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NPR Propaganda: Exposed at Last!

[Editor's Note: I had been hoping to find the time to write a series of articles exposing the unremitting pro-government propaganda spewed out from National Public Radio twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Thankfully, Norman Solomon beat me to the punch. If you don't know what an Illuminati/Tavistock propaganda outlet sounds like, turn on NPR  There's much more to be said of the Tavistock lies promoted at NPR, but this short article is a good start. The comments from readers says it all. The public has apparently caught on to the Tavistock tripe promoted at NPR---thank God...Ken Adachi]

by Norman Solomon
March 27, 2008

NPR Propaganda: Exposed at Last! (March 29, 2008)

NPR News: National Pentagon Radio?

by Norman Solomon

While the Iraqi government continued its large-scale military assault in Basra, the NPR reporter’s voice from Iraq was unequivocal this morning: “There is no doubt that this operation needed to happen.”

Such flat-out statements, uttered with journalistic tones and without attribution, are routine for the U.S. media establishment. In the “War Made Easy” documentary film, I put it this way: “If you’re pro-war, you’re objective. But if you’re anti-war, you’re biased. And often, a news anchor will get no flak at all for making statements that are supportive of a war and wouldn’t dream of making a statement that’s against a war.”

So it goes at NPR [National Public Radio] News, where — on “Morning Edition” as well as the evening program “All Things Considered” — the sense and sensibilities tend to be neatly aligned with the outlooks of official Washington. The critical aspects of reporting largely amount to complaints about policy shortcomings that are tactical; the underlying and shared assumptions are imperial. Washington’s prerogatives are evident when the media window on the world is tinted red-white-and-blue.

Earlier this week — a few days into the sixth year of the Iraq war — “All Things Considered” aired a discussion with a familiar guest.

“To talk about the state of the war and how the U.S. military changes tactics to deal with it,” said longtime anchor Robert Siegel, “we turn now to retired Gen. Robert Scales, who’s talked with us many times over the course of the conflict.”

This is the sort of introduction that elevates a guest to truly expert status — conveying to the listeners that expertise and wisdom, not just opinions, are being sought.

Siegel asked about the progression of assaults on U.S. troops over the years: “How have the attacks and the countermeasures to them evolved?”

Naturally, Gen. Scales responded with the language of a military man. “The enemy has built ever-larger explosives,” he said. “They’ve found clever ways to hide their IEDs, their roadside bombs, and even more diabolical means for detonating these devices.”

We’d expect a retired American general to speak in such categorical terms — referring to “the enemy” and declaring in a matter-of-fact tone that attacks on U.S. troops became even more “diabolical.” But what about an American journalist?

Well, if the American journalist is careful to function with independence instead of deference to the Pentagon, then the journalist’s assumptions will sound different than the outlooks of a high-ranking U.S. military officer.

In this case, an independent reporter might even be willing to ask a pointed question along these lines: You just used the word “diabolical” to describe attacks on the U.S. military by Iraqis, but would that ever be an appropriate adjective to use to describe attacks on Iraqis by the U.S. military?

In sharp contrast, what happened during the “All Things Considered” discussion on March 24 was a conversation of shared sensibilities. The retired U.S. Army general discussed the war effort in terms notably similar to those of the ostensibly independent journalist — who, along the way, made the phrase “the enemy” his own in a followup question.

It wouldn’t be fair to judge an entire news program on the basis of a couple of segments. But I’m a frequent listener to “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition.” Such cozy proximity of world views, blanketing the war maker and the war reporter, is symptomatic of what ails NPR’s war coverage — especially from Washington.

Of course there are exceptions. Occasional news reports stray from the narrow baseline. But the essence of the propaganda function is repetition, and the exceptional does not undermine that function.

To add insult to injury, NPR calls itself public radio. It’s supposed to be willing to go where commercial networks fear to tread. But overall, when it comes to politics and war, the range of perspectives on National Public Radio isn’t any wider than what we encounter on the avowedly commercial networks.

The documentary film “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death,” based on Norman Solomon’s book of the same name, went into home-video release this week and is now available on DVD from Netflix, Amazon and similar outlets. For more information, go to:

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106 Comments so far

  1. satr9prodxns March 27th, 2008 10:16 am

    But the essence of the propaganda function is repetition, and the exceptional does not undermine that function.

    But the essence of the propaganda function is repetition, and the exceptional does not undermine that function.

    But the essence of the propaganda function is repetition, and the exceptional does not undermine that function.

    But the essence of the propaganda function is repetition, and the exceptional does not undermine that function.

    But the essence of the propaganda function is repetition, and the exceptional does not undermine that function.

    But the essence of the propaganda function is repetition, and the exceptional does not undermine that function.

    But the essence of the propaganda function is repetition, and the exceptional does not undermine that function.

    But the essence of the propaganda function is repetition, and the exceptional does not undermine that function.

    But the essence of the propaganda function is repetition, and the exceptional does not undermine that function.

  2. rjmart01 March 27th, 2008 11:19 am

    War is Peace.

    Ignorance is Strength.

    Freedom is Slavery.

    Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.

  3. jskinner March 27th, 2008 11:22 am

    Or just National Propaganda Radio…
    I stopped listening in 2000, during the presidential campaign.
    Polls had shown that two-thirds of us wanted third-party candidates in the debates, but when Cokie Roberts had Bush on the air and asked him about this, he said something like, “No, the American people want to see me and Al Gore go toe-to-toe on the issues.” That was a blatant lie and when Cokie failed to call him on it I knew the whole interview was pure propaganda BS. I turned NPR off permanently at that moment.

  4. ezeflyer March 27th, 2008 11:24 am

    I propose a referendum on NPR’s media content.

  5. JConrad March 27th, 2008 11:33 am

    Read on !

    ” Over the years, FAIR’s studies have found a distinctly pro-establishment and pro-corporate tilt in PBS’s and NPR’s national news and public affairs programming. Though PBS is mandated to present a wider spectrum of opinion than for-profit media, it is often hard to distinguish the guest lists of public broadcasting’s programs from those of their commercial counterparts. And a big part of the reason public broadcasting has failed to live up to its potential is that the CPB has become a tool used by congressional conservatives to restrict programming within narrow political limits.”

    Big Oil also contributes to PBS which might explain why none of the PBS talk or news shows will mention that American trans-national oil corporations are trying to “privatize” (steal) 75% of Iraq oil and also have plans to run pipelines through Afghanistan to market Central Asian oil and gas to a developing Asia. There is also no mention that the American economy has been bankrupt by war (crime) spending.

    The control of information is essential in a corporate fascist state !

  6. willybill March 27th, 2008 11:38 am

    There is no longer any truth on TV, radio or in the newspapers. Link TV et al?…at times, but ONLY TO A POINT that is acceptable to ITS CORPORATE BENEFACTORS. Want change? Want truth? Turn off your TV and radio…stop reading the corporate rags……LOOK DEEP INSIDE…and hit the streets.

  7. tbenner March 27th, 2008 11:39 am

    General, thank you for talking to us at NPR, so tell me, when you are in the field , what do you put on your baloney and cheese sandwich?

  8. Arby March 27th, 2008 11:40 am

    I have to agree with Norman Solomon. Up here in Toronto, as I sit at my desk at work (I’m a security guard and I’m not getting rich let me tell you), I entertain myself by listening to the radio. If the music was better, I’d lisen to more music. Then again, I’m a political junkie so I am happy to find some news and talk radio. There just isn’t much. Canadian news and talk is by and large rightwing. CBC radio is mush. They just don’t do much and in fact, they have so little to offer, that there is almost no news and talk content by itself. What there is daily throughout the week is further watered down by being interspersed with music. You get a tiny news blurb, then a track, including background info on it.

    And so, A while ago, I started check out everything on my little radio and found NPR, staticy but listenable. I’ve been listening to it for a while now, and regularly take in As It Happens. At first, the ‘public’ component in the NPR handle had me hoping for the best, and truth be told, I was often pleased to hear not just one fellow pontificating and occasionally bringing in a guest, but panels with 2 or 3 guests and some I recognized and trusted. That’s talk I can sink my teeth into! I was delighted.

    It didn’t take long to discover, however, what Norman reports here. Overall, The station is establishment, which is to say, it bends to the will and thinking of the ruling class, including it’s political and corporate components. Although I started thinking of the station as National Public Rightwing. I think Norman’s handle is better.

  9. Daniel David March 27th, 2008 11:42 am

    When Democrats have both Congress and The White House, you’ll like PBS better. Because it will be run better.
    Neocons in charge of governing board appointments and funding for several years after 2000 are just another error we need to recover from.

  10. Arby March 27th, 2008 11:43 am

    I meant to say that I regularly take it All Things Considered. Of course, the station also carries As It Happens, which I’m not keen on. It depends on what’s up for discussion. But listening to those commentators with their exaggerated expressions and manner of speaking drives me nuts. At least the rightwingers get down to it and say what they have to say, although I will always go elsewhere when you start screaming at me.

  11. kelmer March 27th, 2008 11:46 am

    Yeah Canadian radio and tv is mostly garbage. Its almost Soviet in the way it doesnt criticize the status quo. BUT they sure do love poking fun at the US.

  12. jade March 27th, 2008 11:50 am

    i listed to siegal’s interview with general scales…i was alone in my shop yelling at the radio with numerous ‘f’ bombs–the only kind of bombs that i think are appropriate in certain cases…i thought perhaps the interview was a joke…i have been feeling more desparate since pbs and npr began inching toward main stream for the past few years…

    we should begin a letter campaign to siegal and friends…we ain’t gonna take it!!!!!


  13. drwu March 27th, 2008 12:03 pm

    NPR no different from MSM. They give us what the Bush Team wants us to hear. I call it RCM –Ruling class media.

    Same old story with NPR–they were so hot to trot in the run-up to the war that then anti-war, Quaker Host Scott Simon gave up his beliefs (he recanted in a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed)and went all-out for the War in Iraq. And they had a parade of retired generals who were their going-to-war-experts. Scott Ritter, not a chance.

    NPR ombudsman wrote me that NPR would have been more critical of the war if only the Democratic Party was. They weren’t going to be critical on their own. Wimps.

    So we had and have massive failures: the media, both parties went pro-war. They’re still at it.

    Somehow I feel that the Iraqis will be the ones to end this damn war. Sad to say, The media, the parties really don’t care what we think.

  14. jlocke123 March 27th, 2008 12:05 pm

    I was really surprised here a while ago when I criticized pbs. Many people made comments in support of US public television. My sense is that both npr and pbs do a better job on “domestic issues”. Pbs, I know does good children’s and arts programming. “the News Hour” was better in the past for sure when it had Macneal co-hosting. Its choice of guests has narrowed. I’m not too familiar with npr but the best show on pbs is bill moyers. How does he do it when all the rest can’t?

  15. Goebbels sez March 27th, 2008 12:06 pm

    NPR flack sez: “There is no doubt that this operation needed to happen.”

    So … does the Dick get a royalty every time somebody uses his trademark phrase over the “public” airwaves?

  16. claudius March 27th, 2008 12:07 pm

    What if CD started its own radio program? We can ensure that the time slot does not overlap with “Democracy Now” and in fact, compliments it.

  17. Pippilin March 27th, 2008 12:15 pm

    Mrs. Ray Kroc didn’t leave all that $$$$ to NPR for nothing.

  18. Grant March 27th, 2008 12:17 pm

    “When Democrats have both Congress and The White House”

    In what way have Democrats shown that they are any different fundamentally than the Republicans? The do disagree, but mainly in the way that Solomon is articulating here, it’s more tactical than any real fundamental difference. When they go on to the corporate broadcasts do they FUNDAMENTALLY disagree with the neocons? Do they, the majority of them, have a radical (or fundamental) difference in economics for instance? No, they agree on much more with the Republicans than they disagree and they want to keep the basic power structure in place. Do they talk about how immoral it would be to privatize Iraq’s oil, and how immoral the CPA’s policies in Iraq are? No, they pretty much ignore the corporate pillage and are in FAVOR of the privatization, even though over 80% of Iraqis disagree. People are going to be majorly disappointed if they think the Democrats will really change much. They’ll change it a little but the Democrats are part of the same DC bubble mentality, they’re just as removed from the general public as the other party and they, like the other party, don’t have a participatory nature to their decision making process. It seems to me that the only democracies working in the world now are non-liberal democracies, ones that are participatory, that don’t have too much centralized power where nobles make all the laws for everyone else by themselves. Maybe, hopefully, I’m, wrong. I see no evidence to this point that I am.

  19. KaneJeeves March 27th, 2008 12:18 pm

    I agree with others…NPR is barely distinguishable from MSM. Every once in awhile, perhaps when Robert Siegel is in a bad mood or something, he’ll challenge an interviewee’s statements.

    They do seem to respond to emails, so it might be a good idea to “shame” them via email into fulfilling their public role.

  20. Kernel March 27th, 2008 12:18 pm

    Just another example of Bushco thinking it is good for the country for them to have total control of all media. Stupid people do not realize they are ruining their own future along with everyone else`s. Sort of like animals fouling their own beds.
    Best plan is to turn NPR off along with Fox Noise, and be careful about believing many other sources as well.

  21. WhatToDo March 27th, 2008 12:20 pm

    I had to turn NPR off the other day- It was on (or around) the anniversary of the “war”. Talk of the Nation had several people on who had called in to share their “death of a soldier” stories. Not once did host Neil Conen (spelling) question whether or not their soldier’s death was really worth it- given that ALL reasons behind going into Iraq have been proven to be flat-out lies. Not once.
    Wars are fought because there are people willing to fight them- because they believe everything they are told. I may be alone here, but that to me, is not brave. That is not “serving your country”. Because I cannot stand advertisements, I listen to NPR. But their noble soldier rhetoric, in my opinion, only helps to enforce the empty, dangerous belief that to fight wars without questioning the reasons, is still service to your country.

  22. rensta March 27th, 2008 12:24 pm

    I stopped listening to “All Things Considered” when they decided to use the word “both” when referring to the Republican presidential candidates (McCain and Huckabee) and leaving out Ron Paul. Nevermind the fact that Paul broke campaign contribution records and was the only one being honest about US foreign policy. “All things” are definitely not “considered” on that lousy program. Maybe we should stop funding public radio if it will just work to brainwash us even more. We’d be doomed if it weren’t for the internet. We’d at least be in Iran, that’s for sure.

  23. Mordechai Shiblikov March 27th, 2008 12:38 pm

    Not very long ago, NPR aired a Fox News-like story about the death in Iraq of an American soldier. The reporter talked about the young man “dying for his country”. I turned the radio off immediately and have not listened to NPR since. National Pusillanimous Radio is obviously petrified of the Republican SS and Gauleiter Bush wiping out their remaining funding. At this point it doesn’t seem to make any difference since they are rapidly becoming part of the MSM.

  24. amanda March 27th, 2008 12:38 pm

    the small community radio station in northern california where i once worked aired both npr and pacifica news programs, including “democracy now,” and what mumia abu jamal accurately calls “some things considered.” these programs air back to back on this station, which always makes their differences brutally clear. the listeners are in two distinct camps as a result: progressives who passionately hate npr, and liberals who hastily turn off their radios when their news shows are over.

    to be stereotypical about it:
    npr news is nothing but fox news dressed up for people in birkenstocks and volvos who dont want to be bothered with uncomfortable realities that make them nervous. npr figured it out long ago: the silver-haired ponytail crowd will pay richly at every pledge drive to be kept comfortably numb and dis-educated, where they can just vote democrat once in a while and listen to the dulcet tones of robert seigel reporting on atrocities like he’s pouring a smoothie down their throats.

    npr is purely corporate media, as evidenced by their underwriting. i believe it’s probably the most sophisticated propaganda tool out there.

    all those nice comfy liberals, thinking they are making some brave, intelligent, alternative choice, willingly spayed and neutered by this shamefully manipulative scheme. soon we’ll be hearing about the global warming “skeptics” on npr news, and how similar to the ayatollah khomeini the evil muktada al sadr really is.

    it turns my stomach. i can’t even listen to it anymore, i just yell expletives at my radio.

    thanks norman, for the good article. something to forward to the relatives who all think i’m crazy.

  25. willybill March 27th, 2008 12:51 pm

    Daniel David March 27th, 2008 11:42 am …..I guess we can dream, David. I’ve become a realist in my latter years. I would be willing to bet that not one iota of power or influence gained in the criminal administration will be rescinded, withdrawn or as in the case of habeas corpus, re-instituted. We the People have been had since at least 1776. It’s just becoming more rampant and blatant as the People become more entranced by the corporate devices numbing and further dumbing an already de-educated populace.

  26. peaceman March 27th, 2008 1:04 pm

    jskinner, Me too! I think 2000 was about the time I quit listening to NPR. I’m fortunate, because in the area where I live I can listen to 94.1fm radio (where I first heard Norman Soloman) or www. krxa am 540 radio, a progressive radio station almost three years old. And for those of you in different parts of the country, both stations can be heard online.

    JConrad, I agree with you also about NPR and PBS and lack of real coverage, though PBS has some good documentaries. FAIR is one of the best news agencies out there for printing and broadcasting.

    Arby, As you can see, they do everything in stages and sing the listener a soft lullabye of slanted programing. If you have audio with computer, there are many progressive stations to listen to, but the sad thing is driving in the car without these stations available.

    Amanda, Excellent comments. I totally agree with you and also have relatives who think I’m crazy.

    Norman Soloman is an inspiration to listen to and learn from.


  27. peaceman March 27th, 2008 1:08 pm

    I should have typed in www.krxa 540 am and it would have been highlighted in blue. I think? Anyway, you can go to the website and see the programming.

  28. FZ March 27th, 2008 1:13 pm

    National Pentagon Radio?

    How about “Nazi Propaganda on the Radio!” I blurt that out regularly when I listen to NPR. Every once in a while I’ll hear somebody condemn the war mongering or question our crony capitalism but it is rare. The private networks never question either of the aforementioned so NPR is still a little better than the networks but not much.

    They even put a former bush speech writer on occasionally to peddle his nazi propaganda. I never takes more than two sentences from that fascist for me to realize who it is. I have intentionally kept myself ignorant of his name but his rhetoric is easily recognized.

  29. Redneck Hippie March 27th, 2008 1:29 pm

    Add me to the list of people who stopped listening to npr back around the start of GEORGE’S ORGY OF SLAUGHTER FOR HALLIBURTON AND BIL OIL. There was a marked change in npr when bushy appointed his rightwing pals to oversee it. I have tried listening now and then, but I find myself ready to vomit. So I quit listening altogther.

  30. Gyro March 27th, 2008 1:41 pm

    It’s funny, in Oregon OPB (the PBS station) is the most listened to station ratings-wise. But when you talk to people, they first attest to having listened to OPB that morning–but their next action is usually to roll their eyes and declare that NPR has become soooo bad lately. And then they rattle off all the crapola they hate.

    Maybe if they knew they could rather be listening to Amy Goodman or some community produced stuff…. (90.7 fm Portland, 100.7 fm Corvallis 91.9 fm Columbia Gorge)

    Amy’s on at 11, Pacific time.

  31. kgarry March 27th, 2008 1:45 pm


    and air america is getting just as bad (again, with some notable exceptions. let’s hear it for clout!)

    my local station (wwrc 1260am in wash., dc) also subscribes to a jones radio network show, ed schultz (thank the heavens they finally dumped steph miller). i find myself washing dishes or groomiung the cats and yelling at the radio regardless of where it’s tuned, npr or air america, flipping back and forth between them before i dejectedly switch over to the CD.

  32. Mendo Chuck March 27th, 2008 1:47 pm

    Come On Daniel David . . . .
    Do you really think the Democrats will be better.
    What fantasy world are you living in . . . .
    Corporations are paying the way for both elections and those elected want to remain elected. So how do you read that? I read it as “I’ll scratch your back and you fill my pocket.”
    Just look at the commercials that are now on Public Radio and TV. Oil, and Chemical companies now prevail. Do you think that this is a coincidence?
    If you believe that then I have this old gold brick that was sent to me from Nigeria. Are you interested? I’ll make you a special deal . . . .

  33. JConrad March 27th, 2008 1:50 pm

    Maybe we should be thankful for the small miracles. At least NPR still plays jazz !

    They need to do a special on the politics of Charley Mingus !

  34. Quality Time March 27th, 2008 1:53 pm

    NPR sold out long ago. What’s new about that? I used to look forward to fair, honest programming. I gave up after hearing the incessant pro-war, pro-republican, pro-McCain commercials that pervade the airwaves.

  35. gde March 27th, 2008 2:03 pm

    I stopped listening to NPR due to signal strength problems a few years back. I missed a few good stories, but I stopped missing NPR real fast. I now find most of NPR’s goodies anyway on the net, plus a whole lot more.

  36. luckylefty March 27th, 2008 2:05 pm

    drwu March 27th, 2008 12:03 pm “Somehow I feel that the Iraqis will be the ones to end this damn war.” Yes. Just like the Vietnamese defeated us. This time it will produce total economic and social collapse. (just see what kind of hackles that raises on dear sweet NPR).

    kgarry March 27th, 2008 1:45 pm “and air america is getting just as bad.”

    How many times, “I don’t care who the Dims nominate, they’re my candidate.” That is yellow dog faith based politics. Period. That makes them schills for the Dims, not VOICES FOR US. They are “selling” just like the Repugs. Delete, distort, dismay.

    A line from Chris Hedges and his article at truthdig regarding Dim/Left strategies:…ious_objection/ Here’s the kicker:

    “If you do not have a breaking point you are a slave.”

    Are we slaves? Have we no breaking point as a people?


  37. tobiasaurusrex March 27th, 2008 2:08 pm

    Is this any surprise, when PBS made the freaking 9/11 cover up documentary? No. However most of the people from NPR and PBS seem brighter than many reporters and average citizens, and I believe began their careers with integrity.
    So what happened? Bribed, threatened, always gov’t info war sleepers, or…?

  38. jobson March 27th, 2008 2:10 pm

    “Coming up on All Things Considered…
    (yuppy music plays in the background)
    Why the enemy hates us. And later in the program, Joel Siegel’s interviews a commoner. But first here are the hours headlines… (more mind numbing meoldies for the strategic class)”

    AHHHHHH, NPR is how self-deluding progressives spell CNN.

  39. monish March 27th, 2008 2:16 pm

    As some have noted doing so, I too stopped listening to NPR quite a while back, especially after the criminal attack upon Iraq, and the genocidal butchering of millions in that country began in March 2003.

    Terry Gross truly grossed me out after her disgustingly fawning interviews with “embedded journalists”; the various Wertheimers and Siegels have displayed unabashed bias towards Israel and all its diabolical muscle-flexing; and the money shows continue the profitable kowtowing to the Wall Street sound machines that further bolster the monstrous corporate propaganda that has completely taken control of this country. In short, other than perhaps Cartalk, NPR is plain revolting.

    Unfortunately, though, since March 2003, I was listening to Air America Radio for a while here in SW Ohio. Then about 2 years ago- guess what? The war profiteers got together, and all the AAR stations in this area (Cincinnati, Columbus) were simply dumped in favor of the Goebbels brigades.

    Therefore, like it or not, I am sometimes tuned in to NPR on my way back from work. It is highly unpalatable- but then I don’t have the internet in the car, and NPR is, at best, a lesser evil.

  40. Greg R March 27th, 2008 2:16 pm

    Oh, come on Mendo Chuck. When the Democrats are fully in power again, you’ll see. The grass will be a little greener, the sky a bit more blue, and the snow less yellow…

  41. WernerS March 27th, 2008 2:32 pm

    Norman Solomon, FAIR= beacons of light and truth…WHYY, 90.90FM appears a tad better than other NPR outlets in NJ…WNYE, 91.50FM this week moved oftimes listenable Diane Rehm Show from 10pm slot more awkward 2pm.

  42. FreeTheMedia March 27th, 2008 2:44 pm

    In this same NPR segment, right after Gen. Scales makes his statement:

    “The enemy has built ever-larger explosives,” he said. “They’ve found clever ways to hide their IEDs, their roadside bombs, and even more diabolical means for detonating these devices.”

    Robert Siegel asks this in his follow-up:

    “If the groups that are firing off these mortars hide behind civilians what is the US supposed to do in response?”

    I think that this certainly gets away from any type of proper framing of the legalities of why the US is even there in the first place and certainly places the “diabolical” term in the frame that the General had initially constructed. Implying that those who are launching attacks from civilian areas are engaged in the “diabolical” tactics without any type of reference or follow-up to how “diabolical” the invasion has been in the first place.

    In the next follow-up Siegel asks:

    “Does it suggest that the enemy enjoys support from those neighborhoods or at least has intimidated people in those neighborhoods?”

    Siegel’s use of the term “the enemy” is problematic to say the least. It aligns the journalist on the side of the General and removes any type of objectivity necessary for a balanced report.

  43. Zamboni_fahrer March 27th, 2008 3:01 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Norman Solomon for writing this article about how AWFUL NPR is, and how very, very far they have strayed from their original mission which is to provide unbiased, objective news and analysis to Americans. My nick-name for NPR is “National Right Wing Republican Radio”. Yes I know the letters don’t match, but I just like it anyways. So appropriate.

    Long ago, say in the 80’s, NPR was almost OK–or at least tolerable. I first really noticed their caving to the corporate/republican establishment during the first Iraq War. Oh…my…god: talk about avidly cheerleading for then prez George Bush and the war. Huge mass demonstrations against the war in major U.S. cities were rarely covered, if at all. That’s when I realized I could not trust NPR, or any longer consider it a trustworthy news station for progressive or left-leaning listeners.

    God, do I hate NPR. Why? It’s their slimey way of sounding “liberal”–while their content is actually very pro-corporate and pro-Bush. Notice how they repeatedly played on the hour, every hour, Bush’s 5 years in Iraq speech a week or so ago? I felt like I lived in communist Russia, they way they kept playing it hour after hour after hour. They are an eager mouthpiece for Bush-Cheney every time, rarely counterbalancing the administration’s rhetoric.

    And the anchors on NPR. I am so sick of them! If they are actually taxpayer funded, why can’t there be some new people in the line-up? Same old windbags for decades and going. The anchors like Michelle Norris (sp?) et al sound so smug and arrogant. Posers. I guess what I’m saying is at least FOX News is what it is, e.g. news for conservatives. But NPR is a bunch of losers trying to be what they aren’t! They’re oxymorons: liberal sounding pro-war pro-big biz republican public radio broadcasting.

    And oh…my…gawd: Cokie Roberts. She’s been on NPR for ages. This old hag who makes David Brooks look like a Marxist leftie! What a soggy, beltway, neo-con shill HAG Roberts is. Those bug-eyes of hers, ever eager to deeply brown-nose any Bush admin windbag to the hilt. She worships Condi Rice, Cheney, et al. She worships all things Bush-ite and republican. Conversely she regularly dismisses anything vaguely hinting of progressive, democratic, or left-leaning as nonsense. She’s like NPRs holy grail color commentator. Nauseating.

    But what really bums me out is that so many left-leaning, or progressive folks I meet in life really like NPR and take it all as face value liberal news! They look at me, crestfallen and in disbelief when I tell them that NPR lies to them in their newscasts about the Iraq War, or that there is a pro-conservative slant in their reporting. NPR has shifted so very far to the right, how can people not notice!?

    Further to my understanding the Bush administration has appointed many really corporate conservatives within the Public Broadcasting administration, so we are probably observing on the listening end what has been an ongoing, internal “Putsch” if you will from within. Any old “lefties” withing NPRs staffing are being kicked out.

    OK, one other point: I’ve heard that during the Iraq War NPR had military psy-ops helping to direct their day-to-day newscasts of the war. Anybody else hear this too? It’s certainly believable.


  44. bluesky March 27th, 2008 3:10 pm

    What is wrong with everyone?! Why can’t you just turn off the radio and TV? They are a wasteland of white noise that dumbs you down as soon as you click them on.

  45. vinlander March 27th, 2008 3:13 pm

    “I consider Radio to be the most modern and the most crucial instrument for influencing the masses.”

    — Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda.

  46. Redneck Hippie March 27th, 2008 3:27 pm

    Remember when they fired what’s his name, the morning guy? Bob Edwards? That was the final straw.

  47. whatfools March 27th, 2008 3:44 pm

    I listen to NPR
    Late at night
    For the BBC

  48. suryal March 27th, 2008 3:54 pm

    Thank you for making me realize I’m not the only one cursing at my radio as I drive to work! I really got that they were there to legitamatize the 2 stolen elections. Every new braodcast started with ” President Bush ” and/or “Secretary of State Condolessa Rice…” The worse is that they are articulate and sound sincere and so compassionate and for the people! It amazes me that people put their jobs , or pay raises, or whatever their reason is to spout this crap, before trying to save this country!! Are their families threatened or being held hostage? Revolution anyone?

  49. jjohnjj March 27th, 2008 4:16 pm

    Solomon is simply describing the effect of “embeded” journalism. When reporters stay hunkered down too long with the generals in the Green Zone… they start to talk like them.

    NPR was worse before the Dems took back Congress, then it got better. It was so refreshing to finally hear the hosts challenge the “experts” they were interviewing. They were still too polite to say, “Answer the damn question!!!”.. but stopped letting the obvious lies go without comment.

    Now it’s getting worse again.

    Two weeks ago Scott Simon put two Senators on the air to contradict each other about Iraq. Jim Webb gave his reasoned opinions, then Jon Kyl (R-Az) who just spewed the Republican party lies-of-the-week. They just floated there, like fish in a barrel. But there were no challenges from Simon and no followup questions.

    I wrote to him and told him that he had utterly failed to practice journalism. We get enough of that “fair and balanced” rubbish on Fox.

    Obviously, Congressional funding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has a muting effect on NPR and PBS. It gets worse when the executive branch controls the FCC and appoints the CPB president - remember Ken Tomlinson’s purge of Bill Moyers?

    There must be some wheeling ‘n dealing going on over the budget right now. I suspect that the on-air staff has been instructed not to rock the boat.

    I hear that the BBC is much more critical of their government (and ours) because they are funded by a $220 yearly licence fee on television sets, rather than regular appropriations from Parliament.

    If enough listeners would support their stations with that level of funding. NPR could afford to take a more independent posture in it’s reporting. It’s just like supporting a congressional candidate with a lot of small donation rather than a few big ones.

    I listen to NPR because of what they DON’T broadcast: Britney Spears alerts, local crime, latest diet fads…ad nauseam. For progressive reporting about the guv’mint, there’s Pacifica Radio DailyKos and CommonDreams.

    PS. Bob Edwards wasn’t fired… he retired, and now does a boring interview show once a week.

  50. COMarc March 27th, 2008 4:17 pm

    I stopped cursing at my radio years ago because I stopped listening to this junk. Yeah, I know NPR is supposed to be ‘liberal’ and better than the other corporate news channels, but somewhere back in time, maybe around the time of our ‘humanitarian’ killing in Yugoslavia, it was very obvious to me that NPR wasn’t really better.

    So, its a part of the list of what I don’t watch or listen to. And I’m much happier on my drives to and from work as I listen to my music CDs and later get my news from the samsidat on the internet.

    What this article is is just a good example of why.

  51. COMarc March 27th, 2008 4:22 pm

    To jjohnjj

    The interesting part of your comment to me is that these days Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of the Navy (Sen. Webb) is now considered to be the counterpoint to the warhawks.

    Gawd forbid they’d actually get an articulate member of the peace movement on the show.

    Note that NPR and public television do not get all of their funding from Congress. Pay attention to the large number of ‘corporate partners’ that also run essentially advertising on the shows. They aren’t called ads, but the little bits or recorded junk from the ‘partners’ as they ‘thank’ the ‘partners’ coming in and out of the show are obviously ads by any other name. And if NPR and public TV are counting on this money to make their budgets, then they’ll be reluctant to put that money at risk.

    Its not so much the totals in the budget, as it is what they feel they could lose. So, even if a particular corporate ‘partner’ is maybe 5% of their budget, does their management feel willing to put that money at risk. If the answer is no, then that one corporate partner effectively gets a veto voice on any coverage by threatening to withdraw their ‘partnership’.

  52. iammyself March 27th, 2008 4:22 pm

    “npr is purely corporate media, as evidenced by their underwriting. i believe it’s probably the most sophisticated propaganda tool out there.”

    I agree, amanda. While I do listen to NPR, I listen with a jaundiced ear (new disease) and can more easily pick out the propaganda and sloppiness now.

    I remember about 8 or 9 years ago hearing Walter Cronkite speak (on NPR). He admonished the media to clean up its act, that they had become lazy editorialists instead of fact-based, hard-hitting news reporters. And he included NPR! Way to go, uncle Walt!

    Folks that defend public radio and TV have to realize that it isn’t what it used to be and blindly supporting it “cause it’s the best thing we’ve got” will not help it, nor will it help us.

  53. COMarc March 27th, 2008 4:24 pm

    PS … that’s why I would never consider donating to any of these channels. As long as they take the corporate partners money, then it doesn’t matter the relative percentages of how much gets donated by listeners versus funding by congress versus funding from corporate partners. Any can have a veto voice if the management is unwilling to lose the money.

    Give the money to Pacifica or Free Speech TV or direct to Democracy Now or some other purely listener\viewer supported source.

  54. Maine-ah March 27th, 2008 4:26 pm

    OK, stop giving them $, stop listening, and when Big Mc is Pres he might need some cash for the 100 year war and could sell NPR to Murdock, or Fox.

  55. iammyself March 27th, 2008 4:33 pm

    Daniel David March 27th, 2008 11:42 am

    “When Democrats have both Congress and The White House, you’ll like PBS better. Because it will be run better.”


    Ven zee Democrats have beide Congress und zee Vhite House, you vill vatch PBS und you vill like it! Because it vill be run mit an iron fist!

  56. COMarc March 27th, 2008 4:34 pm

    To Daniel David … when the Democrats took control of Congress, nothing changed. When the Democrats take control of the White House, nothing will change. If you weren’t probably a paid operative of the Democratic party, I’d ask you about what you plan to do when you finally realize that electing Democrats is a waste of time, but I know that would be a waste of time.

    Sorry, I learned all these lessons in the early 90’s when electing the Clintons was supposed to be the magic fix to the Reagan\Bush years.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  57. COMarc March 27th, 2008 4:39 pm

    Ah, the latest Democratic propaganda … straight from the Pentagon propagands playbook …. personalize everything on McCain. Just like the Dems try to pretend that its all Bush’s fault.

    Its exactly the same propaganda play used when we want to start a war. We personalize everything on the enemy leader. So, its all a personal issue with the leader of Iraq, or Saddam, or Milosovic, or …

    Same propaganda, different day. Ignore the real issues by trying to scare everyone as if McCain is somehow different from everyone else that corporate America anoints as one of our leaders.

    Sorry, I’m not buying the shake-in-your-boots and be-very-scared stories that constantly feature McCain as the new boogie-man. And to see it extended to NPR with the threat that the new boogie-man is going to come get me if I don’t donate to NPR is actually hilariously funny.

  58. COMarc March 27th, 2008 4:44 pm

    One last note to Daniel David …

    Note the comment in the string above that one person felt NPR was awful during the first Gulf war. That was when the Democrats controlled Congress. And its Congress that controls the gov funding for NPR and PBS. Note also that the Democrats once again control Congress, and yet NPR still sucks and still just blasts out Pentagon propaganda.

    The Democrats in Congress could easily do either of the following.
    – fully fund NPR and assure NPR that they are free of political pressures.
    – be partisan and insist that with the Dems in control that NPR start actively pushing the peace party line.

    Note carefully that the Dems in Congress do neither, and file that away next to the note that NPR was pushing pentagon propaganda back in 1991 when the Dems controlled the Congress (and thus NPR’s funding).

    But of course, if you live in Democrat make-believe-land you can pretend that the Democrats will fix everything with just one more election win. Yeah right!

    Turn off this crap and listen to Democracy Now! instead. You can listen to your own music on the drive to work then listen to DN! later at home or at work to get your information.

    And don’t vote Democrat!

  59. jjohnjj March 27th, 2008 4:47 pm

    Well… I’m old enough to remember when Public Broadcasting didn’t depend on corporate sponsors, and PBS didn’t run commercials bewteen shows… (sigh).

    Congress decided to allow “sponsorship” at the same time it began to cut off the public’s share of the budget. They knew what they were doing. Their intention was force PBS into the same compliant dependency of commercial broadcasting.

    I just don’t understand why so many progressives feel “betrayed” by PBS and NPR. The only reason they have a reputation for being “liberal” is because Rush Limbaugh says so.

    I’ve always seen them as “sorta Liberal”… and if the right-wingers are mad at them, they must be doing something right. If I want “liberal” I listen to Amy Goodman.

    Rather that cast NPR into the camp of the enemy, why not regard them as a prize to be fought for? We can win public broadcasting back from conservative forces if we try, and it could once again become a force for good.

    First we have to get a progressive majority in Congress… Democratic, Green or what-have-you.

  60. gde March 27th, 2008 4:50 pm

    The Psy-ops stuff is true, all the networks. That came out years ago.

  61. bbr-001 March 27th, 2008 4:56 pm

    A couple comments above mentioned Cokie Roberts. A few weeks ago she and her husband wrote a spin filled syndicated newspaper column about the wonderful benefits of unfettered globalization and concluded Obama and Hillary were liars when campaining on changing NAFTA… and that McCain was honest in his opinion that Michigan will be economic toast forever.

    One example of the spin was “the US is the leading exporter in the world”. Well, now China is (oops!), and they didn’t mention the US has the largest (and its astronomical) trade deficit in the world.

    If she is typical of journalists at npr, then the conservatives have made quite a coup.

  62. Zounds March 27th, 2008 5:03 pm

    Sombody above posted the idea of CD starting its own news station (presumably a big time national operation to compete with NPR and the rest of the corrupt MSM?) I don’t think that’s gonna happen anytime soon, either via CD or any other alternate news source –even though it damn well needs to happen.

    Some noble but small potato news reporting efforts seem to be holding their own, mostly Online; but they’re not making much dent in the TASS-ification of the rest of the journalism profession (read: profit-at-any-cost Industry) by which most people still get their news.

    The ‘media problem’ is arguably the underlying crisis that drives or worsens nearly every other crisis in our society. Most of us agree that democracy can’t work in the absence of widely dispersed, reliable, objective-as-possible news fact - fact that’s clearly spearated, when dispersed, from ‘interpretation.’

    You’d think there’d be enough average news ‘consumers’ who as self-governing citizens would want Reliable Facts, that The Market would respond ‘profitably’ to the demand with the real McCoy. But in a society where everything, especially the truth, is up for sale to the highest bidder - such a demand can hardly even form coherently, let alone be identified and serviced with commercial profit, let alone honor.

    My perception is that our country and its pathological hyper-greed, hyper-ego value system has
    fatally-f—ed itself at the level of common epistemology, and thus at the level of Democracy. Even the ‘average’ news consumer is so ethically undercut by his/her personal money concerns or magical thinking religious (read: ego) beliefs, that there’s scant actual demand for honorably-vetted, mass-distributed newsfact.

    Most people now, only what to know what they’ve been hypnotized to believe will make them feel good.

    Unless there’s a mass transformation of our country’s common cultural Truth Values (call it Public Epistemology) and personal truth values,, it’s hard to see how even alternative news forms, such as we now see trying to expand Online, can get very far; can overthrow what appears to be a collectively-shared Wish to be told what we want to hear in our particular, little personal ways — rather than what we actually need to hear, which is, simply to begin with: half-way reliable Facts.

    I hope someone here will tell me how Online news sources are going to resolve this deeper cultural problem - in sufficient scale - and in enough time - to rescue our country’s ever-accelerating lock-in to totalitarianism.

  63. elmeztisogordo March 27th, 2008 5:07 pm

    A friend of mine has characterized NPR as “National Police Radio”. Is he wrong? Only time will tell…but it would appear that time is running out.

  64. Doom n Gloom March 27th, 2008 5:14 pm

    NPR is populated with whimpish personalities who wouldn’t stand up if they were hanging by the neck with a rope. American capitalism has just collapsed and it’s being papered over with greenbacks. The Iraq war is a continuing disaster for the U.S. by any measure. Increasingly people are unable to pay their bills at the end of each month. The stench of the culture is turning noses blue. NPR dispenses happy pills over the airwaves daily. I too stopped taking the koolaid. I’m too busy building the new culture to listen to the old one collapsing to a happy tune.

  65. Treefrog March 27th, 2008 5:17 pm

    Don’t forget there are a lot of Greedy americans that like the new order and profit by it. It won’t be until they are face-to-face with the consequences and by then, well by then they will see the beast they have become.

  66. claudius March 27th, 2008 5:56 pm

    There is an article on about NPR’s (deliberate)inaccuracy in reporting the numbert of US soldier deaths and Iraqi civilian deaths. The Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting organization has issued an ALERT. Here is the web address:

    If you cannot get it from this address go to and you will see the title “NPR Underreports Iraq Deaths”

  67. bottle March 27th, 2008 6:36 pm

    Interesting that Diane Rehm survived the attacks. She is good. Sometimes, though,
    on her show and maybe even a majority of the time (I’m thinking about the first half
    where the discussion is about issues of the day) she seems surrounded by self-deluded persons and appears the only person
    with any clarity of mind. They always start their sentences with the word, “Well…” those obnoxious pontificators. The minute they say “Well…” you know they’re about to deliver some low-intensity bromide that will work to enable the Iraq occupation and Bush and McCain…or assuming some vestigial resistance to Bush’s view, simply let the war continue by boring us to death.

    Once, by email, I congratulated the show
    for something and received an email back from the producer. She explained that she’d worked exceptionally hard on that particular show, but usually found it almost impossible to find passionate persons with views similar to my own.

  68. Rachel March 27th, 2008 6:38 pm

    Oy yep what yuo ALL have said is true.
    Cokie Roberts???? cut me a break she is so “inside” she is inside out….and frankly I don’t give a hoot about what Mumia says, thinks, or does. Just because he can turn a clever phrase from time to time does not take away the fact that he is a concicted murderer and full of S*** !
    People start thinking for yourselves!!!
    I will listen to Jefferson Airplane on the way to work tomorrow.

  69. rtdrury March 27th, 2008 6:51 pm

    You can’t have an empire without broad agreement, unity. NPR is simply another cog in the machine.

    You wanna have your empire don’t you? Ok then, toe the line.

  70. iowablackbird March 27th, 2008 7:25 pm

    NPR ( like the NYT’s and the WSJ and the washington post, ) is a tool. it represents the views of the managerial bourgeosis. like the nyts. articles tend to be longer and have more content. yes it’s true the focus of the discourse is center/center right (definately pro business) but a critical reader/consumer of information can usually read between the lines (or listen for inconsistencies).

    radio is an amazing way to decipher what a person is saying, by how they say it - for example listening to an interview of normon solomon on ‘on the media’ (distributed on npr stations) or on democracy now is more organic for me than reading a transcript of the interview or reading commentary by a writer or commentator at common dreams (inflection, control of voice - content - the mechanics of propaganda employed by leftist and msm - a persons voice can be trained, but often one can hear subtle tones/emotion beneath the words).

    NPR is the equivalent of life magazine or US news and world report. it’s catered to a certain affluent component of the population - people who can afford the opera and decadent consumption.

    despite the political intent - what if the views broadcast on NPR merely represent the views of possibly %65 of americans. for me this seems more the case. americans are obsessed by popular culture and trivia. although progressive solutions exist - the masses drifted center/right (bush 2000, bush 2004). i’d be surprised if people reading the NYT’s abroad didn’t see the papers view as anything but an american(govt/corporate) perspective. we should adopt the same attitude.

    public radio is a common denominater. if anything if your cringing as your listening at least appreciate NPR as an inexpensive form of entertainment.

    and that is what it is entertainment, its a way progressives, centrist or libertarians can examine opinion and judge it accordingly. isn’t it odd conservatives often complain about the liberal media? all MSM reflects center right corporate/government interest. occasionally they’re vetted (like the judith millers wmd stories at nyt’s). on a positive note media critics like solomon and mcchesney would be bored out of their minds if there was an educated population and a variety of independent opinions on public airwaves.

    i love democracy now and bob mcchesney’s mediamatters but i live in an area that doesn’t broadcast democracy now, free speech radio news or pacifica programming in general, so i listen to dem now for an hour a day as i read essays and comments. what public radio does for me (like c spans washington journal) is give me well versed pieces of information about the perceptions from mainstream (read consumers, capitalists, bureaucrats) american culture. it’s not a question of whether i agree w/ the political slant or deleted content. news just points me in a direction (often the unintended direction of the article) and it’s incumbent upon me to do the follow up research/inquiry, to pursue information i value (common dreams is an amazing resource).

    the shortwave is my fall back for information when i don’t have electricity or access to the internet. again the same rule of thumb applies, if your listening to voice of russia, radio netherlands, the bbc, radio havana or the voice of america - as a listener/critic, the source always has to be placed in context. it applies to the progressive magazine and the national review. it is also important to understand the right the center and the left (and the corporate tentacles that bind us all) in order to see perspective - although i would never encourage a person to listen to fox news over and over, i would hope folks would occasionally spend 15 minutes listening to limbaugh just as a reminder that the spectrum is broader than MSM.

    NPR is what it is…


  71. heavyrunner March 27th, 2008 7:30 pm

    I quit listening to those muthafuckers during Iran Contra and the genocide in Salvador. One commenter states that he quit listening when Bob Edwards was fired. I quit listening shortly after he was hired when I learned that he was a Pentagon mouthpiece hack before he transferred to NPR.

    The advent of the “Corporation for Public Broadcasting” was a rather big hint that nothing but shit would be forthcoming.

    Amy Goodman won’t touch reporting on the contradictions in the official story about 9/11. The rubbish they try to sell and the many people who buy it reminds me of all the silent people along the avenue in Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

    Please watch the video of the buildings being blown up in New York. The Emperor has no clothes, I shout!

    9/11 is the cornerstone of the war crimes. Until we get objective reporting of what happened that day with demands for investigation and justice every news outlet is built on sand. History will be completely baffled by the claim “We didn’t know.”

    Like hell you don’t know. Open your eyes!

    Then investigate how many military personnel were disciplined for the biggest failure of American defenses in history.

    Answer? ZERO!

    That would be impossible if things were above board.

  72. Jack37 March 27th, 2008 7:36 pm

    If you’re pro-war you’re objective: if you’re antiwar, you’re biased. A perfect summary of the situation. Journalists like to call themselves “trained” and “professionals” too. The way they “mean” the word (never having thought about it while chasing the inner halls of journo-celebrity power) is also suitable for describing seals in a marine park.

  73. earthbound March 27th, 2008 7:43 pm

    I was listening to NPR news this week and heard a comment that made me very upset and realize they are totally following the administration’s line. A comment was made of the recent increase of Iraqi militia fighting as being backed by Iranian forces, and in a lower voice, the reporter said that this is yet to be confirmed. Dangerous propaganda and again a push toward war with Iran.

  74. ctrl-z March 27th, 2008 7:44 pm

    I looked up “Winter Soldier” on the PBS website. I found one 3 minute 4 second piece (The Impact of War: ‘Winter Soldiers’ Tell Stories of War
    Mar-16-2008, All Things Considered) and a bunch of references to the first, Viet Nam war related, gathering.

    The ‘All Things Considered’ piece contained the shocking information that the rules of engagement in Iraq kept changing and one soldier witnessed a prisoner being deprived of water and sleep.

    When you consider the heart wrenching drama of the Winter Soldier’s testimonies and how it was perfectly suited for radio, NPR had to make a concious decision to minimize the impact of the event.

    Just like the rest of the MSM.

  75. rtbob99 March 27th, 2008 7:46 pm

    I quit listening regularily to NPR about 6 or 7 years ago when it turned into Zionist Radio. Every single day for weeks on end it was all about Israel and its struggles. Cannot remember what the exact event was that was going on but enough was enough.

    AIPAC has enough influence in our government, they have to run NPR too?

  76. rickdog March 27th, 2008 8:16 pm

    My 37 year-old son was raised on Sesame Street. Now, because of the vapidity of PBS children’s programming (eg Barney, et al) he wisely refuses to have such drivel in his home. In Boston, while in graduate school, we supported WGBH. Not in Connecticut! Every time we turn on the tube, it’s fundraising time, and from what is presented, it would appear that all Connecticut viewers want or need is an endless loop of doo-wop, Peter, Paul, and Mary, and antique rock n’ roll legends. The audience apparently really, really grooves on this shit because they all sway left to right together and weep. It must remind them of when they were younger. Now… they’re all Repugs. NPR (with the only exceptions of fun Saturday morning broadcasting like Click n’ Clack and Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me)is hopelessly irrelevant. A listener doesn’t have to see NPR’s lips move to know that it is lying. Fortunately, in Connecticut we have several listener-supported, non-commercial, non NPR stations struggling to exist while continually presenting cutting-edge reporting on world and local news and events. NPR and PBS don’t deserve any of my money. They co-opted for somnolent, risk-free programming years ago. In our house, we support Free Speech Radio… not government-censored propaganda.

  77. jagrio March 27th, 2008 8:34 pm

    still the best radio on the air.

  78. Barn Burner March 27th, 2008 9:28 pm

    PBS went Right of center when Newt the Gingridge and the Republican Congress put on a full court press to either change or shut down PBS. Since the right wing considered everything on PBS to be radical left wing they demanded “balanced” programing or funding would be shut off. PBS likes to say it is funded by donors but the truth is with-out Government support (which is really public funding) it would go down. Yes, it had a mandate of reporting the truth (like a U.S. version of BBC) but sadly that is gone as the Republicans have fucked-over another good thing.

  79. citizen1 March 27th, 2008 9:35 pm

    Soon after the Iraq war I stopped supporting NPR because I too, felt their blind bias towards US government policy on multople occasion. NOw I listen to their news rarely … I do like their classical music prog.

  80. Rick March 27th, 2008 9:51 pm

    Shortwave Radio… You want a different viewpoint,go to the source..
    Voice of Justice from Iran is one example.. Broadcasts to the U.S. in English everynight from 9:30pm EST to 10:30pm.
    Their tagline is “Broadcasting to the world,especially Americans”.
    A then their is radio CUBA everynight in English and Radio Croatia,Radio Serbia,China Radio International,etc,etc. You get the point.
    Get a shortwave radio and get past the electronic wall of U.S media.

  81. Ali Hassani March 27th, 2008 9:51 pm

    I have been upset with the NPR since they removed Bob Edwards and replaced him with the new guy (Steve Inskip, or something). When he interviews people, for each sentence that the other person says, Steve himself throw in 10 paragraphs. Instead of asking questions, he lectures the other guy and reads him stories. To be quite honest, I have never liked him. He is just too pretentious. I also don’t like that self-hating back guy that NPR brought over from the FAX television (some guy named, I guess, Joan Williams, or whatever). I was listenning to him the other day while he was giving commentary about Obama’s recent leture on race in America. Joan Williams was talking about Obama in a way that someone like David Duke would talk about a black person. Apparently, Obama’s explanation was not good enough for Mr. Williams!!! NPR under these new people have become a joke.

  82. dinmusicjf March 27th, 2008 11:21 pm

    National Pasteurized Radio

  83. DarrellM March 27th, 2008 11:24 pm

    I stopped listening to NPR a few years ago after watching Danny Shecter’s “Weapons of Mass Deception”. I stopped watching Jim Lehrer’s NewsHour then too. Shecter shows how these two “Public” sources pushed, what turned out to be complete falsehoods, just as much as any commercial station to justify the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, repetition is maybe the key ingredient in, not just propaganda but brainwashing. The less you listen the less you’ll be brainwashed.

  84. starofthesea March 28th, 2008 12:44 am

    Not having TV, once upon a time I was a regular public radio listener. No more. NPR sucks but occasionally you can decent affiliate state produced shows that get beyond the NPR pablum that has continued to deteriorate for at least the last 10 years. I can barely abide listening to any of it It makes me sad that what I once thought was the last bastion of truly owned public airwaves totally lost its soul. sigh. Well there’s still the Internet for now anyway.

  85. Treefrog March 28th, 2008 2:12 am

    I e-mailed the folks at PBS sometime ago about the content of one of thier broadcasts. I did get more than one personal response. They essentially said, we agree but we are doing the best we can. I got the impression they were under significant stress. At least it was a real response, not the usual company position in a form letter.

  86. sprucewolf March 28th, 2008 2:30 am

    For a couple of dark Alaskan winters I lived in a remote cabin without utilities, and I listened to a lot of battery-powered NPR, pre 9-11. The music on All Things Considered has featured irritating military-style snare drums ever since Bush declared his various wars. We’re all supposed to mindlessly hup-two I guess. After NPR tossed Bob Edwards, Morning Edition became increasingly partisan, shallow, and unlistenable. I stopped giving to our local public radio fund drives at that point. Sometimes I still listen to Terry Gross on Fresh Air. Also, a couple of our local NPR stations play This American Life, Afropop Worldwide, The World, City Arts and Lectures, and Alternative Radio. Marketplace frequently has a fresh approach, unlike anything you will hear elsewhere.

  87. whatfools March 28th, 2008 3:20 am

    NPR is simply another cog in the machine.

    We need another clog in the machine.

  88. pdf March 28th, 2008 4:55 am

    The nerve of NPR to have anything positive or constructive to say about the US military! They should be censored, shut down & lose their tax free status immediately! If we don’t, they’ll be like those brown-shirted “Boy Scouts” that used to be such do-gooders before we shut THEM down. Left unfettered and uncensored, those neo-con youth might have become FAUX News listeners, or worse ~ CAPITALISTS!

  89. andrewr March 28th, 2008 7:07 am

    I have to agree with Arby: the CBC news is terrible. It is biased and so pro-elite that it is barely worth listneing to. On xmas day they issued a news report that Iran was helping insurgents attack Canadian troops in Afghanistan, as if there were no contraversy. They did not list sources, counter the dubious information or offer an Iranian response. That, Canadians, is how you end up with CNN spoonfeeding your mind mush.

  90. Cosmicharlie March 28th, 2008 7:21 am

    willybill March 27th, 2008 11:38 am

    Right On Willybill !!

