THE NEWS BLOG

 
Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Independent
Washington Post
Newsday
Iraq Order of Battle
Agonist
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News
CNN
Blogger

 
Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Atrios
Digby's Blog
Skippy
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Uggabugga
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Tbogg
Corrente
Gropinator
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Wonkette
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Driftglass
At-Largely
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

 
Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Smiley leaving NPR


Fuck NPR, I'm outta here


Tavis Smiley leaving NPR in December

Tavis Smiley has opted not to renew his contract with National Public Radio to host his daily one-hour talk show
Hollywood Reporter
Updated: 11:37 a.m. ET Nov. 30, 2004

LOS ANGELES - After nearly three years on the air, Tavis Smiley has opted not to renew his contract with National Public Radio to host his daily one-hour talk show.

Smiley said Monday that his last day on the air will be Dec. 16. In announcing his decision, Smiley criticized NPR for what he characterized as its failure to “meaningfully reach out to a broad spectrum of Americans who would benefit from public radio but simply don’t know it exists or what it offers ... In the most multicultural, multi-ethnic and multiracial America ever, I believe that NPR can and must do better in the future.”


Melanie pointed this out, which kind of went under the radar for a lot of people

I know a lot of people get discomforted when I call NPR the network for college professors and the graduate students they fuck. But it's true. NPR is an elitist organization which is regularly put to shame by the BBC and even PBS.

While I am hardly a fan of PBS, at least it runs a range of diverse programming. NPR is designed to appeal to middle class whites and few others. I would love nothing better than to see Ira Glass and his smug little show beset by a pack of raging wolfhounds. If you take the good of NPR, Terry Gross, vs the repellent of NPR, the Beltway Bandits who run their news programming, there isn't much there. NPR is insular and clubby.

The best thing which ever happened to PBS was Joan Ganz Cooney, the creator of Children's Television Workshop, the people who bring you Sesame Street. Not just because it set the gold standard of children's programming, but because it created a diverse television workplace. A place where not only children and adults interacted realistically, no more Father Knows Best, but was a multiracial, multicultural world. But Sesame Street's effect wasn't only those little cards I got in Kindergarten with the alphabet. It set the tone for the entire range of programming on the network. Everything from jazz documentaries to an American Family came from a sense that NPR had to represent a range of views. NPR was founded by a clique and has stayed a clique.

It is hardly surprising that Smiley would grow tired of NPR. He is a singular voice there. Minorties do best on NPR when they don't act like minorities and even then, they tend to move on. Ray Suarez became an anchor on the News Hour.

And let's consider the News Hour for a moment. Their second anchor is a black woman, the others are a hispanic man and a woman, and Red Smith'
s Son Terry. Their commentators are equally balanced. Despite it's stogy nature and reliance on Washington sources, it is the most diverse anchor team on TV. NPR is still largely white. Cable is a blizzard of whiteness.

In short, Jim Lehrer hired a diverse cast of reporters and anchors for his show, while NPR's news cast is the preserve of a clique of white women. Few minorities have ever broken through at NPR. And their program largely panders to their white contributor base. Minorities usually show up on NPR as either victims, success stories or Africans. They love Africans, the poorer the better. But a balanced view of American minorities?

People give NPR a pass because of their "liberal" politics. But when you get past it, Smiley's frustration is evidently clear. NPR doesn't care about minorities, except as news subjects. Instead of a range of programming and new hiring, it's just more lip service.

I can see Smiley moving to bigger leagues sooner rather than later.

posted by Steve @ 1:35:00 PM

1:35:00 PM

The News Blog home page





 

Editorial Staff
RSS-XML Feeds

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
 
 
 
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans