Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Why I Stopped Listening to NPR

I stopped listening to NPR because it's a downer. Let me rephrase-- it's a big Debbie Downer.

This is a big step for me because I've been listening to NPR since high school. I give money them money and I use their messenger bags: one from WNYC in New York and another from KQED in San Francisco. Sometimes if I wake up before my alarm, I turn on NPR and lie in bed half-asleep listening. I subscribe to their podcasts, blog about their shows, and scan headlines from their Websites on my RSS reader.

But as of a week ago, I stopped listening. NPR has become a Debbie Downer.

I understand it's important to report about unemployment, the economy and foreclosures given this unique moment in history. My issue is with their commentators and reporters, who sound like manic-depressive Chicken Littles. "Things are bad! They're getting worse! We're all doomed!!" In some ways I can't blame them. As a former news reporter, I can understand how reporting this financial crisis could get emotionally draining, especially if you're talking to people whose lives have been negatively affected by the downturn. But this tone isn't helping our recovery.

This blog was created on the premise that 1) what goes down must go up, 2) where there's crisis there's also opportunity, and 3) the first step to recovery is psychological. Maybe I'm naïve, but I do believe dread breeds paralysis, and paralysis stifles productivity and creativity. Pulling ourselves out of this recession means good old American ingenuity and optimism.

Goodbye NPR (for now). Hello classic soul and R&B.


  1. Jim,

    I got that way about CNBC too. I just couldn't look or listen for a while. It was too scary! Bailouts, job losses, fired bosses, declining 401(k), and government controlling executive pay..

    I have just started watching again. Because there is a hint of some positive news.

  2. Ah, satire and truth, mixing again: