“He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.” George Bernard Shaw
Say what you will about NPR, National Public Radio, when it comes to reporting on American foreign policy, i.e. using drones and missiles and fighter jets to bomb adversaries, real and imagined, who have no air force or any way to defend themselves against those bombs and missiles, NPR is the great legitimizer of the military-corporate strategy of endless war.
Most recently, NPR assembled a group of so-called journalists and politicians to respond to President Obama’s speech about launching a multi-year campaign (with no end in sight) to bomb the ten thousand fighters of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Obama, who really does sound crazy these days when he reads speeches written to instill fear in the minds of his infantile listeners, proclaimed he has the right (because he said so) to bomb Syria, Iraq and pretty much anywhere else his advisors think the Islamic State fighters need to be bombed.
Oh, wait. The CIA just announced there are not ten thousand Islamic State fighters, but thirty thousand of them. Isn’t that something? The day after Obama’s here-come-the-terrorists speech, the CIA (renowned for accuracy and truth) just happened to find twenty thousand more of those horrible guys, which means the threat is much worse than Obama told us it was. Eek!
Made up facts aside (dutifully reported as gospel by NPR) the so-called journalists agreed that Obama’s speech was clear and decisive and good. Never mind that his speech was vague and ridiculous and predicated entirely on the public being incapable of remembering anything from last week, let alone last year. For obvious reasons, no one on NPR ever brings up the sad truth that America’s invasions and bloody occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are the primary causes of the rise of tens of thousands of lunatic fighters now threatening the oil refineries and oil pipelines in Iraq, which threat is the only reason the corporate puppeteers have commanded Obama to unleash the jets and missiles against those annoying killers who would never have arisen en masse in an intact and functional Iraqi society.
“If you talk to God, you are praying; if God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.” Thomas Szasz
Why won’t NPR allow Noam Chomsky or Robert Fisk on their airwaves? Or how about Julian Assange? Can you imagine Julian Assange on NPR’s silly news show Almost Nothing Considered? That will never happen because NPR is the official mouthpiece of the Pentagon and America’s imperialist foreign policy. Chomsky and Fisk and Assange and countless others who actually know what they’re talking about would quickly put the lie to the whole shooting match, as it were, by taking us step-by-step through the events leading up to the latest chapter in the redundant saga of protecting the pipelines and refineries at usurious cost to the American public and for the profit of major funders of NPR and both political parties.
By the way, did you know that KZYX, our local public radio station, is one of the only public radio stations in America that airs both NPR’s Almost Nothing Considered and Democracy Now! I find this fascinating in light of Democracy Now! contradicting virtually everything reported on NPR and vice-versa. Democracy Now! presents in-depth news and interviews, while NPR regurgitates Pentagon propaganda. What a weird combo.
“Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” Theodore Roosevelt
In related news, the NFL, the National Football League, has been rocked recently by the arrests of three star players for assaulting their wives or partners, one superstar arrested for physically abusing his four-year-old son, and another superstar for assaulting his partner and his infant son. I conflate this news with America’s foreign policy because in my opinion football, as it is packaged and presented on television, legitimizes and glorifies violence in much the same way that video clips of sleek jets bombing desert targets legitimize and glorify violence. Hundreds of millions of American men are violence junkies, with war footage, football, and hyper-violent movies keeping them constantly juiced and wanting more.
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” George Orwell
Imagine President Obama holding a press conference and saying, “I just want to let the American people know we will continue to use our incredible military might to keep the oil flowing so our corporations can reap obscene profits, we can remain dependent on fossil fuels, and gas prices will stay below five dollars a gallon. We don’t really give a hoot about human life or democracy or any of that nonsense. Everything we do is about maintaining the status quo, even if that means burning the earth to a cinder. Thank you and God bless.”
Now imagine the NPR analysts commenting on Obama’s speech. “Well, Bob, I think the President laid things out pretty clearly. The reference to burning the earth to a cinder was particularly cogent and timely given the latest global warming data that suggests there might be a link between the burning of fossil fuels and global warming.”
“I agree, Joan, and by saying we don’t really give a hoot about human life and democracy or any of that nonsense lends a down-to-earth honesty to the ongoing carnage that I, for one, find refreshing and inspiring.”
“Exactly, Bob. Coming up, a look at an obscure rock band in Minnesota that has a hit on their hands with their song and accompanying YouTube video Kill Everything, featuring five cute little children shooting caged ducks with assault rifles and then posting pictures of the slaughter on Facebook. Just hilarious. Stay tuned for that.”
(Todd Walton’s web site is UnderTheTableBooks.com.)
