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9.11 investigation

The OPB informational void and KBOO.

addressing the opb void
I'm sitting here listening to KBOO, trying to call a radio show for the first time in my life. The line is busy. I'm very upset. Maybe not so articulate at the moment.

Theresa Mitchell's show re NPR two weeks ago was great. Though that kind of opinion broadcast is rare. I've heard OPB called KBOO's "sister station" on a KBOO show several times; which is something I'm sure wouldn't be reciprocated on opb. In fact, I think we'd be pressed to even hear the existence of KBOO acknowledged on opb.

OPB is incredibly dangerous. Yes, it's true they do have some interesting programming, but the damage done is in their general informational tone. What they leave out, and what they assume for the listeners to be the only "true information" they do this very casually, which sets up a tone of validity without assumption of opposing fact.

Their invasion coverage is a perfect example, which consistently assumed WMD and Iraqi freedom to be the actual reason for the slaughter, they also focused on military and political logistics as opposed to the civilian effects [except for a few references, which I believe is another tactic; to make a very small provision to alternative information, but not to mention it consistently so it gets buried, while also allowing them to say they do provide an alternate opinion].

Another example was the presidential selection where they also assumed for the listeners a valid election took place. I know it's over the edge, but I fault them for using the term President Bush, or even the new term they seem to be using; Mr bush, which also lends an untouchable validity, but it is a problem.

Some time in october of 2001 I called their station to voice my opinion of the constant coverage of the war on terrorism and how they have a one sided and racist slant to this coverage, the response I got was that they ran a show on islamic religion that same week. As if the one show on religion offset the damage. Even this response, while not being their intent, indicated they draw a parallel between islam and terrorism.

I hear Barbara Bernstien now talking about how the forbes [?] program blasting bush on opb as an example of their validity, while if you turn on opb at just about any time of day you'll hear some sort of 911 reference, or positive statement re bush and war.

Case in point, I turned on the tv a few days ago to one of the homogenous talking head shows on opb, they were issuing an "analysis" of the bush show with him riding passenger in a jet to land on an aircraft carrier. All opinion positive, no mention of the fact he was awol for 1 year of his natl guard career, that he skated vietnam by getting into the texas air guard. Certainly nothing about the fact he basically announced the plan to continue to invade other countries.

I've never heard anything on the patriot act 1 or 2 on opb, other than it mentioned as a given installment, I've never heard the 911 / bush connection indicated, or anything really beyond mainstream politic and general interest shows.

Personally, I don't think it would be such a bad thing for opb to loose their ability to disseminate, I sense that would have a huge impact on the size of the KBOO listening audience. OPB is a destructive force, they should be dissolved.

Maybe someone can have a show giving the other side of the opb debate, as opposed to announcers just assuming a positive link with OPB, and failing to mention the incredible damage the propaganda pump does to shape otherwise curious listeners.

I'd like to initiate a campaign to give your OPB membership money to KBOO [I am not a member of the board or in any way connected to the station other than as a member] KBOO has certainly stepped up to fill in the gaping hole left by oregon propaganda broadcasting.
yes sir eeee... 07.May.2003 11:02

KBOO rocker

You said it...
I find myself slamming my hand down on top of my radio alarm clock nearly every morning it wakes me up with "morning edition" Usually I make it all the way throught the first story, just waiting to have them tell more than the pentagons version of events... they never do, and half way through the second story I get so mad I know they wont tell the whole story again and again all day long... SLAM. Every Day!
PRI is doing a way better job than NPR, NPR has gotten really terrible. It's a great disappointment. I used to think they were on the level of most "moderate democrats" Now they seem moderate Repug. at best...
OPB should carry Democracy now... now that would be a nice change. Amy Goodman is amazing.

Teresa Michell rocks... I wonder if she is the only Transgendered radio personality in the entire US? World? I bet there is an aussie or two... maybe not...
Rock on girl. She's got real guts.

to rocker 07.May.2003 11:30


I already give my donation to KBOO 07.May.2003 13:22


I used to give money to OPB radio and TV. Just about a month after 9/11 i realized they were part of the bush propaganda crowd. Probably thought if they supported his war mongering schemes, he would not take away their federal dollars.

