NPR insults Tea Party Movement, National Public Radio insults Americans, Learn to speak Tea Bag, Ellen Weiss, Cartoon is staying up, NPR values, civility and civil discourse, Alicia C. Shepard

Many years ago I listened to NPR and Rush Limbaugh. I considered that a balanced approach to getting information. There were many decent shows on NPR (National Public Radio), my favorite being “Car Talk.” In the early nineties some of the NPR shows would slip in what I considered elitist, condescending comments about politicians and those of differing political opinions, but it generally did not get out of hand. I began listening less and less to NPR because a trend developed of increasing elitist comments, “we know more than you do.”

Recently NPR crossed over the line with a wholesale attack on average, hard working, patriotic Americans. The following was posted here, January 5, 2010.

“NPR Shows Everyone How to Speak ‘Tea Bag’… with OUR Money”
“Prominently displayed on the National Public Radio (NPR) web site is a new cartoon titled, “Learn To Speak Tea Bag.” Of course, Tea Party activists don’t ever use the term “tea bag,” a phrase that refers to a sexual act and which has been used by the media to demean the entire tea party movement.”
NPR insults hard working, concerned, patriotic Americans

Apparently NPR, in lock step with their kindred spirits Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama, is so out of touch with reality that they believe the Tea Party Movement is composed of a bunch of Right Wing extremists. Nothing  could be further from the truth. And this attitude comes from an organization that claims to present the news.
To add insult to injury, NPR has come out with a response. This response is no apology. The first part is an attempt by
Alicia C. Shepard to diffuse the controversy. The last part reveals the attitude of NPR management.
From the NPR ombudsman, Alicia C. Shepard, January 8, 2010.
“Loud Protests on NPR’s ‘Tea Party’ Cartoon”
“When the “Learn to Speak Tea Bag” cartoon making fun of “Tea Party” activists was published on Nov.12, there were 5 comments. By 6 p.m. this past Monday, there were 258. By Wednesday night, over 1,100 people had commented and it was still the most-recommended link on NPR’s web site. On Monday and Tuesday, calls came in every 10 minutes. Over 300 wrote to me — most of them angry.

The 90-second animation, which creator Mark Fiore calls satire, rather summarily dismisses participants in the Tea Party movement as inarticulate, paranoid bumblers. The video “teaches” the viewer to speak conversational “tea bag.”
Moderator: Finally, learning a new language doesn’t have to be hard. You can be fluent in conversational tea bag in just a few short minutes. Lesson one: Don’t get distracted by the confusing words of other languages.
Character: I think the public option and the competition it would foster would really — socialist, socialist.
Moderator: Good, very good. Lesson two: If you’re having trouble understanding the words of others or being understood yourself, use teabag’s stronger, more descriptive words.

Character: “Nazi, Nazi, Nazi.”

It’s actually not that funny — especially to those on the right, including members of the Tea Party movement, which is populated by passionate Americans who don’t like the direction President Obama is taking the country.

“The cartoon is a perfect caricature of what NPR looks like to conservatives: liberals snidely imagining conservatives to be monosyllabic clods who can’t make an argument beyond name-calling,” said Tim Graham, director of media analysis for the conservative Media Research Center. “Conservatism is ‘satirized’ into a form of political retardation.””

“That said, there are problems with the Tea Bag animation. Chief among them is it doesn’t fit with NPR values, one of which is a belief in civility and civil discourse.

Fiore is talented, but this cartoon is just a mean-spirited attack on people who think differently than he does and doesn’t broaden the debate. It engages in the same kind of name-calling the cartoon supposedly mocks.”

“There will be no apology and Fiore’s cartoon is staying up, said Ellen Weiss, senior vice president for news. “Opinion and satire are going to sting some members of the audience and soothe others,” she said, noting NPR has received some positive feedback. “This one satire is not the only coverage on the topic and while it offends some members of the audience, I see no reason to remove it.””
Read more:

http://www.npr.org/ombudsman/2010/01/loud_protests_on_nprs_tea_part_1.html
This goes way beyond opinion and satire. As Alicia C. Shepard stated,

“That said, there are problems with the Tea Bag animation. Chief among them is it doesn’t fit with NPR values, one of which is a belief in civility and civil discourse.

Fiore is talented, but this cartoon is just a mean-spirited attack on people who think differently than he does and doesn’t broaden the debate. It engages in the same kind of name-calling the cartoon supposedly mocks.”
Ellen Weiss, senior vice president of NPR stated “There will be no apology and Fiore’s cartoon is staying up.”
If you are currently contributing to NPR, perhaps you should contact Ellen Weiss and reevaluate your donation.






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