OT: What's the deal with NPR?

User Forum Topic
Submitted by Coronita on March 9, 2011 - 8:01am

Submitted by meadandale on March 9, 2011 - 8:11am.

That's what happens when you live in a bubble...

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on March 9, 2011 - 9:55am.

FLU: While I find NPR generally left-leaning (the way FOX is right-leaning), I didn't see anything in her remarks, including the word "racist", that rose to the level of a terminable offense. If you read the transcript from the "sting" (which really wasn't a sting, at all), she was merely expressing her opinion.

However, in the culture of umbrage we live in, everyone gets pissed off about something.

Back in 2007, a white staffer in DC was fired for using the word "niggardly", which means miserly. However, in a city that's 60% black, this was quickly read as racism. It wasn't, of course, but he was forced to resign anyway. http://www.adversity.net/special/niggard...

God forbid the news focus on real issues.

Submitted by jstoesz on March 9, 2011 - 10:41am.

The reason is quite simple. NPR is trying to keep its free money. Anything that could be used against them in the case of removing their funding will qualify as a terminable offense. Conservatives are not shocked/offended, but they would like to remove the tax payer funding of liberal editorializing, and they will use NPR’s own words to hang the organization. I think it has very little to do with offense. If your employee jeopardized your free money, you would can her too.

Submitted by briansd1 on March 9, 2011 - 5:09pm.

I think that the undercover videotaping was a new low in politics.

But you have to fight fire with fire and that will lead to escalation and more sting operations and outing on both sides.

I expect conservatives to take the moral high ground. But apparently, they consistently fail to live up to their "conservative" ideals.

Submitted by jpinpb on March 9, 2011 - 6:35pm.

While there are never anything politically incorrect or racist said on Fox. I don't think I've ever heard, say, Glenn Beck voice anything derogatory in a similar vein when he goes on his rants. {rolling eyes}

Submitted by desmond on March 9, 2011 - 7:40pm.

Granted the guy seemed to be a sissie, but I would not go as far as calling him a women.

Submitted by jstoesz on March 9, 2011 - 11:03pm.

Brian,

You are a stich...seriously moral high ground...are you kidding me?

This is politics not paddy cake.

Buck up, and revel in the childish nature of it all. I dare you to read a little history. Our politics today are so boring compared to the intrigue of yesteryear.

BTW. Alan in fallbrook (you are a history buff right?) I just read a great book. Water and Power, it is about the raping of the owens valley. Now that is politics of the sort we need history books to remind us of.

Personally, I applaud this sort of journalism...the more transparency for those suckling at the public teet the better. On both sides. Now if only they would focus on the banksters...not the inconsequential.

Submitted by gandalf on March 9, 2011 - 11:30pm.

jpinpb wrote:
While there are never anything politically incorrect or racist said on Fox. I don't think I've ever heard, say, Glenn Beck voice anything derogatory in a similar vein when he goes on his rants. {rolling eyes}

Nice, jp. I laughed at this.

Overall, NPR is good. It leans 'left', but they aren't liars.

I like the Wall Street Journal. It leans 'right'. But they aren't liars.

Fox just makes shit up. Huge difference.

Submitted by jstoesz on March 10, 2011 - 12:09am.

for the record I love NPR. Especially the This American Life and Radio Lab and planet money...programs. You all must check it out. Especially on your 6 hour drives to the mountains (maybe that is just my former self talking). But why in Gods name is my tax money going to pay for it? To be honest, I don't even mind the lefties...There is some damn fine programming. Oh and their music website is absolutely amazing!

Submitted by CA renter on March 10, 2011 - 1:29am.

jstoesz wrote:
The reason is quite simple. NPR is trying to keep its free money. Anything that could be used against them in the case of removing their funding will qualify as a terminable offense. Conservatives are not shocked/offended, but they would like to remove the tax payer funding of liberal editorializing, and they will use NPR’s own words to hang the organization. I think it has very little to do with offense. If your employee jeopardized your free money, you would can her too.

Agree with this.

And I'm bummed about it.

Submitted by EconProf on March 10, 2011 - 7:15am.

I believe NPR tries to be balanced, and generally succeeds.
But since they are staffed by MSM liberal types, they sometimes slip up and show their true colors.
Nonetheless, all the well-founded criticism of their mild tilt to the left has forced them to do their best to present all sides fairly. Not a bad outcome, given that they delve into issues in great detail.

