Is NPR Getting Unlistenable?

radio icon
Wednesday I was listening to my walking radio as I did some work in my yard. A story came on concerning President Obama’s trip to Elkhart, Indiana. Obama’s trip was a followup to a trip he had taken there at the height of the Great Republican Recession of 2008 – 2009. Elkhart was one of the worst hit cities at that time.

Part of the story is an interview with a local resident. The NPR interviewer says in his intro:
SHAPIRO: “As Obama became a much more polarizing president, Ed Neufeldt got a little shy talking about that introduction. Here’s what he told NPR last year.”

“Obama became a much more polarizing president.” What the hell? That statement, which had nothing to do with the story, by an NPR host creates a lot of images. It seems to validate the distorted view that the right wing media has been selling to America from the time Obama announced he would be running for president. There was no explanation for this phrasing. Shapiro just put it out there with all the imagery that went with it. His opinion mixed stealthily into a news story that many listeners will thus take as a fact.

As I do daily now, I disgustedly turned off my radio. NPR was the only over-the-air radio worth listening to for those of us who like to listen to news and views that deal with reality. It seems like over this past winter NPR has taken yet another hard turn to the right.

We used to enjoy listening to NPR at breakfast in the morning. Now Morning Edition seems to be a place where right wing commentators can go to have their views “green washed” so to speak. That is, their views are given an airing on a program that is supposed to be fairly neutral and touted for its reliability. Thus far right wing commentators such as Jonah Goldberg, Tucker Carlson, Erik Erikson and Kathleen Parker to name just a few have been graced with the NPR mantle of respectability. Mixing their opinion pieces in the news segments and thus giving them a veneer of responsibly researched journalism is irresponsible

Having been an NPR listener for decades, this hurts. No, the answer is not too have left wing commentators do the same thing to counter balance this situation. The answer is to put commentary into commentary shows.

For those in the Iowa City area there may be hope on the horizon. A group of citizens have been working on whelping a community based radio station. Hopefully they will be on the air soon. Here is their Facebook page. This couldn’t come at a better time for us. Folks over in Ames already have community radio on KHOI 89.1 on your FM dial or online at

So now it looks like we will be doing something we have been avoiding for a while. That is to purchase an internet radio so we can pull in the signals that are too far away to hear over the air such as the two stations mentioned above.

NPR is hardly the only one that seems to be turning. Remember our old friend in MSNBC? Video @ 12 minutes

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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1 Response to Is NPR Getting Unlistenable?

  1. Masked says:

    Amen to that! This is exactly why I no longer bother with NPR.

    I started listening to NPR (when those initials still stood for “National Public Radio”) back in the 1970s. I even worked as news director at their affiliate station WMRA, then located on the campus of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

    At that time, we all looked on Public Radio as a sacred calling. Ratings didn’t matter, audience size didn’t matter — all that was important was putting intelligent content on the air where other radio stations did not.

    That definition of “Public Radio” and NPR is not longer accurate.

    “NPR” — now a brand — has left its mission behind.

    And me as well.

    Many things are gone now and, sadly, NPR News is one.


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