I now give all that money to KBOO. I never watch ANY news analysis on OPB. I do watch NOW with Bill Moyer on Friday evenings. That is it for our household. We stopped watching TV a year ago. You can't believe the change in the amount of peace and quiet and rational thinking that has occurred since we turned off the TV. We are a lot more creative too.

NPR Dilutes News 07.May.2003 21:21


NPR has this policy that they can not have a view expressed unless there is a diametrically opposing view present. It's tit for tat type of journalism. If there is no one avalable to provide another view, a maningful report may never get aired. Also, the show hosts almost exclusively downplay any progressive/alternative points of view. The balance of the program is pure entertainment-lite. Did you listen to KBOO's coerage during their pledge drive, which happened to coincide with the war on Iraq? Great stuff. That's real "fresh air".

stepping up 07.May.2003 21:57

king friday

Absolutely, KBOO really pulled up during the invasion, and continues to do so.
Amy Goodman and the Democracy Now! team also came through in a huge way.

All while opb kept airing that special on biological weapons and that other "documentary" on 9.11.01.

They should be held accountable, I hope this impacts beyond the indy message board.

You have to tell them 08.May.2003 01:07


I only listen to OPB radio. I don't know all the facts, but I recall about two years ago they seemed to be taking a beating for being publicly funded and for "not presenting a balanced view." I think they were threatened with loss of funding if they didn't change their ways. The strict adherence to the policy that Ranger mentions may be due to this. Correct me if I'm wrong. This pressure to depict a balanced view has been translated as silencing the left and giving fair time to the right. Occasionally I hear conservatives who call in and berate presenters on NPR shows for being too liberal, or anti-government, and not presenting conservative views fairly. This is the trend that has been going on for a long time. The right is a big bully and the left, or moderates try to be fair, but just end up being taken over. I have never heard any liberal or leftist berate anyone on NPR, and I'm not suggesting that this happen. We seem to have better manners than conservatives. But we certainly have to let them know how we feel.

I think people at NPR are concerned about this. A few times I have heard presenters ask their guests if they think they offer a balanced view, or seem conservative or liberal. Twice I have heard "liberals" gently tell them that they are neglecting the left. That their balanced view is presented by giving voice to an ultra conservative and a moderate, and leaving the left out in the cold. Uncomfortable silence followed for a second or two.

I am thankful to NPR for allowing me to hear people like Howard Zinn, journalists and scholars who will never get on the network news who can tell us what is really going on in Israel, or Afghanistan and who can enlighten us on the history of Iraq, etc. however. NPR is a valuable resource tthat we can't give up on. We support them with our donations and our tax money too. If you are not happy with their presentation please tell them. They are being bombarded and bullied by the other side. I don't think we should give them up.

If anyone out there knows clearer details about what has gone on inside OPB and NPR, please post. What I've written is just based on a little knowledge and observation, but no inside information.

void 08.May.2003 09:49


To access info about the inner workings of npr, I suggest Davind Barsamian's book: The Decline and Fall of Public Broadcasting

You might consider listening to sources other than opb. It's not so much what they say as much as what they leave out.
Which without accessing other sources, you won't know what that missing info is, and the huge extent to which opbnpr intentionally shapes their information.

It's also the general tone of information of the daily opb broadcast, rather than a complete silence of reasonable opinion. While they do run howard zinn or someone with a similar slant, maybe once a month or so, the rest of the daily barrage consists of abc quality consrervatism, intentional manipulation, and pro war dictate.

Over the last few months we've put together a huge index of alternative news broadcasts, mostly audio, some video, which are updated daily, you can go to  http://www.pepperfcace.com

already give as much as I can afford to KBOO 09.May.2003 14:52

KBOO roller

I would be very interested in any campaign to persuade people to divert thier money to KBOO from OPB. Let's keep posting here with ideas.

