Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

James O’Keefe antics proves MSM needs NPR and PBS to cover its mistakes

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ACORN, NPR — these have been the targets of James O’Keefe. Amazingly, the MSM (more alphabet soup) treats O’Keefe as a “journalist” even if the other set of videos he did were heavily edited. And his NPR videos were heavily edited.

The NPR are the latest in attacks against it and PBS by Republicans, because, well, they aren’t the MSM. They actually try and get out of the mainstream voices into the media. They don’t toe the GOP line like the MSM does way too often.

This isn’t to say that NPR and PBS are perfect or even that good. They have been better but have suffered due to financial pressure, including the reduction in funding, and political pressure.

The way that the MSM treats James O’Keefe, as if he is one of them, is all the more reason why NPR and PBS need to receive federal funding, and get a raise.

Consumers complain about the funding drives of NPR stations and the mindless self-help and doo-wop programming during PBS pledge drives. Add to this the pseudo-commercials that they both run, and consumers scratch their heads in frustration.

NPR and PBS have the best chances to thrive with the least pressure. The better examples are BBC and CBC, though the Conservatives in Canada, currently in charge of the minority government, have put political pressure on the CBC.

Those on the right freak out over “government ownership” of anything, whether it temporary helps out auto manufacturers or NPR or PBS. Of course, the conversation would be more relevant if they knew that the government doesn’t own NPR or PBS or the car companies.

There is funding, not ownership. Ownership is where there is accountability, funding — not so much. And NPR and PBS don’t receive that much funding.

The BBC and CBC manage to better report on what is going on in the government than their commercial counterparts. Same goes for NPR and PBS, to a lesser degree. NPR and PBS are less effective than their British and Canadian siblings, but the U.S. commercial networks are less effective as well.

The alternative media is doing a really good job in pointing out the bias and flaws of the MSM, but they are portrayed at “blogosphere” — as if they don’t really count. Then again, the MSM thinks James O’Keefe is more credible than Slate or Salon or the lefty sites.

And because that isn’t true, all the more reason why NPR and PBS need all the help they can get — free from political pressure — to cover what is going on in the world. Someone in the public eye needs to fix what the MSM can’t find, much less fix.

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Written by democracysoup

March 23, 2011 at 7:39 am

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