Thursday, September 11, 2008

NPR hits a homerun on 9/11


While right wing rant radio hosts were doing another a pig in a poke and ignoring any issue deeper than fake charges and name-calling, NPR did some remarkable programming for the seventh anniversary of 9/11.

Terry Gross on Fresh Air had a self-proclaimed "conservative Catholic," ret. U.S. Army Col Andrew J. Bacevich talking about foreign policy, with a level of depth and insight you won't find anywhere else.

Now a professor at Boston University, Bacevich lost his son in the Iraq war and has written a potent book: The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism.
Hear and read part of it at the link.

Among the points this West Point graduate made were that the move since 1776 of American globalism is less about the spread of freedom than about capitalist expansionism.

"The foreign policy implications of our present- day penchant for consumption and self- indulgence are almost entirely negative," he says.

He also did something you would never hear on reactionary radio: He praised Jimmy Carter for taking a stand during the energy crisis and asking Americans to cut back and be less wasteful and more contemplative about the overuse of resources. For that he was reviled by the right and by Ronald Reagan, who asserted that it was America's role to use whatever it wants, conspicuous consumption be damned. There will always be more, Reagan and his minions asserted. And there was more: more debt, more spending, more passing off the problems to future generations.

A truly refreshing take from a military man who still defines himself as a staunch conservative.


Later, NPR followed up with a report on the West Point class of 2002, the first officers to take charge after 9/11. Fascinating. Simply great radio. A college class on the airwaves.

It was impossible to switch back to the same old stupid talk about pigs and lipstick and really showed the lack of depth on commercial airwaves.

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