"The Exchange," a New Hampshire Public Radio show did a feature on what local kids are doing coming of age during Covid. First up was a chair of the Young High School Democrats organisation; next, a teen who has been trying to do work for "diversity;" the third, one who worked on the Joe Biden campaign.
They do not even perceive their bias when it is this obvious. These are not mean people trying to suppress other voices, these are oblivious people who only perceive certain stories as worthy.
Of course, CS Lewis would argue that this is also a dishonesty, a self-dishonesty, an intellectual dishonesty that cannot perceive itself. It was a profound lesson for me to learn early on, that refusing to see oneself is also dishonest, and not a merely innocent error.
I wonder if there's a component to the bias that comes from not sampling groups that don't live for publicity. The FFA and 4H -- the chess club -- don't make PR part of their core functions. I can easily imagine the Young Democrats being extra eager to seek out the reporter. I'm not so sure about the ones that volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. They'd be happy to talk if the reporter sought them out, but...
And maybe another component is the reporter trying to figure out which groups his audience would be interested in. "Interested in" is a bigger deal than "curious about." The NPR audience might be curious about the FFA "hicks" but interested in the diversity intern.
Before COVID we had a new hire at the local NPR station start attending our church, she was also completely new to the region, which I thought might be a handicap for working as a local news reporter.
So I read the comment from james, and think "I bet it was just that the only people she knows with kids are the parents of these three kids".
That's just the NH NPR people doing their political version of the New Yorker cartoon:
These are not mean people trying to suppress other voices, these are oblivious people who only perceive certain stories as worthy.
These are the same people who have no problem digging up and publicizing the rants of a nutter like Marjorie Taylor Greene when such stories are useful. They absolutely know that other voices exist, and make darn sure they aren't heard if they don't fit the narrative.
I don't think that is true in this case, though it is often true of some in public radio, particularly at the national level. NH liberals have taken on the disdain of those elsewhere, but they didn't start that way. Some of us still remember
On long road trips I would occasionally tune to NPR and stay for some interesting story. But in recent years it became so upper middle class college town driven that the likelihood of a story without a political angle was slim. Fortunately, while spinning the radio dial you can pick out an NPR announcer within seconds by the forced laugh or contrived diction.
On a trip to Michigan I had a great comparison. On NPR there was a recycled CAR Talk show, where there was more talk about other things than cars (advice to younger women who had Subaru's with pet names). I switched to WJR from Detroit and got a car show with actual discussions about transmissions and real mechanical problems. No condescension or jokes for callers who were newbies, just good honest talk.
I used to listen to NHPR all the time because I do like to hear the different perspectives out there (drives my spouse crazy). But since I got a subscription Sirrius radio and I finally grew too tired of the mono-view features on NHPR, I'm just fine with sticking to Little Steven's Underground Garage, and the Sinatra channel (and the bluegrass, and 50s channel, and...). My blood pressure has been much better these last few years thank you.
I used to listen to my state NPR, and my local NPR, and Prairie Home Companion, but Keillor turned me off, and NPR turned me off, and I gave up listening to my local NPR, so I'm down to our two oldie-stations.
An interesting example from this week, NHPR had a program on eating less meat. But it wasn't about eating no meat, talked about the possible health difficulties of vegan and vegetarian diets, and the person interviewed stated the worry about the antibiotics being given to the animals was "mostly a myth." They did think eating less meat was a good thing, for you and for the environment, but they were so non-extremist about it that people were calling in on the other side, complaining that they "weren't being balanced" because they didn't give the all-meat-is-evil point of view.
I don't know how many other places the public radio stations could do that. Farm states, perhaps. (NH is not much of a farm state, unless you count rocks.) But we do it here.
Rocks. I always wondered how they grew. Now I know. Thank you, New Hampshire!
Outta Stater to NH Farmer: Where's all those rocks in your field come from?
Farmer: Glacier brung 'em.
Outta Stater: What are you going to do about it?
Farmer: Wait fer the next glacier to come and take 'em back.
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