April 20, 2010

npr war porn

This little story has been on a slow burn for a while now. I used to live in LA up until nearly three years ago. There are not many nice things about traffic in the city of Lost Angels. I can only think of one. You know what I am talking about, the good old companion of the road more traveled: NPR. Untold are the days that Larry Mantle made more interesting and thoughtful.
When I left LA my next stop was Phoenix, as of today state with the honor of enforcing the most restrictive illegal immigrant laws in the land, and where my (lefty) radio is like the East Goths to the West Goths - further right.
So I was looking forward with some gusto to arriving in Seattle after returning to work last year in January. I thought, well, this is an independently streaked lefty state. Exactly what I need, because San Francisco was like Alabama.
You can imagine my chagrin when I was confronted with repeated versions of what can only be called War Porn. Something I thought was confined to the long waves. Far be it from me to judge the merits of such programs (I hate them), but what is more important, is that NPR never used to broadcast sob stories of the good soldier before. Until Barak Obama was elected.
So not only do I have to eat my words in regards to the left bias of the media, I also have to assume that NPR was equally manipulative in its actions before this. Did you ever hear a story of a soldier who died in the wars, and what an excellent person he was, and how people will miss him, and how he always helped the underdogs, and was a natural leader, and helped pick up the books of a kid that was being picked on in school? Right, never. In fact, the opposite was the truth, there seemed a much higher willingness to dehumanize the soldiers of the USA. Considering that my traffic radio time here is roughly 10 % of what it was in LA, I can only hope that this sort of thing is just done more often here in the PNW. Except that I really only listen to a national program just before Marketplace (way to many adds these days, what do I donate for?) at 6.30, so there isn't really much time to get a healthy dose of the we love our soldiers fair. Yet, this drivel is fed to me, and I admit it plays with my emotions too which may be why I dislike it so, on a quite frequent basis. I remember the kid that used to go wild ginger hunting in some godforsaken beautiful eastcoast redneck/Indian hero setting. Then he came back in a bag.
I wonder what the statistics of a survey of NPR stories would result in. Can we get some eager communications graduate to count npr war porn please? I would love to be wrong this time. But like my friend Z. says "I am always right, once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken".

Disclaimer 1: No, I am not talking about getting off on war when I talk about War Porn.
Disclaimer 2: Stop playing bugles to make me feel bad for a kid whose only mission in life was to kill or be killed. Brave, gallant even, but I would prefer some real porn any day of the week.

Footnote 1: Here is the only other guy writing about War Porn. A somewhat different outlook on matters should be assumed.