NPR and Democracy Now! are the CNN and Faux Nooze for the limousine liberals, aka wealthy democraps. Both are utter propaganda in service to the rulers (no, Amy, you’re not the exception to them …).
Only Amy Goodman spent two hours in intimate conversation with Julian Assange in the Ecuadoran embassy and broadcast that conversation to the world. Only Democracy Now! regularly features Noam Chomsky. And Democracy Now! routinely covers news and points of view, including the Palestinian point of view, that no other news show with their reach will dare to cover. I’m not sure why people lump Democracy Now! with NPR, but I think they are mistaken to do so.
Maybe because they listen more carefully than the average yuppie democrap. I used to send DN emails pointing out biased and outright untruthful reporting, but, of course, never got a response. I quit listening to what they were peddling several years back. I stand by my assertions.
Perhaps you’d be kind enough to educate us about the best daily broadcast news show – so that we all might become as well informed and dialed-in to the truth as you.
Well, Bill, I don’t listen to any of them, and I am just as informed as those who do … more so actually, and less condescending than the average yuppie democrap. Listening to lies repeated make a person susceptible to believing them … as many have done by worshiping the self-serving phony, Amy Goodman.
A few years ago, in the AVA, a chronically untalented and feeble-minded contributor equated Amy Goodman with Ann Coulter. I responded with a missive defending Ms. Goodman. The attacker reminded me of the mediocrity who shot Jessie James in the back to achieve a quick, cheap notoriety.
However, Democracy Now has become unlistenable. Ms. Goodman has mutated from a very good investigative journalist to an appalling advocacy journalist–if one can call what she does now “journalism”. Goodman’s world is Manichean, with good guys and bad guys.
The world we live in is complex. One can feel sympathy for the downtrodden of Central and South America, understand that their plight is a result of American foreign policy, and still be opposed to amnesty for illegal immigrants or open borders. There are 300 million people now living in the U.S.. Does anyone who lives here want to live in another India? Malthus and Ricardo have not been discredited.
My grandparents had to wait on line. I have no sympathy for the gate-crashers.
I don’t want to live anywhere where the police have been effectively neutered. There are some disheartening cases of police brutality, but we don’t experience anything like the police abuses in Brazil, Mexico, or Pakistan. Listening to DN or reading Vanden Heuvel’s dreadful Nation magazine gives the impression that the police forces in American cities are run by the Ustasã.
The Nation and Democracy Now are too often show places for shills like Alton Maddox, Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, Al Sharpton, and Jessie Jackson. It’s a disgrace that both dedicated more time and space to the death of that writer of dreadful doggerel, Maya Angelou, than to the life and death of Gabriel García Márquez, one of the most important writers of the twentieth century.
Obama receives too much respect on NRP, Pacifica, and in the Nation. His presidency has been criminal–from his appointments of sinvergüenzas and charlatans like Arnie Duncan, Tim Geitner, Hillary Clinton, and Eric Holder to positions for which they were not qualified, to his bale-out of investment bankers; from his broken promises to make it easier to unionize or to close Guantanamo, to his extension of the American über Alles foreign policy: he has enriched arms contractors, drug cartels, investment bankers, and venture capitalists, while impoverishing everyone else. And there’s the AHA–Obama Care. The dimensions of this disaster become clearer every day.
Obama is responsible for the deaths of millions of people; he should be tried and hanged. But Amy and Katrina V. blame his disastrous presidency on the bad Republicans.
Pacifica stations have become home shopping channels for health and beauty aids, self improvement CDs and DVDs, and The Sanctified Church. PBS, NPR, NET are all mouthpieces for corporations and the State Department. They are boring and predictable. This is all you need to know about NPR:
Where can one find reliable sources for the news? Nowhere on television or radio. I rely on the AVA, Black Agenda Reports, CounterPunch, Harper’s, FAIR, and occasionally, with sharp critical reading skills, The Russian News, The Guardian, or The Intercept.
When I was younger, I read 1984 and Brave New World. I wonder who was more prescient, Orwell or Huxley. Turns out they both were right.
The dial is turned when the shrill voice of eternal doom and strife, Amy Goodman, bleats out her baloney.
As for NPR a slow downhill for ten plus years. They greedily took the Kroc family millions (McDonald’s heir) and blew it on embedded correspondents everywhere. Who read the party line word by word. Avoid both of these sewers.
You won’t find any questions about 9/11 on Amy G’s show (and Chomsky has ridiculed those who ask questions as has Assange).
There’s a whole bunch of reporting that show won’t touch. Somehow it’s worse when there’s the “we’re not mainstream, we’re your necessary alternative” thing going on. It’s a betrayal.