Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Why I listen to NPR

… during the pledge drive.

I am a news junkie (surprise, surprise) and all day I listen to the radio. A variety of stations, News (weather on the 8s), AM talk, FM talk, and NPR. They are all great at keeping my brain engaged while I sit alone in my office doing some very boring accounting.

One really great feature to living in a major media market is the wide choice of radio that can help to keep me up to date on the news and opinions of the day. Granted the variety is not as great as what can be found on blogs but… my boss might fire me if I spend all day reading blogs! Listening to the radio is acceptable behavior.

I even enjoy listening to the pledge drive. It amuses me to hear the desperation in the voices of the presenters as they come this close to offering their virginity for a ‘dollar a day’ pledge. So now you know my secret. I am amused by the desperation that pours out of my speakers during pledge week. One year they even got to me and I contributed to my local NPR station. A mistake I will not be repeating.

The annoying part of pledge week is when they get all ‘if we didn’t do it nobody would’. If NPR disappeared tomorrow and no commercial radio station grew to replace it that would be a sign that nobody should. The self satisfied ‘look at how pure and good we are’ vibe is more than a little off putting.

This year the annoyance level hit a new high and has actually led me to call the pledge number and lodge a complaint. On Tuesday afternoon during the pledge break just before 5pm the presenters told (part of) the story about Bill O’Reilly’s interview with Terry Gross of Fresh Air. They did not include the fact that even NPR’s own ombudsman has called the interview “Unfair” and stated that Terry Gross used unethical techniquest that are not acceptable at NPR.

From there perspective Bill O’Reilly was at turns a bully who tried to shout down Terry, and a crybaby for walking out of the interview and complaining about the tone. In the end my local NPR rep stated “just because Bill O’Reilly wanted to use his appearance on NPR for his own EVIL purposes (did I say Evil? That is what I meant because we all know it is true.) Terry Gross would not let him.” paraphrased

Perhaps I am missing something but… I don’t see what this has to do with raising money to support the local stations subscription to “All Things Considered”. I would imagine that many of the listeners during the rush hour do not listen to Terry Gross mid-day.

I could not resist next time they gave the pledge number so I called the pledge line to lodge a complaint. I was shocked that an organization that refuses to call the murderer of a 2 year old in their be a ‘terrorist’ (always militant, always) would so casually call a conservative ‘evil’. The pledge volunteer was very nice and took down my information promising to pass it on to the the ‘listener services representative’. I can’t wait to see if they get back to me – that is sure to be a fun conversation.

When the workers have no script some interesting biases come peeking through. I know it is not a surprise but it is fun to catch them at it regardless of their protestations that NPR is completely ‘unbiased’. Because of that I would recommend that you listen to the NPR pledge drive too.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Bloggers Block

Blogging has greatly increased my respect fro professional writers. In particular, I have no idea how Lileks can be so consistently genius for so many columns a week!

In the past I never thought much about ‘writers block’… until I experienced it.

Lately, I can think of great ideas for my blog when I am driving, or working, or having a conversation with a friend. These have been great ideas – that spring to my mind fully formed. Then when I get in front of a computer - - nothing.

I think that I got a bit freaked out when I got several pieces of e-mail in one day. I realized that people were actually reading my blog. Since then I have felt a bit of ‘performance anxiety’. I think that the best way to resolve this in the future is to do my best to just keep writing. Stop thinking about what other people might think and the hell with grammatical errors and typos!

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Wait until next year...


Monday, October 06, 2003

CUBS WIN !!!!!!!

I imagine that anyone who has not been a Cubs fan cannot understand what winning the series with the Braves means to those of us who are.

The Cubs have not won a playoff game on the road since 1945… let alone to win a series of games against the winningest team in regular season play. This year the Cubs are actually paying baseball – not just participating in their usual “Marketing Exercise”.

Now the Cubs will be playing against the Florida Marlins. I have to say that I fell very confident about this match-up. It doesn’t hurt that this afternoon I was watching Back to the Future II (I love the 80s) and the amazing news of 2015 was that the Cubs beat Miami for the World Series. I take that as a sign… that this Marlins – Cubs match up is destined to be won by our boys in blue.

Ideally, the next step would be a Cubs – Red Sox World Series. I would venture to call that the ultimate baseball history championship.