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Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:34 AM

Why Some Public Radio Supporters Won't Be Donating to NPR This Year

http://www.alternet.org/media/why-some-public-radio-supporters-wont-be-donating-npr-year




For more than 20 years, Dennis Higgins of Otego, NY has donated to NPR. Last year he gave about $500. But this year, he was uneasy after hearing NPR continuously plug the American Natural Gas Alliance, a fracking advocacy organization.

“NPR has a little plug,” Higgins said. “Something like: ‘To our supporter ANGA and their commitment to the environment and jobs in the United States.’”

Higgins is an assistant professor of computer science and mathematics at SUNY Oneonta. He wouldn’t call himself an environmental activist, but his area is at risk of being affected by fracking, so he and his wife stay up-to-date on the issue. They went to all the town board meetings to establish a moratorium in his county, motivated, they say, by their love for the natural beauty of the region as well as their family.

“I have a family. I have young children. …We have a farm. We have horses and cows and chickens. And I’m thinking, my kids have to drink this water, my animals have to drink this water. So we’re looking at it like that.”

46 replies, 4359 views

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Arrow 46 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why Some Public Radio Supporters Won't Be Donating to NPR This Year (Original post)
xchrom Jan 2013 OP
sendero Jan 2013 #1
xchrom Jan 2013 #2
KG Jan 2013 #8
Berlum Jan 2013 #10
snot Jan 2013 #23
liberalmike27 Jan 2013 #31
question everything Jan 2013 #37
Dyedinthewoolliberal Jan 2013 #42
dooner Jan 2013 #46
fredamae Jan 2013 #3
Scuba Jan 2013 #4
Heidi Jan 2013 #5
xchrom Jan 2013 #6
Heidi Jan 2013 #9
Paladin Jan 2013 #7
tavalon Jan 2013 #29
rosesaylavee Jan 2013 #11
Festivito Jan 2013 #12
digonswine Jan 2013 #16
Greybnk48 Jan 2013 #25
digonswine Jan 2013 #45
mtasselin Jan 2013 #13
bemildred Jan 2013 #14
snot Jan 2013 #24
TheKentuckian Jan 2013 #39
bemildred Jan 2013 #41
aikoaiko Jan 2013 #15
valerief Jan 2013 #17
dotymed Jan 2013 #20
KansDem Jan 2013 #26
geckosfeet Jan 2013 #18
Plucketeer Jan 2013 #21
Plucketeer Jan 2013 #19
tavalon Jan 2013 #30
Orrex Jan 2013 #22
1gobluedem Jan 2013 #27
dorkzilla Jan 2013 #32
blueclown Jan 2013 #34
sendero Jan 2013 #43
1gobluedem Jan 2013 #44
tavalon Jan 2013 #28
greiner3 Jan 2013 #33
gulliver Jan 2013 #35
glinda Jan 2013 #36
bvar22 Jan 2013 #38
LWolf Jan 2013 #40

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:53 AM

1. Where to start...

.... I have many thoughts about this article and probably not the time/energy to organize them so this will be more of a core dump.

I stopped sending money to our local NPR affiliate in 2002 after 17 years of consistent donation. I did so after an "interview" with Colin Powell was aired. Powell lied his ass off, clear as day, I knew it and the "journalist" doing the interview had to know it also. I expected some kind of pushback, there was none. To his credit Powell later more or less admitted his lies.

This was not the first such incident, NPR did America no favors in the runup to the Iraq II war. Their editorial content had gone off the rails with recurring commentary from the Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, American Enterprise Institute and the National Review. I could live with this right-wing stink-tank bullshit if there was an equivalent voice from the left but that didn't happen.

I still listen to NPR because as bad as they suck there isn't really anything better around here. Their reporting is still full of bias and holes but perhaps not quite as bad as it was 10 years ago. I have heard numerous reports on fracking and they seemed to me to be reasonably balanced, maybe not perfect but definitely not puff pieces for the industry.

NPR says it has to have corporate money as a bulwark against the possible loss of Federal money. IMHO WHY WOULD THEY WANT EITHER? Corporate or Federal money both have the insidious potential to create bias. They made a fatal mistake when they didn't decide to remain fiercely independent and rely on listeners to step up. I know I can and would have. Now, they are in a death trap where their content is compromised and they are losing support because of that. It is hard to feel sorry for them.

All my simple opinion of course.

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Response to sendero (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:55 AM

2. +1

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Response to sendero (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:33 AM

8. spent 2002 in a place where NPR was the best thing going. the fear mongering and war cheerleading

made the news / editorial portions sickening to listen to.

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Response to sendero (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:42 AM

10. + 2

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Response to sendero (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:48 AM

23. I fear R-wing infiltration or even take-over of their Board(s); this

has happened to many nonprofits as well, like the American Red Cross.

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Response to sendero (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:27 AM

31. Thank Bush

He made changes to NPR and PBS I believe, to make them far more conservative, to try to mold them into a Dem v. Rep format, instead of a truthful outlet.

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Response to sendero (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:09 PM

37. This is the only radio station we listen

the classical music one.

The rest are junk.

So we put our money where our mouths are..



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Response to sendero (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 01:42 PM

42. That's why I support local, community radio in my area.

If there isn't one in your area, find one on line. Community radio is waaaayyyy better than NPR because it is not a huge, corporate (which NPR is) operation that needs contributions from companies like these, trying to buy a little good PR........

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Response to sendero (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:40 PM

46. Very strongly agree with all your points


I'm still angry about NPR's coverage of the run-up to the Iraq war, it was shameful. They did not pursue the truth, but
seemed to just lazily follow the herd. I could have done better than their reporters!

I still listen to NPR and like their news coverage better than other radio or tv news, but I'm always aware that they are not 100% reliable.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:11 AM

3. NPR is no longer

what we believe it was. NPR lost my interest several years ago as well, in fact-I won't even listen to them anymore.
They are becoming "like a fox with a softer tone"

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:12 AM

4. I quit donating when the hosts quit calling out the lies.

It's now National Republican Radio.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:22 AM

5. Kick!

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Response to Heidi (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:26 AM

6. mornin, Miss Thing! double Air Kiss

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Response to xchrom (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:37 AM

9. Mornin', dear!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:32 AM

7. NPR Is A Pathetic Shadow Of What It Used To Be.


Yet another once-great media resource, gone by the wayside.....

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Response to Paladin (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:22 AM

29. Innit?

I have a friend who is a die hard liberal but doesn't see how NPR took a sharp right turn. It's infuriating that they can pull the wool over so many peoples eyes.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:51 AM

11. K&R

I miss what it was.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:55 AM

12. Trouble is, what else do we have? My local progressive station was torn down.

Clear channel "donated" the station call letters to a "minority" group, then quickly tore down the antennas and disposed of the equipment a few days after new years.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1058594

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Response to Festivito (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:32 AM

16. If you can-

stream WPR's(Wisconsin Public Radio) Ideas Network online. Their morning shows are quite good and very listenable. They get great guests as well. You only get NPR content during news breaks.

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Response to digonswine (Reply #16)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:08 AM

25. Agree! WPR is it for me too.

NPR went Bushy/Repug years ago.

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Response to Greybnk48 (Reply #25)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:59 PM

45. I suppose the only problem would be-

that there is a fair percentage of WI-based news and content. Those in other states may not care so much for that. There is plenty of non-WI content, though.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:11 AM

13. Not me

We used to give about $500 a year but not no more. NPR has become an arm of the republican party. The one thing you could count on was getting the truth from npr but not no more, when the time comes when it gets turned over to the people again that is when I will start giving again.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:18 AM

14. Yes, like the BBC they were made useless though fear of the loss of government funding. nt

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Response to bemildred (Reply #14)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:53 AM

24. Re- the BBC, changes were also made in system-critical governing rules –

I tried to interest DU'er's et al., but was pooh-poohed.

After the BBC had gone after Blair re- lying the Brits into Iraq, its governing rules were changed to the effect that, among other things, (1) Trustees to the BBC's governing Board would be appointed by the Prime Minister, and (2) programming could be outsourced to private companies.

And to me, the quality of its news coverage seems to have deteriorated.

Before that, I also had no luck interesting DU'er's in supporting legislation aimed at restoring the Fairness Doctrine and restrictions on consolidation of media ownership.

I guess people find systemic issues boring, or at least less interesting than more lurid topics; but it's the systemic stuff that determines everything else.

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Response to snot (Reply #24)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 01:28 PM

39. I think a lot of folks need small bites they can digest.

Structures and systems have too great a scope.

We also lack the politics to cope with such things, ours is one that at best can agrees symptoms and at worse is reactive in a way that feeds back on structural flaws.

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Response to snot (Reply #24)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 01:38 PM

41. Yes, it was politicized, Blair should hang for that alone. nt

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:26 AM

15. Still better than most news on the radio

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:52 AM

17. NPR has been right wing since Bush the Dumb was selected. nt

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Response to valerief (Reply #17)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:32 AM

20. Exactly bush, like reagan and poppy

know the value of propaganda. Bush packed the board of directors and even the NPR manager was a rw'er. He destroyed NPR just like reagan destroyed MSM by having The Fairness Doctrine repealed.

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Response to valerief (Reply #17)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:15 AM

26. I gave up on NPR during the 2000 campaign...

...when Cokie Roberts "reported" on the Bush Charm Offensive.

If elected, she said he would get things done in DC using his "charm."

Oh, and he liked to give out nicknames, too!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:24 AM

18. Duh.

On edit: they do throw out a few progressive bones just before any major election. But otherwise I think that their news and some of the programming has a clear rw tilt. Depends on regional station too though. We have a local station (WICN) that is for the most part a music station and they steer clear of most openly political positions. Seems like they try to air syndicated programs that are less politically aligned.

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #18)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:35 AM

21. This has been my experience too

Here we have KVPR to tune to, and the CLOSEST they come to airing something of a true political slant is "Left, Right & Center" on Saturday afternoons.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:31 AM

19. I certainly hear some imperfect things on NPR

I also know I don't live THE PERFECT life myself. But living in a blood red portion of an otherwise blue state, what am I to listen to when I'm not at this keyboard? I like the sort of music I can find on NPR that rednecks don' cotton to and I don't feel as tho I should have to subscribe to satellite radio. Fate knows I spend too damned much for Sat TV to get the tiny handfull of channels (like FSTV and Current) that we like to watch.
Yeah - NPR's FAR from perfect pitch, but when I'm in my car or out in the shop - they beat the hell out of the Hee-Haw and raw noise alternatives on the dial.

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Response to Plucketeer (Reply #19)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:23 AM

30. Pacifica

on your computer.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:40 AM

22. I stopped donating because of their shocking Liberal bias

ha ha.

As several others have stated, I don't have much of a choice, radio-wise. A station in Pittsburgh broadcasts Democracy Now, but with so little powef that you can't pick it up more than ten miles from downtown. I can get BBC World News for about five minutes of my nightly commute home. Other that that, it's NPR or nothing.

Obviously they've shifted toward a soft-glove handling of Conservative issues and commentators. They seldom challenge Republican distortions or talking points, if ever. Now, they don't challenge Democrats either, but Dems don't lie as aggressively, so what might seem like a level playing field is actually a big advantage for Repubs.

In addition, NPR has taken to airing long puff pieces about everything from cookbooks to actor bios, and this sucks up airtime that might otherwise have been used for political news.

It's been a long downward slope, that's for sure.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:15 AM

27. Donations support local stations, not NPR

I'm the GM of a public radio station. My station and many others use listener contributions to pay for local programs and personnel. We use our federal grant to pay for NPR. If listeners stopped giving because of dissatisfaction with NPR they would lose the local shows they do like.

Many stations have funds that aren't used to pay the network. You can ask your local station about that.

I personally think that NPR is overcompensating for the perceived liberal bias whenever the federal funding issue arises (even though that money goes to CPB, not NPR). I have spoken to some of my fellow GMs about this and we've raised these issues with the board. There is a new board in place and, thanks to Mittens, federal funding seems more secure than it has in awhile. That will help.

I understand the frustration with NPR and share much of it. But your lack of support won't hurt them; it'll hurt your local station much more.

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Response to 1gobluedem (Reply #27)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:32 AM

32. Exactly

Last edited Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:13 PM - Edit history (1)

My local NPR affiliate is the awesome WNYC. I stopped listening to Morning Edition and All Things Considered but WNYC has some great original syndicated programming, including On the Media, Studio 360 and Radiolab. Also some great local programs like Leonard Lopate, Brian Lehrer, Soundcheck with John Schaefer. I wish they'd get Jonathan Schwartz off the air though...he takes up the better part of programming on Sunday and I for one don't want to hear someone drone on about how great Sinatra is.

Edited to clarify: OTM, Studio 360 and RadioLab are PRODUCED by WNYC, and syndicated to other stations, like WHYY's Fresh Air and WBUR's Car Talk.

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Response to dorkzilla (Reply #32)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:09 AM

34. Love Leonard Lopate and Brian Lehrer.

They do an absolute terrific job at their jobs. IN a just world, they would be just as popular as Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity.

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Response to 1gobluedem (Reply #27)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 02:42 PM

43. Uh..

... if you are hearing the NPR produced content, Morning Edition, All Things Considered, etc., your local affiliate is paying a LOT OF MONEY to air those shows. So the idea that your donation is used locally is simply incorrect.

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Response to sendero (Reply #43)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 02:52 PM

44. Sorry, it's not an 'idea'

We pay for NPR out of our CPB grant at my station. We pay our fifteen local hosts out of our donor fund. Over 60% of our programming is locally produced and hosted.

Most stations use their CPB grants to pay for network programming. Obviously, those that are all-network use other funds too. But many stations, mine included, still produce much of their own content and pay for it with donor funds.

I've been in the business for 22 years. I know what our funds are used for.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:20 AM

28. Whoops, NPR just outed themselves

I stopped listening a few years ago when I noticed a sharp right turn.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:03 AM

33. Every time there's a thread on NPR;

On DU, there's this usual shit storm from the usual posters.

It's true, there are SOME segments of shows I would not call 'progressive.'

However, these segments of shows and are only limited to the news cycles of the moment.

Also, I'd call ALL NPR moderators to be a 'fair and balanced' lot. In other words, they do have interviewees (nearly always Republicans and Progressives interviewees. On the rare occasion there's only the Progressive guest, there's the ubiquitous disclaimer that an appropriate Republican guest declined to be 'interviewed.').

Much of the time, the moderators will call 'BULL SHIT.' They do this for both sides. Maybe it is this type of action (which is the ONLY way it should be) that gets these DU'ers goat.

In particular, which of these show do these posters have a problem with?

Morning Edition; A REAL news program.

All Things Considered; With hosts Robert Siegel, Michele Norris and Melissa Block, I challenge you to find anything but 'fair and balanced' talk and stories.

Fresh Air; Anyone calling Terry anything but entertaining has a HUGE problem with me!

Car Talk; DUH

On Point; With moderator Tom Ashbrook. He is great and will challenge any and all, callers AND guests.

Talk of the Nation; What's your problem with Neal Conan?

Science Friday; Get it, Science?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Weekend Edition; Just a Republican leaning show celebrating and promoting pure capitalization.

Market Place Money; Another great show on the real life stories of finance and not a rehash of all that's wrong with shows such as 'Market Day' on MSNBC, Bloomberg and of course 'Fox Business.'

Radio Lab; Come on, anyone having listened to this wonderful show can't be serious when they call out NPR as being anything but Progressive.

TED Radio Hour; Other than that MINOR, and solitary, problem, this is a GREAT show.

Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me; TOTALLY Progressive leaning!

This American Life; If you think there is ANYTHING but great shows and stories you are mentally challenged!

A Prairie Home Companion; Again, totally Progressive leaning

StoryCorps; These are actually recordings of CDs stored in the Library of Congress. WTF is the problem here?

World Caft; I can't recall much of this show, but.....

Planet Money; Not another rehash of capitalism;

BBC News Hour; Ahhhhhhhhhh, what's the problem here?

Ask Me Another; 'Humor in a Jugular Vein'.

Toast of the Nation; Great show!

Travel With Rick Steves; Sometimes they do talk of traveling to non Progressive locations such as Europe, etc...

On the Media; 'While maintaining the civility and fairness that are the hallmarks of public radio, OTM tackles sticky issues with a frankness and transparency that has built trust with listeners and led to more than a tripling of its audience in five years.'

The various music programs during the 'off hours;'

There are several NPR shows that don't make it to my local NPR station; WOSU. Maybe it are these shows that these DU'ers are objecting to. But if this is the case, the few I have not listed most certainly are not the reason have such a diatribes about.

Speaking of this superb and nationally recognized station, WOSU (as the call letters imply, OSU supported (sorry about you Michigan fans ;p), there are wonderful and highly professional shows and interviewers in their own right;

Morning Edition;

All Sides With Ann Fisher; Ann could do a national NPR (TOO Left leaning to make it to regular TV) spot. If she did make the transition, Columbus would lose a local treasure, she is that good.

Columbus on the Record;

Humankind;

And as I mentioned above, there are some shows on WOSU I've never had the privileged to listen to.

There is another local NPR station, WCBE. This station is mostly other than classical music orientated. It does have some shows duplicated on WOSU but mostly music.

I have tuned in to this station (not my favorite of the two) on Sunday mornings. Once, there was a church service where the preacher went off on a homophobic rant. WTF?

Also, there is a sister station of WOSU that does play NOTHING but classical music; How dare they! Typical fascistic brain washing (I've actually heard some Wagner!).

So PLEASE, PLEASE, let me know what exactly the reason/reasons you hate NPR.

Oh, a couple of PSs here;

It is true there was a Republican Appointee during the Bush years (can't remember the name). During his tenure, his political bent showed through, some. This is no longer the case.

Gary Knell, president and CEO of Sesame Workshop is now the CEO of NPR. Oh wait, Sesame Street, you're right, another fascistic type!

He replaced Vivian Schiller. Vivian was forced to resign after, gasp, she was slammed by Republicans as promoting 'too much' of a Progressive stance; the horror, the horror.

And as to the point of the OP, NPR CANNOT refuse to air a corporation's 'message.' Any donated money from such gets so many plugs per cycle of giving.

I too detest fracking for the its MANY evils. My major is in Ecology (from OSU thank you very much!). I attended one of the IPP lectures and was enthralled.

I have been convinced, and knowledgeable, of Climate Change since reading an article 20 years ago penned by Carl Sagan on this topic.


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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:41 AM

35. Best thing going.

I don't even listen to the plugs, but I do spend a few hours a week listening to NPR programming. It can't be beat. NPR is an oasis in a desert of schlock. I will keep donating.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:05 PM

36. Same here. I don't like that and the pro-wolf killing segments.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:46 PM

38. Stopped donating years ago due to the "soft sell" of Consumerism.

...but have to admit some guilt.
I still regularly listen to Car Talk and Prairie Home Companion.
I guess I am one of the 47% who RMoney accused of FreeLoading.


Both Car Talk and Prairie Home Companion are broadcast every Saturday night
beginning at 4PM Central for Car Talk,
followed by Prairie Home at 5PM Central.
Both have become part of our regular Saturday ritual.
It no longer feels like Saturday on the rare occasion when we miss these shows.

Tune In for some wonderful entertainment.
There are some minor differences in time slots,
so check the programing of the station you select.
Since we used to live in St Paul, we listen to those shows Over-the-Net on Minnesota Public Radio,
or sometimes on Wisconsin Public Radio.

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/

http://www.wpr.org/

...but any NPR carrier (Internet or FM) should be broadcasting those shows at about the same time.


Be advised that Prairie Home Companion has these Corporate Sponsors featured in its shows:

*Powdermilk Biscuits

*The American Duct Tape Council

*Chatterbox Cafe

*Lake Wobegon Camber of Commerce & Tourism

* Ketchup Advisory Board

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 01:30 PM

40. And

when I checked in on tv last week, they were airing a beautiful, bucolic, LONG psa/"commercial" explaining just how Monsanto is such a help to farmers and the environment.

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