So interesting

Via TPM, Slate’s Jack Shafer has a spot on take-down of the nation’s most vacuous “journalist”:

“It’s interesting, Harry Reid is also somewhat crossways with the president on the issue of earmarks.”
March 2, 2009

“Well, you know, what is interesting is when you talk to Republicans in Congress, they say, look, we know we’re not voting with [Obama].”
Feb. 23, 2009

“Senator Gregg is an interesting choice for commerce secretary.”
Feb. 2, 2009

“Each side [is] trying to make bi-partisanship a partisan issue. You know, I’m being more bi-partisan than you are. And that’s an interesting dynamic to see play out.”
Jan. 25, 2009

“But one thing I found really interesting is [Bush] said he didn’t feel isolated in this job, which you’ve heard from other presidents.”
Jan. 12, 2009






138 replies
  1. 1
    Keith says:

    “Interesting” – it’s this year’s “Serious”.

  2. 2
    Krista says:

    What I find “interesting” is the shameful amount of money that these people get paid to spout 1) opinions hauled directly out of their rectums, 2) completely vapid, obvious tidbits that are lacking in any sort of meaningful thought or analysis, or 3) all of the above.

    Isn’t that interesting?

  3. 3
    gbear says:

    Cokie Roberts on NPR is the reason that snooze alarms were invented. What a prude she is.

  4. 4
    Dave C says:

    The fact that she’s on NPR, which I generally adore, makes me dislike her even more (the same is true of Juan Williams). When you are accustomed to high quality, low-quality shit really stands out.

  5. 5
    PeakVT says:

    Yeah, but she’s “perky” which totally makes up for not knowing jack.

  6. 6
    gbear says:

    @Dave C:

    I don’t know, Dave, when I listen to NPR now, the good stuff jumps out because most reporting on All Things Considered and Morning Edition is just beltway belching. The hosts practically define ‘smug insider’.

  7. 7
    The Moar You Know says:

    In the economically troubled times, you’d figure it would be the least competent who would lose their jobs first.

    Obviously this is not the case.

  8. 8
    John S. says:

    The fact that she’s on NPR, which I generally adore, makes me dislike her even more (the same is true of Juan Williams).

    Don’t forget about the odiously hacktacular Mara Liasson.

  9. 9
    NonyNony says:

    @Dave C:

    Meh – NPR has been cruising down-hill for over a decade. I can’t quite place when they made the switch from “interested in informing the audience about the events of the day” to “interested in being just like the other news organizations in the US, but with a more serious demeanor and more fifty-cent words”, but it seems like the slide started happening in the 90s.

    Now NPR is a lot like CNN but without quite as much sensationalism. The stories are just as under-researched, and the analysis is just as vapid, but they don’t use as many exclamation points.

    That’s actually a complaint I have about the Slate piece that’s linked to here – why single out Roberts for vapid analysis? Juan Williams is equally vapid. Mara Liasson is almost as bad. The anchors on all of their shows are universally terrible now. About all I can listen to from NPR these days is Car Talk and Bob Edwards Weekend – neither of which is supposed to be a font of hard-hitting journalism or analysis. Thank Grod for American Public Media, or my local public radio station would be a useless wasteland.

  10. 10
    Zifnab says:

    @Krista: Ugh, yes. Remember when reporters used to report? I don’t.

    I’m so tired of hearing talking point after banal, regurgitated talking point from these people. Check a party pamphlet and you’ll get all the “original” content you could ever expect out of them. The rest is just mindless “let’s wait and see…”, “no one could have expected…”, “I’d keep an eye on that mega-famous would-be Presidential nominee…” blather.

    Cokie Roberts is entertainment for uninformed boring people.

  11. 11
    Face says:

    Doug, would it kill you to add the name of this “journalist” somewhere in the post so we dont have to click on Slate to find out just who in the fuck you’re talking about?

    Thanks.

  12. 12
    Apsaras says:

    I wish Jack had shown some respect and called her by her full name, “Cocaine Roberts.” Is a little decorum too much to expect on the internets?

  13. 13
    Cat Lady says:

    All you commenters can STFU. It only matters what David Broder thinks about this.

    /snark

  14. 14
    gbear says:

    @NonyNony:

    NPR used to be based in New York. I think the big slide started when they decided to move to DC to be closer to the parties action. That could be about a decade ago.

  15. 15
    Zifnab says:

    @NonyNony:

    Now NPR is a lot like CNN but without quite as much sensationalism. The stories are just as under-researched, and the analysis is just as vapid, but they don’t use as many exclamation points.

    There I totally disagree. I listened to their various exposes on Mumbai, Dubai (rising and falling), the US energy grid, and the job markets. For ten minute pieces strung across five or six days, I think they did reliably well. Most of the stuff I get from NPR I don’t hear on another outlet – TV, alt radio, or blog – for another three or four weeks.

    Now, whenever I hear “and now David Frum” or any other member of AEI, I know to turn the channel or brace myself for the stupid. But I’ve got nothing but good things to say about their actual journalism.

  16. 16
    blogenfreude says:

    Cokie is Peggy Noonan with slightly bigger words.

    Said William McAdoo of Warren G. Harding: “His speeches left the impression of an army of pompous phrases moving over the landscape in search of an idea.”

    That sums it up.

  17. 17
    Cris says:

    Isn’t it interesting that the word “interesting” is rarely used about something interesting?

  18. 18
    Zifnab says:

    @Apsaras: She’s a hellava drug.

  19. 19
    Mike G says:

    Daughter of a House Majority Leader (Hale Boggs).
    Yet another nepotism hire in the Village, safely mediocre and unchallenging to the power structure, who can be counted on to vapidly repeat the conventional-wisdom storylines she hears at cocktail parties. One (small) step up from Maureen Dowd.

  20. 20
    PeakVT says:

    Speaking of non-journalists, check out this takedown of Fox by Ed Shultz over at the GOS. The snippet of Hannity at the end is hilarious.

  21. 21
    Michael says:

    @zifnab

    Remember when reporters used to report? I don’t.

    Having reporters cuts into profits. It is far better to have a bunch of guys sitting around and talking while yanking opinions out of their asses. That way, you keep your news gathering expenses down.

    Then, when something happens, you can buy some TV footage from somebody, run it, and pretend you run a real news operation just before you have your pundits talking again.

    Why pay several journalists when you can pay a pundit? How many journalists and editors could be hired for what MSNBC pays Matthews?

  22. 22
    DougJ says:

    Doug, would it kill you to add the name of this “journalist” somewhere in the post so we dont have to click on Slate to find out just who in the fuck you’re talking about?

    I thought it would be more fun if people guessed first.

  23. 23
    Michael D. says:

    People like Cokie aside, I actually get a lot out of NPR. I love the long form journalism they do. So much so that I donate a good bit of money to them every year.

