Off-Topic: NPR Blechs (was Ooops!)

A. Vine avine at ENG.SUN.COM
Mon Aug 2 22:36:20 UTC 1999

Evan Morris wrote:
> About 3 years ago I spent some time trying to figure out why NPR annoyed me
> so much, and I realized that it was (aside from their inexplicable and
> undeserved reputation for "depth") something I can only call the "NPR
> simper."  It's that cloying, pedantic sing-song all their newsreaders
> affect, addressing the audience as if it were composed of intelligent but
> recalcitrant children.  I believe Susan Stamberg invented it, but the last
> time I listened to an NPR newscast, _every single one_ of their
> "personalities" was speaking in that smarmy sing-song.  Listen for it --
> it'll make you want to drop-kick your radio out the nearest window.

I noticed this tonality too.  I figured they all were trained specifically to
talk like that.  Mind you, BBC reporters also have a particular song.  Even
Monty Python would mimic this song when doing mock news reporting; unfortunately
that's where I heard it first, and have trouble taking the BBC reporters
seriously sometimes.

BTW, my husband can't stand Terry Gross of Fresh Air.  Unfortunately she comes
on when we're listening to the radio in the morning.  It's enough to get us into
work earlier!

> BBC World Service, Radio Netherlands and Radio Canada Intl. are all
> excellent.  My satellite system (we're too far out in the boonies for
> cable) carries the BBC America TV channel, which is mostly rubbish, but the
> daily evening newscast is everything US TV news is not -- just news, no
> swooping graphics, no majestic theme music.  There's more news in one BBC
> half-hour than there is in a week of NBC, CBS, CNN, etc.

Our local public TV station gives us BBC World News from 6-7 PM.  Plus a fair
amount of BBC programming.

Andrea Vine
Sun-Netscape Alliance messaging i18n architect
avine at
I always wanted to be an architect. }sigh{  Of course, I _am_ an architect.

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