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January 26, 2004

The Problem With NPR (one of them)

I had Neal Conan on in the car, listening to Talk Of The Nation. The subject (I think) was shrinking government (I checked and the program title was Who Owns This Issue? Big Government), and the guest was (drum roll...) - that's right, Grover. No - not the Sesame Street one, the Norquist one. Grover Norquist. Shrinking government Grover. Drown it in the bath tub Grover. Grover "taxes are like the holocaust" Norquist. Grover "George Bush rules!" (sorry, no link, but you get the picture) Norquist. Thankfully I arrived home without having to hear it all.

So what it is the problem? The guy is a zealot. He is a special interest, working for the super rich and right, with the thin veil of racism and class war hanging over his face. Competitive bids to cut the lawn at the Pentagon and such are going to save 25 Billion dollars a year? Please - they are going to put people out of work, or, get people to work for less. Why? Because the really rich perceive that they spend their money on us, and they don't like it. They want it all.

Taxes are not a "burden" - they are a privilege. The government's problem as an employer is that it is a consistently poor manager - but any federal program, even well managed ones, are likely out of control on some level due to their sheer size. It is pretty hard to do anything correctly and efficiently for a dozen people - it's impossible to do it for nearly 300 million. But that is a story for another day.

The thing about Grover and his ilk as guests on these shows is that they do not represent the public at all. This is National Public Radio. Let's hear from some real people across the nation who are in the trenches. The administrators and governments of the townships, villages and small cities. How are they coping? Have they cut local taxes, raised them? How did they pay for that new bridge, park, school? How are they saving money, where are they wasting it (here in the Virgin Islands, with the worst public school system in the country, the government just had to return something like 30 million in unused funds)? Why don't we have some guests on that can tell us about America, and scrap the ideologues and the hot air.

Posted by afinta at January 26, 2004 04:40 PM


This is from Atrios on 2/3/04 - more of exactly what I was talking about. My comment is pasted after:

Hans Blix

Increasingly it appears that Hans Blix was just a fictional character, a figment of our collective imaginations. There were no UN inspectors. It never happened. It was just a dream...

Reader eb writes in:

On Diane Rheem's show this morning, James Woolsey repeated Bush's lie that Saddam did not let weapons inspectors into Iraq before the U.S. started the war.

The other guest, Lt. General William Odom (ret) of the Hudson Institute, then said he agreed with Woolsey's statement.

Diane did not challenge them on the issue.

It took two callers to finally get Odom to remember the existence of Hans Blix. Woolsey never did acknowledge that he was wrong. Diane did not take a position one way or another.

I suppose it makes sense that he didn't exist. Otherwise, how could our media let Rumsfeld get away with claiming that he knew exactly where the WMDs were, while he refused to tell the UN weapons inspector this little detail. Well, he did say they were in "the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat," but that is somewhat less specific than would be useful.

What a bunch of clowns. I guess it's kind of funny but not, you know, Ha Ha funny.

...as the Strib says:

Let's be clear: The failure of the administration's evidence on Iraq's WMD is not a case of 20-20 hindsight, as some apologists for Bush assert. The president himself was flat-out wrong when he said last week that Saddam Hussein refused to "let us in." Before the war, Blix's weapons inspectors were on the ground in Iraq examining the specific sites and looking for the precise materials mentioned in the brief Powell presented to the U.N. Security Council. And they were finding nothing. Very few people worldwide bought the American case for war -- before the war started.

Here we go with NPR again. How do they book the guests? What self respecting pseudo intellectual blog reader doesn't know that James Woolsey is a crazy partisan demagogue with some very scary beliefs and ideas? WHY, WHY, WHY is he even on this show? Why don't they talk to people who have real ideas, do real work in the field, and could help the listening public to understand the situations being presented? Why do we have this endless stream of crazies on these shows? I just wrote about this recently on my blog, the article is here http://www.textonly.com/archives/000131.html
One place where you don't mind your tax dollars going to, public radio, and then all you get is crap anyway... it is pathetic.

Posted by: Anthony at February 3, 2004 01:53 PM