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A Segment About Nothing


Having NPR on this morning reminds me that I’ve neglected to link to Jack Shafer’s classic piece on Cokie Roberts’s NPR segments, which I woke up to (or, more accurately, tired in vain to wake up during) most of this semester and I think might actually be getting worse, starting from a point at which I wouldn’t have thought that was possible:

I can think of no comparably sized media space that’s as void of original insight and information as Roberts’. Her segments, though billed as “analysis” by NPR, do little but speed-graze the headlines and add a few grace notes. If you’re vaguely conversant with current events, you’re already cruising at Roberts’ velocity. Roberts doesn’t just voice the conventional wisdom; she is the conventional wisdom.

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