Tag Archives: NPR

Truth in Advertising: Trump and Kasich

15 Mar
Gov. Kasich measures how moderate he actually is

Gov. Kasich measures how moderate he actually is

While there is really very little good I have to say about Donald Trump, the sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot, I will say he does provide truth in advertising. It is exceedingly — even painfully — clear how dangerous he is individually and for the country. That being said, I think it is equally important to understand how dangerous the stealth candidate John Kasich is, as we look at what he has done to Ohio. Kasich is far from being the moderate he would like people to think he is, which means there is NO moderate choice from the GOP candidates.

Sadly, even NPR consistently refers to Kasich as “moderate,” I don’t think that word means what they think it means. Just because he does not appear or behave like he just graduated from clown college as Trump, Cruz, and Rubio do, he is nonetheless a far right extremist.  Let us not forget his stand on marriage equality — Obergefell v. Kasich which then became Obergefell v. Hodges — where Kasich showed just how homophobic he could be. Terminally ill John Arthur, who suffered from ALS, wanted the Ohio Registrar to identify his partner, James Obergefell, as his surviving spouse on his death certificate based on their marriage in Maryland. Governor Kasich then deemed it necessary to define marriage as an institution between one man and one woman and refused to acknowledge the marriage.

The governor takes an equally dangerous view on letting women have any say in their own health choices. Since taking office in 2011, he has enacted 16 measures that limit women’s access to reproductive health care. Some are aggressively anti-choice, like the so-called “late term” ban and a statewide gag order barring rape crisis counselors from making abortion referals. He has also used abortion rights as a tool to limit access to general reproductive health care, such as stripping millions of family planning dollars from Planned Parenthood. While Kasich has been governor, the number of Ohio abortion providers has been cut by 50% and funding for reproductive health care for women has dwindled.

The fact that Kasich doesn’t outright deny the science of climate change and “remains open” to “some options” on immigration does not make him moderate. Those vague statements simply mean that he’s willing to spout platitudes and smirk sagely while his primary competitors froth at the mouth and chew the furniture, and disgustingly compare penis size, because apparently that is now where we are at as a culture in the United States. Unlike the Donald or the two junior Senators, Kasich has a long history of executive actions to analyze, and all of those actions prove just prove what a sexist, homophobic racist he is, and how dangerous a Kasich presidency would be.

Fox Nooz Learned Me This Smartful

29 May

Just about this balanced…

Poor ol’ Faux News just can’t get no respect. Yet another study proves that people who rely on the propaganda network for their information actually know LESS than people who don’t get news from anywhere.

Respondents to the survey were able to answer correctly an average of 1.8 of 4 questions about international news and 1.6 out of 5 questions about domestic affairs. “Based on these results, people who don’t watch any news at all are expected to answer correctly on average 1.22 of the questions about domestic politics, just by guessing or relying on existing basic knowledge,” said Dan Cassino, the poll’s analyst.

People who rely solely on Fox barely got one question right — domestic or international — far below the average and even below random chance. That’s right, a monkey throwing darts at a list of answers would be more likely to be right than a Foxwatcher.

Of course, relying on a single source of news is a poor strategy in general, but for those who do, the best informed are those who rely on NPR. It’s also pretty sad that the average results had people getting fewer than half the questions right. We’re not exactly an informed nation, are we?

Given the history of inaccuracies, bias, and outright lies that Fox spouts, this isn’t a big surprise. Consider the company’s CEO, Roger Ailes, who called reporters for the New York Times “lying scum” at a speech to Ohio University’s journalism students. He also asserted “One thing that qualifies me to run a journalism organization is the fact that I don’t have a journalism degree.” Well that pretty much sums up how Fox works, doesn’t it?

Happy Birthday, Carl Kasell!

2 Apr

Happy Birthday, Carl!

Today we are pleased to celebrate the 78th birthday of a broadcasting legend, the wonderful Carl Kasell. Born in North Carolina in 1934, Carl knew from an early age that he was destined for radio.

Before I even started to school, I sometimes would hide behind the radio, which would be sitting on a table, and pretend that I was on the air, and try to fool people who came by to listen.

His father would take him to the local station where he was mesmerized by the latest news spilling out of the teletype. In high school, his drama coach was Andy Griffith, who encouraged him to pursue the theatre. Kasell was drawn to the radio, though, and while getting his degree from UNC Chapel Hill he co-founded the campus radio station with fellow student Charles Kuralt.

His career advanced from announcer at his hometown radios station to news director at Arlington, VA station WAVA (where he hired Katie Couric as an intern). He moved to NPR in 1975; he was one of the founding voices of Morning Edition, staying with the program from 1979 to 2009.

A clear, recognizable voice with an understanding of the world’s events, Kasell has always been a beacon of journalistic integrity. His dedication to ensuring that his listeners understand the issues at hand rather than just receiving the sensational highlights should serve as a lesson to the 21st Century pseudo-news scaremongers.

Carl Kasell also has a great sense of humor and refuses to take himself to seriously. He’s the long-time scorekeeper for the news comedy program Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me, a terrific outlet for his wit and charm. A highlight of TSM’s 2011 was the chance to see a live taping of the show last October and to meet Carl in person. It also showed the dedication of the program to social justice, teaching through humor.

Carl “retired” at the end of 2009, giving this lovely interview about his career. He’s still going strong, though, sharing his great talents with millions of lucky listeners every week. Happy Birthday, Carl!

Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me and The Republican Death Eaters

18 Sep

Carl Kasell admiring my youth and good looks.

Not a big surprise to any TSM followers, but my husband and I are a bit on the nerdy side.  We are big NPR junkies and have been for more than two decades.  (I still miss Bob Edwards doing Morning Edition.)  Our dedication to NPR grows fever pitched on Saturday mornings, when Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me comes on the air. In fact, we don’t pick up the phone or attend to any demanding tasks until after the program has finished. You can’t imagine how thrilled we were when we attended a live taping of this week’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me show here in Portland, OR. We had a tremendous time and were fortunate enough to attend a small soiree with the cast after the show. Peter Sagal and Roy Blunt Jr. commented on the past week’s Republican Debate when Wolf Blitzer asked Representative Ron Paul what we should do if a 30-year-old man who chose not to purchase health insurance suddenly found himself in need of six months of intensive care.  The response from the Republican crowd sent chills up my spine, which I felt again while watching the taping of one of my favorite radio shows.

Ron Paul replied to Blitzer’s question with a very flippant, “That’s what freedom is all about – taking your own risks.”  Spoken like a true privileged white, heterosexual, man of power. But wait, it gets worse. Blitzer followed up with should, “society should just let him die?”  Here is where I almost threw up in disgust. The Republican crowd erupted and shouted “Yeah,” in response.  Are these people Death Eaters straight out of Harry Potter?  Please someone help me here. Have we really devolved into a culture of such avarice, ignorance, and selfishness, that we cheer for Death?

Peter Sagal compared the Republican mob cheering for Death to Rick Perry having the Grim Reaper as a running mate, as, he noted George W. Bush had done, to which Peter Grosz quickly retorted: “Hey, that’s not fair to the Grim Reaper. He has a family.” Roxanne Roberts then chimed in, “…and the Grim Reaper has a heart.”  All of us in the audience were laughing, as were the people on the panel, but it was clear  by the look on Roy Blunt Jr.’s face, as with the faces of us all that we were laughing to cover up the grotesque knowledge that there is a population of vocal Republicans that think it is acceptable to scream out you would rather see someone die than make sure people have health insurance.

Looking just at where the current 21st century Republican stands on the issues, the following people would be diagnostically insane to vote Republican:

  • Anyone in the LGBT community
  • Anyone dependent upon Medicare/Social Security  (I guess there are no poor senior citizen Republicans)
  • Anyone believing that women should have the right to make their own health care choices regarding their bodies
  • Anyone believing that Government works to protect all citizens, regardless of religion, color, gender identity, sexual orientation,socioeconomic status, or age.

Is it just me, or does that seem to be an exceedingly large population that the current crap, oops, sorry, I mean crop of Presidential Candidates excludes?  You know the GOP is way off track when life-long Republicans like Clint Eastwood leave the party.

Fortunately, despite the darkness provided by the GOP Death Eaters, we had a lovely evening with the cast of Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.  Despite having a very long day of travel and doing a show, they were generous enough to spend time and visit with us after the show. What a very genuine and kind group of people.  Each person we got to meet with I would want to have as a friend and or invite to dinner.  And I got to meet and have my picture taken with The Carl Kasell.  Now I just have to get him to leave his voice on my message machine.

10 Most Dangerous States for Women

8 Apr

Misogynistic America

Thank you to my friend Jennifer Lockett for sharing this article with me, as I continue to recruit social do-gooders in my network to take over the world and make it a better place for ALL.  As the war on women intensifies in the United States, thank you John Boehner, there are 10 states specifically that people need to be aware of and not just a little nervous about.  As Republicans believe eliminating Planned Parenthood and NPR will solve the country’s woes, (we all know that women’s health, prevention of STDs, prevention of unwanted pregnancies and educational radio are the Devil’s playground) I would like to call your attention to some of the most heinous anti-woman legislation.  I want to preface this with the question: Are We Paying Attention? The GOP is not creating jobs or helping the disenfranchised. They are clearly focused on an agenda that hurts minorities and hurts women and will ultimately become a larger burden on the healthcare system. Now back to our original program, the most heinous anti-woman legislation.

Minnesota: Lawmakers there are considering requiring minors to get parental consent for any medical care, unless they get a judicial bypass proving they’re victims of incest.  This legislation discourages minors from getting birth control, STD testing, pregnancy test and becomes a serious healthcare danger with costly repercussions.

Indiana: The state that loves misogyny, passed a bill requiring doctors to read scripted anti-choice propaganda to patients before the abortion.

Florida: Home to Rick (the P is silent) Scott, just introduced 18 separate bills restricting abortion rights.

Missouri: Always a heavy contender in the Misogyny Olympics, is trying to ban post-20 week abortions, even after hearing testimony indicating that most of these very rare abortions are performed for medical reasons–this is in direct conflict with the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.

Kansas: Where Dr. Tiller was murdered in front of his church, (interesting way of protecting life) has passed the ban on post-22-week abortions and a law requiring both parents to sign off on a minor’s abortion, a law that unfairly punishes young women for having a negligent or imprisoned parent.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL ARTICLE and to see  if your state made this list.

Hero of the Week Award: March 18

18 Mar

Hero of the Week

What a success the mid-term elections were! Look at all the jobs John Boehner has created.  Look at the true leadership taking place–leaders like Jan (I love guns) Brewer, Scott (I love the People) Walker, and Rick (the Felon) Scott. Yes, I’m glad to see our taxpayer money being used so wisely in creating jobs and solving the ever growing homeless population, rather than attacking women and NPR.  Thank you House of Representatives.  Our Hero of the Week Award goes to Rep. D-NY, Anthony Weiner, for taking a stand against a bunch of yahoos in the House. I’m so glad the House is trying to do the real work of protecting us from Click and Clack and the most dangerous of all, Carl Kasell!  Click here to see the video.  (Carl if you read my blog, please, pretty please will you do our answering machine?)

Defending NPR: Why We as a Nation Should be Outraged…

12 Mar

Save NPR

I’m sure most of you remember the attack on PBS/NPR during the George W. years, when W. planted partisan operatives at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in an attempt to challenge journalists who didn’t hew to the party line–my that seems ethical (?).  I am sure that “the right-wing machine would thrill if our sole sources of information were Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and ads paid for by the Koch Brothers – it walks into a trap perpetrated by one of the sleaziest operatives ever to climb out of a sewer.”  There are so few reliable sources of news right now, although I am seeing a lot of good stuff coming from blogs (DailyKos), we have to do everything we can to save PBS/NPR.  Here is a great article from Truthout.  Please take the time to read it. Again, might I please ask the House of Representatives to stop wasting tax payer money and instead look to create jobs and decrease our homeless population.  Your jobs are to protect all citizens, not just the wealthy ones that stuff your greedy pockets with cash.

Celebrating Black History Month: February 20

20 Feb

Honoring Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Today I would like to honor and pay tribute to Charlayne Hunter-Gault. Charlayne was the very first African American woman to graduate from the University of Georgia, in 1962.  Many of you may remember her on The MacNeil/Lehrer Report as a correspondent. I remember her best when she was a foreign correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR). Charlayne also published her memoir, In My Place, which talks about her time at UGA. Because of the miscegenation laws in place in many states, Charlayne and her first husband, Walter Stovall, were fearful that their marriage would not be legal in other states, thus having to have another ceremony in another state–sounds like the marriage equality issue the LGBT community is currently fighting. I miss hearing her on NPR and hope she will return–that is if the GOP does not get rid of NPR.

Tears of a Clown

30 Jan

This story is actually inspired by NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. When I think about the clown that is Michele Bachmann and the crocodile tears of John Boehner, I can only hear Smokey Robinson. When do we just finally say enough is enough–we will no longer put a ball of crazy in front of the media and call it news?  Thanks to NPR, we now have the Bachman Line.  Yes, I will try to now observe the Bachman Line.  Unless people have some considerable influence politically or socially, I shall not give them air time on this blog. My hope for Minnesotans is that you have a lobotomy and remove the Bachmann from your state.

The Tears of a Clown

Hero of the Week Award, LBJ: November 26

26 Nov

With all the hype I have been hearing lately about cutting the whopping 2% that NPR gets from the Federal government, along with the TON of money they get with their “beg-a-thons,” I thought I would add some much needed perspective and a sense of history.  National Public Radio was started to ensure journalistic integrity, so that there would be a source of news that could not be purchased by corporations and thus biased for a political agenda.  If we lived in a hyper-liberal society, NPR would offer a conservative perspective.  The country we live in now is so conservative that the Nixon years (Affirmative Action and the EPA started in the Nixon Administration) look downright leftist; consequently, NPR is acting responsibly by offering a slightly more liberal perspective (some would argue moderate and not liberal).

I would like to underscore the history of NPR and when it started.  President Lyndon Baines Johnson working with congress started the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, November 7, 1967.  I shall quote LBJ, because his words are far more eloquent than mine.  He describes the purpose of Public Broadcasting as:

It announces to the world that our Nation wants more than just material wealth; our Nation wants more than a “chicken in every pot”. We in America have an appetite for excellence, too. While we work every day to produce new goods and to create new wealth, we want most of all to enrich man’s spirit. That is the purpose of this act.

More concretely:

It will give a wider and, I think, stronger voice to educational radio and television by providing new funds for broadcast facilities. It will launch a major study of television’s use in the Nation’s classrooms and their potential use throughout the world. Finally — and most important — it builds a new institution: the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Would that we could elect another LBJ.  While I would not want to be personal friends with him, nor sit and drink a beer with him, he was a fantastic leader with courage, intellect, and great intelligence.  My guess is he also knew the difference between North Korea and South Korea.  President LBJ earns the HWA posthumously for having the vision and leadership to safeguard true democracy.


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