Network for Sale; integrity not included

Standard

[Note: I am in the process of closing out the two blogs I created before this one and am transferring their contents here, so please bear with the sudden appearance of these “old” essays &cet.]

By Scott Ross

The one fixed point in a changing world was once, for this listener, Scott Simon. Despite the increasing conservatism and corporate viewpoint of his employer, Simon could generally be counted upon for his decency, thoughtfulness, intelligence, compassion and — when necessary — a dignified anger.

All that changed for me this morning when, to discuss Donald Trump, Scott Simon welcomed…

Glenn Beck.

Glenn Beck

And treated with him, moreover, as if he was a genuine political savant, like Gore Vidal or Katrina Vanden Heuvel, quietly and reverently lobbing softball questions and engaging with this wingnut as though he were some sage of the political arena and not a snake-oil-selling clown of minimal interest and even smaller consequence.

This, from the man who once reported, in four riveting, inexpressibly and almost unbearably moving 30-minute segments, on the poor of India. This, from the network that once had the respect even of its commercial rivals, for its innovation, thoroughness and integrity.

First Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me invites Kim Kardashian on as its “celebrity” guest, and now this.

NPR has in recent years repeatedly broken faith with me — ignoring Occupy Wall Street and Bernie Sanders’ primary campaign being the most pertinent recent examples — but this is altogether too much. The network is now as relevant as Fox News.

And takes advertising while telling us it doesn’t and begging for our money.

Why does anyone still listen to these shills?

Text copyright 2015 by Scott Ross

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