Submitted by ocrenter on March 10, 2011 - 7:24am.

gandalf wrote:

Overall, NPR is good. It leans 'left', but they aren't liars.

I like the Wall Street Journal. It leans 'right'. But they aren't liars.

Fox just makes shit up. Huge difference.

well put, my sentiment exactly!

Submitted by scaredyclassic on March 10, 2011 - 8:00am.

It is weird that they get free money. I love NPR but why do they get govt money? Also why do they keep haranguing me for money? And what about all those private foundations. Is govt money so big they can't survive otherwise?

The govt could do far worse than subsidizing click n clack or garrison Keillor

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on March 10, 2011 - 8:40am.

Good article on this from Tomasky at The Guardian (yes, Gandalf, I read Tomasky at The Guardian): http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/...

I would agree that NPR does try to play it straight (unlike FOX), but its left-leaning in the same way that the WSJ is right-leaning, its sorta built into the system.

Jst: Thanks for the book recommend. I'll definitely check that out.

Submitted by briansd1 on March 10, 2011 - 10:15am.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
I would agree that NPR does try to play it straight (unlike FOX), but its left-leaning in the same way that the WSJ is right-leaning, its sorta built into the system.

Glad that you corrected that NPR is NOT the left leaning equivalent of Fox.

Fox is right-wing in a riled-up, crazy kinda way. NPR is measured and intellectual. Who watches Fox and actually believes them?

I wish that there were a left-wing equivalent to Fox; but progressives have too much critical thinking to support such a crazy format.

The WSJ is a business newspaper so it leans right by default. Maybe the Christian Science Monitor is a better comparison?

But still, I think that the NPR stands alone because its format is unique. Fox also stands alone but it provides blatantly crazy right-wing content for an uneducated audience. One really has to be simple-minded to only watch Fox for hours and hours.

Submitted by briansd1 on March 10, 2011 - 10:25am.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
Good article on this from Tomasky at The Guardian (yes, Gandalf, I read Tomasky at The Guardian): http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/...

Good article. Yes, I agree that Ronald Schiller was sanctimonious and condescending in his remarks.

But so what? Conservatives have always been sanctimonious and critical whereas liberals are permissive.

My conservatives grand-parents were sanctimonious and condescending about everything. The "good people" at Church, while kind and willing to help, always viewed the "bad people" askance.

I think that we are all conservative on this blog since we tend to be sanctimonious about people who don't manage their finances well.

Submitted by afx114 on March 10, 2011 - 11:38am.

If you want a good example of the value public broadcasting provides, compare the travel show of Rick Steves with those of the ad-backed Travel Channel. In Steves you have an honest, passionate, knowledgable host who provides immense value for any potential trips you might take, without any corporate filter pushing you in a certain direction.

With the Travel Channel you get shows like "Cruising 101, Sponsored by Carnival," "Top 10 Sexiest Beaches, sponsored by the Miami Board of Tourism," and "Check out these bull testicles I'm eating!"

There's something to be said for information and entertainment that doesn't have an agenda backed by ad dollars. I suppose people will argue that NPR is the same, only it has an agenda backed by tax dollars. I would counter by arguing that the only agenda that Rick Steves appears to have is for you to have an enjoyable vacation. That, and legalizing weed.

Submitted by briansd1 on March 10, 2011 - 12:53pm.

I love Rick Steves. I pretty much travel the way he travels.

I listen to his shows on NPR. Rick Steves however does have the tendency to interrupt his guests with commentary rather than let the guests elaborate on their own comments. But it's nice that he invites foreign guests to talk about their countries.

I can't stand Tom Fudge on KPBS. Bad radio voice. And I hate it when he tells his guests "why don't you talk about..."

I liked Juan Williams when he was on Talk of the Nation. Good interviewer.

Submitted by briansd1 on March 10, 2011 - 1:09pm.

jstoesz wrote:
Brian,

You are a stich...seriously moral high ground...are you kidding me?

This is politics not paddy cake.

Buck up, and revel in the childish nature of it all. I dare you to read a little history. Our politics today are so boring compared to the intrigue of yesteryear.

When I was a child I used to watch Little House on the Prairie on TV. That's my idea of family values.

