why NPR shouldn’t have backed down

I’m going to say some things that some of you may not want to hear, and frankly, I don’t care if you don’t want to hear them. Because I’m through being nice about politics.  Let me be clear…I’m a pretty damned flaming liberal on most things (I do think that the death penalty is warranted in some cases though, so my street cred may drop a little).  But I’m also a citizen of this country, and by the various deities, I’m fed the hell up.

What am I fed up with?  I’m fed up with Fox News defending billions of dollars being poured into Wall Street while decrying middle-class teachers as the enemy. I’m fed up with Scott Walker and his Koch monies doing an end run around what the people of Wisconsin really want. I’m fed up with union-busting as a method of saving money. I’m fed up with defunding NPR and Planned Parenthood while keeping millions of dollars in funding for the military to slap a sticker on a frickin’ race car. I’m fed up with educational budgets being slashed, which prison budgets go up. I’m fed up with Newt Gingrich claiming that his patriotism led to his infidelity, and Peter King spending my tax dollars to go after Muslims, spouting ‘facts’ that have been disproven.

And I’m fed up with the liberals in this country, even if they aren’t actually LIBERAL, backing away from every single fight.  Universities get called ‘liberal bastions’ and when their turn on the chopping block comes, they don’t defend themselves.  Are we too intellectual to defend ourselves? Too educated to join in such a pedestrian conversation as money? Did the Ivory Tower’s air system go wonky?  Look, if we think education matters, we gotta stand around with some signs and yell.  We’ve tried talking, and look where that got us…gosh, exactly NOWHERE.  Where are the walk outs, the sit ins, the shout downs?  Where are the students converging on state capitals demanding that the state stop balancing the budget on their backs? Hell, where are the FACULTY doing the same thing? Come one…how many students and faculty are in the UC, CSU, and CACC system? Rent every single school bus you can find and converge on Sactown. Do you really think Jerry Brown can ignore several million people on his doorstep?  Really?

We can hope, of course.   Even though Walker managed (I’m still calling illegal on that, however) to bust the unions in Wisconsin, do you really think there’s gonna be a Republican majority in 2 years? I’m gonna say no. They guy may not even last a term.  Just saying.  Here in Arizona, one can only hope that Jan Brewer finally steps over the line into whackoland and gets canned. There’s already a recall petition going around, and you’d be surprised who’s signing it. But hope and a dollar — well, it might get you something at the dollar store. Maybe.

When Ron Schiller said that there was an anti-intellectual conservative movement in America, he wasn’t wrong. When he said the Tea Party was racist, he wasn’t wrong.  When he said they were xenophobic, he wasn’t wrong.  Is everyone who calls themselves a member of the Tea Party racist? no. Xenophobic? probably not.  But he’s not wrong.  There are some seriously racist elements in the current conservative tent — witness the birthers, the backers of SB1070 in Arizona, Peter King’s Senate hearings on ‘radical’ muslims.  And when asked to tell the party faithful that yes, Obama is an American citizen, what do they do? “Well, I can’t tell them what to think” — why not? You do it on everything else!  Schiller’s comments may have been ill-spoken, and a bit of a blanket statement, but he isn’t wrong.

And that’s why NPR should have said something like this: “While we deplore the manner in which Ron Schiller spoke, the views he expressed were his own.  Given that Mr. Schiller has already announced he is leaving NPR, we believe the matter is at an end.” End of discussion. By moving up his departure, and the departure the next day (accounts vary on if it was a firing or a resignation) of Vivian Schiller, the head of NPR, NPR has clearly signaled that it, too, is going to lie down and take it. Sure, they did their fundraisers, and asked listeners to give a little more. And I suppose that, truly, as a news organization that actually values a certain adherence to oh, those pesky things called ‘facts’ that other “news” organizations like to…ahem…well…let’s just call it LIE about and leave it at that (and yes, for the dense, I do mean FOX…how’d you guess?!), standing up for themselves is a bit hard to do without being biased. But still, by allowing both of the Schillers to leave under a cloud was the equivalent of rolling over.

I say we’ve done enough rolling over (and yes, Obama, I’m looking hard at you with THE LOOK, and you can ask people just how devastating that can be).  Stop giving in to the bullying of the left wing pundits. Stop paying attention to what those blowhards Beck and Limbaugh have to say, stop fretting that we’ll look like out of touch intellectual elitists, and remind people that if they give a shit about their jobs, their homes, their retirement, their children’s future, and things like oh, not being at war, then perhaps it’s time to STAND THE FUCK UP and DO SOMETHING.

Sorry for the swearing and all, but dang, people. Stop thinking, and start doing.


Published in: on March 10, 2011 at 8:35 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. WORD.

  2. “Stop thinking, and start doing.”

    Yeah, that’s working really well for you. Keep up the good work!

  3. Word. Sick of the spinelessness. Sick of the rolling over. Sick of giving a rat’s ass what people who already hate us and always will might think. Really sick of the lies that go unchallenged in media, except by freakin’ Jon Stewart.

    I don’t know if the so-called left is trying to hold onto the moral high ground or what, but it’s too f-ing late for that. It’s like they’re trying to play chess while their opponents play whack-a-mole.

  4. Where to start.

    1) The death penalty is never justified, mostly because we cannot trust the justice system to get it right. Life in prison is our way of letting the poor bastard loose when we find out once again that the justice system screwed up.

    2) This isn’t a left v. right issue. This is a rich v. poor issue, where the rich have coopted part of the right wing, and managed to brainwash them into believing that the left is the enemy.

    3) Obama was never on your side. He’s a Chicago Machine politician. The Chicago Machine is concerned about holding power, and channeling money to their fat cat friends. In other words, they are the predecessor to the Tea Party.

    Remember – I’m a real Conservative.


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