08 Mar 2011 @ 3:44 PM 

James O’Keefe and Andrew Breitbart have no credibility whatsoever, after their various misdeeds of the past few years. In case they’ve completely escaped you, these stunts include “fake pimp going to ACORN offices,” which revealed nothing untoward within the organization and were nearly completely fictionalized after editing; “Shirley Sherrod is a racist” video, which was so deceptively edited that it showed the exact opposite of reality; and of course, attempting to illegally bug a Senator’s office. By this time, if you see O’Keefe or Breitbart mentioned in any sort of journalistic story, you would be justified in assuming there is no truth to it at all.

With that being said, how in the hell could this be any worse for NPR? NPR marketing droid Ron Schiller tells fake Muslims that the GOP and Tea Party are racists and entirely owned by the evangelical movement, as well as saying that NPR would be better off without federal money. Obviously, I believe his opinions have some validity – the current GOP has been in thrall to the Religious Right for decades, some in the Tea Party have a significant xenophobic streak, and NPR’s begging means they end up beholden to whichever way the political winds blow. But, I can say those things in public or in private because I have no authority or power in any significant way. A senior NPR executive should just shut the fuck up when dealing with near-strangers. It doesn’t help Schiller’s appearance much that he left NPR last week for another job. That may be true, but it sure does look like he’s running away and giving NPR deniability.

I’m very curious how this will end up playing out. There seems to be more than enough stupid to go around on both sides.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 08 Mar 2011 @ 03:45 PM

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 08 Mar 2011 @ 3:33 PM 

Listening to the KROQ 1991 playlist in the car this week, it occurred to me how many of the songs I was completely unfamiliar with. This is likely due to the fact that I spent the entirety of 1991 in the Republic of Korea. For those of you under 35 years old, let me explain why this was significant. Back in 1991, Korea did not have a blanket of high-speed internet as they do now. In fact, they barely had reliable telephones or television stations. 1991 was a time before the commercial internet, before DVD box sets (or even DVDs of any kind), way back in the dark ages of information technology. So, that year in Korea was a year where the only American pop culture I knew of was filtered by the Armed Forces Korea Network. Civilian readers, AFKN was like swaddling pop culture in a giant blanket of blandness. I could not understand, when I returned in 1992, why people were singing a song about logs being “better than bad.” I’m pretty sure the most cutting edge thing I heard on the radio that year was “Enter Sandman” by Metallica. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come in such a short time.

Twenty years later, I have a tiny device on my desk which looks like a miniature television set. This device is connected to my wireless router and streams Facebook updates, Gmail inbox listings, news feeds, silly games and LOLcats. Most importantly, it also streams KROQ (or KNDD, KDGE, 91X, etc.). I’m living in BFE Texas, where the best radio station around plays the same┬áregurgitated┬ápap that every post-Clear Channel era “best of the 80s 90s and today” channel is running. But, I am no longer beholden to the filtered geographically-dependent view of pop culture.

Alex just likes the robot clock.

Livin’ in the future, man!

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 09 Mar 2011 @ 09:47 AM

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