Off-Topic: NPR Blechs (was Ooops!)

Evan Morris words1 at WORD-DETECTIVE.COM
Sat Jul 31 14:59:27 UTC 1999

At 09:40 AM 7/31/99 , Grant Barrett wrote:


>"The World" may have also a new host, but I wouldn't know because I
>couldn't stand Lisa Mullins and stopped listening a long time ago. Her
>chortling, synthetically crispy voice and self-indulgent delight every
>time she chewed off another cliché, bad pun, useless wordplay or other
>meaningless time-filler left me in real pain (mainly from banging my head
>against the wall).

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.

>This is why I took to listening to the BBC World Service more than 15
>years ago. Of course, I still find myself shouting at the radio (the first
>interactive medium, I believe) when they say something foolish (and they do).
>All done. Thanks.

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.

Evan Morris
words1 at

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