BTW, the link in the above post works if spelled correctly:

oh my 09.May.2003 15:23

king friday

misspelled my own link.
hitting this:  http://www.pepperface.com
should take there

any ideas? 09.May.2003 15:28

king friday

Any ideas how to follow through with this campaign?
Likely should push just before the opb pledge drive. Maybe broadcast some in depth audio from david barsamian on the subject. He draws out the issue with clarity. That would give some support.

maybe set up some ads in ww re diverting and why as well. They hit the demographic.

what else?

kboo is no paragon of truth 10.May.2003 08:23


OK kboo,
Where was the leadup coverage to the day of bombing protest? The coverage that said that an ananamious coalition of people had organized the event, what they were doing, and how to get involved. Cause I all I ever heard from kboo was that some mainstream peace group was meeting at terry shrunk plaza "bring signs, and musical instruments". The mainstream group didn't call the protest, they did little promotion for it, they didn't find the space and materials for making signs and riot shields, but they did recieve credit for organizing the event. Needless to say indymedia posters knew otherwise.
Now if one individual kboo dj decides to give props to a massive local grassroots organizing effort thats great, but it doesn't fill the void you'd find in thier program wide news. Kboo routienly blacklists news from groups (such as critical mass) that arn't centralized hierarchical organiations. A while back a friend of mine was asking folks at kboo why they wern't covering a locally relevant news story an indymedia publisher had put a lot of work into. The response they recieved was that indymedia isn't "news", and that it's kboo policy not to cover events or news from groups that don't have central accountable figure heads, that can be contacted. When pressed further about the source of this policy the kboo volunteer admitted that Will Seamon from PPRC had called them and complained that protests organized ananomiously by portlands blac bloc were interfering with thier friday peace vigil, asked kboo to stop covering these protests, and stop getting "news" from indymedia. Kboo agreed. By falling in step with this passive progressive mentality kboo has alienated this indyjournalist and a many others that feel that that our movements should be organized by thier participants foremost. None the less, Kboo's blanket policy leaves me feeling that thier criteria for "real news" stops short of providing coverage that is locally relevant, concise, and truthfull.

kboo isn't perfect, but opb is dangerous 10.May.2003 10:11

KingFriday @ pepperface

Nobody's perfect, though some are more perfect than others.

The point isn't that kboo is an absolute source [though actually I can't confirm what you've allegated]. The point is that opb is a right wing propaganda machine which is so good at what they do, that they not only are able to hold on to the def of being even more liberal than the "liberal media", but they are able to get the public to actually pay for the service of being misinformed.

I should state here that my attitude is that opb is completely useless, I do like some of the entertaining shows. It's that I am offended by what they broadcast throughout the day in their "news" and talk shows.

I think in asking where kboo was in the buildup to the bombing protest.

There are two things:

One is to ask where was opb, well, where they were was on top of aircraft carriers interviewing the "average soldier" They were Embedded, they were having talk shows with retired military, they were validating the bush regeime and they're drive to dominate the mid east.

Two, is to say during the protest, kboo was there, broadcasting through the day [the protest was on a saturday so you may have missed the coverage. I have to admit I usually don't turn KBOO on between friday after counterspin and monday before the news being there is no news programming, so if I hadn't heard them talk about the coverage before the protest, I wouldn't have known. KBOO also pulled through completely in war coverage as part of a coalition of news sources. Which is as it should be, we need to get our news from a variety of sources, at least until an omnipotent news station is invented.

There are three things:

Here is part of an article on opb website:

Insisting that conditions are improving "in almost every corner of that country," Rumsfeld urged patience. "It's going to take some time," he said at a news conference at the Pentagon. "And we accept that, and we're there to create an environment where that process can take place. And we have patience and we accept the fact that it's untidy. And I hope that others can recognize that and accept it, and put it into some historical context."

entire article:  http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/opb/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=494195

Tell me that's balanced. Where is the balancing opinion? Where is the point that the US shouldn't be occupying Iraq in the first place? Where is the reporting on civilian deaths and casualties emphasized as plainly as the rumsfeld article is, on the front page of the website?

So, yes, kboo isn't perfect. The original article this post is a response to actually began questioning why certain kboo announcers indicate a connection between kboo and opb.

But the real point here is that opb is a dangerous right wing propaganda tool wrapped in classical music breaks, and I'd like to see nothing more than everyone to divert their funds to kboo, while also telling opb why.

