Thursday, February 12, 2009


I am sure that everyone here just looveess NPR, right? The running joke with my father is that NPR (91.5 in Chicago) is on the far left of the dial for a reason. And as sure of our collective love for NPR as I am, I am equally sure that we all thought their 2008 election coverage was fair and balanced.

That’s why this blog entry from NPR’s former Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but the over the topness of it still made me crack a smile.

When President Obama was finally sworn in, every one in the cinema literally went crazy! One woman just in front of us was weeping and collapsed and had to be carried out.

We cried too and felt as close as we could to the event. We thought of all the people we knew in the US, and all of us who lived through the Bush years. It's not an accurate comparison, but as a recovering historian, I couldn't avoid the thought: is this how people in Europe might have felt at the Liberation in 1945?
Yes, after all, comparing an era in which nearly 100 million people died, another 100 million spend the next 50 years as slaves under the thumb of the Soviet Union and several ethnic and religious minorities were the victims of various acts of attempted genocide is certainly an apt parallel between the 8 years that George W Bush was the president.

There might be something to it …. after all vast swaths of Europe were subjected to tyranny, many more barely dodging the covert Soviet postwar expansion, and a wave of famine did sweep over the continent, so ironically Dvorkin might not be completely off the mark here.

It might behoove us all to remember that Dvorkin is the same pussy who refused to republish the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons asking if NPR would “post racist or anti-Semitic cartoons on its Web site in the name of free speech” and that those who wanted NPR to post the cartoons “want NPR to use the cartoon as a weapon against radical Islam”.

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