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NPR -getting harder to listen to opinion shows

  1. Nov 1, 2011 #1

    FlexGunship

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    Oh my science... I literally can't turn NPR on anymore during lunch. The opinion shows have turned to pure garage. Usually the Diane Rehm Show is on when I go to lunch, and it's never her guests that are the problem, it's her and the absurd callers. Worse still, the guest on the show almost NEVER calls anyone to task for being such an idiot.

    I sometimes make a Google+ post (or Buzz) about something particularly stupid I hear, so here are a few real winners:

    Topic: Rising Cost of Oil - A caller asks: "one of the reasons why oil is so expensive is becasue they build such huge refineries. If we all just had a small refinery at home then we could purchase the crude ourselves and make gasoline without the middle man. Why aren't these home refineries available?"

    There's so much wrong with this. The economy of scale drives DOWN the cost of products. Furthermore, do you know how difficult it is to refine crude into gasoline?! The byproducts alone would kill you in a week if an explosion doesn't get you sooner.

    Topic: Plastic in the Pacific Ocean - A caller says: "I've been as much as 50 miles off the coast of Cape Cod and I've never seen a big patch of plastic in the ocean."

    Okay, wrong ocean... and he never mentioned a "patch of plastic." I can just imagine the caller standing in his kitchen with a smug look on his face and his hands on his hips.

    Topic: Plastic in the Pacific Ocean - A caller asks if we're going to have to start filtering our drinking water because there's so much plastic in the Pacific Ocean.

    I actually turned off the radio at this point. Have you been known to drink a lot of sea water? Even fresh water goes through an incredible amount of filtering and treatment before it gets to you. Desalination plants don't even generate drinking water, do they? And if they do, I'm sure it's CLEAN! It's not like the filtering process is ONLY going to leave chunks of plastic in your water. There's sewage in the ocean and you're worried about plastic?

    Topic: Reducing Emission in Cars - A caller suggests we go back to the "simpler engines" of the 60s because he doesn't remember there ever being emissions problems with his Dodge Dart. The cause of all the problems must be the electronics they put in new cars.

    No comment.

    Topic: Air Travel Safety - A caller calls for no other reason to scold everyone for flying as a form of travel... in defiance of her god. She goes on to claim that 9/11 was punishment for human flight before she is disconnected.

    Meh... maybe. I've heard crazier...

    Topic: The Internet (and specifically infrastructure) - A caller suggests that the internet is just a fad and that once enough people get ripped off by having their credit card numbers stolen it'll go away. "There's no reason to worry about internet infrastructure, we won't need it in 20 years."

    What do you say to a person in such strong denial? I imagine she lived in a cabin in the woods and still believes the telephone is a fad.


    Anyone else listen to this stuff? It's been getting progressively worse and worse.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 1, 2011 #2

    Evo

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    That's pretty bad.
     
  4. Nov 1, 2011 #3

    FlexGunship

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    The two worst things about it are (1) the guest on the show never just says "oh, that's a really stupid thing you just said," and (2) these people can probably vote.
     
  5. Nov 1, 2011 #4

    Evo

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    #2 Is what really scares me.
     
  6. Nov 1, 2011 #5
    How can a radio show host respond to that without telling the person that they are wrong, and still maintain an ounce of credibility?
     
  7. Nov 1, 2011 #6

    FlexGunship

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    If you get a chance, listen to the Diane Rehm show tomorrow. Here, in NH, it's on from 11 of the clock to noon of the clock.

    Today, Diane had something to say about glass... I haven't the faintest idea what it was. Her guest was raising concerns about plastic in the ocean, and she says: "What about glass?" That was her entire question... her guest was caught a little off guard and went on to say that glass is more expensive than plastic, and it creates dangerous fragments if it's dropped, it's made from silicon (technically silicon dioxide)... basically just looking for anything to say about it.

    To be fair, Diane Rehm is older than the star that went supernova and created the atomic copper from which wires today are made on the recently (from her perspective) cooled Earth.

    Diane Rehm is old, is what I'm getting at. Her guest on the other hand certainly should have slapped that caller down. For sure.
     
  8. Nov 1, 2011 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    I was once listening to an interview of singer Monica Mancini, who is composer Henry Mancini's daughter. She was asked, "One thing I just gotta know - in Moon River, what on earth is a huckleberry friend?" She replied, "I think you'll have to ask Johnny Mercer's daughter that."

    (For those of you born after 1975, Johnny Mercer was the lyricist)
     
  9. Nov 1, 2011 #8

    D H

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    I don't quite know why NPR is trying to emulate right wing talk radio. Right wing talk radio makes right wingers look real dumb. All that NPR has proven here is that left wing talk radio makes left wingers look just as dumb as their right wing counterparts. Nobody seems to have grasped the simple rule that giving a million people a voice doesn't add necessarily add one iota to the quality of the dialog.

    They should have just asked us at PF to do the math for them. It's real simple math:

    1,000,000 × 0 = __________
     
  10. Nov 1, 2011 #9
    At least you can still get fair news from NPR during the news hours. I don't listen to DR anymore, but I used to. She used to be good... she wouldn't let her callers or her guests get away with anything. But I presume she's better at non-scientific studies. She should stick to policies and governmental issues rather than anything too technical. Typically, there's never enough time in any news show to go over what needs to be said in order to make an accurate statement about anything scientific.
     
  11. Nov 1, 2011 #10
    I like this show: http://www.npr.org/2011/11/01/141803766/interrupting-violence-with-the-message-dont-shoot

    I heard it this afternoon while driving home from the mountains. "In Cincinnati, for example, there are about 60 defined gang groups with about 1,500 members. [The people] representing less than half a percentage point of the city's population are associated with 75 percent of all of Cincinnati's killings," he says. "And no matter where you go, that's the fact."

    So, if just ten percent of the entire population stood up against them, the gangs would be outnumbered 20:1. If you're interested, you ought to read what they did to combat the problem.

    It proved effective.
     
  12. Nov 1, 2011 #11

    Astronuc

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    I tend not to listen to talk radio shows simply because not the brightest folks call in with an opinion, and it seems the same people call in regular to share their lack of wisdom, as well as their inability to think critically, if they can think at all.

    I did however call into a talk show on the regional public radio station when the same guy called in to the show after having called in earlier that morning for a shorter call in spot. Since I had not called in before, I was one of those selected for a slot to discuss the topic. So I spent my time correcting the BS (misinformation and misrepresentation) that he had been spewing. The host of the show then proceeded to ask me question, more like an interview. He invited me to participate in a debate, but apparently changed his mind thereafter, since he didn't follow up with me.
     
  13. Nov 2, 2011 #12

    FlexGunship

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    Oh, here's another gem that I found from a year ago:

    Topic: Making Nuclear Power Safer -A caller informs both Diane and her guest that he gets his electricity "from the wall" and he doesn't see why that's not good enough for everyone else. I don't remember it perfectly, but I also have a note here that says he become confrontational when questioned a bit further.

    Yeah, so... that might be one of the reasons why so many people seem to protest every kind of power plant (even wind, lately).
     
  14. Nov 2, 2011 #13
    Wall power is my favorite kind of power too... and its clean!
     
  15. Nov 2, 2011 #14

    Evo

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    Yeah, I've used wall power all of my life.
     
  16. Nov 2, 2011 #15

    Pengwuino

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    I use pure, organically grown wall-power.
     
  17. Nov 2, 2011 #16

    phinds

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    I so loathe and detest Diane Rehm that it makes me cringe when I surf through her show accidentally. I find it astounding that you can listen to HER much less to her moronic guests.
     
  18. Nov 2, 2011 #17

    Evo

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    Why is she on? Can't people start a write in campaign to raise the bar and lower the boom on her?
     
  19. Nov 2, 2011 #18

    phinds

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    I've often thought about calling in and stating (truthfully) that I would contribute a couple of hundred dollars if they would fire her, but I never have.
     
  20. Nov 3, 2011 #19

    Pengwuino

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    Someone needs to record a bunch of stupid callers so they can be played for students in my class to show how stupid people are.
     
  21. Nov 3, 2011 #20
    The people who call into her show are also probably the same people who actually spend time writing their politicians about the content on the radio channel their taxes pay for. That is why I am thinking she is being "polite" to said people.
     
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