  91. willo March 28th, 2008 7:40 am

    NPR is nothing more than a wolf in sheeps clothing. It’s just another tool of the elite, phonier than a three dollar bill.
    KPFA is the only radio station that hasn’t yet been totally compromised.
    Some people think, Oh I listen to the BBC they tell the real truth. I don’t trust them either. They never explained why they reported the collaspe of World Trade Center [building 7] over twenty minutes before it actually happened. It points toward complicity.

  92. Umlaut March 28th, 2008 7:53 am

    Funny, FAIR does Counterspin which airs on mostly NPR member stations. Wonder if they tell you how bad NPR is on NPR stations?

    (have to confess I used to try and tune in to Counterspin, but don’t listen to any NPR anymore, so actually I’d like to know if anyone listens)

  93. pistonbroke March 28th, 2008 8:52 am

    I switched on this morning to NPR the first time for months and it was the same old bullshit. According to NPR if you really listened hard enough all the worlds problems are caused by foreigners. Illegal immigrants, terrorists, Cubans, Chavez and so the propaganda goes on and on and on. Now Pakistan along with N.Korea Iran Palestine and uncle tom cobbly and all are to blame for the worlds ills and the USA is a force for good. Of course if you swallow shit like that you deserve to get typhoid. These same people ask for money from the general public but put on repeat after repeat on the TV, quite frankly if it was closed down today they never would be missed.

  94. tumbleweed March 28th, 2008 9:00 am

    When NPR shows even the slightest sign of being independent in their reporting. The Republican’s start cutting off funds instantly. There is no end to the whining and belly-aching about NPR being a ‘Liberal News Organization’! It’s been going on for years now! If any of you had bothered to listen! The biggest problem in this country is the REPUBLICAN PARTY! They are the evil doer in this story! Whether you know it or not they call all of the shots! And the situation in this country won’t improve until the head of the serpent (GOP) is cut off! They are run by big business and do there bidding. They have taken the country over.

  95. pistonbroke March 28th, 2008 9:01 am

    Well said RIPDOG.

  96. neomunk March 28th, 2008 9:48 am

    Since many others have already pointed out the flaws of NPR very elegantly, I’ll just give you MY favorite expansion of the letters NPR: Nationalist Puppet Radio.

    And to think that I used to give them money. Thinking about it makes me feel like I do when I think about how I used to support the Blackwater hiring American Red Cross.

    In both cases I -DID- receive responses to my correspondence (detailing my complaints), and both “agreed” with me, but the reality has not altered one bit.

  97. sphne March 28th, 2008 10:17 am

    I stopped taking NPR seriously when they stopped using a journalist,can’t remember his name, he himself I believe was Israeli but rather critical of Israeli policy. They said they recieved ‘too many complaints’ when he appeared. I actually read that here on common dreams about a year ago.

  98. lightning March 28th, 2008 10:22 am

    Arby, Isuggest you bring in a laptop, if that is possible, and listen to and - Pacifica Radio. You will be astounded to hear such veracity in it’s eclectic programing and its reporting of the news.

  99. maggi8 March 28th, 2008 11:13 am

    About a year or so ago, All Things Considered had some “expert” talking about how bad it is for soldiers with PTSD to talk about their experiences. He believed that if they didn’t think about traumatic events they’ll be just fine. What a “brilliant” theory - one that probably never occurred to these soldiers.

    I am disgusted with NPR. They’re getting as bad as cable news.

  100. metamars March 28th, 2008 1:03 pm

    IMO, a truly independent news media has to be 100% listener supported. Of course, PBS has been corrupted by more than a pro-military bias. I remember a show about a Revlon cosmetics saleslady bringing the wonders of modern cosmetics to dirt poor natives of the Amazon basin….

    Stanford Law Professor Lawrence Lessig is spearheading an effort to get attack corruption of Congress by moneyed interests. Please support it: We can’t expect a compromised Congress to attack the media monopoly problem, can we?

    Also, boilerplate for my own suggestion for bypassing the media is as follows:

    Please see my proposal “Putting the NY Times Out of Business”, and please check out the attendant thread.

    “Putting the NY Times Out of Business”
    Proposal to replace ALL corrupt media

    I have posted a proposal on the Randi Rhodes show forum for replacing our current media with a new, sustainable media that facilitates the selection of “filtering agents”. You can think of these as honest gatekeepers that YOU trust - and that keep out trivial information, rather than very important information that groups with economic and other hidden agendas prefer to hide from you.

    Broadband access is now up to 53% in the US ( see ), so it is quite possible to target TELEVISION, which is how about 48% of Americans get 30+ minutes of news per day (as opposed to only about 9% over the internet). See

    The thread is entitled: “Putting the NY Times Out of Business”
    The thread is subtitled: “Proposal to replace ALL corrupt media”



  101. elijlyn March 28th, 2008 1:37 pm

    I stopped listening to NPR on a regular basis a few years ago, because I noticed eveytime they wanted a discussion on anything religious they would have some wacko right wing evangelical speak for the rest of us. I my view Right wing evangelicals have perverted everything Jesus said. Also, NPR tended to have Wall Street representatives speak for us on economic issues.

    We should pull the plug on media whore NPR.

  102. Vfor911 March 28th, 2008 2:43 pm

    Right wing evangelicals didn’t pervert everything Jesus said (if even there was a Jesus). That was done from the get go.

    “Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.”

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, April 13, 1820

  103. website March 28th, 2008 3:52 pm

    What’s contradictory about Norman Solomon is that, one the one hand, he’s quite correct about how the media is biased in favor of the status quo, in particular, the imperial prerogatives of the US government. But then, when it comes election time every four years, Solomon in his wisdom advises us to vote for
    – you guessed it –the lesser of the two evils.

    Of course, needless to say (except it HAS to be said) when this is done over and over, the country, as it has been doing now for decades, drifts inevitably to the right.

    So, yes, Norman, all your arguments and observations are spot-on. But quit pretending that the problem you bring to our attention can be solved by the likes of candidates Gore, Kerry, Hillary or Obama. You know as well as anyone else that they’re no more than mouhtpieces for the same military-industrial complex you so eloquently criticize.

  104. jclientelle March 28th, 2008 8:54 pm

    Not only is news a giant yawn on PBS and NPR, but some public television stations seem to have been taken over by - I don’t know what - self help zombies. If you look at the guide, you will see long stretches (I mean hours and hours in a row) of air time are taken up Wayne Dyer’s recipes for authentic living for the chronically self-absorbed and some doctor’s regimens and products for beautiful skin.

    Even Sesame Street has lost its pizazz and artistry and become safe and tedious. The other day I tuned into an old Reading Rainbow with its long dead host Levar Burton. They don’t make them like that anymore.

    The public news has abandoned any mission to educate the public with independent and penetrating coverage of the news and quality cultural programming. Naturally this coincided with having to take money from oil companies and such.

    Quite a while ago my children and I started singing this song about PBS to the tune of the Masterpiece Theater theme. It starts…

    If it’s British
    And it’s bohohohohoring
    And it does not rock the boat….

  105. pangolin March 29th, 2008 12:47 pm

    If the US was the Titanic, NPR is lead cheerleader for the hole drilling crew in the bow. Between Peak Oil, Global Warming and the collapse of the US financial system america is going down.

    Increasingly across the globe smart traders are refusing to accept US currency for goods and services and rightly so. The Fed is inventing money out of thin air and giving it by the trainload to investment bankers to prop up the collapsing stock market.

    Don’t listen to NPR, don’t buy stock in US corporations and sell the stock while you can. Don’t buy any dollar denominated assets. Divest yourself of any financial interest in the US while you can. Our system of government is as fraudulant as Zimbabwe’s and all the kings horses and all the kings men can no longer prop it up.

    Have fun.

  106. Treefrog March 29th, 2008 12:49 pm

    Standford….is a very corrupt University, look up its history before you think any solution will come from there.

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