You think NPR is right wing? These folks think it's not right enough. 10.May.2003 11:48


An ad in the May 1, '03 edition of the Jewish Review ("Serving Portland and Southwest Washington since 1959") clearly demonstrates the black-is-white world of media manipulation: "Stop the Lies Join Us for NPR (National Public Radio) Tell The Truth Day Our goal to protest NPR's anti Israel bias and demand accurate, coverage of the Arab-Israel conflict BE THERE May 14, 2003 (Wednesday) 4:30-6:30 PM Outside the OPB studios at 7104 SW Macadam in Portland Parking Willamette Park Contact Portland/Israel Anti Bias Coalition 503-335-8195 Email  PortlandIsraelAntiBias@attbi.com"

NPR isn't KBOO but it is the only major U.S. national news organization that even attempts to present both sides of the mid-east conflict. I guess even that little bit of unbiased reporting is too much for the 'Anti Bias Coalition.' Freedom is Slavery. Bias is Anti-Bias. Black is White.

huh 10.May.2003 13:05


Can you back up your opinion re npr being unbiased?

Not in that every so often they don't have a show which tells a different perspective, but that through the course of the day they present a range of info.

Please offer some examples.

campaign against OPB but at the same time pressure KBOO to improve local news 10.May.2003 15:15

KBOO roller

Yes, KBOO does miss a beat quite often on especially local news coverage, we should be calling / writing to them, even becoming volunteers.

OPB is SO MUCH worse. I know a few people who listen to NPR, and during the lead-up to the Iraq Resolution the talk was almost always oriented around when and how Iraq should be invaded, rather than whether it should be invaded AT ALL. About all I ever heard was a pro-war slant.

NPR - Please offer some examples (of a lack of bias) 10.May.2003 20:58


Why do you think the Pro-Israeli lobby is planning a protest against it? NPR has reported on the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians, the bulldozing of homes, and why Sharon's coalition will never agree to dismantling the settlements. Know of any other major U.S. media that is reporting those things?

kboo improvement 10.May.2003 21:02


There are two things I would like to see different with kboo news. One is, [and I know this is a touchy subject in our "teetering out of balance because of diverse coalitions working together so we're extra careful not to offend anyone World"] that I personally can't understand the news when someone who doesn't speak english is fumbling through it. My eye is twitching as i write this because I'm sure some will find this offensive. But it is definitely the case, and I appreciate writing to a community who may be offended on the surface with this statement. I hate to say it even more because it's obvious the reporter is trying incredibly hard.

I do have an alternate prop though, which is there be a point in time, some time maybe around the daily news, where people who speak other than english give that day's news in their native language. This would likely be a huge service to those communities, and to everyone in general because it would encourage diversity at events, and general organizing. I guess the other thing which would be cool would be have more news programming and less salsa music. Democracy Now would be a great addition to the daily fare.

Regardless, the difference between KBOO and the OPBNPR coalition is like the difference between having an orgasm or getting your foot crushed by a tractor.

need more 10.May.2003 21:11


That's not concrete. To say proisraeli lobby is protesting, just says they're protesting, it doesn't offer an example of balanced coverage.

I'm asking you to support your statement with concrete examples of an equal treatment of issues, not a show here or there which they've touched on something which may be progressive. I need examples of how throughout the day they could be perceived as balanced. Such as in the hourly news broadcast.
A good example would be the article I posted above, which drew your initial response. How did they counter-balance that article?

So far you haven't supported your position.

Balance? 10.May.2003 22:14


This argument is pointless. Maybe NPR is too right-wing, maybe it's too centrist. The fact of the matter is a bunch of people are going to be protesting because NPR, on occasion, lets people know that the Israelis are shooting children, journalists, and observers. You think NPR is biased? The 'Anti bias coalition' wants to make it even more biased. Are you going to sit around being correct or are you going to try and stop NPR from being pushed even further to the right?

sorry 11.May.2003 10:02


I'm sorry, you may have mistaken me for one of the people who argues on indymedia, I'm not.
If you can't support your claims, the discussion is over.

I want nothing more than to see opbnpr dissolved.

----------> OPB spring pledge drive, everyone give your money to kboo instead and call opb and tell them why! It's a good first step.