
But NPR is pretty much a lost cause.
Poor Bob. He was a good one, so he had to go.
I would say something about the typical heritage of so many on-air staff, management, guest experts, quotees, etc. But it would be taken the wrong way. I would only intend that mention to mean that there may be a bias in the way certain international affairs are presented. Which I find frustrating.
I heard the promo for this in the car last Thursday. They played Lee’s quote about bearded Siberians – clearly sarcasm for laughs – followed by Scott Simon speaking as though Lee was making a literal admission. It was so patently ridiculous I couldn’t even be angry – I was laughing too hard.
Congrats to Lee Camp as now thanks to NPR will probably expand his viewers 10 fold. Something right out of Trump’s and Marilyn Monroe’s playbook, “I don’t care what the newspapers say about me as long as they spell my name right.”
Keep up the good work Lee!
stopped listening sometime during the first year of the iraq war.
Well, I have to say, first off, that Lee Camp is superb — ROFL. His humor is reminiscent of, yes, our beloved George Carlin, some of the best of Richard Pryor, and John Oliver. And, he is so on-target politically. The drive-by hit job and slimy cheap shots from NPR are pretty surprising, and as Camp has pointed out, fall right into line with the Democratic Party’s Russia-baiting. Although, I must admit, Vladimir “Romanoff” Putin could actually be considered a comic foil, much as we consider Donald “Duck” Trump, if only they both weren’t so terrifying. My take: Carry on, Lee Camp! Use all this as an opportunity (as you have been). And, as that Dylan song goes: “Time will tell/Just who has fell/And who gets left behind…” I’ll be on your side through all this.
I received a solicitation for a contribution from WHYY. I wrote on it “You sold out” and taped two pennies face down to the contribution slip and sent it back. A week later I received a membership card and a thank you for my $0.02 contribution.
I’m not sure whether I was dealing with a robot or humanoid robot — a smart-ass one-upping my two cents — a drone racking up some number-of-members statistic — or a co-conspirator inside who shared my feelings about the organization. [This is being moderated …..?]
I’d take the corporatoid’s acceptance and acknowledgement of the two cents as a compliment.
I’m always offering my two cents worth and nobody takes a damn blind bit of notice.
NPR and I have gone through many breakups since 9/11 but we hit the irreconcilable differences stage some years ago. I even remember being thrilled to get a tour of their DC lair. Now I just wonder what the hell I was smoking.
In addition to Lee Camp and others mentioned by folks, Sane Progressive (Debbie Lusignan) and Caitlin Johnstone (mostly on Medium) are great much-smeared truth-tellers.
And the short documentary “Beyond the Edit: Truthing Media – A Counter to Reality Distortion” (breaking down NPR interviews of Bernie supporters) perfectly illustrates why Lee insisted on a live on-air interview:
They have to pay for that shiny new bazillion dollar building… Just like the New York Times.
I grew up on NPR. My mother had it on the radio all day, every day. The words “Cokie Roberts” or “Nina Totenberg”; and the All Things Considered theme jingle give me a warm mom and apple pie glow of nostalgia.
It was the likes of Naked Capitalism, Ames and Exiled, and the Unz Review that taught me that NPR is in fact the enemy.
More of the same corporate media morans and lying weasel’s
I stopped taking PBS seriously and stopped sending them donations (I had been a “member” of WGBH, Boston) back 20 years ago. I witnessed a Frontline episode that focused completely on convincing viewers that fear of nuclear power is as irrational as fear of a shark attack; it was quite an outrage to watch. About 5-6 years later National Petroleum Radio drove the WMD propaganda day and night, interviewed only military, no war resisters, and beat the drum relentlessly for the invasion of Iraq. Many people on the left began to wake up to how useless they were then. It’s wonderful that people continue to wake up to how counterproductive/contrary PBS & NPR have become to left leaning politics, but it’s not enough to know. You must spread the word as much as you can. I’m not terribly brilliant, and I never finished college yet I was able to understand about these outlets 20 years ago. Yet intelligent, educated people are still not getting it, old habits die so hard… It’s taking far too long for the word to get out and around. Please try harder!!
I was done with NPR in 2002 or so after 17 years of faithful membership in my local affiliate. They had an interview with Colin Powell in the lead up to the Iraq war. He lied his ass off, he knew he was lying, the host knew he was lying and there was ZERO counterpoint or rebuttal to be heard. That is when I realized I had been duped, there is nothing remotely progressive about NPR.