Friday, October 19, 2012

The news is fake, your wasted tax dollars are real (Ava and C.I.)

a radio
National Public Radio (or PBS) couldn't exist currently without your tax dollars.  Should it be  taken off public tax dollars, it could follow another model (most likely listener donations would continue and they'd take more corporate money and provide more on air commercials billed as non-commercials).  But for now, it gets tax dollars.

Operating with money from all American people, it should be representing all American people.  It doesn't.  People like Bill Moyers ensured, at its inception, that the CPB would be controlled by Congress.  They did that by refusing to create an independent revenue generator.  In England, at the same time, there was a TV tax (known as a license fee) that provided funds for the BBC.  That model was known and proposed.  Democrats like Moyers objected because it would give the CPB -- Corporation for Public Broadcasting -- too much independence.

Yes, Virginia, ugly people do make overs too.

Hard to believe when you look at Bill Moyers today, but, yes, he has had a make over.

The opponent to independent public broadcasting now likes to self-present as its biggest champion.

Back in the day, when he wasn't targeting gays in the Johnson administration, Bill was doing his part to ensure that public broadcasting in the US -- PBS and NPR (to a lesser degree at that time Pacifica Radio -- at that time, Pacifica was much more independent than what it is today) -- would be controlled by the two party duopoly in the United States.

"You keep saying you're done with Bill Moyers and you keep coming back to him."


Believe us, we have better things to do.  We've documented the sexism of his previous show (here and here, if you're new to the topic) and his current show  (here) and how women make up so few of his guests.   We've documented his questionable 'reporting' and how he disgraced PBS in 2008 and we told you about it before the last straw for PBS news correspondents -- when a PBS commercial presented him as part of  PBS news team.  They were offended.  We'd told you long before the commercial how much his 'ethics' and his slanting and misrepresenting had ticked off reporters for PBS.  We told you he wouldn't be returning with PBS and, sure enough, they don't produce his current show.

But if you're going to talk about the CPB and the need for public broadcasting to serve the public, there's no point in lying about that unless you want to be Bill Moyers -- and we work out too much every day to ever settle for his body, thank you very much.

Someone we'd much rather talk about is Harry Shearer.  You may remember that besides his acting, he's also known for many other things including the most powerful documentary of 2010 The Big Uneasy.  And if you remember that, you're probably aware of the nonsense NPR pulled on him.  Harry was hoping that he'd get some serious NPR coverage. All he got was Talk of the Nation which isn't considered a big show in the way that Morning Edition and All Things Considered are. 

We like Harry and the documentary is brilliant.  However, if NPR had taken the position that, "You've been on one of our prestige shows and so we need to cover other things on the other shows," we would have been okay with that.  We're not really fond of press junkets that result in the same performer on every magazine cover and every TV morning show.  So had NPR taken the position that, "We've given you exposure and now we need to give someone else exposure," we could live with that and even defend it.

But what they told him instead was, that for booking reasons, they have a "dibs list" that allows certain shows to get a guest as an exclusive.  Strangely, no such concern exists regarding PBS and NPR personalities which is how Jim Lehrer and Michele Norris get multiple bookings when they have a product to promote -- a product that NPR does not benefit from the sales of but that NPR turns over the public airwaves to in order to promote in some sort of taxpayer-sponsored Home Shopping Network moment.

So the above establishes that the CPB  is set up to be controlled by the duopoly parties and that, even when it has nothing to do with elections or funding, NPR still choose not to play fair.

Did the "dibs list" apply to Jill Stein?

We ask that because All Things Considered, to their credit, provided a vice presidential debate October 6th between Green Party presidnetial candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

Is that why Jill Stein hasn't been on Morning Edition this month? She was arrested this week at the presidential debate.  Even that didn't prompt a story on Morning Edition.  Is Jill on a "dibs list?"

We wondered that this morning as Morning Edition finally found third party candidates.  Mara Liasson did a 4 minute, 38 second report on Gary's run and that of Virgil Goode, Constitutional Party's presidential candidate.  We're glad Mara reported on the two and don't even quibble over her reporting.

But we're talking Morning Edition.  Which means if third parties got 4 minutes and 38 seconds, pretend candidates should get even more.  Thereby explaining the 4 minutes and 41 seconds wasted on a made up candidate.  Is that all Planet Money does with their NPR funds?  Mental masturbation?  And a supposed third party candidate -- that doesn't exist, that's made up -- is then critiqued by a Democratic Party operative and a Republican party operative?

We're missing the news or analysis on NPR where a Green is brought in to critque the Barack - Mitt debate.

That awful Planet Money segment existed solely to mock third parties ("Move to another country!") and re-inforce the duopoly system ("If you don't like" Barack Obama or Mitt Romney).  What a load of crap and what a misuse of taxpayer money.

National Public Radio is rarely national and even less about the public.  These days, more and more, it's not even radio as the online streaming continues to increase and over the airwaves listenership continues to drop.

How very telling that they cram two candidates into one segment while jerking off about a fake candidate for a longer segment.

They're not serving the public and that is why the funding model needs to change.  If it does, NPR might become more about the public.  It might become more about the corporate.  But quit pretending that it's public radio currently.

And quit pretending that you're having honest discussions about how to determine who should be at the debates.  We've already shared that if you make one state's ballot, you should be onstage at the debates.

We propose that because we're  thinking people -- unlike the 'experts' NPR offers.  Those 'experts' start explaining percentage of the national vote and blah blah blah as if the US elects the president via the popular vote.  The electoral college is how the  president is elected and that's based on states.

Unless/until that changes (we support a move to the popular vote), if even one state could potentially vote their electors to you, then you should be on that stage.  If you are before the voters in even one state, you belong on the debate stage.

While Morning Edition does a lousy job of covering third parties (Mara's report today is a rarity), Brian Montopoli has filed two very important reports for CBS News this week -- click here and here



For those who wonder: As noted before, we aren't voting for president in the 2012 election.  No candidate has spoken to us and earned our vote.  And we've been hugely disappointed in the third party candidates -- especially one who's used a campaign not to fight for change but to play Team Mascot for the Democratic Party.

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