5.30.2004

Hmmmmm: very interesting: What Sandra Tsing Loh says about working at NPR:

"That was just a toxic, fear-based culture."

Facts:

1. Sandra Tsing Loh is way funnier than almost anything on NPR.

2. She got fired from KCRW in LA because an engineer forgot to bleep an obscenity from her essay as she instructed him to.

3. KCRW had no problem airing Dennis Hopper purposely uttering same obscenity two years previous.

4. Under the new FCC rules, KCRW could be fined $500,000 for this mistake. (What a genius way to curtail free speech--charge the only quasi-non-corporate funded voices huge percentages of their annual budgets for technical gaffes.)

5. What Tsing Loh says about NPR's culture:

"Right, when you just go, 'OH MY WORD.' It's not that we don't all love chess, and crossword puzzles, and funny little news quizzes with puns, and discussions of cobbler we had in Alabama in the old days. It's not that there isn't a place for that. But perhaps NPR should just look and see if we can't change the ratio of pieces on antique baseball cards to cobbler ... [fuddy-duddy voice] crossword-puzzly puzzle ... lame humor. How many funny little news quizzes do we need over the week? It's just a little bit of a bowtie nation."

It is my opinion that 72% of NYT Book Review reviews being about books by men, and 80-90% of New Yorker magazine bylines being male fit into this same sort of NPR fuddy-duddy culture: this insistence, in the high-culture forms of media whose audiences are mostly educated, wealthy, and white (and female? Do more women listen to NPR than men? Hmmmm. . . )on a reality that is decades removed from what is actually going on.

--Elizabeth


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