It seems that in reality the Medicis and the Borgias are more reflective of family values.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on March 10, 2011 - 3:17pm.

briansd1 wrote:

But so what? Conservatives have always been sanctimonious and critical whereas liberals are permissive.

My conservatives grand-parents were sanctimonious and condescending about everything. The "good people" at Church, while kind and willing to help, always viewed the "bad people" askance.

I think that we are all conservative on this blog since we tend to be sanctimonious about people who don't manage their finances well.

Brian: Or manage their weight well, or engage in "redneck culture", or believe in other than "progressive" values.

Sorry, Brian, but people are tribal and use less common sense than you think. An example would be your generalization above in which all conservatives (and you actually mean "right-wingers") are pompous and sanctimonious and all progressives ("left-wingers") are permissive and understanding. Call me crazy, but that equation of yours doesn't work so well in the real world, and is easily debunked by facts and reality.

When confronted with these facts and this reality, you'll invariably either evade answering or come up with some excuse, which proves the point that people believe what they want to believe and will construct the necessary "reality" to support that point of view, facts be damned.

Leftists (as opposed to Liberals or Progressives) are not critical thinkers, any more than Glenn Beck (reactionary right-wing) is a critical thinker. If you want evidence of this, witness the recent nonsense in Wisconsin, whereby angry Leftists argued for maintenance of an unaffordable, unsupportable status quo ante and Michael Moore gabbled on about having a "right" to rich people's money. No logic, no critical thinking, and no fairness. Plenty of sanctimony to go around, though.

Submitted by briansd1 on March 10, 2011 - 4:12pm.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:

Sorry, Brian, but people are tribal and use less common sense than you think.

Francis Fukuyama's book on social evolution sounds interesting.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/08/scienc...

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:

Leftists (as opposed to Liberals or Progressives) are not critical thinkers, any more than Glenn Beck (reactionary right-wing) is a critical thinker. If you want evidence of this, witness the recent nonsense in Wisconsin, whereby angry Leftists argued for maintenance of an unaffordable, unsupportable status quo ante and Michael Moore gabbled on about having a "right" to rich people's money. No logic, no critical thinking, and no fairness. Plenty of sanctimony to go around, though.

I'm ambivalent about the situation in Wisconsin.

Yes, something needs to be done for the sake of fiscal discipline. And the state workers in Wisconsin made concessions.

But it is necessary to undo decades of labor gains and drag everybody back to the labor conditions of the past?

I do however agree with the position that the State is there to serve the people, not to perpetuate the privileges of a class of public employees who live in their own good old boys' club.

Submitted by Coronita on March 10, 2011 - 4:12pm.

Oops. Didn't mean to start a political debate again. My bad.

I like NPR. It just seems like they've been in the news a lot lately. I'm not sure what the justification of the CEO being fired was. It anyone shouldn't been axed, it should have been the actual person who made the comments.

Oh well...Heh politics.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on March 10, 2011 - 4:34pm.

briansd1 wrote:

I'm ambivalent about the situation in Wisconsin.

Yes, something needs to be done for the sake of fiscal discipline. And the state workers in Wisconsin made concessions.

But it is necessary to undo decades of labor gains and drag everybody back to the labor conditions of the past?

I do however agree with the position that the State is there to serve the people, not to perpetuate the privileges of a class of public employees who live in their own good old boys' club.

Brian: "drag everybody back to the labor conditions of the past"? Uh, okay. So, like back in the days when teachers got black lung disease? Or, when the DMV used child labor? Like that?

Dude, c'mon. I know I give you grief, but even you have to admit that your counterargument is thin. Friggin' anorexic, in fact.

Unlike private unions, public unions aren't "bargaining" or "negotiating" with anyone. The politicians who vote for these sweet deals are sitting on the SAME SIDE of the table as the unions. This is vote buying, pure and simple. Wisconsin is not some bellwether state, blazing a new trail and seeking to bust unions. Only half the states have a collective-bargaining agreement in place, and there is plenty of data to support the fact that the states that don't, like Virginia or Indiana, are in fact able to deliver effective services and at a lower cost.

Public sector unions are not there for any other reason than to amass power, peddle influence and deliver voting blocs for "friendly" politicians. To suggest that we're going to somehow go back to the robber baron days of yore is idiotic. These are PUBLIC sector unions, not PRIVATE sector unions.

