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Suffering from an irony deficiency

Every Sunday morning, I faithfully tune in to NPR for Liane Hansen and Weekend Edition Sunday. I love the puzzle with Will Shortz, the Voices In The News segment, and a lot of their stories are pretty damned good. But sometimes their NPR oh-so-cultured-and-correct attitudes push them to either sheer idiocy or to overlook some flagrant, absurd ironies.

This morning was no exception. In their semi-regular update on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they discussed the case of Raji Sourani, a Palestinian lawyer and human-rights activist. Mr. Sourani was invited to come to the US for various meetings, discussions, and the like, but has been denied a visa by the State Department.

One of the groups cited as working on Mr. Sourani's behalf was the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights. The Center has a couple of articles up about him, one on his life and one on his current predicament.

I really, really think NPR needs to get some low-brow staffers, if only in the interest of promoting diversity and making their personnel look and sound more like America. If they had done that before, they might have had someone who could point out the irony of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights getting involved in this case.

After all, doesn't anyone remember that Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated by a Palestinian. A Palestinian who, I believe, gained entry into the United States under the tenets of the 1965 Immigration Act sponsored by Senator Ted Kennedy.

It's times like this that I find myself reconsidering my agnosticism -- this makes me wonder if there really is a God, and He's got one wickedly perverse sense of humor. Between this and the duck-billed platypus, my credibility is getting strained to the max.

Comments (7)

Saul fell from his horse an... (Below threshold)

Saul fell from his horse and saw the light, JT woke up and heard the light ( ironic isn't it)

It's times like this tha... (Below threshold)
Robert Modean:

It's times like this that I find myself reconsidering my agnosticism -- this makes me wonder if there really is a God, and He's got one wickedly perverse sense of humor. Between this and the duck-billed platypus, my credibility is getting strained to the max.

Kevin Costner's movie career. If that's not the punchline to a joke I don't know what is, talk about a wicked sense of humour - God has it.

Sirhan Sirhan entered the ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Sirhan Sirhan entered the USA with his family in 1956, when he was 12 years old. He has been denied parole 12 times and still pleads his innocence today..The case which began so strong still poses some questions as to whether Sirhan was the lone gunman

My confession: I'm into my ... (Below threshold)

My confession: I'm into my second year of complete NPR denial; yes, even the music programming of my local affiliate. The reason? I grew to-the-brim full of the cultural and political assumptions NPR makes about its listeners and what it considers "right-thinking".

It started with me completely dropping Garrison Keillor about 5 years ago. Now I had found PHC more than 20 years ago, was fiercely loyal of and a proselytizer for the show. I was aware from New Yorker articles and the like that Keillor in real life was more left than populist, but his political humor on the show was fairly gentle and even-handed, even sweet.

It started turning a little sour during the Clinton years, particularly around the time of the impeachment and trial. Keillors skits about Clinton were usually puff aimed at nothing more than giving an opportunity to mimic Clinton's distinctive voice, nothing more. The toughest it got on Clinton was good natured little jabs at a lovable rascal that had a little zipper problem, no bigee. But the riffs on his opponents had an edge, and Starr et al were portrayed as political Cotton Mathers, hahaha. There was some anger there.

Then came the 2000 election debacle, and Keillor's gloves were off. Any pretense at non-partisanship or good feeling was abandoned as Keillor indulged himself in hard and bitter sarcasm, which to that point he had avoided entirely. It was all aimed one way: at that execrable Bush and those insufferable, hypocritical Republicans. And then he expanded his targets for this new brand of Keillor humor to include conservative Christians and Southerners. Now, there's plenty to laugh at about Bush, Republicans, conservative Christians and Southerners. But his jibes at them had a choler which his usual Lutheran/farmer/small town shtick most certainly did not. He could hardly bear to disguise his scorn for anyone who might not be in line with Democratic Party policies.

In 2000 I began giving Keillor one "free" unfair or unbalanced poke at Bush or conservatives per show, after which I would turn his program off. I had to turn him off earlier and earlier. The end came when I turned him off within the first five minutes for two consecutive weeks.

The 2000 election brouhaha and the coverage of the Iraq War led to the end of my 25-year love affair with "All Things Considered". I had stuck with them through such travesties as their partisanship in the Clarence Thomas hearings, and the breathless, ideologically unique idolatry they displayed in their "converstions" with Justices Blackmun and Brennan, and Senator Robert Byrd. But the we're-journalists-not-Americans perspective on the war was my limit for "All Things Considered". And when the whiz-kid managers put Bob Edwards out to pasture, I was done with "Morning Edition" too.

I ended 20 years of annual support for my local NPR affiliate when they insisted on a series of promotions which shamelessly and obviuously catered to Gated-Community Limo-Libs, Civil-Rights Shakedown Artists and Volvo Dem Moms in such a way as to make it clear no one else really belonged, now did they.

Can't say that I've missed any of them, at least not in the form they'd taken. The internet and satellite radio were invented to replace NPR and even the local affiliates' classical programming. And this way I don't contribute to my philosophical and cultural opponents.

Politics always makes stran... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Politics always makes strange bedfellows: RFK in memorium allied to Palestian human rights and an admitted though not unquestioning agnostic sympathetic to the evolving GOP, God's Own Party. The world in all its guises is more mysterious than we know or can know. Jay, don't give up your religious or lack of religious beliefs yet, based on Democrat unctuous beliefs...The other side demands theirs as well.

The case which beg... (Below threshold)
The case which began so strong still poses some questions as to whether Sirhan was the lone gunman

What -- there was a grassy knoll in the hotel kitchen too???

"Between this and the duck-... (Below threshold)
Starboard Attitude:

"Between this and the duck-billed platypus, my credibility is getting strained to the max."

How's your credulity doing?






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