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Actually, I'm not sure this is a bad thing. There is an amusing 'cultural jihad' going on within NPR and its parent Corporation for Public Broadcasting by Ken Tomlinson the new head honcho. He's getting a committee together to measure the biases in their broadcasts and they are apoplectic about it. Smear pieces have shown up about Tomlinson (WaPo 'Style' section IIRC) quoting the much loved anonymous sources about his nefarious right-wing connections, etc.

It is to laugh. All I can say is 'Rove, you magnificent bastard!'


I have to say I like NPR and always listening to it when I'm in the States. You don't have to agree with its left-wing spin to appreciate the high quality of its programming. For me, NPR replacing the embarassingly corny government organ VOA would be a very welcome change, and it would present a more thoughtful, literate America to European listeners which most of them are completely unaware of.

Kid Charlemagne: The "thoughtful" and "literate" voices are exactly the problem.

In my opinion, these voices are pompous, not "thoughtful" or "literate". But I'm sure that their broadcast in Berlin would be perceived as you suggested.

Unfortunately, it would only reinforce the idea that all reasonable Americans with brains agree with the Europeans.

That is NOT the case. I once wrote an article about this. Trying to improve our image in Europe by parading about a bunch of "thoughtful" and "literate" liberals who agree with European sensibilities accomplishes nothing. It only makes them feel incredible pity for the poor liberal Americans who are forced to live with mouth-breathing rednecks.

Our image will only change when they are forced to take our ideas head on. As it is now, Europeans can avoid this, by simply dismissing us out of hand. We are known as nothing more than flag-wavers and bible-thumpers.

And, as was mentioned before, THERE ARE AMERICAN VOICES OF "REASON" in the German media. The German media leaps to get an interview with every euredite American who wants to bash Bush.

Why hasn't this improved our image already? Because it only tells them, one more time, how right they are. And if they are so incredibly right, then the majority of Americans who voted for Bush must be wrong, stupid and evil.

Also, I had to laugh the other day. I was listening to an NPR newswoman talking about the failure of the EU Constitution in France and Holland. Her tone was so snotty, and she was doing her best to pronounce all the names of the European heads of state in their accents ("Jacques Chirac" in her best French accent, "Silvio Berlesconi" in her best Italian accent), and when she got to Germany, she called the chancellor "HELMUT Schroeder"!

Ha! I almost fell out of my seat. Apparently all of the "thoughtful" and "literate" minds down at NPR couldn't get the name of the chancellor right.

NPR is one place where the Bush strategy of make Big Governement work for us will be a better strategy than Reagan's slay Big Government strategy. If Republicans win in '08, NPR will be as thoroughly right wing by '12 as it is left wing today. The donks have figured this out and that's why they're having coniption fits about Tomlinson. About to be hoist on their own petard. So let NPR win. It will ultimately bring diversity to Germany. Bwahahaha.

@Ben, Kid,
Although Ben comes across as more pompus than I've ever heard NPR come across but this point:

Unfortunately, it would only reinforce the idea that all reasonable Americans with brains agree with the Europeans.

is spot on. I think NPR would be good because it would contradict the 'gleichgeschaltet' bollocks but what germany needs more than anything is diversity of opinion. They can listen to NPR and realize that 30% of americans agree with them, but they will still maintain their hateful and counter productive views because most americans don't.

I must admit I listen to NPR just about every day & have managed not to turn into an 'enlightened' reactionary leftoid. I can't stand all the commercials & hearing the same songs every two hours on FM radio, and really can't stand the how many commercial breaks there are on AM radio. They really do have some good stuff on there, but they can definitely be tired, predictable, & somewhat annoying.
Reporters who speak w/ no accent, except when pronouncing certain words are especially annoying, and when they start begging for money from "listeners like you" for a week at a time, I want to destroy my radio & cauterize my eardrums. It's absolutely unbearable.
The typical caller to any NPR station is the person who admits there are problems in the world, but not them, they're "part of the solution" because of all the wonderful things they do.
I would still have to say though, that the average NPR broadcast day is probably better for US image than an all day music show w/ 5 minute news breaks, so it might not be such a bad thing after all if they pick it up in Berlin. They will at least share our pain when pledge time comes around.

Let me bring something else up: NPR is a left-wing network in the US - but where would NPR fit in the German broadcast spectum? I think it would be as right-wing as anything in Germany today. NPR is relatively soft-shoe - it can't help but show something of the RW POV. Far more than any German gets today I think.

I think it could be a real plus in the German market providing there is no self-censorship. Rush Limbaugh isn't going to cut it, but something of the American POV would be better than nothing.....

Meh. It's such a truism to say that NPR is left-wing. I don't buy it entirely. After a year of listening to Deutsche Welle, I have to say that I appreciate NPR more than ever. Some of the stories are bizarre (I remember once they did a half-hour report on wine corks. Seriously.), but that's part of its charm. And frankly I'll take whatever snootiness they exude if the alternative is the cockiness (and commercials) of networks like Fox News and, well, Deutsche Welle.

Before the first Gulf War my friend told me the US would lose ten thousand or more KIA becouse the Iraqis were "dug in" and HE HEARD IT ON NPR.

I asked him. Does NPR know the difference between a Sopwith Camel and a B52? NPR's post war strategy was to say it was n't a fair fight to begin with. Bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bummm.

My question to NPR is. Do you "report" the news as YOU think it happens, as YOU wish it happens or as YOU think the public should think it happens? That said, I'd take NPR over the tripe at DW.

With all due respect to all the commenters here, NPR stands for 'National' Public Radio a federally funded federally mandated broadcast system that has public donation as part of its income. What the hell is it doing outside of the US? Is it trying to become an international broadcaster? Why the hell are we paying for it then? They scream bloody murder when the budget axe is hauled out, maybe they can keep American funding active in America. Or maybe they are able to forgo public funding...hmmmm, I think I'll talk to my congresswoman.

@ Del Hoeft

"Heard it on NPR" could be a lot of things. They were probably interviewing someone whose opinion was that the Iraqi resistence would be strong, which would have been easy, since a lot of Administration officials held that view too.

@ Mike H.

I think you've raised the most relevant question yet :) It's akin my confusion why the US Postal Service sponsors a team in the Tour de France.

@D00d -

I must admit I listen to NPR just about every day & have managed not to turn into an 'enlightened' reactionary leftoid

The extreme left is 'radical', 'reactionary' is the extreme right.</pet peeve>

SNL used to have skits goofing on the sheer dullness and lack of personality exuded by NPR's hosts. Maybe things have changed, but last time I tuned in I couldn't imagine many people listening in besides perhaps senior citizens listening while knitting in an armchair.

On the other hand PBS occasionally has some really good programming, not as good as it used to be, but still alright sometimes.

Ernie, mission accomplished, congresswoman talked to.

Sleeping, normal programming is great. The rub is with what is called news and analysis. I refuse to support 'All Things Considered' and 'Morning Edition' et al.

Naturally, high-quality programming means programming that agrees with one's views. Obviously the difference between wisdom and intelligence is too subtle from some.

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