    I think it’s fine to criticise any media outlet but, for me at least, some of the criticisms here are a bit unfair.

  24. 24
    feral1 says:

    Vapid is exactly the right word. Coventional wisdom doesn’t get more conventional than Cokie’s blathering.

  25. 25
    ronathan richardson says:

    You know, I’m pretty well convinced that if the so called moderate media pundits didn’t see opinion polls or the 2006 election results, they would go on and on about how great a president Bush is and how wonderful things are.

  26. 26
    lilysmom says:

    I read the words of Cokie R., Sally Quinn, David Broder, Tom Friedman, Mara Liasson and Roger Cohen and the phrase “small gene pool” comes to mind. They only talk to members of the pool. Their CW is such crap.

    And they wonder why newspapers are dying?

  27. 27
    EconWatcher says:

    Ah, yes, Cokie Roberts. I remember, like it was yesterday, when I heard the news that a panel selected by Chief Justice Rehnquist had fired independent counsel Robert Fisk in the Whitewater investigation and replaced him with Ken Starr, who had recently lost his job as Solicitor General when his boss was defeated by Bill Clinton. I was listening to NPR as I drove across the Minnesota prairie. I knew instantly that the fix was in, and something very bad was going to happen. Then I remember the voice of Cokie Roberts, responding about to a question about whether Starr really could be viewed as entirely objective and independent, intoning that of course Starr was of unquestioned integrity and would lead an entirely fair investigation. I slapped the dashboard in fury.

  28. 28
    Captain Haddock says:

    If it weren’t for Click and Clack I wouldn’t even know NPR was still broadcasting.

  29. 29
    gwangung says:

    You don’t think this vapidness is the result of years of Republican pressure on NPR and PBS as liberal-infested?

    Competence doesn’t matter to Republicans. Ideology is all.

  30. 30
    forked tongue says:

    NPR = “Nice Polite Republicans,” which may or may not be an Atrios coinage; anyway I think I saw it from him first.

    I’ve hated Cokie for a long, long time now. Used to be, her signature phrase was not “it’s interesting,” but “Well, the polls say…” Fascinating, Coke. Don’t do any analysis of your own, just tell us what the freakin’ polls say.

    But I have a special anecdote: She was the speaker at the graduation of my nephew’s luckless high-school class about eight years ago. At one point she told a zesty joke about her mother (who I guess was some sort of DC social queen-bee) being put in the “awkward” position of having to introduce Bill Clinton to the Pope. Genial titters all around at the “awkwardness” of that situation. Because, you know, Bill Clinton got a bj from an intern and that means his entire existence is reduced to a smutty joke. Can you imagine the delicacy with which the Pope would have to be shepherded through that dicey encounter? I mean, he met with the guy who tried to assassinate him, but meeting a guy who got a blow job? Whoa! Cokie’s mom must have been sweating!

    Fuck off and die, Cokie.

  31. 31
    mcd says:

    “But, Bill, everyone likes a good ear of corn”

    to Bill Maher, who was trying to point out that a whole lot of corn goes toward producing high fructose corn syrup because of corn subsidies.

  32. 32
    ppcli says:

    Cokie Roberts will always be summed up for me by one moment, in which she was simultaneously smug, pompous, and flatly wrong in several dimensions.
    [Background, which most of you probably already know: Bosnia has three ethnicities: Croats, Serbs and Bosniaks. These ethnic groups overlap largely, but not completely, with three religious divisions: Catholic, Orthodox Christian, and Muslim. The term “Bosniak” is carefully chosen to avoid the asymmetric, though more common division of Bosnians into “Croats, Serbs, and Bosnian Muslims”, which runs together two ethnic divisions and a religious one.)
    .
    In the Vice-Presidential debate, Biden, who was (in this instance) using his words precisely and carefully, and who had extensive experience with negotiations about this issue, spoke of “Croats, Serbs, and Bosniaks”.
    .
    Roberts, in the post-debate blather, clearly didn’t know the term, and so assumed Biden had meant to say “Bosnians”. This makes it clear that she didn’t have even the most rudimentary understanding of Bosnian history or politics. But even so, she radiated self-satisfaction so thick you could drive a truck on it, as she said with a beaming smirk “If Sara Palin had made the remark about Bosniaks, people would jump all over it.” (An approximate quote from memory – I don’t have the tape. But I will never forget the smirk.) The village mentality in a nutshell: just because you don’t have the first fricking clue about the subject-matter, don’t hesitate to make superior, mocking pronouncements about it.
    .
    What a gasbag.

  33. 33
    lilysmom says:

    @gwangung:

    I totally agree.

    The Repub assault on the press helped kill investigative journalism and gave rise to to the blogs. We knew we couldn’t get jack from the newspapers so TPM, Marcy Wheeler and others stepped into the breach, FSM bless em’.

    God forbid that some reporter not get invited to McCain’s annual BBQ or cocktail party.

  34. 34
    bobbo says:

    gbear:

    when I listen to NPR now, the good stuff jumps out because most reporting on All Things Considered and Morning Edition is just beltway belching. The hosts practically define ‘smug insider’.

    Word.

    They had someone on a few weeks ago, can’t remember her name – instead of the moron Juan Williams – and she was really smart and insightful. That probably spelled her doom.

  35. 35
    JK says:

    It was very refreshing and satisfying to read Jack Shaffer’s takedown of Cokie Roberts. However, I still haven’t forgiven Shaffer for his column denigrating and disparaging the art of painter Robert Rauschenberg posted after Rauschenberg died. Shaffer has also written columns defending the MSM’s coverage of missing white women.

    Great site for media criticism of NPR’s programming
    http://nprcheck.blogspot.com

    If you want a liberal/progressive alternative to Morning Edition or All Things Considered check out

    Free Speech Radio News
    http://www.fsrn.org
    Democracy Now
    http://www.democracynow.org

    These programs air on Pacifica Radio. Pacifica also has great arts and music programming http://www.pacifica.org

    Pacifica’s stations are
    http://www.wbai.org
    http://www.kpfk.org
    http://www.kpfa.org
    http://www.wpfw.org

  36. 36
    eemom says:

    in defense of NPR, they still have Diane Rehm. Love that lady.

  37. 37
    Paula says:

    After listening to NPR’s “political” coverage I’ve come to the conclusion that all “political” analysis is pretty much a substanceless suck-fest. Of course, I find the strict partisan talk on Democracy Now annoying (thank god they don’t indulge it often), so it may just be that I hate pure politics period. Juan Williams, Cokie Roberts and Mara Liasson are the exception to their normal news reporting rather than the rule.

    There are few American national news organizations that have the funding and inclination to do the kind of wide ranging news coverage that NPR does on the national and international scene, and for that I appreciate them. While I recognize that their orientation in terms of their primary audience means that they skew towards “elite” subjects like policy nuance and finance rather than nitty gritty news directly affecting the working class, I find that they make a nice “big picture”, straight-shot-down-the-middle background to the stuff I listen to on more left-leaning stations like Pacifica Radio.

