Saturday, May 28, 2011

Grass Cutting and Podcasts

When did it get so dry? I was cutting the grass and listening to some podcasts on my iPod. Dust was flying everywhere -- but it just rained Thursday. Oh well.

First up was Marketplace. It was the first time I’ve heard Ky Ryssdal (the host) get a little testy.

It started with this bit from Felix Salmon of Reuters’:

On the slow GDP growth:

FELIX SALMON: We're not growing. We're not creating jobs. We're not having a vibrant recovery. Often, when you look at other countries, they tend to grow very fast after having a big economic drop, because people will just bounce back to where they were before. Doesn't seem to be happening here. In the real economy -- outside of Wall Street, which is making loads of money -- you know, there doesn't seem to be growth.”

It case you missed it, that ties in nicely with my last blog. You’ll have to listen to the podcast to hear Ky’s outburst about the debt ceiling while he was trying to separate Felix and Marketplace’s New York Bureau Chief, Heidi Moore.

Next up was Neal Conan with Talk of the Nation.

Audio Book Sales Climb In Spite Of Competition

I was interested in it because my father has some vision problems after suffering a stroke several years ago. But it ties in nicely with what I was saying about the voice inside your head a few blogs ago.

”Mr. GUIDALL: That's correct. And in people's heads, what happens is that there is a very specific relationship built with the listener, and often times you'll hear people say I want a book by George Guidall or Tom Stech Schulte or whoever their favorite narrator is because a bond has happened between this person bringing them some kind of emotional experience and the listener's empathy with that.”

It’s interesting to see how the one medium appeals to so many different people for so many different reasons. Give it a listen.

Finally, I got to Science Friday with Ira Flato. This show was President Kennedy's "Moon Speech" Turns 50. The money and the politics behind it all are fascinating. A dozen different thoughts for blogs hit me from this show alone.

But the thought that is most important for this moment is that this is the kind of programming that the Republican Party wants to cut. In case it hasn’t hit you, all three of these program are carried on National Public Radio. They’re on every day. Think about the quality of these three programs. Can you name me a television network or radio station that can compare? Fox? CNN? MSNBC? Not even close. And the Republicans want to kill it. The cold hard truth is “The Market” is incapable of producing this kind of quality. Perhaps that’s a bad choice of words. I’m sure for-profit companies could produce this kind of programming. The point is that they don’t. They chase profits. Conflict. Sensationalism. Sex. Scandal. These things are more profitable than Reason, Education, or Science.

Anyway, I thought I’d chase down a video of the speech. This one has a little bonus at the end.

If all that looks incredibly old to you, imagine 500 years from now when they’ll look as primitive as the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria.

Don Brown
May 28, 2011

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