March 11, 2011

NPR board member says "we unwittingly cultivated a core audience that is predominately white, liberal, highly educated, elite. "

"'Super-serve the core' — that was the mantra, for many, many years. This focus has, in large part, brought us to our success today..."
One choice, at this transformational moment, is to say, "We are satisfied with what we are doing. We — in radio — are providing 11 percent of America with an extraordinary service." If this is our choice, we need to carefully consider whether we warrant public funding and, if so, what the rationale would be.
Ah! The dilemma! On the one hand, there's our beautiful elitism. On the other, there's all that money. Money. Elitism. Elitism. Money. Uhhh.... Okay, we need to try to look less elite.

103 comments:

shoutingthomas said...

Well, at least they beat on themselves for being white.

That should earn them a few points.

shoutingthomas said...

And, excuse the double post, but...

I used to be an avid listener NPR's music programming.

My daughter gave me a SIRIUS radio and a subscription for Christmas and I've never looked back.

Haven't listened to NPR since.

The music is better, more wide ranging, and minus the leftist propaganda.

PaulV said...

Yes, the elite whiteys need to be subsidized by the poor. Reverse Robin Hood, steal from poor, give to rich.

Paul Zrimsek said...

You shoulda seen the looks on our faces when the highly educated, influential audience we've been bragging about all these years turned out to be an elite! Boy, we were fit to be tied.

HT said...

I have been haranguing them (in my way) for YEARS to give equal time to the conservatives, and that was partially why they lost all that funding years ago (not just NPR). They just took it and took it and never considered, gee, I wonder if there's another perspective that's not getting air time? Anyway, the public funding is low, but I have heard it's crucial for the local public radio stations, which I like.

Paddy O said...

"steal from poor, give to rich."

Dennis Moore!

Phil 3:14 said...

unwittingly !!!!!

You mean you actually thought that all those stories about poor black folks, harassed Mexican immigrants and noble Native Americans were listened to by

blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans.
C'mon guys, you're smarter than that.

(PS And you don't actually listen to all of those obscure musicians you feature, do you?)

Randy said...

"unwittingly"?

Ann Althouse said...

"My daughter gave me a SIRIUS radio and a subscription for Christmas and I've never looked back."

Yeah, the most ridiculous use of public money is to play classical music on the radio. Quite aside from satellite radio, which does cost some money, anybody can go to the library and check out CDs. There is so much classical music available, and it's all old music. It's the last music that needs to be on the radio. The idea that rich people get their musical tastes subsidized!

Paddy O said...

I actually really like our local NPR station, KPCC. Great on local issues, much, much, much better than anything television is putting on. And it's mostly balanced, I'd say.

But then I'm white and highly educated, so I fit into the target audience.

Then again, what is the non-target audience listening to? Should every station devolve into being only a top-40 music or talk radio that caters to the sensationalistic, and is produced in some place far, far away from here?

So, I guess I do support funding that helps local radio keep local topics as a priority. The mere threat of pulling funding, though, might be exactly what is needed to for NPR to keep a course closer to the political middle.

AJ Lynch said...

So it is now fair to say these highly educated, elitist white people were unaware they were only reaching white people? She conjures quite a novel excuse - "we were so successful we never noticed our limited appeal". I am not buying what she is selling.

She would have us believe a busienss owner [i.e owner of a major league baseball team] does not notice when most of his ticket buyers are white. I have noticed that and so have many of my friends.

Paddy O said...

Interesting, when I'm not listening to KPCC in the car, the local public NPR station, I generally have it tuned to KUSC, the public radio station that plays classical music. I find classical music is a necessary calming for LA traffic.

But, I think this pretty much confirms I'm a liberal elitist. Alas.

Well, what's a person to do? Now off to the museum and the ballet afterwards!

Paddy O said...

"The idea that rich people get their musical tastes subsidized!"

Well, rich elitist liberal people get their politics subsidized by union workers, so I think taxes paying for classical music is fitting.

edutcher said...

Agree with shout and Phil on the white thing; it's probably the only regret they have (now) because they undoubtedly thought, "We'll have an audience that looks just like us", when they started.

Now they're just politically incorrect.

PS Agree on the satellite radio - I've had XM for several years - B-day gift from The Blonde.

Ann Althouse said...

"My daughter gave me a SIRIUS radio and a subscription for Christmas and I've never looked back."

Yeah, the most ridiculous use of public money is to play classical music on the radio. Quite aside from satellite radio, which does cost some money, anybody can go to the library and check out CDs. There is so much classical music available, and it's all old music. It's the last music that needs to be on the radio.


They don't have a classical station in Madison besides public broadcasting?

Seriously?

HT said...

Oh, funny. NPR Board memeber.

I get it.

(Dang it, why doesn't this publish??)

Randy said...

Yeah, the most ridiculous use of public money is to play classical music on the radio. Quite aside from satellite radio, which does cost some money, anybody can go to the library and check out CDs. There is so much classical music available, and it's all old music. It's the last music that needs to be on the radio. The idea that rich people get their musical tastes subsidized!

Interesting that you should say that. FWIW, KDFC, one of the few private classical radio stations left was effectively eviscerated a little over a month ago.

J Lee said...

I listen to the NPR and PRI shows on XM's best of Sirius package, but when NPR signed their original deal with Sirius pre-merger, XM simply went out and signed the recently-axed "Morning Edition" host Bob Edwards, worked some deals with local public radio stations like WNYC for their shows and started their own "public radio" channel.

There's a market for that type of programming, though the question is how much is a liberal political ideology tied to the types of stories NPR and its listeners gravitate towards? The two aren't joined at the hip, and an NPR freed from federal subsidies would have the option to go in either direction -- shows catering towards a narrow liberal elite segment, or similar types of shows, but with a more broader based scope of opinions. The former would probably be a more enjoyable work environment for the current NPR staff; the latter would probably be easier to attract corporate sponsorship to replace the loss of federal funding.

Henry said...

The thing that really annoys me is the dropping of classical music programming in favor of talk programming.

I want them to return to the days where they cultivate the 1%.

Not that that would help them. They are damned in both directions. If they cultivate a culturally elite audience their lack of market share means they aren't serving the public. If they cultivate the broader public they'll have to turn their programming to crap. Which is pretty much what they've been doing for the last twenty years. They've been making crap programming for overeducated white liberals.

I wish I could say that Internet and satellite radio makes public radio music programming unnecessary but the quirky personal tastes of a classical music aficionado as DJ makes all the difference in the world.

Henry said...

Yeah, the most ridiculous use of public money is to play classical music on the radio.

Actually radio is pretty ridiculous in any format. Except live-action sports.

KenK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TML said...

"highly credentialed" not "highly educated", right?

AJ Lynch said...

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/01/31/44-public-radio/

Here's your answer Kent.

Coketown said...

Unwittingly? A full board and staff of elite, white, liberals unwittingly catered to an audience of elite, white, liberals? I find that argument specious. But this point is pivotal. A nationwide radio network that caters to elite, white liberals simply doesn't have the market to sustain itself. It should move to internet streaming and iPhone/Android apps for distribution. There's a reason there is no private market answer to NPR. You can't make money on a cocktail of programming as niche as NPR.

KenK said...

Meant to say "Stuff White People Like". Thanks for the correction.

bagoh20 said...

I have this same problem. I always struggle with whether I should accept my paycheck, or tell my boss he's an ignorant racist clinger. I understand their decision.

Steve said...

Looks like what she's advocating for, after this "30 year incubation" period to reach 10 or 11 percent of the populace, is another 30 years of funding to maybe improve on that a bit. In other words, maybe by that time, the rest of the country will naturally come round to their way of thinking. C'mon, they've been at this for 30 years now, just give 'em 30 more! Fool me once...

richard mcenroe said...

As an ironic note, that article on the insularity of NPR... has no provision to comment on the article.

PaulV said...

Reminds me of high school when white kids from the pike chided the upper class white kids from by asking them whether their mother would let them listen to Negro music.

bagoh20 said...

I used to listen and donate to public radio, because I love a lot of of the content, but they spit on me philosophically and were so dishonest with their news and analysis that I just couldn't take it anymore. I expect that the elitists would maintain it without public funding, and I would too if they just stopped being such obvious asses. All they need is some new people with a point of view outside the echo chamber.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

@shouting

"Well, at least they beat on themselves for being white.

That should earn them a few points."

Self-flagellation is among one of the character traits of the 'guilty' rich.

For the board 'member' to say that they 'unwittingly' cultivated a core audience is laughable.

wv - cooze

E.M. Davis said...

Ooooh! Maybe NPR will join the list of Stuff White People Used to Like!

Hank Rearden_WI said...

Nothing has said so much, of so many, who have done so little, than the word "elite".

The Crack Emcee said...

It was never anyone's intention to exclude anyone.

I'd say the firing of Juan Williams - and especially the way he was fired - puts the lie to that one.

And the whole "cultivated a core audience that is predominately white" smacks of racism, whether they want to admit it or not.

I don't think whites, Left or Right, understand marginalization enough to stop doing it without instruction. It's my beef with Glenn Reynolds, too.

It's there - both in race and class - whether anybody wants to admit it.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann,

The most ridiculous use of public money is to play classical music on the radio. Quite aside from satellite radio, which does cost some money, anybody can go to the library and check out CDs. There is so much classical music available, and it's all old music. It's the last music that needs to be on the radio. The idea that rich people get their musical tastes subsidized!

This is so wrong I'll just stop at saying it's wrong.

NPR doesn't need to be subsidized, but don't blame it on Classical music.

Steve Koch said...

The federal government should not be subsidizing media companies in the USA, let alone one that is grossly biased to the left. The absurdity and wrongness of this is magnified when you consider that the federal government is projected to run a deficit of about $1.5 trillion this year (give or take a few $hundred billion).

To put that deficit in perspective, 2011 federal tax revenues will probably be around $2.2 trillion. This means that this year's deficit will be more than 2/3 of this year's tax revenues. That is like making $90k per year but spending $150k per year.

The national debt has climbed past the $14 trillion mark. We can service this debt (i.e. pay the interest) because we are only paying about 2% interest. The historical level is about 6%.

The unprecedented enormous deficits of the last few years exerts upward pressure on interest rates. If this upward pressure caused the federal debt interest rates to return to historical levels (i.e. 6%), then we would pay $.84 trillion per year just to service the debt. This means that it would take 38% of our annual federal tax revenue just to service the debt.

Obviously as time goes on and we don't fix the budget issue, the accumulated federal debt explodes and interest rates paid to service that debt will explode as the USA loses credibility WRT paying that debt.

We have to reduce federal spending and that requires reducing the size of the federal government.

tsotha said...

I used to listen and donate to public radio, because I love a lot of of the content, but they spit on me philosophically and were so dishonest with their news and analysis that I just couldn't take it anymore.

Same here. The turning point seemed to be about 2004, when media outlets of all types discarded the last pretense of objectivity in an effort to get Kerry elected.

BJM said...

Why do people in positions of public trust never learn about the cover-up?

Thus far NPR's explanations/excuses have been nullified by the next video installment. NPR management has no idea how many loose cannons they have on deck or how many videos were made.

Their taxpayer funding is probably toast, so they'd be better off stonewalling and lawyering up at this point. If they've been laundering donations they could be in deep shit.

AJ Lynch said...

Soon libs may have to pass the hat at their cocktail parties to save NPR.

Maguro said...

You really can't make this stuff up, can you? It's impossible to satirize these people.

djf said...

National Public Radio started in the early 1970' and Public Television in the 1960's to fulfill a mission: to keep at least some content on the air that didn't devolve into the Lowest Comment Denominator. Think about it, back in 60's and 70's, where could you hear classical music on the radio or see stuff like "Live from the Met" on TV? Commercial TV, no way in Hell was going to broadcast that stuff. But, with the rise of the internet, and various Arts & Education commercial channels on TV, there is plenty of access to Classical and Opera for those who want it. NPR & Public Television should no longer get a cent of taxpayer support. Especially, since the new on NPR is just the propaganda mouthpiece of the left wing of the Democratic Party.

In the metropolitan area I live in, there are two or three Classical stations, all affiliates of NPR. There used to be a commercial Classical station that I really liked, but it went bust, and donated all it's Classical CD's (over 10,000) to the local NPR Classical station.

BTW, there are number of excellent Classical streams on ITunes radio.

dbp said...

Why exactly should the whole country subsidize a service mostly enjoyed by well-to-do listeners?

Emil Blatz said...

The idea that rich people get their musical tastes subsidized!

If you think the NPR/CPB subsidy is atrocious you should look at the demographics of passengers on the long haul AMTRAK routes (e.g., the Empire Builder from Chicago to Seattle.) These are well-heeled seniors who are travelling with a 50% operating cost subsidy so they can enjoy a leisurely scenic trip, half of the freight paid by the general revenue taxpayer (not to speak of the capital budget subsidies.)

Michael K said...

Classical music has been an endangered species for about 30 years. There was a great classical station in LA called KFAC. It had a program every night that every classical music lover must have listened to; it was called "The Gas Company's Evening Concert." Some of us would go to the Hollywood Bowl for concerts and the same announcer would do that MC job. When we all heard his voice, the place would give him a standing ovation.

Then, one day, it was gone. KUSC has taken up the slack but has never had the influence that KFAC had. Now, if NPR had stepped up and rescued KFAC, I'd be a lot more sympathetic.

When I was at Dartmouth 15 years ago, all we could get was NPR and it was dullsville !

No thanks. They had their shot at me and missed.

AJ Lynch said...

Yeah, the average Amtrak paassenger burns through about $50 in taxpayer money everytime he takes a train ride.

G Joubert said...

we need to carefully consider whether we warrant public funding and, if so, what the rationale would be

Yeah but, correct me if I'm wrong, none of their money, gov't money or not, is earned in the marketplace. It's all "gifted" money. If they had to rely on earned money, their programming would reflect that and be different. It's about axiomatic that much if not all of the left makes its hay with other people's money.

Pogo said...

In the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, ships off the coast of South Africa rocked as tsunamis hit them, and smaller waves were recorded on tidal gauges as far away as the English Channel.

Thus it will be in St. Paul, with the pained and guttural wail bellowed by Garrison Keillor, after NPR is defunded.

Smaller AM stations as far away as Paducah will record his cry.

PatCA said...

I'll bet David Gergen and/or David Brooks will soon be offered a job by NPR.

HT said...

33% of NPR funds are from companies - "underwriting." I bitch to them that they're not really public. And as a result of that corporation financing, yes their programming has changed.

cubanbob said...

20 years ago Neil Rogers ( a liberal talk show radio guy in Miami who in his prime was very funny and very sharp) had these wonderful sound clips. Among them was a parody of Ray Charles' "You Got The Right One Baby " called "You Got The White One Baby". I wish I could find the clip and post it here. It describes the NPR mindset to a T.

mrs whatsit said...

I give this woman some credit for being willing to admit that there's a certain contradiction between aiming NPR's programming at a small, well-heeled segment of the population while demanding payment from everyone, including those who have been intentionally excluded from the audience.

But then, in the same breath, she says the network intentionally set out to cultivate a highly educated, influential audience and somehow ended up "unwittingly" with the very audience they had set out to serve. Her intellectual honesty didn't last very long.

I used to love NPR (and yes, part of what I loved about it was all those smart chattering artsy00 people and all that highbrow music made me think I must be pretty darned smart, too.) What did me in was an episode of "Prairie Home Companion" right after the 2004 election when Garrison Keillor told his audience -- ha ha ha, just joking folks -- that fundamentalist Christians should not have the right to vote. That highly educated, influential white liberal core audience of his just roared with laughter, every one of them. It struck me that to be identified with such small-minded hateful hyenas wasn't necessarily such a sign of brilliance after all. I turned off the car radio, haven't listened since, and haven't missed it a bit.

As for classical music, Pandora and XM/Sirius cover what my CD collection does not very nicely indeed, with no political baggage attached.

AJ Lynch said...

Last month, NPR did a story on social security and reported there was really no money in the soc sec trust fund. I was shocked to hear them admit that and many or their liberal listeners were outraged NPR would blaspheme one of the liberal's sacred beliefs.

Alexis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJ Lynch said...

Mrs Whatsit:
I used to enjoy Prairie Home Companion too. But after hearing Keillor shoot his bigoted mouth off in other venues , I could not enjoy the show anymore.

knox said...

I can't think of any media outlet that needs to be subsidized. Information is so readily available, from so many different outlets.

I have long disliked NPR, biased as it is, but I object that we're paying for it at all, and wouldn't want it to be taxpayer-funded even if it was tailor-made to my own tastes.

Is there a bigger ass than Garrison Keillor?

AJ Lynch said...

Knox:

Good question - staying with the public airwaves meme, I'd say Bill Moyers.

Ralph L said...

Commercial classical WGMS in D.C. closed up, probably thanks to public radio, or possibly their bad habit of always playing screechy violin music in the dinner hour. They also used to play the wretched Bernstein's Beethoven symphonies on December 16.

For those without satellite radio, WCPE.org streams free classical music without commercials (except for themselves) or government funding. They've been listener-supported for 30 years.

tsotha said...

What did me in was an episode of "Prairie Home Companion" right after the 2004 election when Garrison Keillor told his audience -- ha ha ha, just joking folks -- that fundamentalist Christians should not have the right to vote.

Keillor is also the misanthrope who wrote an op-ed for the Chicago Tribune in which he said Republicans should be denied health care (except hand sanitizer and aspirin - he's not a monster, you understand) so they would all die and leave nobody to oppose government health care.

That was before the civility nonsense started, back when a leftist could talk like a leftist. "Things would be so much better if you just weren't here".

Lucius said...

@RalphL: Why Bernstein and why Dec. 16th, I'm curious? I'll have to find out Lenny's b-day, in case I'm missing the obvious. Generally I avoid Bernstein recordings, tho I might make an occasional exception.

There's a box set of Haitink live radio-broadcast recordings of various Mahler symphonies on Christmas Day that I might splurg for. Those were European broadcasts and, I would guess, "publicly funded" in some manner. --Call me pinko, but that's one kind of publicly supported art I could go on a limb for.

Regarding Prairie Home Companion: I've never understood that program. Something about it strikes me as rankly decadent. I'm not saying left-leaning people can't have their shot at being folksy, but the whole show strikes me as unhealthily disingenuous. All of this acting self-consciously "old-timey", the corny jokes, the bluegrass and gospel performers, Keillor's lugubrious droning-- but is it in any way 'authentic'. It strikes me as a kind of dress-up game, deliberate and mocking and off-key. It's like something Miss Havisham, or Michael Jackson, could get into.

I infinitely prefer "Whaddaya Know". Snarky, but it's a straightforward snark that doesn't try to charm your grandmother into believing she's hearing a broadcast from 1937.

Lucius said...

--Or Beethoven. That was my second guess . . . .

(wikipedia say Dec. 17th, but what do they know?)

--I mean, Beethoven wouldn't really be *possible* without Lenny, right?

Revenant said...

The interesting thing about her comments is that she makes it sound like NPR treated taxpayers a source of venture capital, and did so under false pretenses. NPR was ostensibly supposed to serve the public as a whole. Instead they deliberately focused on a tiny fraction of radio listeners, using taxpayer dollars to keep themselves afloat until finally, now, they can stand on their own, go private, and reap the rewards of that audience. It sounds an awful lot like the worst sort of crony capitalism.

It is like millionaires asking the Army Corps of Engineers to drain a swamp so those millionaires can build their houses on it. That sort of thing happens too, of course -- but lefties have the decency to be shocked and offended when it does.

Deb said...

These elitists are familiar to me. Their lack of self-awareness is stunning. Their bigotry is more about class than race, I find. I have been on the receiving end of that in the past; marginalized and dismissed because of it. And when I point it out to them, why, it's just me and my paranoia.

DADvocate said...

Unwittingly?!

Hahahahaha!

wv - elizesm: elitism of the far left.

Deb said...

"tiny fraction of radio listeners,"

who they felt were worthy.

DADvocate said...

Here's the kind of radio station I like to hear, WDVX in Knoxville. It started out a few years ago in a camper trailer on a hill in Clinton, TN.

About: WDVX is a listener-supported community radio station, an activity of the Cumberland Communities Communications Corp, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. WDVX is not affiliated with any college, university, religious or political oranganization.

WDVX plays Bluegrass, Americana, Classic Country, Alternative Country, Western Swing, Blues, Old Time and Traditional Mountain Music, Bluegrass Gospel, Celtic and Folk. Then, we throw in a little roots music from other parts of the world, as well as some good old rock-and-roll and the latest releases in Americana music. WDVX offers our listeners a variety of specialty shows featuring music you can't hear anywhere else.

WDVX also provides local and regional musicians an outlet for their talents. Weekdays at noon WDVX broadcasts live performances from our studios in downtown Knoxville.


Stations like this put NPR to shame for music. Lots of other stations beat NPR for news and commentary. From my experience, NPR appeals mostly to people who want to believe they are elite and intelligent but are mostly poseurs.

DADvocate said...

Oh, and WDVX doesn't use any taxpayer money. Surely, those elite, highly educated, liberal white boys can learn to do the same.

Ralph L said...

A google search says Ludwig van was baptized on the 17th. Schroeder says his birthday is the 16th, and that's good enough for me.

I find Bernstein's conducting ponderous (and pompous) in the wrong spots.

John said...

To hell with radio, I want the government to subsidize my groceries too. Prices are far too high at Whole Foods.

David said...

Unwittingly? Doubtful.
Dimwittedly? Indubitably

Shanna said...

For those without satellite radio, WCPE.org streams free classical music without commercials (except for themselves) or government funding. They've been listener-supported for 30 years.

That's awesome. Thanks!!!

madAsHell said...

Unwittingly.
Elite.
Highly educated.
white.
Liberal.

Which of these things is not like the other?

paul said...

Wow, NPR's audience is the "elite"?!
No wonder the USA is going down the tubes.

Last time I tuned they were playing some stupid story about people using exercise equipment to create electricity which was after the story about some Muslim being hassled by a US border guard.

I missed the hourly "You go girl" story or attack on the "Religious Right".

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joan of Argghh! said...

@MadasHell

Ha!

Social Psychologist, Jonathan Haidt, explains how such a thing could happen: as a liberal himself he indicts liberals in general and SP in particular as behaving like a cult religion.

DADvocate said...

I guess blogger ate one of my posts.

Once again, WDVX in Knoxville is an excellent example of what a radio station can be.

WDVX plays Bluegrass, Americana, Classic Country, Alternative Country, Western Swing, Blues, Old Time and Traditional Mountain Music, Bluegrass Gospel, Celtic and Folk. Then, we throw in a little roots music from other parts of the world, as well as some good old rock-and-roll and the latest releases in Americana music. WDVX offers our listeners a variety of specialty shows featuring music you can't hear anywhere else.

WDVX also provides local and regional musicians an outlet for their talents. Weekdays at noon WDVX broadcasts live performances from our studios in downtown Knoxville.


When they say you can't hear it anywhere else, they mean it. Not stuff you can go to the library and check out for the most part.

Rich said...

I live in the greater NYC area and WQXR was the radio station for classical music for 75 years. I can remember my dad listening to it when I grew up. I listen to it also it is very nice to have on while driving in rush hour traffic. But I also listen to other stations. It was owned by the NY Times and a year ago it was taken over by the local NPR station because the times was going broke. A good number of listeners but not enough commercial revenue. Never was - the times always heavily subsidized it. Now it is a class b station which has a smaller reach and static. I do listen to it when I get tired of the rock station playing the same old same old and commuting.

Mister Snitch! said...

"NPR board member says "we unwittingly cultivated a core audience that is predominately white, liberal, highly educated, elite."

In other news, Donald Trump today disclosed that he had unwittingly made billions of dollars.

Suburbanbanshee said...

Thirty or more years back, NPR aired radio dramas, often of genre stuff like science fiction and mysteries. They were pretty popular. Then they disappeared, because a new NPR exec decided that since she personally didn't like radio drama, they shouldn't produce it. There wasn't even any explanation of why they were suddenly gone.

NPR has worked hard to cut off its nose to spite its face, and not just politically, either.

DADvocate said...

Usually the people I know of that listen to NPR are white, think they are intelligent, liberal, educated and elite. Most are poseurs.

Dudley Do-right said...

I really don't care if NPR caters to the elite lefty crowd. They've found a niche they're comfortable with, it's fine with me if they stay in it. Just let them do it on their own dime.

Same thing with the leftist elites in general. Doesn't bother me a bit that they feel superior to everyone else while cutting themselves off from the world the rest of us live in. What's bothersome is they have this idea that they should be telling us all how to live and spending our money.

Basically, if the elites kept their hands off other people's money and left folks alone, they wouldn't be that hard to tolerate.

But they can't. So how smart are they?

Alan said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...


...Yeah, the most ridiculous use of public money is to play classical music on the radio... There is so much classical music available, and it's all old music...


Ann, you're listening to the wrong classical music station if you think classical music is all dead white guys. There are some public stations that play classical music I can't hear anywhere else. And many of the composers are still breathing! :O

pumping-irony said...

In other news, Baseball commissioner states "we unwittingly cultivated a core audience that likes to watch people hit round white balls with bats." Film at 11.

AJ Lynch said...

Continuing with the unwittingly theme and Donald Trump.

This just in : "Donald Trump was not aware that the hair wrangler on his reality show was paid triple time for working on his comb-over."

autothreads said...

In the metropolitan area I live in, there are two or three Classical stations, all affiliates of NPR. There used to be a commercial Classical station that I really liked, but it went bust, and donated all it's Classical CD's (over 10,000) to the local NPR Classical station.

So let's say you're the owner of a for-profit radio station and you want to appeal to a classical music audience. You have to compete with three other stations for that audience and for the advertisers who target that audience. Though those competing stations call it "underwriting" instead of "advertising", the sponsors' bookkeepers account for the expense the same way as when they buy ads on your station.

Only you have to pay taxes on your income and your property. Your three competitors don't have that expense because they are "non-profit" and tax exempt.

So before you start, your competitors have a built in cost advantage. And some of your tax dollars are going to support your tax exempt competitors.

My late father was a veterinarian and he once said something critical of the Humane Society. When I questioned him, he said that they competed with him for spaying and neutering, a vet's bread and butter, yet he had to pay taxes and they didn't. They also got free advertising from tv and radio stations.

mrkwong said...

Around here we've got mainstream (KQED), five-degrees-further-left (KALW, which unbelievably is owned and operated by the San Francisco school district), and Radio Trotsky (KPFA, Pacifica Radio out of Berkeley.)

Much of what's on KQED shows up at slightly different times on KALW (hey, they broadcast the SF school board and the school lunch menus, gotta be worth the expense, right?) along with a little bit of leftist-multiculti filler, some music tucked in around the edges and a '50s-60s Brit game show that's just fascinating.

But if you want real comedy you've got to go over to KPFA and the Pacifica crowd.

gutless said...

Can it get any better?

michael said...

Geebus. Who cares about NPR (other than my tax dollars at waste--fuckers.) broadband analog?

I have about 20+ hours of music (Beethoven to Cash to Joss Stone to Eminem) burned on to CDs in my car. If I wanted to take the time and carry the bulk it could be 200-500 hours. (Or just add the right hard-drive or mp3 player for even more.)

My knowledge of; news, culture and current events comes from the internet. Radio/TV/MSM is so Last Century. I'm over 50, white, educated, and libertarian. However, I have been a computer nerd since ~1982.

I could never endure the hipster/insider feel that NPR reeked of.

Good luck in the Free Market, NPR ass-hats, I do hope you make it--really. If you can broadcast without my tax dollars, then you have earned your place on the airwaves.

Leahcim

debplatt said...

"Super-serve the core"... That's what they thought they were doing when they fired Juan Williams. Their core was wailing and gnashing their teeth whenever Williams appeared on Fox News.

Fiftyville said...

Ah, NPR. Where management thinks the term "flyover country" also applies to radio waves.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

More important, we have created a culture of human beings who — in this building, at stations, and in my constituency of hundreds of producers — are fluent in a particular craft rooted in an idealism of service.

Hundreds of producers, all happily marching in step with a corporate culture of... Knowitall Radio! We don't need to cover no steenkin' conservative viewpoints - well, except to use them as exhibits of Wrongthink - 'cause we know so much better!

It's time to displace some of that groupthink, and get a staff that thinks - like America. Lose the precious diction. Let's hear a construction foreman making a job go right, instead of an over-concerned professor.

Balance that cloistered 'corporate culture' you've invested 30 years in polishing for the oh-so-11 percent, with some of the other cultures easily available on the street. Hire some producers out of the Tea Party - there's a big fraction of Americans who agree with them, if you just check the last election.

With your superb digital production facilities, and some real balance (yeah, keep a few lefties), you can give Fox News a good run for its money. But you'll have to earn yours, like they earn theirs.

orbicularioculi said...

Time to defund these elitist bozos.

ampersand said...

National Public Radio started in the early 1970' and Public Television in the 1960's to fulfill a mission:
to keep at least some content on the air that didn't devolve into the Lowest Comment Denominator.
Think about it, back in 60's and 70's, where could you hear classical music on the radio or see stuff like
"Live from the Met" on TV? Commercial TV, no way




Back in the day, Leonard Bernstein's concerts for kids was broadcast on CBS. The first showing of the BBC's "The Six wives of Henry the VIII' and Elizabeth I was also shown on CBS. There was a all star cast of Midsummer's Nights dream, I remember Diana Rigg played Titania, played on commercial TV. National Geographic regularly ran specials on commercial TV. All had high ratings. I saw Shaw's "Saint Joan' and ' Caesar and Cleopatra' (in the 70's) on regular tv

The Networks would probably have continued to run high quality shows if PBS was not created, at least until cable came along.



I once read that early radio listeners (in the twenties) were very knowledgeable of classical music as that was the bulk of radio programming then.

Revenant said...

[public broadcasting was created] to fulfill a mission: to keep at least some content on the air that didn't devolve into the Lowest Comment Denominator.

Isn't that another way of saying that "public" broadcasting was specifically intended to be unappealing to most of the public?

HT said...

Revenant said...

The interesting thing about her comments is that she makes it sound like NPR treated taxpayers a source of venture capital, and did so under false pretenses. NPR was ostensibly supposed to serve the public as a whole. Instead they deliberately focused on a tiny fraction of radio listeners, using taxpayer dollars to keep themselves afloat until finally, now, they can stand on their own, go private, and reap the rewards of that audience. It sounds an awful lot like the worst sort of crony capitalism.

It is like millionaires asking the Army Corps of Engineers to drain a swamp so those millionaires can build their houses on it. That sort of thing happens too, of course -- but lefties have the decency to be shocked and offended when it does.



____

Very interesting. I agree with a lot of this. I've been emailing them for a long time (and I'm a pretty enthusiastic listener) to change, to open to conservative views, to NOT accept corporate money (which they most certainly do).

HT said...

Mister Snitch! said...



In other news, Donald Trump today disclosed that he had unwittingly made billions of dollars.

3/11/11 9:29 PM

___

I think you mean "lost."

Banafsheh said...

It's one thing to be educated, it's another to be in denial and cognitively dissonant which most of these NPR viewers.

HT said...

Viewers? Where can I watch NPR?

chr1 said...

It also started as Radio Pacifica...during those heady times.

I'd like good art coverage, but I'm willing to pay for it or be free to cultivate it on my own. I see a great danger in mixing the arts with political ideology (in its worst form-propaganda), but NPR isn't too guilty of that. They're mostly just pie in the sky egalitarians and liberals.

In its better forms (art education) may introduce young minds to actually be creative and think for themselves, and teach independence...like the liberal arts and old curriculum used to do before we mixed political and aesthetic goals (and we have a fine American tradition of self-reliance)

So there's the liberal condescension I loathe, and the flip side of Lefty idealism, justice, equality-seeking...

which is actual human nature, self-interest, politics. the constant risk of rewards of corruption....money grubbing and deal-making as the video shows.

NPR's programming ability, their hard work, their news-gathering, their appeal to a broad audience, their high standards and despite their liberal condescension, their respect for the listener are things I value...

but not on my dime with this kind of foolishness.

HT said...

So if I'm understanding correctly, the fact that NPR supposedly existed on "the public dime (which it really didn't but local stations did)" is more offensive than their liberal slant?

dave in boca said...

I guess those highly-educated super-sensitive NPR board members were so far removed from their audience that they were unaware of how elitist and unlistened to by normal folks their oh-so-precious commentary and arch hyper-left cultural snobbery completely alienated.

Sounds like the old Presidium in the former Soviet Union.

ken in sc said...

When I lived in Mississippi, I contributed to Louisiana Public Broadcasting, because I watched it and listened to it. They sent me a letter asking me to lobby the state legislature in Baton Rouge to increase their subsidy. I wrote them a return letter explaining that not only was I not a Louisiana citizen, but I did not favor rock fans and country music fans paying for my form of entertainment. I suspect they had never thought of this point of view.

vbspurs said...

I know I'm late to the party, but I wanted to link to this blogpost of mine from 2006, called:

Who Do You Think You're Kidding, NPR

Basically, I called them up during their beg-a-thon to give them a piece of my mind about their own characterisation of "independent, neutral news source".

They were blatantly calling out fellow liberals to give them money.

Cheers,
Victoria

rcocean said...

Years ago there was a "Scandal" - it seems NPR was giving its list of donaters to the DNC. Who would've thunk it? The same people who donate to NPR are liberal Democrats.

My local NPR station stopped playing classical music and Opera years ago. Now its liberal/left-wing talk 24/7. If they talk about "culture" its always has some sexism, racism or homophobic angle. Or its some trashy Hollywood movie thats VERY IMPORTANT.

I think my NPR station mentions the word "Racism" or "Religious Right" at least 50 times a day.

HT said...

Victoria,

Exactly. I liked your entry a lot.

For years, I was thinking good Lord what if I were conservative? I'd be pissed that someone like Newt Gingrich's view was never really represented. Why they never ever opened up is beyond me. Besides that, my main gripe was that they accept so much corporate money, far more than govt money, and still have the nerve to call themselves public.

(Is this Vicki from Pasadena?)