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The Realized Temptations of NPR and PBS

The Realized Temptations of NPR and PBS

Ralph Nader

Recently an elderly gentleman asked me about my opinion on NPR and PBS, knowing of my vigorous support in the nineteen sixties for these alternatives to commercial radio and television stations.

Here is my response:

Congress created NPR and PBS to provide serious programming, without any advertisements, for the American people. Former media executive Fred Friendly and others worried that the commercial stations were not meeting the 1934 Communications Act requirement that they operate for the “public interest, convenience and necessity.”

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This is not new news. PBS and NPR have been ‘corporatized’ for years now. I bailed on them a good 25 years ago because they were no longer walking their talk. For a while I still watched/listened to some programming, but made no donations as I did in earlier years. Now I don’t even bother to watch.

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"”what is in the national conversation.”

I’ve noted this before. The trend, which might have been started in the rapid expansion of cable networks and around-the-clock news coverage, was away from “all the news that affects your life,” to in-depth coverage of the most important stories.

NPR and PBS caught on and it was a double bonus: Not only were they the ones who determined what were the most important stories (hint: a Green New Deal is not as important as the Mueller investigation,) but the demand for “in-depth” coverage meant they also got to choose the analysts who either just happened to support their views or could easily made to sound foolish if they didn’t.

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gave up watching the “news” on local PBS stations and listening to the “news” on the radio stations after the commercials took over and I never heard progressives being interviewed. they are all nothing but apologists for the dreadful policies this nations has undertaken for far too long. Now I get my real news from local progressive radio station KPFA and online websites like this one to which I contribute annually. After all, you get what you pay for and if what our tax dollars continue to pay for and we are not satisfied, well then, time to get rid of them.
Thanx Ralph for once again pointing out the obvious that most americans have not a clue about.

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I’ve been listening to NPR for years and years now: less and less. It has been evolving from interesting, informative… to ‘fast and exciting news/entertainment’. Reducing the most serious issues to the level of ‘neutral’ talk talk talk. Every few minutes playing a whole minute or longer of crummy repetitive synthesized theme soundtracks. And yes, all interspersed with promotions for their corporate sponsors, for example Walmart. The worst. I can’t listen to this very much any more.

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The Corporation

Faux Public Broadcasting

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I never used to miss it in the 1970-80s. And, I still have the coffee mugs from the local affiliates’ funding drives. Now, I don’t miss it at all.
When #1 Asshat Newt Gingerich propsed a " fair and balanced " redo after the RW revolution in 1994, with POTUS Clinton signing on, the Corportocracy moved in and I moved on. Not a dime since 1998.
So it goes…

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All political content must be cleared by AIPAC before it ever is aired.

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Those that remain silent to capitalism should remain so to fascism: Bertolt Brecht.

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I’ve gone from daily viewing of, and enjoying, the McNeil/Lehrer News Hour, to considering whatever they do now, in the rare, few times I bother, as simply propaganda. It’s truly amazing.

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I used to tune-in and contribute on a regular bases to both. It has been years since I’ve tuned in to National Propaganda Radio or the Propaganda Broadcast Station. I miss National Public Radio and the Public Broadcast Station. I suppose it is too much to hope that they will someday return.

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NPR and PBS have gone from providing consistent and egalitarian content to eeking out a spark once a day.

National Phasicst radio and the Phasicst broadcasting Syndrome.

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Yes. I wish Mr. Nader, whom I admire greatly, had expounded upon the political forces that have transformed NPR and PBS into what they are now. For example, I remember that the stewards of those corporations went towards more advertising because of the cuts to funding.

But thank you Mr. Nader, for another topic that should be more widely discussed.

Leroy

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I watch NPR each night because its in-depth news is a lot better than network news which has a lot of tabloid material. However, I note the absence of reporting on the importance of mass transit, especially passenger trains in Europe and America, and the underemphasis of the problems stemming from global warming. I wonder if support from the Koch brothers and major corporations are having an influence, not to mention threats from the government to restrict funding. I do give credit to Judy Woodruff for her excellent questioning of politicians which she does in a diplomatic but meaningful way.
Katherine van Wormer
Professor Emerita of Social Work

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Thank you for addressing PBS and NPR, I stopped donating to them in the 2000’s and will never again. I would like to jump thru the TV and throttle Judy Woodruff and also ABC’s Martha something.

Thanks again for always working in the interest of the people. You are a national treasuer. It is a national emergency that we don’t have a free press as ownership is by a few billionaire sycophants and greed/profits is only motive. But I guess all the congressional people made this legal over the years.

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NPR = National Propaganda Radio

Been this way, more and more, for years.

Stopping corporate bribes to congressional elections will go a long way to restoring health to our failing democracy (read: plutocracy)!

!

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As far as listening goes, seems like there’s a new level of heavier prolefeed every month [the alternative is saving podcasts on small devices, but I’m not risking bumping off all my music, and not buying any dock]. Inskeep asks “reporters” questions like he’s been doing some kinda Rip Van Winkle (if it’s a total act, hope one day he’ll do a for-real Howard Beale). And when existential matters are touched on, Greene nevertheless always says “thanks” at the end like he’s just won the lottery. Miss Bob bigtime. I try to catch Morning Edition at 5:19 AM for the local weather.

Beginning in about 2003-4 NPR and WPR (wis.), were leaning fair. Fair to some meant liberal. Daily complaints started coming in that these radio programs were biased to the left. It took a while but eventually the programing got heavy with right-wing speakers. The whole demeanor of the programming change from wholesome country folk banter to right-wing complaining. They got the result they wanted. Dwindling listener-ship.
Like one of the Hobbits said: “And all that is good will be gone.”

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PBS is a perpetual sham – Manapour one exception –
and the network ran the fascist Bill Buckley/CIA for 20 years!
There’s no excuse for it.
And they’ve NEVER moved to push government to subscription public TV
where we all sign up and no corporations.

Koch Bros./John Birch Society now owns PBS.

Ralph: Why isn’t ACLU suing government for funding “White male supremacist religion”?

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Amiable stupefaction? That is why I refuse to tune in. Join me in my boycott of NPR.

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