Aug
05
2009

NPR Debate: 'False Distortion' vs. 'Fact-Based Statement'

NPR Check blogger mytwords has taken the time (8/4/09) to closely "consider [Scott] Horsely's verbal sleight of hand" on National Public Radio's August 4 Morning Edition: He equates a completely false distortion–characterizing the tepid Democratic health reform proposals as "government-run healthcare" in opposition to "the free market"–with a completely fact-based statement–"we have a system today that works well for the insurance industry but it doesn't work well for you [the public]." Yes, the system works well (insurance profits more than quadrupled from 2000 to 2007) but not for the public, which pays more for less and suffers about 22,000 deaths […]

Jul
02
2009

NPR's Single-Payer-Free Healthcare Reportage

Critiquing some more of National Public Radio's healthcare reportage, blogger Mytwords (NPR Check, 6/29/09) highlights Julie Rovner of Morning Edition "reporting this morning for the private health insurance lobby": "The healthcare cost debate pretty much comes down to this: 'You can't cut costs without hurting someone.'" Rovner then backs up her "analysis" with "a little Meet the Press sound-bite from Fred Thompson"–"The only way to really save cost is to have rationing or it can be done by a cram-down by the government and take it out of the hides of doctors, hospitals": Rovner's report mainly serves to highlight and […]

May
06
2009

NPR: 'Justifying and Sanitizing the U.S. Torture Regime'

Blogging on how May 4 and 5 broadcasts "feature NPR continuing its function of justifying and sanitizing the U.S. torture regime," dedicated public radio critic Mytwords (NPR Check, 5/5/09) plumbs the depths of NPR's aversion to "human rights or international law advocates or experts"–instead preferring "members or former members of various U.S. government agencies," even "the very ones implicated in formulating and carrying out torture": For a long time NPR news has minimized (June 2006), dismissed (February 2007), ignored (April 2007), covered over (October 2007) and collaborated with (December 2007) the use of torture by agencies and agents of the […]

May
04
2009

Cokie Roberts: Bad Beyond Sports Analogies

Slate's Jack Shafer (5/1/09) has had his fill of NPR senior news analyst Cokie Roberts' "four minutes of on-air blather about politics, the economy and world events with whichever unlucky Morning Edition host has drawn the short straw" on Mondays. Shafer writes of how, "drained of controversy and conflict, the Cokie minutes provide perfect editorial balance if your idea of balance is zero": I can think of no comparably sized media space that's as void of original insight and information as Roberts'. Her segments, though billed as "analysis" by NPR, do little but speed-graze the headlines and add a few […]

May
02
2009

NPR's '5th Grade Math Exercise'

Critiquing the April 24 edition of NPR's "increasingly vacuous and self-indulgent" Planet Money show, blogger Brian (NPR Check, 4/24/09) notices that the "five long minutes" spent discussing "how long it would take to count to 165 million (the AIG executive bonuses), 45 billion (Bank of America's bailout so far), and 1.2 trillion (total estimated federal bailouts of banks so far)," came right after "a long week of severely deficient coverage of actual financial news" like "40 seconds Morning Edition spent pararaphrasing a New York Times article on the looming Chrysler bankruptcy": The sad thing is that it actually might have […]