Friday, February 12, 2010

Still Not Interested In Renewing My Membership, Thanks

Nice Polite Republicans, caught out by Eric Alterman: "Zinn-ophobia at NPR."


Anonymous said... Here is the Zinn commentary I heard on NPR. I thought it fair. I agree with Alterman, too ideologically driven to be solid history. Boskin glosses over this by calling Zinn a synthesizer. Anyway, I'd argue that in most of the country, npr is the only antidote for wingnut radio. Check out WPR or Iowa public radio or Michigan public radio. Still a great service out there.

a fan from your BHTV comments,

J. Watson

Brendan said...

Thanks for stopping by, JW.

I don't mean to harsh on NPR too much, because I agree with you in general -- they are at least the best of what's available. It's also true that I still like and listen to some of their programs apart from their main news shows.

I also have to grant that I didn't listen* to what Alterman wrote about, so I'm only going on what he says. Still, though, his specifics sound legitimate to me, in particular the notion of having David Horowitz on during an obituary piece. That just smacked so much of NPR's ludicrous fetish for "balance" and cowering in the face of the right-wing noise machine -- elements which turned me from someone who listened to all of Morning Edition and All Things Considered seven days a week into someone who can barely stand to have either on for five minutes.

As to whether Zinn wrote "solid history," I am up in the air. I take the complaint about it being ideologically driven, and I could see how mainstream historians would view him as less a scholar than a polemicist. Still, A People's History remains for me a memorably eye-opening experience, and while I don't pretend that it tells the whole story, I maintain that it tells real and important parts of it. Kudos to Zinn for blazing a new path, I say, and for helping youngsters such as I was when I read it to be aware that the whole story was not contained in my school books, either.

* I may, eventually, so thanks for the link. Right now, I am too fidgety to listen to it just for the purposes of this discussion.