Wednesday, March 9, 2011

NPR on tape

I wonder what the people at National Public Radio REALLY think?

Publicly they are too chicken to defend Ron Schiller, in whose taped conversation (orchestrated by James O'Keefe) between himself and two people posing both as Muslims and as potential $5 million contributors to National Public Radio, he described 'Tea Party' conservatives as 'xenophobic, gun toting racists.' Gun toting may have been hyberbole. But really. How far off the mark is he?

Dana David Rehm, senior vice president of marketing at NPR says, "We are appalled by the comments made by Ron Schiller in the video, which are contrary to what NPR stands for."

So what, exactly, does NPR stand for? I thought the answer used to be, "the truth."

When did it become impossible to speak, and defend, the truth in this country?

Long ago. Long ago.

The way the NPR brass is scurrying off in the opposite direction disgusts me. Stand by your man.

Nice blogs are not supposed to be political. They're supposed to be about flowers and food and the things nice people can agree on without scratching the nasty surface.

Consider the surface scratched.


  1. When I first heard about the "sting" I thought "so what? they ARE xenophobes, racists and hypocrites." Disappointed that NPR is weaseling on this.

  2. Always happy to see someone addressing the problems swirling around in the muddy waters of America.

    College students and future voting rights in New Hampshire is my new beef.

    Yes we can enjoy our food and flowers but we can;t be blinded by them.

    Scratch away sister, I'm with you.

    xo Jane

  3. Unfortunately NPR is funded in part by tax dollars....and there are many people in this country who hate that their tax money funds "a liberal agenda"....they have been after NPR for decades...while I agree with his statements...they are in danger of having their funding pulled...sad state of affairs....and yes...scratch scratch scratch!

    Carol Wayne

  4. And on the subject of tax dollars. Mine are used to fund war. I have no say in that. War is fine, dead bodies are fine, but tax dollars for informed opinions on the radio are not?

  5. In Wisconsin, teachers are being villified and the right to collective bargaining is being stripped - we've fought for limiting class size, having qualified people teach, to which our (tea partying) Gov responds by eliminating capital gains tax for corporations and funding charter schools (no accountability measures) ek betoog weer! WH Auden my favorite.. the Giant currently kicking Jack's butt..

  6. And Big Juli(a) and your President are "best mates" and will continue to strive for a good outcome in Afghanistan.
    Whatever happened to bringing the troops home?
    There are quite a few disenchanted voters down here, too.

  7. I could not agree more. What really does NPR stand for if not rational and forward thinking view points then aside from BBC where can we can news that is not filtered to one or more groups. And if not that what? What the heck was the 60's all about anyhow and where are all those people who wanted to change the world. How did we get to this crazy place.

  8. Boy, this itches! Scratch away. When the oh-so-conservative governor of Virginia was on the radio telling the General Assembly to cut funding to Central Virginia Public Radio, the only station carrying his message was.... NPR. I had hoped they would pull the plug when he said it, but they carried on.

    The only hope I see for the near future is that folks will realize that these Tea Partiers are actually Mad Hatters and will vote them out in two years. Hope we aren't in the pit of another recession by then with all their job killing cuts.

    Down, Webb. Off the soap box!

  9. Right thinking liberals aren't supposed to paint with broad strokes. That's for the other side. So whenever they hear a broad stroke, knee jerk.

  10. NPR = National Petroleum Radio. Or National Pentagon Radio, depending on the day ... so says the human.

  11. Yes, but I do prefer my flowers without political vitriol thrown in. So, as they say, I will vote with my feet.

    You have a beautiful blog. I wish you much success in your future ventures.

    -non-xenophobic, non-racist but wanting our political system to change

  12. Gretchen - that was my first reaction. Perhaps we must accept that all Tea Partyers are not, but it's hard to believe given their unmotley pigmentation and their spokespersons...

    flwrjane - very muddy. The flowers and food (read lifestyle) are why we have not had our own revolution. The banks, the wars, the no-money-for-schools-and-police-and-fire-departments-and-services but we still flush it down the war toilet on foreign soil. We have flowers, food, we have to much too lose. Comfort is addictive.

    Carol Wayne - yes, I agree, it is a problem that tax dollars promote any agenda, for anyone. But think of some of the corporate funding for NPR - it's not exactly left wing. My issue is listening to a station that STILL claims to be ad-free (ha!ha!ha!) and that then advertises for Monsanto. It's still the best radio around, but please call a fig a fig and a trough a trough.

    Oumie (hi Judi! Sorry, can't really think of you as an Oumie) - Ja nee. The Unions. I have seen union workers here in NYC do the bare minimum, with zero zeal (I generalize), as they can't lose their jobs. I support the ideal of the union - to protect workers' rights and prevent exploitation - but question how well it works in practise.

    MIT - yep.

    msdworks - I don't know. Money is addictive?

    webb - it's good to see you on the soapbox. I keep mine under the bed for easy access.

    Frank - I hadn't thought of it that way. Is the moral of the story, as usual, not to get caught?

    Ikaika - the human is funny. That's when I really laugh. The right thinks NPR is left and the left thinks NPR is right.

    Anonymous Who wants Change - I'm actually surprised there are not more of you voting with your feet, as I know flowers and food are common ground for people of many persuasions. Thanks for the kind comments, and please do not mistake opinion for vitriole.

  13. Hi Marie -

    'Anonymous who wants change' here. Obviously, I was curious if my comment garnered attention and so I returned to check.

    I just wanted to clarify that I have no objection to someone stating their opinion. And this is your blog, I am the interloper here. I appreciate that you allow your readers to express their views.

    I am dismayed, however, that what was once the language of tree-stumping politicians or loud-mouthed pundits has become the way that we - the common people, if you will - talk about each other, e.g. 'You disagree with my point of view? You must be a xenophobe.'; 'You identify with a particular political party? You are a racist.'

    This is not limited to one political party or viewpoint. We all are quick to label each other making sure, of course, that the morally superior ones are reserved for ourselves.

    I hate to see it. That is the vitriol to which I object. I think it shuts downs the type of discourse that is necessary for us to affect change.

    Respectfully -


    p.s. For what it's worth, I'm not a 'tea partier' :-)

  14. Wow. I had the same reaction. Exactly.

  15. Um, rather a broad brush, don't you think?

    I'm a Tea Party member, but since I came to this country as an immigrant I think it would be a stretch to call me a xenophobe.

    I want secure borders, perhaps because I live in Southern Arizona and see what happens when a few hundred thousand people pour across the fence, but does that make me a racist (or xenophobe).

    My personal preference would be a massive cut in federal government funding, starting with any programs not essential to national security. NPR certainly falls into that category.

    ps On a happier topic, the desert is about to bloom despite the lack of rain and the hard freeze. We might get some nice flowers yet.

  16. Thank you, Bruce. Yes, it is a broad brush - perhaps informed by the rhetoric of party leaders, the myopia of vocal hangers-on, and the very few people I have met in person, some of whose views scare me witless...

    But long live the desert flowers :-)

  17. Flowers without political vitriol? What a very boring life that would be! And how about some political flowers? Hmmm....Clintonia borealis. There, that's a start. Marie, please keep providing your uncensored opinions -- that's what's so great about a democracy. You're free to say it, and others are free not to listen.

  18. Marie,

    Speaking of desert flowers, we discovered something amazing (to us): The Mexican evening primrose buds open very fast, like watching a time lapse movie. My wife and I were watching one last night and she said, "I don't think this one is going to open." Just then it literally burst open. Very pretty flower, too. You can almost set your watch by the flowers; they currently open at 6:37 pm. What an interesting world we live in.

  19. Bruce - we saw the same thing happen last year in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho - the flowers literally bursting open at the side of the path as we walked in the late evening. The engineering of it was remarkable. It's toward the end of this post:


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