What He Said (NPR Deadweight Dept.)

Jack Shafer in Slate, Behold how little substance NPR's Cokie Roberts can pack into four minutes of airtime suggests it's time for NPR to replace Cokie Roberts with actual content.

Actually he's too kind: Roberts isn't bad just because she's vacuous and boring, but also because she so frequently recites GOP talking points without editing or contextualizing. (This is not surprising if you know her maiden name and family history.)

I've vowed not to give to NPR again until they replace Roberts and the almost as useless Juan Williams. I don't require an unbiased commentator — heck, bias can be more fun some time — and certainly don't require one I agree with (that can be boring). But I'd like one who shows some sign of having done some thinking or some investigation. Almost any major political blogger would be better.

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10 Responses to What He Said (NPR Deadweight Dept.)

  1. Joe1 says:

    Uncle Juan causes problems for you, too, I see.

  2. justme says:

    The sometimes shallow coverage on NPR is due to the fact that they have a very limited amount of time to get the audience caught up on the days major events. Most of us are in the car for what 20 to an hour in the morning? Between that useless Miami Herald report that they force on us, and all of the commericals for a show about “a beautiful geisha and an officer who was no gentleman” (I just puked in my mouth a little bit) and other crap, it is a miracle that they can fit any news on the program at all.

    Anyways, don’t knock NPR. Would you rather listen to the likes of Rush Limbaugh or whoever is on Air America? Maybe those clowns on the classic rock station, or Buba The Love Sponge?

    If you want more, read.

  3. Randy Paul says:

    While I agree about Cokie, Hale Boggs started as a pro-segregationist Democrat, but did support the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    Lindy Boggs was reëlected four times without opposition in a predominantly black district.

  4. LACJ says:

    justme, I enjoyed your comment a great deal, very nice writing. However I feel that NPR still has a way to go. How to get there, I am afraid I do not know. But is it better? Sure. Although I tend to look for college radio stations when traveling. But better is not equal to good enough, as I suspect we both understand.

  5. cheap_bastard says:

    “I’ve vowed not to give to NPR again…”

    So we can assume that like a good liberal you’ve stopped listening?

  6. justme says:

    No, do not read while driving (a friend of mine wrecked his previous car doing that). Read after driving. Learn some of the basics by listening to NPR, then (while not driving), turn to other sources for more detailed analysis. When you get back in the car the next day, you can have a satisfying debate with Cokie Roberts where you leave her speechless and incapable of responding to your well thought out arguments (that or you will look like a raving lunatic talking to yourself in the car).

    Either way, what are you complaining about…NPR is free. 🙂

  7. michael says:

    Either way, what are you complaining about…NPR is free. 🙂

    How I wish I could sign on to the idea that ‘free == immune from critique’. It would make all my trolls go away….

  8. Personally, I’d argue with the notion that “Have to pay for it whether you want to or not” = “free”; NPR is still getting government funding. Now, Limbaugh, he’s free, unless maybe you drink Snapple.

    Yeah, they can be so insipid at times I’d prefer somebody who was objectionable, but at least interesting.

    “No, do not read while driving “

    Watch out what books on tape you listen to, too: Stephen Jay Gould put me to sleep once with an extended baseball metaphor, and I nearly ended up in the ditch.

  9. 'elo_guvna says:

    The simple solution is to have the government ban radio hosts it doesn’t like. For example, the [b]ritish have now banned entry into their “country” of a conservative American radio talk-show host (who by the way is Jewish). As our own Supreme Court has suggested, we ought to look to Eurabia for guidance on our own governance.

    Therefore, there would seem to be compelling Eurabian precedent for banning the speech of conservatives from NPR. With Obama in office, now more than ever we should seize the moment and drive dissent from the airwaves. Our grand experiment in “democracy” has one glaring weakness: voices that speak counter to the state agenda are allowed to foster dissent and disharmony. As you suggest, that should be squashed. NPR is for us smart, witty, well-bred liberals. How dare the dirty conservatives try to play with our toys?

    Again, I like the example of the [b]ritish. Ban Cokie Roberts, ban Juan Williams, shut down Fox and conservative talk radio. We all know the Eurabians are far more advanced than us, their civilization is so much older and refined. We must do as they do.

    I love Big Brother. Big Brother is all wise.

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