I'm a big fan of MPR. For each of the last 10 years I have gone to the State Fair and renewed my membership. Outside of Dan Barrerio, it is the only radio I listen to.
I'm also a big critic of modern media. No other American institution has fallen down on its face more than our media. It has turned into a corporate-governed monstrosity that values things like "balance" and "moderation".
This morning, I about drove off the road while listening to this.
Forget the politics of the subject. Did you catch the massive journalistic error? Listen to the dueling quotes about abortions and birth control:
"As the money (for family planning) goes up, so do the number of abortions," she said. "We have not seen a reduction in abortions since the full funding of family planning. We have seen an escalation."
But that's simply not the case, says Emily Stewart, director of public policy for Planned Parenthood.
"Without a doubt, when women have access to birth control, it reduces unintended pregnancies," Stewart said. "The truth is we need to do more. And Americans agree that we need to do more to improve access to birth control."
Someone in this story is lying through their teeth. Yet, the "disagreement" is presented as "balance". The abject liar is treated as a valuable contributor to the public discourse on the subject. This is insane.
There is a very simple, by-the-numbers answer to this premise. Has there or has there not been a reduction in abortions since the "full funding" of family planning. This is a simple thing to report. Yet, MPR does not feel the need to let its audience know the answer. Instead, it simply tosses out a series of statements that "balance" one another.
Earlier in the broadcast, MPR had run a story about the GOP and DFL's competing views on education funding in Minnesota. They ended their report with a quote from a GOP legislator that stated something to the effect of "just ask any school administrator..." Did MPR end the story with a canvas of Minnesota school administrators? Did they ask a single school administrator if this claim was true? Of course not. The story was presented as yet another blip in the long line of left/right/balance/whatever nonsense that passes as modern 24/7 journalism.
Our country is in bad shape. It is in bad shape because terrible things are happening and our media doesn't bother to explain/report why. Instead of traditional journalism, we are treated to a smorgasbord of false equivalencies; a potpourri of issues placed on axises that simply do not matter. Instead of worrying about the efficacy of this, that or the other policy, we blather on about left vs. right. Instead of worrying about monied vs non-monied interests, we yack and yack and yack about...well, there's that left and right bullshit again.
Anywho, take a quick listen to the MPR segment listed above. Forget the politics. Worry about the journalism.