  38. 38
    John Cole says:

    Am I the only one who never hears any of NPR’ political coverage? On my local station, I listen to all sorts of stuff from NPR and PRI, and there are great classical programs all morning and all sorts of great programming the rest of the time (especially on weekends), but I don’t recall the last time I listened to Juan Williams or Cokie Roberts on NPR, if ever. Maybe I am listening to the news on tv when they are on.

  39. 39
    raff says:

    GW Bush has the same verbal tic that Roberts exhibits: “what’s interesting to me/you know what’s interesting/etc”, although I think they both have different reasons for this tic.

    When Bush uses “interesting” I always get the feeling he’s talking about something he was just told or figured out — like when he was told Iraq had several different religious factions, or when he stumbled across genetics/sociology (“You know what’s interesting? I have some aspects of my dad in me & some aspects of my mom. That’s interesting to me.”)

    Roberts, on the other hand, is repeating conventional wisdom & telling you it’s interesting. Republicans will vote no on everyting Obama proposes? Really! How interesting! Each side is trying to claim the mantle of bi-partisanship while painting the other side as partisan? Really? What an interesting dynamic. Can’t wait to see how it “plays out”.

    *sigh*

  40. 40
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I only saw Cokie on the teevee machine once. I think it was Leno, but it could have been Letterman. It was right after Hurricane Katrina, and she was explaining why the country had to help rebuild New Orleans exactly where it was before. She couldn’t put together a coherent thought, and her eyes looked so flat. I shuddered and turned off the TV, and I have never listened to her again. You couldn’t pay me enough money to listen/watch her.

    As for NPR, I prefer MPR. I find my local public radio to be much better at evenness and thoroughness, and I love our midmorning person, Kerri Miller.

  41. 41
    John S. says:

    in defense of NPR, they still have Diane Rehm. Love that lady.

    Me too, but I’m not sure how long she has left.

    Diane is up there in age, but more importantly, her voice disorder (spasmodic dysphonia?) makes it increasingly difficult for her to do her job.

    I’m not sure why they have Susan Page fill in her for her so often. She sucks. Steve Roberts (Mr. Cokie Roberts) isn’t much better. The only substitute I truly like is Katty Kay from the BBC, but she seems to get the least time of all three. When Diane finally retires, I doubt she would be a considered a serious contender.

  42. 42
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @raff: GW Bush has the same verbal tic that Roberts exhibits: “what’s interesting to me/you know what’s interesting/etc”, although I think they both have different reasons for this tic.

    I think you’re right, though I think that there is one facet of saying “interesting” they have in common – it sounds all intellectual and thoughtful and stuff. They believe it cloaks how dumb their actual utterances are, IMO.

  43. 43
    JK says:

    @eemom:

    Yes, Diane Rehm is great and so are Terry Gross, Warren Olney, and Tom Ashbrook.

  44. 44
    Comrade Darkness says:

    My question is did she pick up that nickname when she was ten because of her favorite beverage, or when she was in college because of her favorite blow?

    Diane is up there in age, but more importantly, her voice disorder (spasmodic dysphonia?) makes it increasingly difficult for her to do her job.

    I actually think her unique pacing makes her interviewee take more time to answer, and/or underestimate her. Her questions are great. I would much prefer to listen to 3 slowly delivered questions from her than 10 crappy ones from an ordinary interviewer.

  45. 45
    TenguPhule says:

    Why pay several journalists when you can pay a pundit? How many journalists and editors could be hired for what MSNBC pays Matthews?

    See, this is the part that always never made sense to me.

    It would be cheaper to fire lardasses like Matthews and hire a bunch of actual journalists and editors.

    Can the purchases of recycled poop from idiots like Victor Davis Hanson on the editorial pages and stick to free letters to the editor from locals who actually read the paper.

    The old newspaper business model seemed to work fine, the new one where opinions come before actual news, not so much.

  46. 46
    eemom says:

    @John S.:

    agreed. I can’t stand that vapid Page twit. Also that Katty Kay is the best of the sit-ins.

    Speaking of admirable women, Marilyn French just passed away.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05.....tner=MYWAY
    The Women’s Room was a masterpiece and a milestone. RIP.

  47. 47
    r€nato says:

    @Michael D.:

    I’m with you. While they have some folks over there at NPR who coddle GOP establishment figures (Diane Rehm just loved Lynne Cheney) or allow wingnut propaganda mouthpieces to pass their BS along without challenge (Neal Conant), or are just plain hacks (Juan Williams and Cokie), they’ve also got Nina Totenberg and the fine folks at This American Life. Terry Gross is a national treasure; if I could only listen to one NPR show, it would be hers.

    NPR listenership has actually surged in recent years; there’s a real hunger for real journalism and thoughtful reporting.

    As much as I treasure Daniel Schorr, his commentary has become increasingly vapid and devoid of any real insight. Didn’t they hire on Ted Koppel as a senior correspondent? I want to hear more of him. Let Dan Schorr do occasional commentary rather than regular commentary; he’s old enough to be allowed to enjoy his retirement!

  48. 48
    NonyNony says:

    @Zifnab:

    Most of the stuff I get from NPR I don’t hear on another outlet – TV, alt radio, or blog – for another three or four weeks.

    Seriously? Most of the “good reporting” I hear on NPR is usually reporting on stories that I heard reported days or even a week before on the very same radio station by the BBC World News. It always feels like the NPR story is late, under-researched and in many cases “dumbed down” by comparison. What’s more, if the story is remotely about any kind of “hot-button” issue in American politics, the reporting is so timid and wishy-washy in comparison that it make me want to throw my radio out the window in disgust. (Especially when NPR tries to do a story about climate change – it’s so irritating how they dance around the subject afraid of pissing off someone somewhere).

  49. 49
    r€nato says:

    @ppcli:

    this is a great illustration of the huge issue I have with the very concept of a pundit: the media likes to select a person like Broder or Dowd and put them in a position where they are expected to comment with intelligence upon every single topic in current events. That’s simply an impossible expectation! I like EJ Dionne quite a bit, but even he shouldn’t be expected to know everything about economics and foreign affairs and urban poverty.

    At some point – and all too frequently – ‘pundit’ becomes a synonym for, ‘some guy spouting off on a topic without necessarily knowing what he’s talking about.’

    If the concept of a pundit is to continue to have any relevance, ask them to at least limit their musings to fields of which they have some knowledge. Otherwise, it’s just some guy or gal talking out their ass much of the time.

  50. 50
    gbear says:

    @Michael D.:

    People like Cokie aside, I actually get a lot out of NPR. I love the long form journalism they do. So much so that I donate a good bit of money to them every year.

