NPR offends me; that’s the way it ought to be.
It exposes me to views with which I sometimes disagree;
If it served up pap and pablum, then it’s not the place for me;
I can get my fill of that stuff on TV.
It’s accused of being leftist by the listeners on the right;
And of being too conservative, and maybe too uptight,
By the bleeding-hearts and liberals who notice every slight,
Though it’s really not a case of black and white.
Now republicans will do their best to knock it off the air
Or at least remove the funding that’s the governmental share,
As they try to take advantage of a hidden camera snare
And to do it while the public’s unaware.
I like NPR. A lot. Partly, I like it because it goes places I wish I could, and allows me to expand my world by proxy. Partly, I like it because it exposes me to things I wouldn’t have chosen to expose myself to. It is altogether too easy to find a news source that agrees with the position you already hold; what with cable news and entertainment, satellite radio, and the internet, you could live your days in an echo chamber of your own choice.
NPR doesn’t allow that. Along with having a little something for everyone to enjoy (P.T. Barnum’s recipe for success), NPR offers a little something to offend everyone. Just look at the website comments on their stories. The accusations of bias come from all directions, with each listener an oasis of rationality in a desert of unthinking idiots. Now, I appreciate being offended, and even I am occasionally gob-smacked by their choices. For instance, last week’s piece on Ken Ham’s creationist theme park proposal was presented as straightforward news, when by rights it should have been accompanied by the mother of all laugh tracks. But as I said, I don’t need radio to tell me what I already believe; I need it to expand my world, not bunker it. This is too important to leave up to the market that gives us all the echo chambers. Tell your congressweasel, and tell them Cuttlefish sent you.
So NPR offends me. Good for them. I try to have a little something on this blog to offend everyone, too. If you find yourself agreeing with me on every issue, let me know and I’ll try harder.