s skippy the bush kangaroo: npr = no politics radio

skippy the bush kangaroo

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

npr = no politics radio

readers of this space will remember our fondness for author (and former gov't covert worker) barry eisler (our reviews of fault line, inside out and the detachment).

we were directed by jay rosen's tweet to barry's latest opus, an essay at fdl about how national public radio edited the hell out of him to eliminate all semblance of reality, lest it show somebody in a bad light:

npr wasn’t objecting to my argument (nineteen eighty-four’s political warning is relevant today); they were objecting to my evidence (tom friedman et al’s mistakes are disposed of as though via a memory hole; npr and other named organizations are using government-approved orwellian language). this matters not only because an argument’s persuasiveness depends (at least to a rational audience) on what evidence is offered in support. it matters too because preferences like the ones ms. krule expressed tend to reveal an otherwise hidden media ideology, one more important and insidious than the left/right labels that are the dominant — and distracting — prism by which we generally classify people’s politics. if you want to understand the politics of npr and other such organizations, forget for a moment left/right, and focus instead on what might loosely be called an establishment ideology, for npr is an establishment media player following establishment media norms…

at the government’s urging, npr has adopted orwellian speech. it prefers to suppress this decision rather than debate it. it extends its injunction to similar decisions of peer organizations — specifically, the new york times, usa today, wall street journal, and washington post. no matter how outlandishly wrong and destructive a pundit’s predictions have been subsequently proven, npr believes it unacceptably indecorous for the pundit in question to be held accountable by name. generally speaking, npr is okay with evidence that might loosely be classified as "what," while being not at all okay with evidence that might loosely be classified as "who." i can’t think of any media behaviors more revealing than these of an establishment ideology and bias.
while we are not surprised, we are perturbed. more and more all media have become the mouthpiece for the establishment, and it's getting harder to hear dissenting voices.

barry points out that blogtopia (and yes, we coined that phrase!) is one place you can still hear/read opposing views, and for that we are happy, and a wee bit proud to be part of it. (and proud to have coined it, too!)

[ed note: we are big fans of barry's edge-of-your-seat plotting and his thrillers. be sure to check out his latest, london twist, available exclusively at the kindle store!]
posted by skippy at 9:46 PM |


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