National Public Radio host Garrison Keillor (search) has his knickers in a twist about conservative radio hosts, who he describes in an article in The Nation as “…evil, lying, cynical bastards who are out to destroy the country I love and turn it into a banana republic, but hey, nobody's perfect.”
As for the listeners to whom the conservative hosts are speaking, Mr. Keillor says: “Republicans are in need of affirmation, they don't feel comfortable in America and they crave listening to people who think like them. Liberals actually enjoy living in a free society; tuning in to hear an echo is not our idea of a good time.”
And where does public radio fit into this vision of America? Well, of course, it’s nigh impossible to point to anything other than an echo of Mr. Keillor’s views coming from any of the other hosts at NPR. But that’s even true when the content of the show is comedic or utilitarian. “The best of what you find on public radio is authentic experience,” writes Mr. Keillor. “It has little to do with politics.”
He singles out the NPR show “Car Talk,” the co-host of which recently called President Bush what The Washington Post referred to as an “unprintable vulgarity.” Somehow it doesn’t seem unusual or unfair to Mr. Keillor that NPR is produced by and for people who think as he does. But last time we looked, NPR still had a mandate to broadcast views that reflect public opinion, not just the half of that public that echo Mr. Keillor's views.
And that’s the Observer.
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