Who Hijacked Our Country

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Why Conservatives Hate NPR and PBS

Ever since the 1980s (and it‘s been getting steadily worse), the commercial news media have been dedicated to one thing: attracting the maximum number of listeners and advertisers. News is just a by-product. There are millions of viewers who don’t have two brain cells to rub together, and needless to say, they’re not looking for journalism and analytical reporting.

Who cares about derivatives and subprime mortgages (whatever those big words mean)? We want to know about Charlie Sheen! Prince Andrew! Lindsey Lohan!

Corporate powerbrokers and rightwing demagogues are perfectly happy with this arrangement. They may pretend they’re outraged at the “liberal” media, but mostly they’re just relieved at the tiny amount of real news that gets reported. It makes their agenda so much easier if millions of sheeple are just sitting there mesmerized by the celebutante gossip that passes for “news.”

Meanwhile, NPR and PBS are actually hiring more journalists. They’re spending millions of dollars on investigative news. Just as old-fashioned newspapers and radio/TV stations used to do, NPR and PBS are still scrutinizing business and government officials and holding them accountable to the public. Can’t have that now, can we?

PBS President Paula Kerger said:

“Where the marketplace is unable to serve, that's the role of public media. PBS exists to serve the people, not to sell them.”

No wonder they’re on the chopping block. Every time congressional Philistines are looking for ways to cut spending, public broadcasting is right up there along with schools, libraries, public health services, highway and mass transit funding.

And this resonates just fine with dimwitted GOP voters. “I don’t want my tax dollars going to something I never listen to ‘cause they use too many big words.”

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a conservative acquaintance who screams about how liberal PBS and NPR is until I remind him he likes Blues, Bluegrass. and Jazz and where is going to hear that other then NPR stations?
(the ONLY full time jazz station in the whole country is in the San Francisco Bay Area)

I also reminded him just this month on PBS he watched both a Leonard Skynard and a Moody Blues concert and "again" name a corporate station that will play that!

That Shuts him up ...for a minute!

I do think it's a crime that kid shows like Barney, Sesame Street, Carmen SanDiego and Blues Clues make Billions (with a B) in Merchandising and don't share it with PBS.

Be a lot less Pledge nights


March 7, 2011 at 12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So while the rest of the so-called "MSM" is TWO hundred years behind the times NPR is only one hundred years behind.

Like the "liberal/progressive" preznut O'Bama, peel off the shiny polished veneer and it's the same old corporate bullshit.

Wake the fuck UP.

March 7, 2011 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger MRMacrum said...

Conservatives hate NPR and PBS because they are nothing but the mouthpieces of the evil liberal Nazis.

Nazis? Yeah that's right. Once Ronnie( Wait a sec I have to put my hand over my heart when I read his name) kicked the butts of their mentoring idols, those loser pinko reds, the libs sidled up to the Nazis. Afterall any group with "socialist" in their name has be for the liberal way of life and agin AMurica. It's a fact Jack. Down with Brown.......shirts that is.

March 7, 2011 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

They don't like NPR and PBS because they think the public should "earn" the right to be informed (and preferably, to be informed by sources they deem appropriate). They don't want their dollars to go toward the betterment of anyone but themselves. Keeping NPR and PBS alive means more people might have access to some actual information, and heaven forbid that should happen.

The “conservative movement” is succeeding in making the economic gap wider and wider in America. Why not widen the education gap too? The principle is the same. Only the cream gets to rise to the top, and in this case (whether most of you Republicans out there agree or not), "cream" means you are in the top 1% of American wage-earners (and again to most Republicans out there, this does not include you). If your GOP “leaders” get their way, look for a future in which people can't have access to education or information unless they have the money to pay for it... and this will include the country’s children.

Do the super-wealthy one pulling the political strings really want a rich, educated elite and a poor, uneducated working class? This is what it looks like they are shooting for. And a good recipe for that is privatizing all the public schools, getting rid of all unions (not just ones for public employees but for workers in the private sector as well), and making access to real information that much harder for average Americans.

Look for continued drives by the GOP to defund public information sources, to privatize schools, to bust unions, and to make it so Internet use is less affordable or less available to more of us. And until more Americans realize the Koch Brothers and people them are not their friends, we will see more and more of this junk.

March 7, 2011 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Journalism itself, like the truth, is the enemy of the Right.

March 7, 2011 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: That's very true. Lots of great films and concerts on PBS that you wouldn't find on any commercial station. No doubt lots of people who watch PBS and listen to NPR's music are complaining about "those liberal elitists" using "my tax dollars." Sort of like all the teabaggers who wouldn't survive a week without their Social Security checks and Medicare coverage, screaming about "those lazy deadbeats" getting "government handouts."

Anonymous: I guess everything is relative. If "a hundred years behind the times" is the best we can get, we might as well be grateful for it.

MRM: Damn right, poor little Fox News is no match for them librul eleetists at PBS.

Snave: Yup, a good education system and real journalism are a threat to the Right's agenda. I think their ideal government model was the military juntas we created, and kept propped up, in Central America until recently. 1% of the population having more money than God, the other 99% barely scratching for a living, a super-strict government to keep the riffraff in line -- it was a conservative wet dream.

Dave: Journalism and edumucation -- the things the Right fears most.

March 7, 2011 at 1:16 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

You couldn't be more right, Tom. Especially in the paragraph that begins with, "Corporate powerbrokers and rightwing demagogues are perfectly happy with this arrangement"

Even if you include infotainment crapola, network news operations' time to present anything has been cut to a bloody nub. Then, a large portion of that is devoted to just the kind of HNN/Enquirer-type bilge you cite.

Look at the portion of the population below the age of 45, and you realize how few even know the difference between what's offered on commercial networks now and what was standard in decades past.

But to a remarkable extent, NPR has remained the one constant in doing hard, solid reporting. You better believe NPR is go about its business with a target on its back.

March 7, 2011 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: Good point, that they count on people 45 and under not knowing or remembering that newspapers and news broadcasts used to actually investigate and report real news.

March 7, 2011 at 8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conservatives hate everything that isn't Fox News, it's sad but true. If they hear even one critical story about one of their candidates it's automatically the evil liberal media.

In my opinion, NPR and PBS have by far been the most balanced source of news that I've seen. They seem to report equally on issues on both sides of the spectrum and keep a lot of the opinion rhetoric out that you get with major news channels these days.

Today on NPR... the headline is "A Dominant Romney; A Muted Obama"... boy... that liberal bias is bleeding through in that headline.

Of course, Fox has this (which sounds more like a tabloid headline):

"Liberals 'freak out' after Obama's poor debate performance".

October 4, 2012 at 8:13 AM  

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