Monday, February 09, 2009

NPR Planet Money podcast

You'll find some critique of This American Life below, but to be fair, there is some good stuff coming out of NPR and public radio as well. This American Life episode 355, "The Giant Pool of Money", did a fairly good job of explaining the housing bubble and its worldwide consequences (this episode aired in May 2008, before the financial panic of September).

This episode inspired a spinoff podcast, Planet Money. It updates three times a week, and episodes are 20-30 minutes long. The hosts focus on one or two pertinent economic themes, and they pull in various economists from different schools of thought to contribute. It is very well-done, with very little filler material.

Oh, and I note that Alex Blumberg (producer for This American Life) is listed as a contributing editor, and he frequently hosts the podcast. The NPR podcast, in case I hadn't mentioned that before. To my commenter from last year who tried to tell me that TAL was not an NPR product, please uncloak again and let me know how Mr. Blumberg works for both TAL and PM, if Chicago Public Radio stands independent of NPR. Oops.


Beorn said...

Wow. Your chest-thumping confrontational style would be enough to piss off Mother Teresa, so it's no wonder you get indignant responses on topics about which your assertions are demonstrably wrong, and get few people willing to engage someone so defiantly ignorant in intelligent conversation afterwards. After what I've seen of your obnoxious discourse, I'm hardly willing to attempt any sort of dialog with you either, so I'll just make my two points and be gone. This will allow you to respond, think you've shot down all pretenders to your King of Intellect throne, and sit back smugly even as future visitors continue to see right through all your unwarranted assertions and factual errors.

1. Your assertion that This American Life is biased hinges upon one statement by one subject on one episode. When Sari says, essentially, that despite her belief in America, she knows that Muslims are being treated poorly in many communities, you jump on this as though she was burning the flag and TAL was revelling in the moment. You completely ignore the Justice Department official who backs up her claim by saying that anti-Muslim actions did indeed rise sharply after 9/11. Understandable given the kind of blogger you are, I suppose; acknowledging this would shoot down your claim, and you're all about defending your own pre-formed conclusions regardless of the facts, and winning rather than actually being correct. The real question here is not why TAL feels the need to be anti-American; it isn't anti-American to discuss what happens in America, both good and bad.. The real question is why you feel the need to slap anyone with whom you disagree with your anti-American label, and why you apparently think that being a good American means defending the status quo, no matter what.

2. TAL is distributed by Public Radio International (PRI), not NPR. The two entities compete against each other to get programs aired on public radio. This is a common point of confusion, and you might be forgiven for making the mistake if you had not been such a bombastic, insulting jerk about making the assertion when you really didn't know what you were talking about. But just 30 seconds of research would have disabused you of this erroneous notion, and you didn't choose to do it. Instead, you attacked and belittled the folks who were trying to give you the correct information. "Oops," indeed. And no, I am not the person who originally told you that you were wrong. I found your blog while doing research on the TAL story because I wanted to read up on the Justice Department's response to the case--and just happened to be exasperated enough by the BS drivel you spew and the abuse you hurl at those who try to correct you, to respond to you in kind. Your ego is FAR too big for this to have any lasting effect on you, but it was worth taking the time to point out what a fool you are anyway. You may now continue your smug, superior life of proud ignorance, untroubled by the annoyances of facts, truth, or people with differing opinions.


GoHskrs said...