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The Worse NPR Letters to the Editor

NPR Listeners: Stodgy, Whiney, Insufferable Snobs?

As a dedicated NPR listener (I can't really manage to get any other channel on my shower radio), I appreciate that the station balances hard and sometimes depressing news coverage with lighter pieces on pop culture. But the more vocal listeners of public radio hate it, leaving some to wonder if they're just a bunch of complaining snobs.

In a piece for Slate, noninsufferable NPR listener Farhad Manjoo goes through NPR's archive for letters to the editor proving that people writing them are "the stodgiest, whiniest, most self-importantly insufferable snobs of all time." Some of the best complaints:

  • On a story about children using iPads: "Hopefully, this will be followed up by an uplifting story about the great things that are happening to children in the realm of outdoor play and unhooking from screen time."
  • On a story about Mel Gibson: "Mel Gibson's voice in a phone conversation is entirely outside what NPR has always been about. Shame on the producers of ATC for allowing such a scrape at the very bottom of the barrel."
  • On Levi Johnston: "This is not news or newsworthy. Please do not air this type of article again. We do not care about this subject. It is not our business or concern, and we do not want to know."
  • On coverage about Gov. Mark Sanford's extramarital affair: "And I am very disappointed that NPR has spent airtime reporting the story. Can't NPR reporters find more important events going on in the world?"

What got Farhad most upset was the negative reaction to NPR's mere mention of Michael Jackson's death, the biggest pop culture event of 2009. One disgruntled listener wrote in: "What about 'Uyghur unrest in China, fighting in Mogadishu and dozens of deaths in Afghanistan?'" Don't worry! I'm sure NPR followed up its MJ story with death and unrest right after the commercial break. Oh wait, there are no commercials on NPR. Appreciate what you have, people! I have a feeling the silent majority does.

Source: Flickr User gesika22

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