Saturday, December 03, 2005

A Sad Day For Radio

I was going to write about the disappearance of Howard Stern from free radio. Only ten more shows and he's gone to satellite. But I heard something today that fits the title above better.

This American Life is a treasure--one of those shows that proves radio is as powerful a medium as any other. The (loosely followed) theme this week was David and Goliath. They told three interesting stories. So far so good. But then, in the last five minutes or so, the show turned into a raw political broadcast.

Suddenly, the host, Ira Glass, started complaining about how the Bush administration claims it did not hype the evidence leading up to the Iraq war. Then Glass gave evidence that "proved" the Bush people weren't honest. The best you could say about Glass's points were that they were heavily in dispute (as they relate to the overall claim of lying or hyping). Some of them, as far as I'm concerned, have long been disproved; my goodness, Glass is still relying on Joe Wilson, who's not only been proven wrong, but whose "evidence"--even if correct as Wilson misinterprets it--is irrelevant to the claim that Bush was making regarding Iraq's intent.

To make it worse, Glass was casting himself in the role of poor David, fighting against the Goliath of a Bush administration that's got everyone snowed. In fact, Glass is merely part of a huge, incredibly powerful establishment of bullies and partisans who have succeeded in convincing the American public (for reasons that have little to do with facts) of complete nonsense.

Columbus Guy says: This is typical NPR behavior. Probably half the NPR shows do this in one form or another. Keillor's show is typical. He does his little monologue and throws in jokes that may or may not be good, but they're clearly one-sided. It's as if he's talking to an audience of Michigan fans telling Ohio-State-sucks jokes: They're dumb enough and fairly lazy, but they meet expectations and you get the laugh. But when you go to Ohio State, you have to reverse your material. If you've got both crowds in your audience, either you've got to do it both ways or drop it, but you can't just pick one side's material -- unless of course you really mean it, and that's the rub. The NPR folks mean it. That makes the funniest things NPR people say their silly little denials of Democrat bias.

BTW, LAGuy, you've become quite the press bias avatar. Hoo-da-thunk.


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