Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 11 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/24/13

Terry Gross doesn't care about Edward Snowden

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   8 comments
Message Philip Weiss
Become a Fan
  (1 fan)
Source: Mondoweiss

(Image by Unknown Owner)   Details   DMCA
The other day I listened  to NPR's " All Things Considered" for an hour and a half  and was bowled over by the amount of trivia I was force-fed on a day when serious issues should have commanded attention -- from Egypt to the detention of Glenn Greenwald's partner for nine hours at Heathrow.

Well yesterday I caught Fresh Air, the popular interview show on NPR and reflected that the same evasion is at work there. Terry Gross's show says that it's a "weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues," but I went back through the Fresh Air archive over the 10 weeks since the Snowden story broke and only found glancing references to the case. None to Bradley Manning, and scarcely a word about the Arab Spring and the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. (If I missed anything, I urge readers to inform me; I'll amend.)

So what are the contemporary issues? The politics on the show are of a banal or backward-looking character, to liberal generational triumphs of yesteryear. Anti-authoritarian politics, activist politics, human-rights politics all plainly make Terry Gross uncomfortable. She avoids them. 

Generally speaking, the show is about television. She spends 47 minutes interviewing voice-over artists. She can't get enough of "Breaking Bad" or "showrunner" Jenji Kohan of the TV prison drama "Orange is the New Black." 

The show's politics are assertive when they concern a time when things were black and white:

"Journalist Seth Rosenfeld spent three decades pursuing government documents about the FBI's undercover operation in Berkeley, Calif., during the student protest movements in the '60s. His book details how the FBI 'used dirty tricks to stifle dissent on campus' and influenced Ronald Reagan's politics."

Or when the issue is not culturally divisive:

"New York Times correspondent Elisabeth Rosenthal is spending a year investigating why American medical bills are so much higher than in other developed countries."

Or when nobody really cares:

"A new investigative report from Reuters special enterprise correspondent Scot Paltrow details how the antiquated and error-ridden payroll system for the U.S. military is erroneously cutting soldiers' paychecks and causing terrible hardship."

Or its cultural politics, and diversionary:

"Bracing For Google Glass: An In-Your-Face Technology....

"William Masters and Virginia Johnson became famous for their studies of human sexuality."

On June 19th, Gross did address Snowden -- the case has "stirred great controversy" -- but the treatment was off-topic, and appeared from the summary to offer a justification for the abuses Snowden exposed:

"Shane Harris, an author and journalist who covers intelligence, surveillance and cybersecurity for a number of publications, says that the revelations about the NSA from Edward Snowden are nothing new, and that such programs have a significant recent history in the United States."

In fairness to Gross, who I regard as a very smart person whose political views have been undermined by generational complacency and the need to please a crowd, there were these more serious bits. July 22:

"As the Cairo bureau chief for The New York Times, David Kirkpatrick has covered events in the region since January 2011. He says that the toppling of the democratically elected Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi throws the changes of the Arab Spring into question."

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Supported 1   Interesting 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Philip Weiss Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Philip Weiss is a longtime writer and journalist in New York. He co-edits a website on Israel/Palestine,, founded in order to foster the movement for greater fairness and ustice for Palestinians in American foreign policy. He is currently  working on a novel about the US in Australia during WW2.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Power Of Edward Snowden

Terry Gross doesn't care about Edward Snowden

McCain and Graham flipflop on aid to Egypt -- after AIPAC speaks up

Young Israeli Jews want an attack on Syria, but older ones say Obama missed his chance

Obama meets with "small coterie" of Jewish leaders, after Kerry appears to criticize Netanyahu for "fear tactics"

Netanyahu calls on American Jews to stand "together with us" to stop Iran deal

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend