NPR -getting harder to listen to opinion shows

  • #26
turbo
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Although I agree w/ you about those two, I have not found any problem with any of the other hosts on NPR and I've only have to grit my teeth a LITTLE bit with the hosts on POTUS, none on the BBC or CNN, so as a rule, I disagree w/ you.
I wish we could clone Bill Moyers. He was never one to play the "moderator" and invite a right-wing flack and a left-wing flack onto his show and let them duke it out, like Gwen Ifill and other lightweights. By the time guests came to his tapings, he had more insight into the potential results of their positions than the guests themselves had. I found that quite refreshing, and would watch programming like that all day, if it was available.
 
  • #27
phinds
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I wish we could clone Bill Moyers. He was never one to play the "moderator" and invite a right-wing flack and a left-wing flack onto his show and let them duke it out, like Gwen Ifill and other lightweights. By the time guests came to his tapings, he had more insight into the potential results of their positions than the guests themselves had. I found that quite refreshing, and would watch programming like that all day, if it was available.

No arguement there.
 
  • #28
DoggerDan
I think NPR opinion shows (and Fox opinion shows) are more dangerous because people seem to mentally equate them with news. In fact, most gripes with "Fox News" are really with the million opinion shows they run each day. The same is true of NPR. NPR is the best news reporting agency in the U.S. in my opinion, but their opinion shows make them look like crazy left-wing terrorists.

Today she's doing a show on Greece's upcoming austerity referendum, and something about someone who wrote a memoir.

So you think Megan Kelly is out to lunch?
 
  • #29
mheslep
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Wall power is my favorite kind of power too... and its clean!

Yeah, I've used wall power all of my life.

I use pure, organically grown wall-power.
Wall power is not sustainable!! You Americans and your big walls. What if everyone wanted a wall? Wake up sheeple!
 
  • #30
FlexGunship
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Wall power is not sustainable!! You Americans and your big walls. What if everyone wanted a wall? Wake up sheeple!

Do you know how big the CEO of Lutron's house is?! You're just feeding his pockets every time you install a wall outlet. Forget big oil... down with big wall outlet!
 
  • #31
Chi Meson
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I think that the show and the callers have been misrepresented.

But see for yourself; here is the transcript of what the OP is calling "idiotic."
DR show said:
JOHN
11:40:38
I've been sailing the Pacific Ocean for the past 20-some years, back and forth between China, the Islands and California. And a number of us out there have always heard about this garbage patch out in the middle of the Pacific, but none of us have ever seen it. And we've pretty much gone up and down every latitude due to different weather conditions, but we've never seen this garbage patch.
MOORE
11:41:03
What's the height of your deck off the water?
JOHN
11:41:08
Oh, probably 100 feet.
MOORE
11:41:10
Yeah, well, see I'm six feet off the water. And so I see these little things floating by, but when we talk about a garbage patch, we're not expecting you to see things touching each other. We're not expecting you to see a mat of trash on the ocean. What we're talking about is maybe one piece per square meter and, at that, maybe the size of a quarter or smaller or a little larger. That's predominately what's out there.
MOORE
11:41:37
So you get out up 100 feet off the water, it's really tough to see this stuff, but, yeah, I mean, you're not saying …
JOHN
11:41:42
Well, I'll been through the Mediterranean and it's really obvious. You know, you go through the Straits of Gibraltar and that is really bad there, but …
MOORE
11:41:51
Yeah.
JOHN
11:41:51
… in the middle of the Pacific, it's relatively clean. I mean, you see some flotsam and jetsam now and then, but nothing that you'd call a garbage patch.
MOORE
11:42:00
Yeah, well, that's a very good point. You don't need a gyre to create a mess in the Mediterranean because you've just got a tiny little outlet. So, yeah, anything that gets thrown into the Med is gonna get stuck there. And you've got an older civilization, you know. Asia just came on board with embracing the consumer lifestyle in the last decade. So they're just starting to generate more of this stuff.

REHM
11:53:58
What about glass? What about glass? What happens to glass?
MOORE
11:54:02
Glass breaks. It has sharp shards. People drop stuff and it causes a big problem, but glass is remarkably inert when it comes to food contact. So it's a wonderful way to deliver beverages.
REHM
11:54:15
But what happens to it when it gets into the ocean, if you reverted to glass?
MOORE
11:54:21
Well, it's certainly not going to biodegrade. What's gonna happen is it's gonna become part of the Earth's crust, which is from whence it came. Silicon is a very major part of the Earth's crust. Glass is made from sand and it's not a pollutant, as such. It's quite inert. So it's not a big problem.

I think someone has grossly misrepresented what he heard.

But maybe I am wrong.
See the whole transcript and please point out to me the idiots.
http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2...l-outlook-plastic-pollution-oceans/transcript
 
  • #32
FlexGunship
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I think that the show and the callers have been misrepresented.

I suspect that transcript has been cleaned up appreciably. That's much more intelligible than the conversation I heard on the radio.
 
  • #33
Chi Meson
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Flex,

Your description of what was said does not even fit into the same ballpark as what was on the transcript. There's "clean-up," and then there's "change completely."

And I just listened to the recording of that show. The transcript is precise.
 
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  • #34
D H
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Where else but NPR's Science Friday could you hear a discussion of Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 191101 (2011)?

Here it is: http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/201111043 [Broken].
 
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  • #35
turbo
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Thanks, DH.

We won't find that for a long time (infinity!) on the commercial networks.
 
  • #38
phinds
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What do you mean by 'out to lunch'? I think I know, but it's not an idiom that's used with any frequency in my part of the world.

Out to lunch means her BRAIN is out to lunch (as opposed to being in her head where it might do some good).
 
  • #39
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you guys are hating on Diane Rehm because she has spasmodic dysphonia. that's why she sounds like a woman with one foot in the grave. this is really about peoples' willingness to tolerate those with disabilities. if you're that impatient, change the channel.
 
  • #40
FlexGunship
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you guys are hating on Diane Rehm because she has spasmodic dysphonia. that's why she sounds like a woman with one foot in the grave. this is really about peoples' willingness to tolerate those with disabilities. if you're that impatient, change the channel.

Woah, I don't think so at all. In fact, I think it kind of takes a lot of courage to continue doing what she does in light of a condition that must be frustrating (or, more rarely, embarrassing). I was simply talking about the content... specifically, the fact that sometimes there are very ignorant callers which are treated seriously.

Chi Meson has already provided a counterpoint. He seems to be of the opinion that I've intentionally embarked on a crusade to misrepresent what I heard on the radio, however, and the bare minimum we can say that SOME people (me, specifically) find SOME callers obnoxious and ignorant. I'm entitled to my viewpoint, and even if the transcript doesn't give Chi the same impression I got, my impression is still an impression that SOME audience members get. Fact.

I also cited a specific case where Diane, herself, asked a question that I considered to be WAY off topic which led to a discussion that contributed nothing to the show.

I hope our Mesonic friend will grant me some freedom to hold my opinion on this issue; the transcript does NOT strike me as an accurate representation of the way those two portions of the show went. The guest on the show was making serious points about the biodegradability and re-usability of plastic when asked about glass. Regardless of how the transcript reads, the man was taken aback, had to pause a long time, and them stumbled through a checklist of 5th-grade facts about glass.

Maybe my impatience and displeasure comes SPECIFICALLY from the fact that the guests are often of such high academic caliber that no lay person could be expected to contribute significantly to a conversation with them on their topic. Furthermore, every caller seems to have some personal agenda... I know it's an opinion show, but I also know that some opinion shows are pretty great, not because I agree with them, but because the content and discussion holds high integrity.

If you routinely listen to Diane Rehm (and for the last four years I have listened on my lunch break) you will notice the same things that I do: ignorant callers and a sometimes-lost host.
 
  • #41
phinds
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If you routinely listen to Diane Rehm (and for the last four years I have listened on my lunch break)...

Why would you DO that to yourself? Can you not find something better on some other channel during your lunch break?
 
  • #43
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Flex,

I made no assumptions about your intent. Grant me the same.

And not only the transcript, but the recording disagrees with your recollection of this particular show.

Why doesn't everyone take a listen? Go here and click "Listen."
http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2011-11-01/environmental-outlook-plastic-pollution-oceans

i've listened, and i don't see what the issue is, either. maybe the post-production that goes into most NPR shows (where stutters and pauses are edited out to give the appearance of amazing speakers with instant perfect recall) has set some unreasonable expectations.

and flex, i don't see that anyone is denying your right to an opinion. i think maybe you're being a little irrational and projecting something onto the conversation that others aren't perceiving.
 
  • #44
FlexGunship
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Why would you DO that to yourself? Can you not find something better on some other channel during your lunch break?

Specifically because I disagree with a lot of what is on the show. If you can't stand to listen to the opposition, then you're not being fair. I've made a honest attempt to listen for a long time, this thread is about my thinning patience.

Flex,

I made no assumptions about your intent. Grant me the same.

And not only the transcript, but the recording disagrees with your recollection of this particular show.

Well, I'm willing to be wrong, but that's still an isolated incident compared to something that I feel is a growing trend. I listened to the show from the introduction of the guest until the incident above. The guest was intelligent and knowledgeable, although he suffered from the same exact condition as every other guest: because-this-is-my-problem-it-is-clearly-the-most-serious-and-most-important-problem-of-all-problems syndrome.

And I apologize for being confrontational. I was NOT intentionally misrepresenting how I felt during the show, but I accept that memories are sometimes changed through reinforcement... however, I remember turning off the radio and accepting silence as a preferable alternative.

i've listened, and i don't see what the issue is, either. maybe the post-production that goes into most NPR shows (where stutters and pauses are edited out to give the appearance of amazing speakers with instant perfect recall) has set some unreasonable expectations.

and flex, i don't see that anyone is denying your right to an opinion. i think maybe you're being a little irrational and projecting something onto the conversation that others aren't perceiving.

Maybe. I listen to the show every day at lunch. It used to be an intellectual exercise (like watching ghost hunting shows); "if you can't figure out why they're wrong, then you have no reason to hold your position above theirs."

That being said, my enjoyment of the kind of inner-discourse-dialogue I invent in my head has been growing smaller and smaller. From host-induced non-sequiturs to blatantly ignorant callers, the show has become harder to listen to. As NHPR is fond of saying during their fund-raisers, I used to have "driveway moments" where I wouldn't get out of the car so I could hear the end of Diane's show.

Now I don't. Now I can barely stand to listen to the entire show.

Maybe it's a change in my attitude, but it is really getting harder to listen to opinion shows on NPR. I don't consider myself stupid or intolerant (I'm listening to a show with a political slant I specifically disagree with... that's got to count as open-minded), there must be other people who feel the same way.
 
  • #45
phinds
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Specifically because I disagree with a lot of what is on the show. If you can't stand to listen to the opposition, then you're not being fair. I've made a honest attempt to listen for a long time, this thread is about my thinning patience.
.

Although I agree w/ you completely, I don't consider her "the opposition" so see no need to subject myself to her. I DO, for exactly the reason you state, subject myself to Fox News and MSNBC. I don't exactly think of MSNBC as "the opposition" in their point of view (for me, that's Fox), but the utterly rabid way they express it, I find really awful.
 
  • #46
FlexGunship
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OKay, at lunch today I listened to the show about bats which was good. I have no real complaints. It was handled well, the callers were good, and Diane had only one question that seemed a bit silly. I made a point to take a quick note on my cellphone when I heard it.

They were discussing a fungus which seems to be killing bats during their hibernation. There is a loose link (the evidence was barely discussed) between humans going caving and the spread of this fungus. Diane asked the following question:

DR: "Do you think the bats will ever integrate the fungus into their genome [...]?"
Guest: "Uh... I don't think that will happen, but..."

Now, we can assume she meant, "could bats evolve to resist the spread of the fungus?" That would be a fantastic question and one of her two guests would likely have something to say about it. But that question never got asked, and neither guest provided an answer from an evolutionary biological standpoint. Maybe they weren't equipped, but no one even said: "I don't know if the gene pool in these bat communities is diverse enough for that to happen."

I know I'm nit-picking. But it seemed like a relevant example that will show itself in the transcript just fine. As always, read the pacing and topic flow leading up to the question to judge if it was appropriate.
 

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