    I’ll agree that you can count on NPR for a couple of well done long form stories a day, but their talking heads are far too connected to the beltway. I’ve been donating yearly since ’84 but that’s mostly to support MN public radio.

    edit: Yes, Kerri Miller rocks.

  51. 51
    NonyNony says:

    @r€nato:

    … they’ve also got Nina Totenberg and the fine folks at This American Life. Terry Gross is a national treasure; if I could only listen to one NPR show, it would be hers.

    This American Life is PRI, not NPR. PRI and APM are both much better organizations than NPR is. (It was a long time before I realized that not everything that was broadcast on my local “NPR station” was actually NPR – and most of the things I truly enjoy come from APM and PRI, not NPR).

    Terry Gross’s Fresh Air actually is NPR, and she is quite a good interviewer – better than Bob Edwards, actually. She’s one of the reasons I still give money to the local public radio station. Of course, she’s also not doing any hard-hitting journalism or analysis.

    I will also give you not only Nina Totenberg but also Silvia Poggioli – who both still seem to do real journalism for some reason that I haven’t been able to fathom. Their job doesn’t seem to require it, so perhaps it’s personal pride or something.

  52. 52

    Cokie has declined over the years. Not that she was ever a firecracker journalist, but she used to at least make an effort to talk to her contacts and get some insights once in a while.

    Now, she doesn’t seem to really care. My gut feeling is that she is tired, or ill, maybe having some cognitive issues. What is really sad here is not that she is in decline, it’s that whoever is deciding to give her air time is doing it for her name value, and not for any content that she brings to the table.

    She needs to retire.

  53. 53
    Elroy's Lunch says:

    @John Cole38

    They’re still there in all their glory on our local NPR station. Unfortunately for us. They are both masters of stating the banal.

    Full disclosure: I’d always been inclined to give Cokie a break because I have an old picture of her father and my mother as the King and Queen of some Capitol Hill event/party thingy.

    But that too was a long, long time ago…

  54. 54
    raff says:

    though I think that there is one facet of saying “interesting” they have in common – it sounds all intellectual and thoughtful and stuff. They believe it cloaks how dumb their actual utterances are, IMO.

    Indeed. Something else they have in common is that almost nothing Cokie/Bush* deem “interesting” is actually, well… interesting.

    Roberts, as Shafer notes, just regurgitates the current conventional wisdom while adding no original observation or thinking. Bush, on the other hand, thinks whatever new thing he is told is “interesting” & feels the need to condescendingly tell us how “interesting” it is, even though anyone with a modicum of intellectual curiousity was already long aware of this “new” thing.

    Again, I think it’s one verbal tic & two motivations: Robert uses “interesting” to dictate what we should consider interesting, Bush uses it as a chance to speak down to us & also to show that he’s intellectually engaged.

  55. 55
    Paula says:

    @ John Cole

    No, that doesn’t seem strange. I only hear the BS @ certain parts of the week (Cokie on Monday, Juan @ different parts of the week, Ken Rudin on Wed. on TOTN) and it stands out to me precisely because it makes such a contrast to what’s on CNN and MSNBC (yes, even Maddow) — which is mainly a lot of talk about political jockeying.

    Of course, I learn to tune out whenever the said anchors (plus David Brooks, Ken Rudin) come on the air. EJ Dionne and Ted Koppel don’t suck, though.

    Daniel Schorr is getting old, but he was a good guy during the Bush years. If he grates now, well, it may just be because he feels the pressure to be skeptical of any administration and @ this point, most of what’s happening is pretty cosmetic.

    As for their anchors, they can grate (Steve Inskeep being the primary source of complaint), I find they mostly stay out of the way of the story and their guests, which is more than I can say about everyone else. If they can’t grill politicians they way I want them to, well, I don’t find my hard NPR news coming from the mouths of politicians anyway. It’s their experts, their scholars, their on-the-ground journalists that provide the best insight.

    EDIT: I will take Nina Totenberg over Greenwald any day of the week. Also Dahlia Lithwick, late of Slate the radio show.

  56. 56

    And they wonder why newspapers are dying?

    But luckily the blogs, who hang on the every word of the sorry names on your list (and others), are thriving!

    Out with the old, and in with …. the uh … that is, er … ..

    bah.

    Heh.

  57. 57
    JenJen says:

    Holy shit, is anyone watching MSNBC? They just showed video of Condoleeza Rice trying to walk back her Frost-Nixon comments from the other day, and SHE HAS A FREAKING SWOLLEN, HALF-SHUT BLACK EYE.

    Andrea Mitchell says Condi claims she was playing golf and was stung by a bee. I believe that… as long as “playing golf” means “hanging out with Dick Cheney” and the “bee” was his “upper-left cut.”

    My gawd. Even the commentators are laughing at her.

  58. 58
    lilysmom says:

    @HitlerWorshippingPuppyKicker:

    So that is why Marcy scooped the NYT on the number of times that KSM and others were waterboarded?

  59. 59
    oh really says:

    Her segments, though billed as “analysis” by NPR, do little but speed-graze the headlines…

    This is not limited to Cokie. It has become characteristic of NPR. However insightful he may have been in the past, Daniel Schorr now does little more than “speed-graze the headlines.” Admittedly, the guy is quite old and I doubt if he gets out much anymore, but that doesn’t change the fact that he really has little to offer.

    I’m not comparing Daniel Schorr’s career with Cokie’s — he was, she never has been and never will be — but rather pointing out that more and more air time is filled with essentially empty air.

    My “local” public radio station is, at this moment, in the midst of a full hour of Cokie. My radio is off.

  60. 60
    PeakVT says:

    @eemom:

    Meh. This article from the City Paper on Rehm is still about right. Key quote: “The Diane Rehm Show is state radio, an emotionless purveyor of information and education delivered from Officially Sanctioned Sources.”

  61. 61
    JK says:

    @NonyNony:

    People are constantly confusing NPR with PRI.

    I want to put in a plug for Talk of the Nation: Science Friday.

    If you’ve never listened to Pacifica Radio, they have a great online archive worth checking out
    http://www.pacificaradioarchives.org

    Another program worth exploring is Open Source hosted by Christopher Lydon who used to have a program on Boston public radio
    http://www.radioopensource.org

  62. 62
    Beauzeaux says:

    @Zifnab:

    Remember when reporters used to report? I don’t.

    I’m just barely old enough to remember Walter Cronkite delivering the evening news on CBS. He reported the news, period. There isn’t an American reporter alive today that has one ten-thousandth of the integrity and trust that Cronkite earned. That may sound like an exaggeration, but it isn’t.

  63. 63
    gbear says:

    Yep, Terry Gross, Nina Totenberg, and Silvia Poggioli all rock. They know how to report. I’ve forgotten the name of the woman who was in Iraq all thru the war but she was awesome too.