Submitted by CA renter on March 10, 2011 - 11:56pm.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:

Leftists (as opposed to Liberals or Progressives) are not critical thinkers, any more than Glenn Beck (reactionary right-wing) is a critical thinker. If you want evidence of this, witness the recent nonsense in Wisconsin, whereby angry Leftists argued for maintenance of an unaffordable, unsupportable status quo ante and Michael Moore gabbled on about having a "right" to rich people's money. No logic, no critical thinking, and no fairness. Plenty of sanctimony to go around, though.

The "rich" are the ones who caused the financial crisis and the pension crisis. After giving them trillions of dollars (as thanks for destroying our economy, I guess), and then extending tax cuts so the speculators on Wall Street can use all their newfound money (courtesy of the taxpayers) to ramp up commodities prices around the world...yeah, public employees are going to fight when the bill for Wall Street's party comes due, and it's handed to them.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on March 11, 2011 - 12:26am.

CA renter wrote:

The "rich" are the ones who caused the financial crisis and the pension crisis. After giving them trillions of dollars (as thanks for destroying our economy, I guess), and then extending tax cuts so the speculators on Wall Street can use all their newfound money (courtesy of the taxpayers) to ramp up commodities prices around the world...yeah, public employees are going to fight when the bill for Wall Street's party comes due, and it's handed to them.

CAR: Public employees are going to fight whom, exactly? The so-called "rich"? How does that work? They're PUBLIC sector, not PRIVATE sector unions; they're paid for by the taxpayers.

This isn't the UAW, or IBEW, or AFL-CIO going up against GM or Ford or U.S. Steel for a larger share of the profits; this is SEIU, or CCPOA going for more taxpayer dollars.

The complete illogicality of this outdated and defunct "class warfare" argument seems to have escaped most people. This isn't rich versus the middle-class, it is politicians rewarding union supporters for their voter with unaffordable benefits packages that will explode long after those same politicians are long gone.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on March 11, 2011 - 8:48am.

Part of why I love NPR is my dad loved prairie home companion so much.. I remember him pulling over to park to just mellow out and listen. NPR reminds me of my dad. He lloved that damn show.

Submitted by jpinpb on March 11, 2011 - 9:03am.

I love NPR. I always thought if I ever won the lottery, money would be sent their way. I think for the most part they are balanced and informative. All their shows are very good. Hard to pick a favorite, but I do try to tune in to This American Life when I can and Marketplace.

Submitted by bearishgurl on March 11, 2011 - 11:26am.

walterwhite wrote:
Part of why I love NPR is my dad loved prairie home companion so much.. I remember him pulling over to park to just mellow out and listen. NPR reminds me of my dad. He lloved that damn show.

Lol, my dad loved it, too. I even got him the 25th Anniversary Collection on CD one x-mas. After he passed, I got it back and it's packed away. Someday, I'll take it out and listen to them :)

Submitted by CA renter on March 11, 2011 - 6:26pm.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
CA renter wrote:

The "rich" are the ones who caused the financial crisis and the pension crisis. After giving them trillions of dollars (as thanks for destroying our economy, I guess), and then extending tax cuts so the speculators on Wall Street can use all their newfound money (courtesy of the taxpayers) to ramp up commodities prices around the world...yeah, public employees are going to fight when the bill for Wall Street's party comes due, and it's handed to them.

CAR: Public employees are going to fight whom, exactly? The so-called "rich"? How does that work? They're PUBLIC sector, not PRIVATE sector unions; they're paid for by the taxpayers.

This isn't the UAW, or IBEW, or AFL-CIO going up against GM or Ford or U.S. Steel for a larger share of the profits; this is SEIU, or CCPOA going for more taxpayer dollars.

The complete illogicality of this outdated and defunct "class warfare" argument seems to have escaped most people. This isn't rich versus the middle-class, it is politicians rewarding union supporters for their voter with unaffordable benefits packages that will explode long after those same politicians are long gone.

Just going to copy from another thread where this was addressed (I'm pretty sure you do understand this, Allan, but just copying over the post):

I was referring to the boom/bust cycles that the Fed creates, and the "guaranteed" inflation, as the Fed tries to maintain a ~2% inflation rate, which they call "price stability." The Fed's tendency to bail speculators out of their foolish mistakes (the Greenspan/Bernanke put) made investors think that "they" would never let deflation happen, so the investors had no choice but to go all in.

