National Putrid Radio

National Putrid Radio

: I was driving around listening to The Next Big Thing (because, hey, Howard’s not on on Saturday) when host Dean Olsher started a too-precious commentary on war, terrorism, and New York, complete with a Woody Allen soundtrack of bustling city noises and jazz (my New York sounds nothing like that; it sounds more like a garbage truck with a bad muffler).

In no time, I was shouting at the windshield: Twit! He talked about people getting flashbacks to September 11 — something I share and so he sparked my interest. But then he said these flashbacks are not caused by the 9/11 Commission hearings in New York.

They have less to do with September 11 and everything to do with October 7th, 2001, which is the day the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan. That was the day that people I know stayed away from the city and prayed that our government’s actions over there were not going to provoke yet another attack over here.

Yes, you can see where this is going: It’s our fault. We shouldn’t have gone to hunt down and attack al Qaeda because it might make them mad and we wouldn’t want to do that, now, would we?

I’m screaming at the windshield: Ass! But it gets worse.

The government has been so determined to forge a link between September 11 and Iraq and now it seems more and more likely that they will do that in fact by bringing about another September 11th….

I can’t imagine that the President is still looking for an answer to the question, Why do they hate us? The real question now is when is the next shoe going to drop in the U.S.?…

So we’re already anticipating the next terrorist attack and that it will be our fault. By this sad, sick, stupid logic, freeing Iraq of its murderous tyrant justifies terrorism against the U.S.

My windshield is getting wet as I sputter, Amoral cretin! Olsher now recounts a conversation…

…with a colleague who is dismissing the argument that a parliamentary government would have resigned in disgrace if it had allowed an attack on its people like September 11th….

Let me find that colleague and pat him on the back: A sane person at NPR.

At the end, Olsher asks what to do to stop terrorist attacks on the U.S.

There’s also an unstated answer, which no one was really free to say out loud for fear of being accused of blaming the victim and that unstated answer was don’t make people hate us in the first place….

I want to rip out the radio and throw it out the sunroof (but then I wouldn’t hear Howard Monday). So we should stand back and kowtow and cater to slime in Afghanistan or Iraq or God knows where so as not to piss them off.

Olsher contemplates Abu Ghraib and the Iraq war…

…which seems not to have a shred of legitimacy about it and about how both of those things are likely to provoke more terror on American soil.

So I would like very much to ask the President what kind of attack it would take for him to figure out that it’s his job not only to protect the American people, it’s also his job not to actively put us in danger for no good reason.

There’s nothing terribly new in this twit’s tripe. It’s just so sad that it keeps resurfacing, like modern-day Holocaust denial.

We did not bring the terrorism upon us. Nothing in this world could possibly justify the terrorist attacks that did befall us. We had a right and obligation to go into Afghanistan and stop al Qaeda and protect ourselves (our mistake was not getting them). I believe — though I know many do not — that we had reason to go into Iraq and it was not WMD but was humanitarian (and our mistake now is that we do not have enough troops and force there to bring peace to the country). If Olsher the idiot and his ilk keep repeating their cant, then we on the other side must continue to repeat our response.

  • chuck

    I’m slowly changing my mind on institutions like public radio. Not only do I think the FCC should keep out of the censorship business, but after looking at the BBC and the government media in France and Germany, I think the government should keep out of the media business entirely. There is something about such institutions that attracts unwholesome folks. I’m starting to feel the same about the arts also, FEA anyone.

  • Tim

    Mr. Jarvis,
    By this twit’s reasoning, we should expect attacks by pro-Taliban Afghanis; pro-Milosevic Serbians; pro-Aristide Haitians; pro-Noriega Panamanians; pro-Orgtega Nicaraguans; pro-who-the-f*ck-ever Grenadians; pro-Ho Chi Mihn Vietnamese; ad nauseum.
    It would be curious to hear some one call this twit on the carpet, and ask him when he decide to join the enemy.

  • Reid

    What a total wimp. Oooh, please don’t hurt us Mr. Terrorist. We’re sorry we made you angry.
    I will certainly be sending this entry to a certain liberal friend. You know, the kind who says “well, we liberals supported the war in Afghanistan, just not the one in Iraq which blah blah blah nothing to do with blah blah blah blah blah.”
    And, incidentally, things have been comparatively quiet in Iraq lately, in case you hadn’t noticed. Just as, after the first week of combat when all the media had their panties in a bunch that we were in a quagmire and didn’t have enough troops over there, it will soon be obvious to everyone that we have had more than enough troops and, they have done a masterful job.
    All’s quiet in Fallajuh and Karbala. On to the next media inspired panic.

  • Brian

    They have less to do with September 11 and everything to do with October 7th, 2001, which is the day the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan. That was the day that people I know stayed away from the city and prayed that our government’s actions over there were not going to provoke yet another attack over here.
    Not to get to psychoanalytical, but isn’t this a textbook case of Stockholm Syndrome?
    “The captive seeks to distance himself emotionally from the situation by denial that it is actually taking place…. Depending on his degree of identification with the captor he may deny that the captor is at fault, holding that the would-be rescuers and their insistence on punishing the captor are really to blame for his situation.”
    Is it fear that’s making the left so crazy these days?

  • Scott

    Gee Jeff,
    Take what this twit said, roughen it up just a bit, and you could have been listening to Stern this morning. He has been blaming Bush for everything lately. Oh, I forget, its OK when he flings this type of crap, since he is your hero.

  • Lee

    Gee Snott, you wonder why people hate you.

  • doug

    I remember Ramadon in 1990 when I asked 40 moslem men who came to my farm to slaughter lambs for the holidays whether they wanted Saddam to win. Only 38 of 40 wanted the US to lose. These were men from all over the Islamic world. Most were US citizens, but many were students at Syracuse University, why did they hate us in 1990?

  • Andrew X

    Ask such people what Bill Clinton did in the ’90’s to cause 9/11, as that is when all the plotting, flight training, insertion, etc took place. Demand specifics.
    Then ask just what it was those damn Jews DID to the Germans anyway to make them so mad. It’s patently obvious that those Jews MUST have done terrible things to the Germans.. I mean, c’mon isn’t that obvious. I just…. kinda forgot what they were again…??
    “Help me out here. With specifics of course.”
    Then smile condenscendingly.

  • Michael Zimmer

    Terrorism is the Western-Capitalist world collapsing upon itself. In this sense, “we” brought this upon “ourselves.” Please read Baudrillard’s The Spirit of Terrorism to gain a critical understanding of this position.

  • Funny, the “Western-Capitalist world” seems to mostly be “collapsing” on the Middle-East. But yeah, starving millions are in our near future, etc., etc. Yawn.

  • jakob

    “By this sad, sick, stupid logic, freeing Iraq of its murderous tyrant justifies terrorism against the U.S.”
    No, Jeff. It’s possible to believe that invading Iraq would lead to more terrorist acts against the U.S. without believing that such acts would be justified. In fact, the government itself acknowledged that possibility when it raised the terror alert at the time of the invasion.
    Believe it or not, many opponents of the war take the position that the war has made us less safe, not safer. You may not agree, but you don’t have to characterize us as blaming the U.S. for Sept. 11. I don’t. Terrorism is never justified.

  • JAG

    So where are the attacks in the US that have made us “less safe”?
    And suppose we have another attack, how are we supposed to determine whether it is because Bush went into Iraq or whether it was because of the same reasons for the Cole, WTC attack 1, 9/11 or any of the other pre-9/11 attacks?
    This we’re “less safe” mantra is bull. I don’t know if we are more or less safe but I don’t see how doing NOTHING about our middle east enemies makes us worse off. They had no reason to attack us before and did so anyway. So how is anything much different if they can attack us again and justify it this time with a feeble reason?
    Wake up. They want us dead. Reasons don’t matter. This enemy doesn’t respond to “reason”. Not even from the most intellectually gifted liberals.

  • jakob

    Ouch! I’ve been jarvised.
    JAG says “I don’t know if we are more or less safe but I don’t see how doing NOTHING about our middle east enemies makes us worse off.”
    JAG distorted my point by assuming I wanted to do NOTHING in reponse to terrorism. I never said that. I’m all for going after bin Laden and anyone else who supported the Sept. 11 terrorists and bringing them to justice. That’s very different from launching an invasion and occupation of Iraq which, by the way, is not exactly going well right now.
    But thanks for the compliment about intellectually gifted liberals! (blush)
    jarvis (v.): To distort opposing points of view and attack the distortion. In other words, to create a straw man for the purposes of knocking it down.

  • Reid

    Actually, the invasion and occupation of Iraq is going quite well. Compared to previous conflicts the US has been involved in, this one is going incredibly well. You have succumbed to the media propaganda.
    As for the invasion and occupation of Iraq increasing the likelihood of terrorist attacks, you are forgetting that bin Laden’s top two reasons for declaring jihad against us were the presence of our troops in SA (to guard against Saddam) and the sanctions against Iraq which he credited with (and, most of the Arab world believes it was true) killing millions (that’s MILLIONS) of innocent Iraqis.
    The crime against Iraqis was leaving Saddam in power while starving them of critical supplies. That situation has been rectified (no thanks to the pro-Saddam faction comprised of people like you).

  • Tim

    Reid nails it. Jakob, stop worrying about making people angry. THEY ALREADY HATE US, no matter what.
    On a side-note, not only has McDonald’s ruined the nation’s waistlines, it is helping to support NPR through that insane donation by Kroc’s widow. Super-size your Big Mac meal, then crank the volume on NPR…

  • Reid: “Actually, the invasion and occupation of Iraq is going quite well.”
    Leslie Gelb, on Thursday’s WSJ editorial page (not exactly the liberal media): “The strategic tide in Iraq is turning inexorably against us…President Bush’s present strategy — maximum ends with limited means, tossing political responsibility to the United Nations, no plausible exit plan, and prayer — will not allow us to prevail, or leave.”
    Mark Helprin, same page, a couple of days earlier: “(T)he inescapable fact that the war has been run incompetently, with an apparently deliberate contempt for history, strategy, and thought, and with too little regard for the American soldier, whose mounting casualties seem to have no effect on the boastfulness of the civilian leadership.”

  • Michael Zimmer

    “Terrorism invents nothing, inaugurates nothing. It simply carries things to teh extreme, to the point of paroxysm. It exacerbates a certain state of things, a certain logic of violence and uncertainty. The system itself, by the speculative extension of all exchange, the random and virtual form it imposes everywhere – lean production, floating capital, forced mobility and acceleration – causes a general principle of uncertainty to prevail, which terrorism simply translates into total insecurity. …As for terror, we know it is already present everywhere, in institutional violence, both mental and physical, in homeopathic doses. Terrorism merely crystallizes all the ingredients in suspension. It puts the finishing touches to the orgy of power, liberation, flows and calculation which the Twin Towers embodies, while being the violent deconstruction of that extreme form of efficiency and hegomony.”
    -Jean Baudrillard, “Hypothesis on Terrorism”

  • jakob

    “…no thanks to the pro-Saddam faction comprised of people like you,” says Reid.
    (I opposed the invasion, therefore I must be pro-Saddam.)
    Curses! Jarvised again!

  • onecent

    Zimmer, that’s the most stupid quote I’ve ever read. Spare us the rantings of some French deconstructionist nitwit. What else do you have to offer?

  • Reid

    Well, jakob, if the shoe fits… Nice how you avoided addressing the central question of whether the action in Iraq has increased or decreased the likelihood of terrorist attacks. I must assume, therefore, that you have come to your senses and agree it has decreased it.
    Ed, can you think on your own? Can you see the quiet now prevailing in Fallujah and Karbala and not conclude that the latest flareup has died down and we are now heading nicely into the handover at the end of June (you mean the President has a plan? Why, the left wingers said he had none! My, my…)

  • Reid

    So, we have seen that the invasion of Iraq eliminated one of the prime recruitment issues for Al Qaeda (see above May 23, 2004 01:46 PM post for details). Then there are the tertiary benefits. This one would certainly never have happened otherwise:
    Arab leaders promise democratic reforms
    And, this one, I’ll grant you, is quite a jaw-dropper which I’ll believe when I see it. Nevertheless, it can hardly be construed as anything but positive.
    Arab League to condemn attacks against Israelis

    Must be frustrating for libs to watch a guy they have convinced themselves is too stupid to breathe rack up one victory after another. By November, hopefully you cretins will have learned some valuable lessons about staying the course and doing the right thing even though the polls may swing temporarily against you. Get your fingers out of the air and start making a positive contribution to the world, eh?

  • doug

    So how come all these animal sacrificing religion of peace freaks were so fond of Saddam in 1990? Why was his fighting the US so popular in Palistine and other bastions of freedom in the middle east? The individuals I talked to were complaining of being humiliated. Saddam was their hero for finally standing up to the West.

  • Reid, I can think on my own. However, I am reluctant to substitute opinion for fact, and since I am in North Carolina and not in Iraq, I have no first-hand facts about the situation there on which to base my opinion. I am forced to rely on the reporting and analysis of others — as I guess (and forgive me if I’m wrong here) you are.
    Leslie Gelb and Mark Helprin (neither a “left-winger” or a knee-jerk critic of Bush or the war)are both considerably more plugged-in than I am. Both wrote very recently on the most influential conservative page in the world that things in Iraq are not going well.
    Does that make them right, and you wrong? Not necessarily. Perhaps you have specific knowledge that you could share with us that would lend credibility to your rebuttal of their analysis. But until you do, I think that their analysis deserves at least as much respect as yours, if not perhaps a wee bit more.

  • Franky

    I think there’s considerable distortion of one of the central arguments the anti-war crowd used before the invasion, namely that it would cause more terrorism. That some how got turned in to an appeasement argument. It’s not appeasement to want less not more terrorists. Appeasement would be to let the terrorists get away with an immoral action because we feared the consequences of war (for instance, I think it would have been appeasement not to attack Afghanistan). As we sadly all now know Iraq had nothing to do with terrorists. But our bumbling invasion of a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 has given many muslims the impression we are declaring war on them. I think we can be sure there are a lot more people willing to join Al-Queda after this war than before.
    A further impetus to terrorism has been our blanket approval of all the actions of Sharon. Something tragic that in order to maintain the votes of the Christian right, Bush has let Sharon get away with anything and I think this too will come back to haunt us.

  • jakob

    No, I still think the invasion of Iraq has made us less safe. We’ve made an awful lot of enemies over there. But I don’t see much point in arguing about that now, since it’s unprovable. Watch — when there is another terrorist attack on U.S. soil, both sides will say “I told you so.”

  • Reid

    Franky and jakob – you guys don’t listen to a word, do you? You just believe what you want to believe and that’s all there is to it.
    Look, guys, the Arab world fervently believes the sanctions killed OVER 1 MILLION INNOCENT IRAQIS. It was THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE in Osama’s declaration of jihad against us. It is a number which is GENOCIDAL in proportions.
    Do you fools really beleive that the deaths of MILLIONS has made the Arab world LESS ANGRY at us than this invasion and the subsequent rehabilitation of Iraq?
    If so, you must have no concept of large numbers. Let me put it this way to try to help. MILLIONS is bad. Really, really bad. And, the Arabs were PISSED about it and it was the NUMBER ONE ISSUE for Al Qaeda. Understand? Comprennez-vous? Capite?

  • EddieP

    Poor Franky, I hope he has his bomb shelter well stocked, because the sky is certain to come crashing down on the USA any moment. Of course he could always choose to live somewhere safer, maybe OZ. As to our bumbling invasion, it was one of the most spectacular successes in military history. And in spite of the wild left spinners, “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” was exactly that for the sailors and Marines on that Carrier returning home. Has reconstruction been perfect, NO, have we made mistakes, YES. Right now we are down to two hot spots, Falluja and Mookie’s back yard. Falluja seems to be moving along nicely because we have the Iraqis running things with us looking over their shoulder. As soon as we get the IP and ICDC fully up to speed Iraqis will be taking over what is left of the administration. Eight ministries are already totally in Iraqi hands including Oil, Banking, Foreign Affairs, UN Mission, etc. Will there be more trouble? YES, will we find a way to help the Iraqis manage it? YES. Cheer up Franky, my man GWB has this at a point where even flippin’ John could carry this on with out the UN. (I know GWB won’t admit that, and I’m sorry I said it, but it is true.)

  • Franky

    Yes the Arab world was angry with us before, we’re all agreed on that point. But there are differing levels of anger, and we just pushed it through the roof, making the entire Muslim world pissed off at us. What Al-Queda was pissed at was American interference in the Arab world; support for Israel, sanctions against Iraq, military bases and support for Saudi Arabia – American presence there is the common denominator in all Al-Queda’s complaints about the west.
    EddieP, sorry but that’s not true that 8 Iraqi ministries are “totally in Iraqis hands”. Read the coverage of these handovers; in fact they seem little more than symbolic transfers of power, with us still controlling them.
    Handover Iraq at the moment? God save us if a theocracy takes over there because you know we’ve done so well in boosting the support of the Shia radical clerics. I mean what the hell arew we going to do if the majority of Iraqis opt for a sharia, radical Islamic state?

  • Reid

    Franky – animosity may temporarily spike but, the sanctions were a chronic source of friction. They are gone now. In short order, the furor will die down and, the seeds of democracy will flower for the first time in the Middle East. This is far better than sanctions ad infinitum, wouldn’t you agree?
    And, you guys are so far behind the news. Guys, the major fighting is nearly over. Check out this post from Instapundit today.

  • Franky

    Check out front page of NYT online now. Fighting dies down, flares up. The snactions were a chronic source of friction, agreed. But I think that now the justifiable anger is coming from Sharon’s actions (something the Israeli Justice minister apparently compared with Nazi actions – he said that seeing the pictures of Palestinian old women searching through the debris of their houses reminded him of his grandmother in Europe). My mentioning of this is that I think these are all inter-connected sources of terrorism in the Middle east.
    I think the Arab world’s relationship with Saddam was complicated. The closer you were to the sharp end of American influence, i.e. being a Plaestinian on the receiving end of yet another Israeli incursion, you tended to blind yourself to Saddam’s obvious shortcomings and just support him because he stood up to America. Now standing up to America seems popular amongst much of the Middle East, but I think the more educated section of the middle east were under no illusions as to what this man was like (and remember many, including the Iranians, hated him precisely because he was supported by the Americans).
    On your point about democracy. Of course that’s the goal we all want, but it’s a question of how you get there. When I try and imagine Iraq in five years time, I don’t see a liberal democracy building itself up, one step at a time. I see conflict and the rise of a theocracy.

  • Reid

    Of course that’s the goal we all want, but it’s a question of how you get there. When I try and imagine Iraq in five years time, I don’t see a liberal democracy building itself up, one step at a time. I see conflict and the rise of a theocracy
    So, you think that a brutal dictatorship and sanctions killing millions year after year after year is preferable to trying to change the dynamic of the region, end the torture, free the people and rely on them to rationally choose the way they want to be governed.
    Well, then, Franky, you and I have a fundamentally different view of life and how to live it which we are not going to bridge anytime soon and, certainly not in the comments section of a blog.

  • Franky

    “No one loves an armed liberator” – Sant Just.
    If democracy is truly wanted by the Iraqis, they may have had to do it themselves. The threat is that our intervention may have set back the goal of democracy in the middle east. Look at what the French wrought in Algeria (of course there are massive differences, one was colonialism etc.), but as they tried to make Algeria part of FRance, part of a European democracy, they in fact created the militant islamists who continue to fight a vicious civil war.

  • Reid

    The idea that the Iraqis could have thrown off the yoke of Saddam’s police state is fanciful at best. Meanwhile, you think that a brutal dictatorship and sanctions killing millions year after year after year is preferable to trying to change the dynamic of the region, end the torture, free the people and rely on them to rationally choose the way they want to be governed.
    Well, if that’s your final word, OK. I think it is utterly effete and amoral but, that’s your problem, not mine.

  • mm

    Meanwhile, you think that a brutal dictatorship and sanctions killing millions year after year after year is preferable to trying to change the dynamic of the region, end the torture, free the people and rely on them to rationally choose the way they want to be governed.
    Wait, I thought the reason to go to war was WMD and Iraq’s ties to al Queda?

  • Reid

    Maybe you should learn to think a little better. There was never any single reason. There were multiple reasons of which the risks of WMD being provided to terrorists and Saddam’s ties to terrorists were two good ones.

  • doug

    Saddam was and is a hero to millions of moslems. He was the only leader to stand up to the west. His was a rival to and a anchor to OBL. Just because NPR tells you what the reason we’re hated is, that doesn’t make it so. As Nagi said to me,” I have a duty and an obligation to lie to you, to steal from you, and to cheat you.” Because I am a moslem and you are not.” Circa 1990. Nagi is a “haji”, and as my local Imam says, “he is a honored and respected member of the local Islamic community.” Lying, cheating, stealing, and killing, are badges of honor in the Islamic community. NPR etc. is not broadcasting that message. Too bad, many people might believe it if they did.

  • Brian

    I heard that report too. I’m a big NPR fan, but I though that report was over the top in a too broody, too introspective way that represents the worst type of radio opinion pieces…. the ones where feelings and empathy replace reason and logic. Had he at least attempted to frame his arguement in a coherent structure, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought.
    It will be interesting to see what happens with NPR over the next year. With the ouster of Bob Edwards and the introduction of swill like Day-to-Day I fear for the future. At least there is still Terri Gross.

  • Tim Gannon

    The atttack on Iraq did not lessen the possibility of more terrorist attacks on the US. After all the attacks were already carried out with the war in Iraq. They are now on the defensive not the offensive.
    What it did do is increase the fear of more attacks on the US. Sure, they want to attack us more, but now they do not have the resources or manpower to do it.
    What we are not recognizing is the our fear, not the possibility of attack.

  • syn

    I agree with Chuck.
    I have also changed my stance on the whole FCC/Howard Stern indecency issue. I now believe public radio should neither governed nor financially supported by the government.
    As we are witnessing from AirAmerica, free markets will decide who has the power over the microphone instead of governmental influence determining the power.
    Jeff, I once opposed Howard Stern because his message was humiliating, degrading and believed some responsibility towards the community be issued upon him. After hearing irresponsible messages from NPR, I understand that any governmental influence over any type of message will not work.
    The only thing which will work against irresponsible media magnets will be a free and open market for all to use.
    The tax payer should not be forced to fund NPR. I hope we lead a campaign to change this situation.
    That being said, the open market should also allow the message of ‘Dr. Laura’ (I do not support her views by the way) the opportunity to regain the stations she lost due Susan Sarandon’s activism.
    Jeff, I am hoping you will begin to include Dr. Laura’s fight into the Howard Stern fight for free of speech.

  • ralph phelan

    Ready to consider ending Federal subsidies to The Corporation for Public Broadcasting yet?

  • docob

    Thank you Jeff for putting a spotlight on some of the most inane drivel I’ve ever heard. I too was yelling at the radio, and I’m a (former) dollar-a-day NPR guy. They used to at least give the appearance of moderation, but seem to have abandoned all pretense in a total anti-Bush offensive. They’ve lost me forever, and I can only hope I’m not the only one who feels that way.

  • Sergio

    Wow, Jeff Jervis discovers the truth of NPR. Amazing. And it only took a handful of years. Progress. Maybe you’ll get a clue about the NYTimes one day. Hey, didn’t you go to some fancy New Yorker cocktail party recently? Something about somebody giving a “best blogger” award to Josh Marshall (?!). I guess their fervent attempts to co-opt you have failed, thank God. Well, welcome back to reality. But I’d be on the lookout for an email from NPR and/or a new fancy cocktail party invitation. I’m pretty sure that outfits like NPR and the Times act as they do because they’re pretty confident that even when they alienate people like you, you will nevertheless come back and stay tuned in to them, like a battered spouse, like a Stockholm Syndrome victim, or like a repeatedly-defiled Clinton Democrat.

  • Sergio

    And thanks to Michael Zimmer for posting that hideous Baudrillard comment. I don’t know how you meant it, nor do I care, but it perfectly sums up everything I detested about late-nineties, French-inspired PoMo Marxist/Nihilism.
    Baudrillard’s money shot: “The system itself, by the speculative extension of all exchange, the random and virtual form it imposes everywhere – lean production, floating capital, forced mobility and acceleration – causes a general principle of uncertainty to prevail, which terrorism simply translates into total insecurity”
    Ah, you see, it’s all capitalism’s fault. A French welfare state would make everybody happy; there would be no Islamofascim and no terrorism and no “insecurity.”
    Thank you, again, for posting that. What a great reminder of the sick spell so many of us were under (and our media and collegiate class mostly remains under) just a few years ago.

  • EcoDude

    NPR = National Proletariat Radio

  • eric

    Minor point…The Next Big Thing isn’t an NPR-produced show. It’s produced by PRI (Public Radio International), a completely separate entity.
    It gets confusing because public radio stations pick up programming from a variety of sources–NPR, PRI, MPR (Minnesota Public Radio, for stuff like Prairie Home Companion), Pacifica (ugh…the worst of the worst), etc., in addition to their own home-grown programs.
    If you want to complain about things like Olsher’s lame-brained comments, though, you won’t get anywhere complaining to NPR…since he has nothing to do with them. Talk to PRI or your local public radio station instead.
    Also, the amount of money they get from federal sources is miniscule these days…in most cases only a couple percent of their total budget. In the case of NPR, at least, that amount of money barely makes the radar compared to what comes in from corporate “underwriting” (read: bland, watered-down advertising masquerading as a public service announcement) and member station dues (the money the stations pay to buy specific programs like Morning Edition). Since member dues are such a huge source of revenue, complaining to your local station can be effective (although it’s usually staffed with the kind of person who nods their head in agreement with Olsher…).
    I’ve worked in public radio for 8+ years, and get to hear not only the stuff they say ON the air, but also the stuff they say OFF the air. It’s much, much worse, and dissenting voices are very rare. Liberal conspiracy? Don’t give them that much credit. Liberal echo chamber? You bet. They listen only to themselves–other views don’t even make it on the radar. The atmosphere is very academic and insular. It’s basically just an extension of your typical liberal college campus. You spend your entire day surrounded with like-minded people who have little to no interest in other viewpoints.

  • William McCormick

    If the left is going over board, this is the time to push, Lee Atwater’s advice not withstanding.
    There is no one the terrorists hate more than the Left. It is the Left the terrorists are coming after. Look at what the Left is: abortion, free sex, and agressive government.
    The prision pictures, we learn, show the depth that men in the Arab societies feel they that are the leaders and that women are secondary.
    Abortion is all about giving woman the primary role in the family because without children there is little moral value to marriage other than monogomy.
    The lefts “free love” days and current push for homosexual marriage is making a mockery of the role God played in creation by pairing Adam with
    Eve. This is exactly the kind of “Slouching to Gomora” that the terrorist use to say the west is evil and that gives them right to kill us.
    The Afghans fought tough and hard against M.S. Gorbachev because they knew a command and control gorverment would strip them of their faith, independence and moral values. An America of Kerry/Clinton/Kennedy/Pelosi is the heavy
    hand of oppresion that the terrorist want for themselves and so they must fight to keep their primacy.
    All societies have “Pillars.” These are put up-against one another in all judgements people make: economic, political, religious. When both sides have strong pillars, then comity is found and exchange, be it commerce or technical or philosophic, occurs on a even basis.
    But the Left continues to kick our pillars down and says the low pile of rubble is now the height of understanding. Each one that is kicked down weakens us.
    The question for the Left then is: What do they see as the “Pillars” of our society? It is not free speech by the the way they go after the Right. It is not the Constitution by the way they don’t see what it says, but can find in it what it does not say. It is not commerce by the way the deamonize business. The Left does not believe in technical advances, other then figments of imagination like fuel cells, wind, and solar. The Left’s philosophy of non-judgement leaves them unable to make, and hypocritical if they do make, a judgement against the terrorists actions.
    On second thought maybe we don’t need push the Left. Pelosi says the Pres. Bush is “without cloths.” The Left, however, is like Wile E. Coyote: Over the edge of the cliff and running in thin air. It is up to the Right to say to them, “You stand on nothing,” and let them fall.

  • docob

    “Liberal echo chamber? You bet. They listen only to themselves–other views don’t even make it on the radar. The atmosphere is very academic and insular. It’s basically just an extension of your typical liberal college campus. You spend your entire day surrounded with like-minded people who have little to no interest in other viewpoints.”
    Thanks for the inside info, Eric. Further evidence that they are not worthy of my continued support.

  • KH

    This lays the groundwork so, if there is another September 11 before election day, they can blame Bush for it.

  • Deborah Johnson on Morning edition on Friday compared Abu Ghirab to 9/11 for the “outrage” factor. NPR has been hammering away at that event every day since it happened. Then again, its NPR you should know what youre getting into when you turn it on.

  • dab

    memo to instapundit: jeff jarvis – as former president of whaevercompany – isn’t “the public” anymore.

  • David2

    Get an XM radio installed in the car and you will never have to listen to NPR again. Hopefully, in years to come this will put them out of business.
    The next 9/11 will not be at all like the collapse of the twin towers. It will be the election of Kerry with the help of all those pseudo-terrorists at NPR and elsewhere. Will they ever stop leading off every morning with Abu Ghirab? Probably not before 11/3.

  • syn

    I am perplexed as to why no one has offered the meme to Jeff that we all heard regarding the Howard Stern issue:
    ‘if you don’t like what you hear on the radio just turn the station stupid’
    The reply to that Howard Stern meme can now be applied to NPR,
    ‘to which station can one turn that isn’t exactly like what you are asking me to turn away from?’

  • J_Crater

    Missing from the logic is just what did Bush do to get 9-11 to happen ? He didn’t attack afganistan until after 9-11, but that’s not important.
    The NPR logic is that on any ordinary New Yorker who spends the day dodging taxis; you must have provoked the driver into trying to run you down, or simply I got out of that near-miss, maybe next time I shouldn’t run into the street and just stay home locked up in my apartment.
    Missing is the logic of a street brawl. If someone is mad enough to hit you, do you really believe that hitting him back will make him any madder ? It might, but he will think twice before hitting you again, a little respect. For the guy who just ran away (the NPR view), the attacker will think you a coward, stupid with no self respect who desrves no respect or quarter.

  • Anne

    Olsher sounds like a battered wife: “Oh dear, it’s my fault, I shouldn’t have made him angry…”

  • jj

    I listen to public radio and talk radio and I have to say that they both drive me crazy. I spend my driving time switching back and forth because of the intolerance, narrow-mindedness and petty negativity that pops up on both. Unfortunately, I love them both as well. Even the BBC coverage can be informative and fascinating.
    It is true that some of these commentators can be excruciating, but Rush Limbaugh’s rants can be equally embarrassing. Think about his spin on Abu Ghraib.

  • Katherine

    “They have less to do with September 11 and everything to do with October 7th, 2001, which is the day the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan.”
    Interesting, I didn’t even remember on what day we started the Afghanistan campaign, yet I have 9-11-01 permanently etched in my brain. Any of my flashbacks, any fleeting thoughts along the lines ” I hope that this container ship entering the harbor carries only declared cargo”, or “I hope this flight will be safe” seem to originate from the events on 9-11, not any our subsequent action. 9-11 Commission hearings did not enhance or diminished this pattern, either.
    I guess I miss nuance.

  • Roger

    Why did the NPR guy claim there was no link between Iraq and 9/11? Clinton appointed federal judge Harold Baer ruled – on May 7, 2003 – that there was a link between the two – and awarded two families $104 million in damages against the state of Iraq.

  • NPR? Phuuuuuuh! I cancelled my membership when NPR sold my name on a list to fundraisers for Barbara Boxer. I could tell that they did because the misspelling on the fundraising letter was the same as on my KQED membership materials.
    Such as ‘jjakob’ get ‘jarvised’ when they say something monumentally stupid, such as defending ourselves and striking back at our enemies only visits more violence upon ourselves.
    Which would explain, say, the increase in mass casualty attacks in the U.S. and Britain since the invasion of Afghanistan? Or even the occasional suicide bomber going off in the occasional market or movie theater? How about one or two? Bueller? Anyone?
    We’re still waiting for the explosion of the Angry Arab Street, the dreaded Afghan Winter, the fatal Iraqi Summer, and the generalised Shi’a uprising you Armchair Defense Command Cycle-of-Violence nitwits have been promising us for three years now.
    Never have so few been so wrong so often. The nitwits.

  • ralph phelan

    eric sez:
    “Also, the amount of money they get from federal sources is miniscule these days…”
    If it’s more than zero it’s too much!

  • rosignol

    You were listening to NPR. What did you expect?

  • Californio

    [sarcasm alert] Yeah! That NPR guy has a point! Now if we would only pass a law mandating all women stay home, not work, not go to school, only go out completely covered and expect physical and/or sexual assault if the sluts go out unescorted by male relatives – sure it is only a start – but maybe they would stop hating us so…., and we haven’t even addressed that sacrilege known as “freedom of religion” – (sigh) if only we had a leader to take the hard steps necessary to limit them hating us so much.

  • DGrubb

    Why concern yourself with what you hear on NPR?This network is effectively taxpayer financed, shares its donor lists with the Democratic party and is dishonest enough to call itself “listener supported”. I live in Tulsa where this is nothing ,but nonstop liberal blather (including even the local programming) from 11 PM (BBC) to 7 PM with a brief merciful interlude of classical music. With a Republican congress and president it should have been possible to demand a more reasonable split of airtime between Radio Berkley and thoughtful or at least unbiased reporting. Those liberals who would not contribute to an unbiased NPR could simply give directly to the Democratic National Committee. Conservative taxpayers who are surprised by what they hear on NPR, will probably also be surprised to know that they are paying for it.

  • S.C.C (not F.C.C.)

    I worked as a reporter/anchor for a regional Public Television station for a couple of years in the 80’s, after many years spent toiling in the commercial news arena. My standard gibe about Public Television was, “Whenever there’s breaking news, we gather around a conference table to figure out exactly how we’re going to cover the event a month from now, in preparation for our retrospective a year from now.” I had worked in a fast-paced, intense, all-news environment. Whatever I might have thought about Public Broadcasting being an opportunity for more careful, thoughtful journalism–quickly evaporated. Working for Public Television was, hands-down, the most frustrating and least intellectually stimulating work experience of my long career. As others have pointed out, there is only one road to PBS/NPR Heaven, and even the slightest deviation from the accepted, leftist political views is apt to leave one “shunned.” For those who (like Paul Harvey) have to know the rest of the story: “All’s well that end’s well.” Approximately four hours after telling my boss that I was three months pregnant, oh-so-liberal-and-caring ****, fired my ass for, quote, “health problems.” My only regret is that I didn’t sue each and everyone involved.

  • Edvard Enpeear

    “The Next Big Thing” is not even an NPR show. It’s locally produced by WNYC. Yes, it’s public radio, but it’s supported by local donations in New York City. They know their audience — and while you’re welcome to your opinion about that audience,
    that’s a market-driven decision to put this stuff on the air.
    It’s a magazine type show that reflects the interests of its host. I frankly don’t listen to it much, finding it rather dull, even though I’m a card carrying “tough liberal” (that’s the opposite of compassionate conservative). It’s not a news show. But if you don’t like it, turn to Fox News, where you can get unfair and unbalanced opinions served up with twisted facts.

  • Fred

    “National Liberal Radio” I have listened to NPR for more than 28 years. This past year they have become less and less of a news organization and more more of a mouthpiece of their own agenda..Bush is bad, christians are stupid, southerners lack sophistication, Republicans are part of the anti-christ military industrial complex, America is the reason the world is so bad and if we could just get back to some old fashion socialist/communist ideology the world would be a better place. The UN is good, the US is bad. The EU has the right idea, the Palestinians are victims, the Israelis are bad…. I could go on and on with their drivel. I have quit listening and will no longer support an organization that use to be a daily part of my life. If I didn’t have the web to get my news I would believe all is lost in Iraq. As it is, it is much better than they will report. It all makes me sick.

  • eric

    Agreed, it is too much!
    I posted the details on a different thread around here…i’ll sum up the key ones again in case anyone cares.
    NPR (not the member stations, but NPR itself) had a $102 million budget in FY2003. How does it break down:
    – 51% Programming Revenues (what the stations pay to acquire shows)
    – 22% Corporate Sponsorship (“underwriting”)
    – 16% Grants and Contributions
    – 11% Other Income (investment revenue, etc.)
    Money from the Feds falls under “Grants and Contributions”. In 2003, it totalled $2.7 million in grants from the CPB, NEA, and NSF. On average, Federal money is about 1-3% of the budget.
    Local stations are more dependent on the CPB for money–it makes up about 12-13% of their annual budget in any given year.
    The number that really interests me is the funding level of the CPB (Corporation for Public Broadcasting). In FY 1999, it was $62.5 million. In the 5 years since then, it’s risen by a third to $95 million!
    The simple truth is that NPR has no real need for CPB money anymore. The federal money received doesn’t even go towards the operating budget, it’s used mostly to fund special projects, etc. And in the wake of the immense grant of $200 million from Joan Kroc (of McDonalds fame), it’s even less important.
    As I said in the other post, I think we should cut off the $2.7 million for NPR and spend it on flak jackets for the troops. =)

  • EH

    Good post, one quibble: “By this sad, sick, stupid logic, freeing Iraq of its murderous tyrant justifies terrorism against the U.S.” No. It’s possible to believe there is a causal relationship without believing that the effect is moral or just. The guy was an idiot, but if you asked him I don’t think he’d say terrorism is justified. At least, what you quote from him doesn’t indicate that.