After a substantial time listening to NPR, I just don’t at all get the common dismissal from the right that it’s leftist. It may be manned predominantly by people with a left ideology, but the programming I’ve been hearing for the last few months (and for a few years, off and on) is nothing of the sort. I’d call it moderate to slightly left most of the time, but fairer than most in providing audience to a diversity of viewpoints, including as far right as you care to imagine.
Mainly, I enjoy its depth of dialog. Often, it’s really kind of like an audio version of making my rounds of the blogs. And, of course, I frequent a number of blogs counter to my own ideology. There’s a number of reasons I do that. It’s not all about "knowing the enemy." There are times when I learn something new or gain a perspective I didn’t have before.
Here’s an example of the level of dialog I’m referring to. Press the listen button.
I used to listen to conservative talk radio: Savage, Hannity, Limbaugh, as well as a few local hosts. I just can’t do it anymore. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, before the real explosion in conservative talk, there was only Limbaugh, and a few local stations with a mix of "liberal" and conservative hosts. Usually, I could barely stand to listen to the "liberals" (quotes are to differentiate from classical enlightenment liberals, such as I), but sometimes could, often found something interesting or valuable with the moderates, and of course, as part of the choir, the conservatives spoke my language.
But then, whole stations began going either "liberal" or conservative. The big one here, KGO-810, used to have both libs and conservatives up until around 1995, or so, when they bought KSFO-560, moved all the conservatives over there, and then went to exclusively left programming. KSFO was exclusively conservative. At first, this seemed like just the thing. But recently, I just can’t take it anymore. Listening to the conservatives, truly, is no easier than listening to the lefties. It’s all just opposite sides of the same spectrum with lots of hate and vitriol, little genuine knowledge, and completely devoid of honesty. Everything is to make a point. There is no effort to enlighten, learn, persuade, or anything of the sort.
I’m disgusted with the whole lot of it.