From Mark E. Moon, La Mere Vipere alum and music savant:
Now, the women’s marches this weekend were inspiring, if only for the number of folk who showed up. However, the marches ultimately mean nothing to me, in the same way that the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations meant nothing ultimately. With a [nod to] Saul Alinsky, I repeat that social change only comes when people organize around an achievable goal, analyze exactly how that goal can be achieved & then get on with it!
And from Barbara Ehrenreich, one of my fave investigative reporters extant:
No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.
The fact that I’ve almost completely stopped listening to NPR in the morning — there are enough toxins in this world to make me want to retch; I don’t need to constantly hear the term President Trump, thank you — added to the fact that the people I tell about same seem also to be avoiding broadcast news these days makes me wonder what NPR’s numbers are since the election.
So, I went hunting.
I stumbled upon a crowing press release from NPR dated October 18, 2016, informing the planet that the public broadcaster had been drawing listeners like flies to…, well, y’know. Apparently, the HRC/L’il Duce joust, especially when the two started running neck and neck, was riveting drama for the intelligent radio masses.
Now that the drama/joust/horserace/American dream is finished, are the brainy multitudes turning to Atar Arad (Charlotte Zietlow) or Earth Wind & Fire (me) for aural stimu. rather than recounts of President Gag’s latest oral spewings?
The Pew Research Center has found that NPR listenership had been on a healthy, if not dramatic, upward trend between 2005 and 2010, with a plateau since then. Pew’s numbers run up only to the end of 2015, though.
So, what of the last couple of months? Apparently, the Nielsen/Audio (formerly Arbitron) numbers for that time period haven’t seeped out to the gen. public yet (only $ubscribers get Nielsen’s quarterly radio reports). Of course, the last quarter of ’16 included the pre-election bump for NPR as well as a possible post-race fall-off.
Me? I’ve tried several times to get back into my Morning Edition habit but it’s hard, man — really, really hard. This ain’t 1980-81 with the Reagan thing or 2000-01 with GW Bush. Sure, I’d have rather drunk old bathwater than hear that those two doughheads had become prez but, somehow, I was able to overcome my distaste for the sound of their names in due time. I still cannot fully accept the simple fact that a carnival barker/con man is now our leader.
In any case, I’ll be keeping an eye open to see if the NPR audience has shrunk in the Gag era.
Calling A Spade
Speaking of NPR, one of the members of WFIU’s community advisory board stopped by Hopscotch‘s Table No. 1 (mine, natch) just as I was typing the previous entry.
This person informed me that a few board-ers as well as numerous other opinion-sharers are teed off at both the national NPR operation as well as the local outfit for their refusal to call out President Gag every time he makes one of his patented false statements. The New York Times, virtually alone among the various media, has taken to parsing every single utterance emanating from his befouled trap. Why, some are asking, aren’t NPR and its affiliates doing the same?
My take? The latest generation of journalism careerists is too married to the theoretical ideals of “balance” and “fairness,” neither of which are entirely possible human achievements. Nailing Pres. G on every instance of his delusive obsession seems to be unfair play to too many pro. stenographers who carry media credentials these days.
Too bad, that.
In The Air
Warm up your click finger and give an ear to my interview w/ aerial silks performer and drag king Sue Rall on yesterday’s Big Talk.
Go here for the feature on WFHB’s Daily Local News and here for the original, pretty much unedited interview.
I’m hoping to have some science guys on next week’s show but haven’t nailed down my preferred guests as of this writing. Stay tuned.
Their Cheatin’ Hearts
Don’t miss the Herald-Times‘ two-parter on certain empoyers in our sprawling megalopolis screwing the bejesus out of their minions. Pt. 1 of Reporter Kurt Christian’s expo ran yesterday with the follow-up today. The best part of the story — names are named.
One restaurant, with three area locations, fleeced its workers out of 150 Gs. A number of other well-respected establishments squeezed their staffs, although not as blatantly. The figures are from the US Dept. of Labor’s regional office.
I’d suggest staying away from the offenders for a finite period of time, just to let their operators know their trickery doesn’t play well in this locale.
[h/t to Pat Murphy for the tip.]
Another reason NPR may be holding back is that the CPB (NPR and PBS) is partly dependent on federal appropriations. They are rumored to be on the budgetary chopping block, along with the endowments for the arts and humanities. I spent twenty eight years on WFIU’s community advisory board and recall periodic panics about federal funding and what to do if it got cut off. In the past, suburban congressmen stayed loyal because their haute bourgeois constituents demanded Sesame Street, the British soap operas, and NPR’s news and musical programming. “Don’t you dare kill Big Bird!”