How News Should Sound

“This is how the news should sound.”   That is the introduction to a new radio news talk show that I have been hearing on NPR.   The name of the show is “The Daily.”   It is a real howler.   It both gives me great laughs and raises my blood pressure.   It is anti-Trump, anti-conservative, anti-Republican Leftism brought to you with all the outragey feels you want when you are nostalgic for the pepper-spray whiff of street demonstrations.

“The Daily, with Michael Barbaro” is a production of the New York Times.   The broadcasts are available as podcasts.  They are a parody of themselves.   They are short (22-minutes) and focus on a single issue each episode.  Sometimes they do a series of two or three episodes.   I have listened to all the usual Leftist bilge.   What gives the laughs is the hushed tones and atmospheric music (violins swells in a minor key to let you know that you are about to hear the latest real outragey dirt on Trump).   They whisper the introductions to experts who pontificate about how awful the Trump Administration is.   They whip up sympathies with sob stories from the most appealing of illegal immigrants.   They really like to interview minor officials from the Obama Administration who now have impressive-sounding titles at Leftist think tanks.... [Read More]

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Hog production crisis

There is a crisis, right?

There must be.  Every news report on NPR this week, and I mean every one, morning and evening, has featured a very long feature about the plight of poor pig farmers.  They are in crisis.  Their profits are down, prices are down, their outlook is down.  The poor, poor hog farmers are sorely oppressed.... [Read More]

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Direct Democracy: Eliminating Public Broadcasting in Switzerland

No Billag: Eliminate Public Broadcasting in SwitzerlandEver since its inception, radio and television broadcasting in Switzerland has been supported by a tax on receivers, paid by every household, regardless of whether they actually watch or listen to the broadcasts and how much they consume.  Over time, the funds collected through this fee, now billed through a semi-private company called Billag AG, have been used to subsidise private broadcasters, at the discretion of the federal authorities.  These fees are substantial: the household fee for television and radio reception is currently CHF 451.10 (US$ 481.87 at today’s exchange rate).

In an environment where there are myriad sources of entertainment, none supported by these tax revenues, this has generated a push-back.  Since Swiss radio and television consists largely of content from broadcasts from other countries a year or more after it is available on popular streaming services and local public affairs programming with a hard collectivist tilt from the studios in Zürich and Geneva, more and more people are asking, “Why am I paying more for this stuff that I never watch or listen to than a fancy flat-screen TV costs these days?”.... [Read More]

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