Monday, May 30, 2005

"This permanent, precise labor of documentation and denunciation, this molelike activity, this is what interests me."

--French left-wing publisher Francois Maspero, quoted in Kristin Ross, May '68 and its Afterlives


Confession: I spend much more time listening to NPR and complaining to myself about half-truths and don't-rock-the-boat sharing-the-assumptions "analyses" disguised as "balance" than I do placing myself in the path of our Pacifica outlet, far less smooth and far less comforting. (As I write, the latter is several hours into a series of fulminating talks from a conference on media bias.) But, if I didn't, I wouldn't have heard, slipped into the especially entertaining and tepid Day to Day, this short Memorial Day piece by the great Joe Frank, sounding, as he has for years, as though he only made it on-air by a long chain of unlikely failures of gatekeeping. Not paying attention to the intro, I thought at first it was part of a re-enactment of Norman Corwin's famous "On a Note of Triumph" victory broadcast, which I had heard was being rebroadcast sometime today. But, as you'll hear, Frank takes a turn. (I am certain that the opening is intended to be a Corwin parody -- this must have been strange for older listeners.) Is it good or bad that this is perhaps defused a bit by being clearly billed as a "poem" in the introduction? Either way, I wouldn't want to be their ombusdman this week.

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