Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Oh, NPR

You're still "National Palestinian Radio," aren't you?  I thought you had changed for the better -- moved towards the "center," if you will -- over the last couple of years.  Apparently it's all been an elaborate liberal hoax. 

As a relatively regular NPR (KUNC, more specifically) listener, I am well aware of their biases.  The editorial content is obviously to the left, but the straight news coverage has gotten much better than it was in the past.  The slant still shows up in the choices of stories they choose to cover and the depth / airtime each one gets.  Just how many puffy human interest stories can you throw into an hour of programming and still consider it "news?" 

Maybe it's more of a DC / East Coast bias towards that kind of thing that us out here in the West just aren't enlightened enough to understand. But with today's firing encouraged resignation of National Public Radio's president and chief executive, Vivian Schiller, and the accelerated resignation of their head fundraiser, (unrelated) Ron Schiller, over statements he made to a conservative activist, it's pretty clear that the liberal bias started at the top and trickled down.  Reaganomics style.  ;)

If they just could have kept their mouths shut over the Juan Williams thing last fall and quietly lobbied to keep their federal funding, it's likely none of this would have happened. 

Speaking of "public" broadcasting, -- NPR, PBS, etc -- what exactly makes it so public?  Other than the fact that some small portion of our tax dollars funds it, what makes it all that different than most other stations?  It's not commercial free, as they would like you to believe.  There are plenty of underwriting sponsors who have their copy read allowed several times an hour.  It's not public like a park where anyone can join the party.  It's a huge broadcasting corporation, just like CNN or Fox News.  So-called "community" radio is the closest most people can get to having their opinions and musical choices on the air, and they're in way more financial trouble than your local NPR affiliate station.  I'm still not sure that public broadcasting should be defunded though, if only for the sake of those local stations.  Maybe a little reshuffling of assets is in order. 

All of that being said, I will still probably be listening to NPR as I drive to work most days.  Partly because I don't need to hear about Denver traffic when I'm driving around Northern Colorado, partly because KUNC has got to be one of the best run NPR stations around [in spite of one unfortunate recent event], but mostly because I know enough to see the bias - and raise it some common sense. 

No comments: