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NPR and the War on Drugs

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I guess I am disappointed if not surprised at the way NPR has framed its series of reports on the drug war. By that I mean that NPR (still dependent on gummint money we must always recall) seems to accept the basic premise on which the drug war is based. . Mr. Mackey, the school counsellor on South Park seems to capture the war on drugs philosophy when he tells the kids that “Drugs are bad, mmmkay?”

Let us put aside the legal vs non legal issue and consider drugs as they affect individuals and society without preconceptions. If we do so, we cannot possibly consider all drugs equally bad – or good for that matter.

I would argue strenuously that some illegal drugs should be legalized and made available to most adults. I would jooin many others in arguing that some drugs that are currently legally perscribed should not be administered so liberally. I think it is stating the obvious to suggest that some illegal drugs have more potential for harm than  others. Pot doesn’t make your teeth fall out like meth does for example.

I haven’t heard all of the stories in the NPR series, so perhaps I missed when they discussed why people want to alter their consciousness, and tried to figure out how religion is different from drug taking in that regard. Or maybe not.

And above all, why do the power elites want some drugs to be available and not others. Why the martial  metaphor (If I recall correctly, Nixon’s administration came up with the term, following LBJ’s war on poverty by just a few years).

In summary then, NPR seems to have succeeded in pleasing the current administration with its approach to the subject, but failed if it was trying to enlighten its listeners, many of whom were offended in the same ways I was.

Written by slothropia

April 5th, 2007 at 9:45 pm

Posted in NPR,Uncategorized

NPR Blows It

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I don’t know why, but NPR is having this series about how divided Americans are, and how that’s a terrible thing. as part of that series, they did a piece today about Rush Limbaugh, or as Olberman refers to him, comedian Rush Limbaugh.

The piece focussed on Limpbrain’s partisanship, and questioned whether or not he is divisive. Rusty was unapologetic about
it, and for once I agree with the old fart.

I don’t mind that Limpy is opinionated and partisan. Good for him. Democracies are supposed to include strong
differences.  There is a reason why the distance between the governmnet and opposition benches in the Westminster
parliament is two sword lengths. We have elections because its better than shooting at each other, and vigorous debate is a welcome alternative to combat.

I have two grievances against Dumbo. First, he lies. You want an example, listen to his show for five minutes or consult the archives at Media Matters. He claims in the interview that one of his goals is to inform his audience, but telling people stuff that isn’t true is not informing them. NPR made a passing reference to that issue, but all they really care about is that we all get along.

Crap to that. This country faces serious problems that aren’t going to get solved by masking the truth for the sake of comity. And if one side in a debate is wrong, the media, who are supposed to provide accurate information,  should say so.

In this case, reporting on Limberger should include an easily documented exposition of his, shall we say,  ambivalence about objective truth.

The other charge i would make aganst Rott is his nasty habit of calling people  nasty names. Specifically, he habitually uses racial slurs and ad nominem attacks. Examples ? Sure.

Feminists are feminazis. Obama is a halfrican. I could go on.

And then they had the bigot Glenn Beck come on and attack Rutty for being rude!!! Glenn Beck,  slanderer and serial racial name caller himself.

Heckuva job, NPR. Next funding drive, I got yer donation, right here.

Written by slothropia

January 25th, 2007 at 10:41 pm

Posted in NPR

NPR and Lanny Davis Drive Me Crazy

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I was reminded this morning why I am reluctant to send money to any of my local NPR stations when their pledge drives roll around (note to Garrison Keilor and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me: your check is in the mail). Scott Simon was doing his weekly gig at Weekend Edition Saturday, and managed to mildly annoy me in a commentary on racism and comedy. He insinuated that the punked victims in the Borat movie and the Borat segments on Ali G aren’t really racist but are being encouraged to go along with Borat so they can be in a movie or on tv. Yeah, right, says I.

Later he had an interview with Lanny Davis about his recently released novel, Scandal: How “Gotcha” Politics Is Destroying America. Naturally he let Davis get away with repeating unchallenged that phoney baloney story about how Bob Casey Sr. wasn’t allowed to speak to the 1992 Democratic convention because ghe was pro-life. Wrong. He wasn’t allowed to speak because he wanted to make a strong pro-life (iI mean anti-choice) speech and because he had not endorsed the nominee, W.J. Clinton.

Don’t just take my word for it. There are varying accounts of this episode here, here,  here, here, and here, here.

Now, I have said here before that I am not a Democrat, though I usually support the Democratic Party. I will vote Green if I have to. If I had my druthers I would look for a nice socialist or social demoratic party to vote for. Even better, I say bring back the Wobblies.

But I don’t have my druthers and what I say doesn’t count for much. So I am tactically part of the grand coalition that is the Democratic Party.

Lanny Davis claims to be a much bigger cog in that machine, but here he is slandering his own party. And that book of his. Oy!! I haven’t read it and so can’t  fairly critique it. But I have read synpses and heard Davis talk about it. he claims that both major parties are guilty of cultivating scandals to attack the other  while  avoiding debate about the issues that matter to people.  Check out what The Economist says about Davis analysis of political scandals in American politics:

Such coarseness would upset Lanny Davis, who laments that American politics has degenerated into a game of “gotcha” between rival teams of “food fight ideologues”. Borrowing a phrase from Bill Clinton, he longs for a return to “vigorous debates where we argue who’s right and wrong, not who’s good and bad.” Instead, he sees only attack ads and manufactured scandals—from the Republicans’ Tartuffery about Mr Clinton’s sex life to the Democrats’ obsession with proving that Mr Bush “lied” about Iraq, which he calls “a distraction from the much more important issue of how to get out”.

So harassing Clinton about bj’s is the same as criticizng Bush for lying about Iraq. As my close personal friiend John Stossel would cry’ “Gimme a break!”

This is the kind of crap that Davis got to dump on Scott Simon’s listeners. And Simon let him. No tough questions. Which in a sense I am cool with. It’s his show and he is entitled to his world view, fucked up as it may be. The audience will know where he stands if it wishes to.  Remember how he thought it was a swell idea to invade Iraq back in ’03?

At least Simon doesn’t completely undermine his and NPR’s credibility by appearing on Fox “News”, like some Liassons I could name.

Written by slothropia

November 25th, 2006 at 11:21 pm

Posted in NPR,Uncategorized