If not for the bubbles, our commitments would be significantly lower. During the bubbles, city and state managers/legislators offer up compensation packages that cannot be sustained in a "normal" economy.

The problem is that our bubble economy has been going on for so long (since the early 80s), that everyone (govt management AND pension fund managers and actuaries) thinks the bubble economy is "normal," and they plan accordingly. Those who thought it was unsustainable were forced out, as the returns they made were consistently lower than those who chased the bubbles and got the bubble returns. Also, as asset prices rose, unions would (logically) demand compensation increases to keep up.

BTW, in the situations I'm aware of, it's not the reduced TAX revenue that is causing a problem with the pension plans. It's the losses they saw during the "financial crisis," and the lower returns on investments. The large pension funds do not rely on taxpayer funding, and taxpayers have not spent a single cent on the "pension crisis" experienced by these large funds (CalPERS and CalSTRS*). The pension funds, at lest the large ones I'm most familiar with (I'm not as familiar with independent municipal pension funds) get their revenue from the pension contributions that are paid by the employees and their employers, as part of their compensation packages. Approximately 70% of the revenue is supposed to come from investments (the link below is from 2005, and it shows investment returns are 75% of projected revenue), and THAT is where the problem lies. It's not about tax revenue, it's about investment returns/losses.

The funds were super-funded in the late 90s (a bubble!), which is why they passed the pension boost for public safety personnel. The bubbles that resulted from the actions taken by the Federal Reserve and Wall Street are what have caused them to make such foolish mistakes, and this is why there is a "pension crisis."

From the CalPERS link, who pays into the fund:

Member - $16.8
Employer - $17.0
Investments - $116.1

http://www.law.harvard.edu/programs/lwp/Buenrostro%20(FINAL%20POWER%20POINT).pdf
------------------

*The state pays ~2-3% of the employees' (teachers') wages to CalSTRS, from what I can tell. The rest comes from employees, the employers (as part of the compensation package), and investment returns.

http://calstrs.com/About%20CalSTRS/fastf...

There has been no large-scale bailout of these large funds. IMHO, any additional contribution requirements will end up being shifted to the employees; something I've been saying for a while, now.
--------------

I think this is why I get so frustrated, and it's not at all directed at you, BTW. It's just that so few people actually understand how the system works, and why it's in trouble right now, yet they are ranting and raving about things that aren't even related to the cause of the problems. Again, it is NOT the unions who caused the problems, but the financial industry and the Federal Reserve (by creating bubbles, and then forcing negative rates on us when the funds need ~7-9% in order for the numbers to work out...which force the managers to move further out on the risk curve when rates are held so low for such an extended period of time).

This is why some of us are so infuriated. This is being labeled as "taxpayers vs. unions," when that's not the issue here. Why has Wall Street -- the ones who caused the crisis -- been getting bailouts, record bonuses and tax breaks, which cost taxpayers trillions of dollars...while public sector workers are being blamed in the media for causing the "pension crisis" and told they have to give up everything **they've worked for over the years** and were promised in good faith? IMHO, it's an intentional diversion, and public workers are being made the scapegoats for the financial industry.

Sorry, but it's B.S.

BTW, please check out the link to the Harvard presentation for CalPERS.

On page 22, you'll see how the employer contribution dropped off. This was due to the internet bubble, and they (CalPERS) reduced employer contribution requirements at the same time they (public employers/legislators) increased benefits. The public workers BEGGED them to save this money for future contributions/a rainy day, but their employers -- almost all of them -- refused, and spent it instead.

http://piggington.com/the_pigs_are_famou...
=================

One more thing...during negotiations over the past 2-3 years, union members **have been making concessions in pay and benefits** because they are aware of the problems. People seem to be under the impression that union members have been getting raises, or that they are getting the same pay/benefits as they were during the bubble, but that just isn't true in most cases. As unions renegotiate their contracts going forward, they will be giving things up, as would be expected. It's just maddening that people are trying to blame the union members for our financial crisis. They are being made the scapegoats for Wall Street, and it needs to stop.

Submitted by jpinpb on March 11, 2011 - 7:14pm.

CAR - Thank you for sharing your extensive knowledge on this matter and clarifying it for us. I wish MSM would scratch the surface of the truth in this matter.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.