    AFAIC, Daniel Schorr’s been talking to himself for the last 10 years. I used to like him but everything he says now says more about his own ego than any current events. He sounds like he never ever leaves his office.

  64. 64
    Xenos says:

    They don’t make plutocrats like they used to. It used to be that scions of wealthy families would go into publishing as a vanity project. Now all the Bennington and Hampshire College grads want to be web-video entrepreneurs.

    The calcification and morbidity of corporate newspaper management is of a piece of the general collapse of the competency of the corporate management profession. The Globe ought to be allowed to die so that a new paper, unburdened by debts and the fourth generation of Sulzbergers can take its place. If only we could be sure that such a paper would be organized and started up by competent people with relatively good ethical standards, the passing of the Globe would be easier to take.

  65. 65

    @lilysmom:

    Wow. I have no idea what conversation you are having, or with whom you are having it.

    If you are saying (and it’s only a guess, since you made no effort to explain) that somebody on a blog scooped NYT on something … good for them.

    Most public affairs blogs are just another version of the self-referential barking-at-the-moon stuff that the “media” has become famous for. There are always exceptions that prove rules.

    But you know, if the blogosphere is to be the new home of jen-u-wine journalism, then fine with me. I think it’s unlikely, and a long time off, but fine with me. I just don’t see any evidence that it’s likely to happen.

    Journalism needs a path to monetization, for one thing. With an exception here and there, journalists need to be paid for their work. The blog world doesn’t seem to offer that connection. The cable tv outlets have a path to money, but they whore it out to the lowest common denominator of content.

    When the intertubes can sustain, in the information realm, some kind of going concern business model on a large scale, then …. a lot of things change. Until then, it’s just a big noisy streetcorner where anything … mostly crap .. goes. And by that I mean, what we are doing here, right now. Talking at each other, and pretty invisible.

  66. 66
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    The best news source is Balloon Juice. Balloon Juice is the place where America was first informed of the rise of Glenn Beck, as articulated during live-blog, blow-by-blow, coverage of an O’Reilly-Beck debate, which was judged to be a 3:1 win for Beck.

    This was long before Operation Iron Teabag. The news here is not only timely, it is also entertaining.

  67. 67
    feral1 says:

    Never cared for Diane Rehm either. Another conventional wisdom machine. Terri Gross, however, is simply awesome.s

  68. 68
    Krista says:

    @BOB: That’s right, because this site advertises itself as a legitimate news source, and John is always going on about his credentials as a journalist.

  69. 69
    JK says:

    @r€nato:

    No one would be happier than me to see the death of this concept of the all-knowing pundit. Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen. I’d also like to see the death of the electoral college.

    The only solution for news consumers is to actively seek out the experts possessing the subject expertise on the issues that matter most to them.

    @Paula: @NonyNony:

    Also a huge Nina Totenberg fan. I regret that no recording exists of the off-air verbal exchange between Totenberg and former senator Alan Simpson following their joint appearnce on Nightline to discuss Anita Hill’s allegations against Clarence Thomas. From what I’ve read, it ranks right up there as one of the most heated verbal sparring matches between guests on a tv program.

  70. 70
    Xenos says:

    @HitlerWorshippingPuppyKicker: Marcy Wheeler, lowly blogger, puts more effort into sorting out what exactly the Bush Administration was up to than all of the professional reporters and editors at the Times put together. She has no budget, and no inside sources; she just works and reworks the record, compiling timelines, comparing statements over time, archiving the records and meticulously recording and annotating all the records.

    This is the sort of thing Jack Anderson and I. F. Stone used to do – for whatever reason, professional journalists don’t do it any more, and I suppose precious few ever really did. The larger point Liliysmom made about a ‘scoop’ was that while Wheeler could, by relying on the public record, determine years ago that the Bush Administration had a policy of torture. the Times still hesitates to call waterboarding ‘torture’. This sort of willful shrinking from real reporting has a lot to do with the collapse of journalism, and with the eventual collapse of the Times.

  71. 71

    The best news source is Balloon Juice.

    Sure, Bob, if you think “news” is the health of a few cats, including my 23 pounder who can whip any cat here, or whatever crap you googled this morning and rewrote for us in your spare time.

  72. 72
    one two seven says:

    Slightly off topic, but am I the only one who thinks This American Life has gone sharply downhill since they moved to New York? They used to be so good for giving voice to people who were shut out of mainstream media. Now, it just seems like a bunch of aging Brooklyn hipsters trying to impress each other.

  73. 73
    Gus says:

    OT, best line of the day at LGM
    “swine flu appears to have proven itself the Fred Thompson of pandemic disease”

  74. 74
    Catsy says:

    OT, but this is way too awesome for words:

    http://www.independentpolitica.....estiality/

  75. 75

    @Xenos:

    That’s pretty interesting stuff. Is there a way for the blogs (or really, the internet world in general) to provide a congenial medium for that kind of work?

    The blog world I see right now looks to me a lot like tagging, spray-painted messages on overpasses and billboards. Done by people whose resources are a can of paint and some moxie. But not likely to get mainstream visibility.

    Since the tv media are hopelessly whored out to audience ratings and corporations, and the print media are dying … how do we get the net to support what you are talking about?

    I’m totally in favor of whatever that is, if I knew what it was.

  76. 76
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    I am being serious Krista. Nowhere else is it made known that 90% of installed European wind capacity has to be backed up by operating conventional sources of electricity, that this number will rise to 96% by 2020, and that the practical effect of American windmills will be to raise carbon emissions. Not to mention the price of electricity. Wind power is subsidized at $23.44.MHh, in contrast with natural gas at $0.25/MWh.

    This is the kind of news you just don’t get anywhere else. Politics-Energy-Cats-Lesbians-Food-Glenn Beck.

  77. 77
    Laura W says:

    @HitlerWorshippingPuppyKicker:
    Hahaha.
    Edit: BOB, why no trains?

  78. 78
    Patriot says:

    Cokie Roberts is interesting like George W. Bush.

    She, like him, never could have gotten anywhere without their parents.

    Cokie is the daughter of Hale Boggs and Lindy Boggs, Democrats. Cokie is not.

  79. 79
    Mojotron says:

    click through to that Shafer piece and try to tell me the pic of Cokie doesn’t look like it’s from They Live.

  80. 80

    This is the kind of news you just don’t get anywhere else.

    Um, Bob? That is stream of consciousness prattle. Not “news.”

    For more, see Murrow, Edward R., and Sevareid, Eric.

  81. 81
    cmorenc says:

    From the title, I thought for sure this thread was going to be about Wolf Blitzer. Cokie Roberts definitely deserves nomination for the title of “nation’s most vacuous journalist”, but IMHO Wolf Blitzer is the clear winner here, if only because as the dominant program “host” on CNN, he gets many more chances to display his spectacular vacuousness, and he doesn’t pass up too many of them by slipping up and instead going a bit substantive on us.

