As you may have heard, the right wing’s darling provocateur James O’Keefe, the conservative activist whose previous heavily doctored videos targeting ACORN eventually led to that organization’s demise, has revealed yet another “gotcha” video that purports to have NPR officials turning a deaf ear to radical Islamicist rhetoric in the hope of gaining major donations.
You’d think that O’Keefe’s 15 minutes of fame would be over, but the right wing noise machine keeps bleating, and an intimidated press corps keeps repeating the message, fearful that they’ll be accused of equally heinous offenses in the next episode of the Gotcha News Network (TM). O’Keefe’s history includes a plot to ensnare a CNN reporter on a boat with sex toys last September, and, in May of last year, pleading guilty to breaking into the office of Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat to tap her phones. And then there’s the heavily edited video last summer of Shirley Sherrod at an NAACP banquet that made her and the group appear to be racist, along with the recent sting aimed at discrediting Planned Parenthood.
Heads are rolling at NPR. Ron Schiller, NPR’s senior vice president for fundraising, has resigned and NPR CEO Vivian Schiller (no relation) was fired on Wednesday morning. These moves come during an intense period of political pressure on NPR, with the Republican majority in the House of Representatives repeatedly calling for NPR’s government funding to be cut.
So, in the spirit of changes that are likely to occur in the wake of this (most likely) manufactured scandal, here are some programming changes that NPR could undertake to placate its right wing critics:
Morning Edition: For nearly three decades, NPR’s Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports. With nearly 14 million listeners, Morning Edition draws public radio’s largest audience. The show would be renamed Doctrines and Covenants for the End Times and feature soon-to-be-unemployed Fox News talking head Glen Beck. He’ll give his take on daily events, and, employing the latest technology, share his blackboard illustrations via video streaming, viewable on both handheld devices and automotive AM radios.
All Things Considered: For two hours every weekday afternoon, All Things Considered has presented a trademark mix of news, interviews, commentaries, reviews and offbeat features since 1971. Again, in order to set the tone for the New Order at NPR, a name change is required along with the ideological shift. The Real Truth would feature snippets of syndicated radio hosts like Rush and Savage, mixed with uplifting messages (Hungry? Get a Job!)) from right wing think tanks and online forums. Ann Coulter will close out each program with biting commentary about social issues and fashion advice.
Talk of the Nation: The midday news-talk show will be repositioned as AmeriSpeak. Journalist’s Andrew Breitbart and Michelle Malkin will keep listeners informed on the latest threats to the republic along with witty observations about the world of sports and race relations. Selected call-in listeners will be given the opportunity to join enlightening discussions with decision-makers, authors, and right-thinking academicians.
The Diane Rehm Show: With its faux standards of civility and live call-in segments, this show reaches out to a mere 2 million listeners across the country. The New Order at NPR will improve on this by rolling out The Peggy Noonan Platform. Chief wordsmith of the Wall Street Journal banking pamphlet, the regal majestic and most comely Madame Queen, will host this daily run-down of the miracles of the laboring classes unrestrained by regulation and unions. With provocative topics like “The Upsides of Child Labor”, it’s sure to be a ratings blockbuster.
Fresh Air: Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show’s intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network. The new, repurposed program will be named That’s Mr. Fresh To You and feature former NPR commentator Juan Williams and GOP superstar Michael Steele. It will be streetwise with a dash of soul.
Well, these are but a few examples. I’m sure that all you readers out there will have ideas that you’d like to contribute. Please feel free to use the comments section below to help shape the new, politically upright, National Public Radio programming.