  82. 82
    pineview1997 says:

    My 11th grade English teacher banned the use of the word “interesting” in her class with the dismissive red-inked notation, “Syphilis is interesting.”

  83. 83
    lilysmom says:

    @HitlerWorshippingPuppyKicker:

    Sorry, I assumed that you would be familiar with the fact that Marcy Wheeler, emptywheel at firedoglake.com, was the first to report the number of times within one month that KSM and other detainees were waterboarded. It has been kind of a big deal in the recent discussions on torture.

    I agree with you on the cable TV outlets.

    With regard to newspapers, their ad revenues are falling off a cliff, owners have taken on huge levels of debt, large numbers of local reporters have been fired and replaced with AP dreck and local newspaper viablity is uncertain in many cities. Even Warren Buffett said that he wouldn’t buy them at any price.

    The blogs are working on various paths for monetization. Talking Points Memo appears to be a self-sustaining entity and won a Polk for breaking the story about the politicization of the AG office by Alberto Gonzales. Another story that real reporters weren’t interested in.

    Declaring Chapter 11 is not a viable form of survival and that is what is happening now in print media.

  84. 84

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    Bob, if we put up enough windmills, will the earth start rotating the other way?

    I’m serious.

  85. 85
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Thank you for the correction Laura W. Balloon Juice should also be credited with bringing to the forefront the national benefit of electrifying the railroads.

    This would be an instant jobs creator, and yield real energy and cost savings over the long term.

    Balloon Juice: Politics-Energy-Cats-Lesbians-Glenn Beck-Electric Railroads.

  86. 86
    eemom says:

    @PeakVT:

    well, admittedly the City Paper is way too cool for me, who am just an old fart suburban soccer mom. I think the quote is unfair though — Diane is a good interviewer, she has on people who know their shit and she does ask tough questions.

    That said, I’m distressed at the report that she “loved” that old wife of Satan, erstwhile purveryor of chick porn Lynne Cheney. Thankfully I missed that one.

  87. 87
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Only if they are all pointed in the same direction HitlerWorshippingPuppyKicker.

  88. 88
    Xenos says:

    @HitlerWorshippingPuppyKicker: The blogs seem to be the best place for that sort of work. The cost of entry is nearly nil, and if someone’s work is good, then good commenters can provide a lot of support. The FDL commenter crew includes some legal professionals, including at least on DOJ vet, so the natural tendency toward echoing nuttiness is offset with some really informed feedback.

    Eventually there ought to be some substantial support from non-internet sources for the kind of work Wheeler does. Whether that is a lefty think-tank, or alternate media, who knows?

  89. 89

    @lilysmom:

    Okay, sorry, I am terrible with names. I know FDL but I am the worst in the world with names and handles. I piss people off all the time with this shortcoming.

    What concerns me (not in a concern troll way) about the blogs is that any path to profit seems to me paved with the same one that took tv to profit … audience size.

    Once you let an outlet start making content decisions based on audience size, you get … Fox. Or CNN, which I actually hate worse, except for things like Fareed once in a while. I mean, Fox is awful, but at least they sort of are what they are and you can skim off the frosting of bias and see the cake. With CNN it’s like the stupidity goes all the way to the center. I prefer known bias to general stupidity. Which gives you an idea how lousy I think the media really are.

    My idea of journalism is Edward R. Murrow, I am probably some kind of elitist.

  90. 90
    Krista says:

    Balloon Juice: Politics-Energy-Cats-Lesbians-Glenn Beck-Electric Railroads.

    You forgot the Furminator, although that would probably fall under the category of “cats”. Under which category would one put John’s undying passion for Hola Fruta?

  91. 91
  92. 92
    r€nato says:

    @HitlerWorshippingPuppyKicker:

    it all started going to hell when news departments were expected to turn a profit rather than carrying out a public service. Maybe the Obama Revolution will bring back into vogue some of those horrible ideas which lived on up through the 70s, such as the idea of a social contract or the notion that companies which benefit from use of the publicly-owned broadcast spectrum, have certain duties to that same public which extend beyond merely maximizing ad revenue.

    You may say I’m crazy, but sideburns have come back, it could happen…

  93. 93
    lilysmom says:

    @HitlerWorshippingPuppyKicker:

    I would truly like that, too. I remember Walter Cronkite. When he said that Vietnam was unwinable, you knew that it was over. The Edward R. Murrow guys are out there, but they are few and far between, and you only see them in brief glimpses.

  94. 94
    JK says:

    I like This American Life as much as anyone else who has posted on this thread.

    For a different perspective on Ira Glass and his relationship with his former radio colleagues this article is very interesting.
    Ira Glass’s Messy Divorce
    http://web.archive.org/web/200.....CLE_ID=213

    I was also extremely disgusted by Ira’s assessment of PBS: “Public television is terrible. In terms of innovation and what they do, you know, it’s just not that interesting most of the time.”

    h/t http://blogs.kansascity.com/tv.....ss_th.html

    Considering Frontline, Independent Lens, Now, Bill Moyers Journal, POV, Wide Angle, Worldfocus, The Open Mind, Nova, American Experience, American Masters for starters, then adding the numerous specials (single episode and mult-part series), I think Glass is simply full of shit in his assessment of PBS.

  95. 95

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    Bob’s next campaign: Better vacuum tubes?

  96. 96

    @r€nato:

    Sideburns are back? Not on women, I hope.

    Back when I had a lot of hair, that Roy Orbison look was pretty good on me. But now, sideburns just make me look like Garo Yepremian.

  97. 97
    JK says:

    I would trade Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough, Lou Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Greta Van Susteren in a heartbeat for Eric Severeid, Howard K. Smith, John Chancellor, Edwin Newman, Ted Koppel, Marvin Kalb, Sander Vanocur, Roger Mudd, and others whose names escape me.

    None of the guys in the latter group could be classified as Dennis Kucinich supporters but they had gravitas, professionalism, and intellectual honesty. They could conduct interviews and provide thoughtful commentary without sinking to demagoguery and late night comedy shtick.

  98. 98

    @JK:

    One of the few modern-day guys that is of the caliber of your list was Lars-Erik Nelson.

    I still can’t get over the fact that he died so young.

  99. 99
    bago says:

    @Catsy: 9th place. w00t!

  100. 100
    El Cid says:

    I really, really, really detest Cokie Roberts. And it’s not just the right wing snobbish flackery, it’s the really snotty, falsely knowing insidery tone that every garbage pronouncement takes.

    Michael Parenti once was giving a speech about the propaganda drive toward Gulf War 1 and he mentioned something said by Cokie Roberts.

    Then he stopped himself. And he began joking about how ridiculous this familiar name was. “Cokie. Cokie. Like we’re all her best friends.”

  101. 101
    Zifnab says:

    @Krista: And Hula Fruita.

    @JK: Cheers to that. Still, I’ll take an army of John Stewarts and Steven Colberts over our current crop of hacks and losers. Even “fake news” is better than the crap journalism I’ve grown up with.


    100th post!

  102. 102
    Corner Stone says:

    Cokie sucks teh ballz. Yawn.

  103. 103
    Krista says:

    My 11th grade English teacher banned the use of the word “interesting” in her class with the dismissive red-inked notation, “Syphilis is interesting.”

    That is absolutely delightful. We definitely need more teachers like that, not just in high school, but in colleges and universities as well.

  104. 104
    Eric U. says:

    some smarmy Penn State professor called me up looking for donations for the local NPR station. I told him that since NPR became a Republican propaganda outfit, I was no longer donating. This concept was something that couldn’t even penetrate his over-peer-reviewed brain. I do like listening to them, but the fact that they let so many republicans waste my time with unanswered lies makes it intolerable to me. And the fact that they fired Bob Edwards is unforgivable.

  105. 105
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @bago:
    Thanks for the link. The comments there are a banquet of snark:

    we need more non-elitist, noneducatted real peopel like Horesey, Palin , Bachman to run this country. aids are people that help the president , so someone like palin can be learned from poeple like glen beck, or even mike savage who can be hired as aids for presidents office.

  106. 106
    Thankovsky says:

    @Eric U.:
    “Republican propaganda outfit”? Don’t you think that’s a little overboard? True, they’re trying too hard to be “fair and balanced,” but I think you’d be hard-pressed to demonstrate that they’ve gone right-of-center, much less outright Republican.

  107. 107
    Persia says:

    I want to put in a good word for Melissa Block too. Her reporting after the earthquake in China had me crying in my car at least once, and she seemed visibly shaken by work she was doing. They had her on today talking about their one-year retrospective and I wanted to ask her if she was okay.

    Steve Inskeep is just so insanely boring. Just…not even worth hating. The other folks have been pretty well covered here.

  108. 108
    JK says:

    @HitlerWorshippingPuppyKicker:

    I was thinking of broadcast journalists, but I certainly appreciated the work of Lars-Erik Nelson. If you’re talking print journalists, I would also add Murray Kempton, Jack Newfield, Molly Ivins, Erwin Knoll, Andrew Kopkind, Walter Karp, and John Hess.

  109. 109
    Jared says:

    Perhaps Mz. Roberts could play the companion to that old guy in those Dos Equis commercials.

  110. 110
    passerby says:

    After watching an episod of ThisWeek with George Stephenoctopus a few weeks ago, I was so annoyed by the panel that I wrote to TW to give my opinion of their panel segment.

    I suggested that if they want to increase ratings they needed to spark up the panel segment which had become stale.

    I dismissed Noonan as ridiculous, shrugged off Donaldson’s out of left-fieldness and questioned whether Cokie actually had an area of expertise outside the belchway (H/T gbear) cocktail circuit.

    Now Jack Schafer is calling her on her bullshit on NPR. Wonder if NPR will read the writing on the wall. Cokie hasn’t been on the panel of TW for a few weeks now.

    As an aside: When Hale Boggs was disappeared in a plane crash (over Alaska IIRC), his wife Lindy took over his term. Lindy was a gracious woman and the DC community evidently embraced the widow and her children. So doors were opened in DC for Cokie in such a way. She’s never been a boat rocker, just a hob-knobber.

    Cokie’s type of punditry has become obsolete. Unless she can get her ass off the fence and offer intelligent and capital “I” interesting commentary her ride is over.

  111. 111

    […] Shafer’s initial takedown here, Orr concurring here, and Balloon Juice jumping in for fun here).  Well, I’m pre-hip, because I’ve been a Cokie Roberts hater for a long time.  And I […]

  112. 112
    Ed Drone says:

    HitlerWorshippingPuppyKicker:

    @Brick Oven Bill: Bob’s next campaign: Better vacuum tubes?

    Actually, those of us with electric guitars and illusions of talent would welcome that campaign. Except that companies do, indeed, make better ones nowadays (though not up to the really old ones from the 50s — there’s a light bulb joke in this somewhere, but damned if I can think of it), so a campaign isn’t needed (not that that would actually stop BOB).

    Ed (no thought too complex to obviate the use of parenthetical remarks) Drone

  113. 113
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @bago: Oh my god. Please tell me this was a parody site. I really, really, really, really do not want to believe that level of sheer stupidity exists. I know he’s a real candidate, but still. Ok, at least tell me that some of the comments were done as snark. I count at least three that look suspicious–including the one that talks about buttsecks.

    Ed Drone. I love parentheses. When used properly, they are like manna from hebbin.

  114. 114
    Thankovsky says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    I don’t think it’s a parody site, but I do think the cited poster is trolling.

    That said, I’m absolutely elated at this little gem from gurukalehuru the comment section:

    “”I’m a cowboy/
    On a Steele/Horsley I ride/
    and I’m wanted
    Dead or Alive”

  115. 115
    canuckistani says:

    Actually, those of us with electric guitars and illusions of talent would welcome that campaign.

    If by talent you mean the ability to make a noise like a cat in a cuisinart at ear-bleeding volumes, then yes, I’m in.

  116. 116
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Thankovsky: Yeah–that was pure genius. Then again, I’m a in-the-closet Bon Jovi fan. Ooops. Guess I’m not in the closet any longer.

  117. 117
    dr. luba says:

    Best line in the article:

    If only the dog barked a little more—the segment might have more going for it.

    I used to donate significant amounts of money to my local NPR station. Then they cancelled the shows I really enjoyed (El Grito de la Raza, Piano Jazz and a classical music program) for more of their New Agey music. And they (NPR) started sucking up to the Repubs. ‘Twas enough.

    Now the orphans and environment get my money. Local station has improved greatly in recent days, but I discovered the internet in the meantime.

  118. 118
    dlw32 says:

    Really, this is the worst Jake can find? Can introduce him to John Stossel? Or half the people on Fox News? Not really a defense of Cokie, but I’d rather empty that willfully misleading…

  119. 119
    JGabriel says:

    Speaking of vacuous pseudo-journalists, I wonder what Michelle Malkin is doing for Cinco de Mayo.

    .

  120. 120
    BigSwami says:

    I am startled to hear that there are people who even like Terry Gross.

    The next time you hear her interview someone, notice how she’s so absolutely in love with how brilliant her questions are that she gives them about half as much time to answer the question as it took her to ask it.

    Anyway, the problem with NPR’s news reporting, in general, is that they seem to believe that every single one of their listeners is a middle-class, middle-aged, graduate-degree-holding, Prius-driving, Washington insider national journalist. Their programming is tailored to such a narrow POV that I can’t imagine anyone who would actually identify with any more than, say, 10% of it.

  121. 121
    Thankovsky says:

    @asiangrrlMN:
    LOL, don’t worry; I spent many drunken nights in grad school with friends badly singing “Living on a Prayer” around a pub jukebox. :p

  122. 122
    Alan says:

    I suspect everyone here can remember the day the learned to hate Cokie Roberts. For me it was right after the second Bush-Gore debate in 2000. During that debate, Bush actually claimed credit for the passage of the Texas Bill of Patients’ Rights which was, in fact, passed over his veto, perhaps the most brazen lie ever uttered in a televised Presidential debate. The following Sunday neither Cokie nor anyone else on Meet the Press was at all interested in this obvious deception. Instead, all they wanted to talk about was the fact that Gore referred to the “Dingell-Norwood bill” which made him sound like a boring policy wonk.

  123. 123
    Mike in NC says:

    I wonder what Michelle Malkin is doing for Cinco de Mayo.

    Hatin’ herself some of those job-stealin’ wetbacks?

  124. 124
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    The next time you hear her interview someone, notice how she’s so absolutely in love with how brilliant her questions are that she gives them about half as much time to answer the question as it took her to ask it.

    My take on Terry’s interviewing style is that 1) she still gets a rise out of interviewing really talented people and she doesn’t bother to cover it up 2) she believes layered questions is the best way to get substantive answers.

    And I believe she’s right. Moyers also employs a layered, structure questioning style. So did Murrow.

  125. 125
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    @JGabriel:

    I know what I’m doing. Sign at local supermarket: “French wine, German cars, Mexican beer.”

    I got a case of my favorite,Superior. If I’m more incoherent than usual today, that’s why.

  126. 126
    TenguPhule says:

    Balloon Juice should also be credited with bringing to the forefront the national benefit of electrifying the railroads.
    This would be an instant jobs creator, and yield real energy and cost savings over the long term.

    The only benefit achieved by electrifying the rails would be if we threw GOP spokespeople on to them and watched the pretty lightshow.

  127. 127
    Hob says:

    @raff: Bush also liked to use “interesting” to deliver really insulting straw-man attacks, without having to spell out (or understand) what he was getting at. He always seemed to think these were real zingers: “You know, it’s interesting how some people don’t think Iraqi people want to be free.” “I think it’s interesting that Democrats want to sit down and talk with our enemies.” Etc. – not actual quotes, the actual ones were probably even worse.

  128. 128
    gbear says:

    Cokie actually had an area of expertise outside the belchway (H/T gbear) cocktail circuit.

    Ha! The other accidental noun that came up on this site that I liked was ‘wingnats’.

  129. 129
    Cris says:

    @John Cole: I’m sure it depends on your local station. Western Montana has one of the best Public Radio stations I’ve ever heard. I don’t remember the number, but something like 40% of our programming is locally produced.

  130. 130
    CalD says:

    Perhaps you’d have more sympathy for the old girl if you stopped to realize how tough life must be for a David Bowie impersonator at her age.

  131. 131

    @Ed Drone:

    Yes, I am hip to the fact that nothing sounds better than a good tube amp. I built a bunch of them when I was in high school. Mostly from kits. Like this baby, one of the best sounding amps I ever used.

    They don’t make ’em like this any more. Hooked up to a couple Acoustic Research speakers, it was awesome.

  132. 132
    NLB says:

    This is exactly what I was talking about last week when the other NPR thread (about dancing birds or something) was up I mentioned how much I was starting to hate NPR’s political coverage, and ME/ATC more generally.
    :
    To say I loathe Cokie, Juan, and Mara would be an understatement. Thanks to Jack Shafer for the screed against one dolt in that trifecta — and TMP and Balloon Juice for airing this. Everyone knows NPR sucks now but hardly anyone (even on blogs) will say it.
    :
    One for the road — remember when Cokie claimed then-candidate Obama’s choice of Hawaii as a vacation last summer was too risky? Why? Because, it was “too exotic.” Seriously, one of the stupidest things I had ever heard in my life.

  133. 133
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    @HitlerWorshippingPuppyKicker:

    As a fan of Bob Carver since Phase Linear was operating out of the basement of the A & P store in Edmonds, put me in the “Vacuum Tubes Rock” column.

    Here in Western Washington, we’ve got Bill Gates, Sociopathic Billionaire, and Bob Carver, who’s had three corporations stolen out from under him by insensate bean counters. If my Carver receiver ever bites the dust, I’m screwed, because it features three must-have technologies that died with the second of those three. (Asymmetric Charge-Coupled Device Detector, Carver Sonic Holography, and the Carver Magnetic-Field Amplifier.)

  134. 134
    one two seven says:

    What made Cokie’s Hawaii comment even more horrifying was her disclaimer “I know Hawaii is a state, but…” Like she knew how stupid what she was about to say was, but she wasn’t going to let it get in the way of her taking Obama down another notch.

  135. 135
    Jeff says:

    I thought it would be more fun if people guessed first.

    I guessed Juan Williams. I think I hear his vapid bloviating more than “Cokie”.

    I’ve forgotten the name of the woman who was in Iraq all thru the war but she was awesome too.

    Anne Garrels. I loved her reporting, too.

    I think you’d be hard-pressed to demonstrate that they’ve gone right-of-center, much less outright Republican.

    When they invite some “spokesman” from AEI, without comment, much less gales of laughter, that’s pretty rock-solid Republican.

    I can still get a Nina Toten-bag! One of the best pledge gifts they’ve had.

  136. 136
    NLB says:

    @one two seven — and the fact that his grandmother, the woman who raised him, was on her death bed at the time. And Cokie suggests he should vacation in Myrtle Beach, SC instead. Idiot.
    :
    I asked NPR’s Ombudsman once about Cokie and they defended her to the hilt. They see absolutely nothing wrong with her, Juan, or Mara’s vapidity. Which, of course, goes to your point about the overuse of AEI.

  137. 137
    Paula says:

    Anne Garrels Iraq reporting is one of the few that I trust. She, Jamie Tarabay, and now Lourdes Garcia Navarro have provided some extensive and incredible reporting, especially on the travails of women since the invasion.

    Also, Anthony Kuhn (?) in China and Michael Sullivan in SE Asia. Good overviews of the major political and economic currents of the region.

  138. 138
    BRD says:

    Some of the “beltway insider” comments are a bit off the mark since Morning Edition is produced in LA. I assume that is why Cokie calls in.

    That being said, Cokie makes want to tear my hair out- especially on bipartisanship – “Back in the old days when I was a congressman’s brat, we used to have play dates with kids of the other party’s congressmen, now it’s so terribly uncivil, blah blah blah.”

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Shafer’s initial takedown here, Orr concurring here, and Balloon Juice jumping in for fun here).  Well, I’m pre-hip, because I’ve been a Cokie Roberts hater for a long time.  And I […]

Comments are closed.