Billionaires who back conservative Republicans are trashed on NPR when they die as “scathing TV ad” backers. But what about a black radical who wrote a poem blaming 9-11 on Israel and implying America was evil and terrorist? On Thursday night's "All Things Considered," NPR began by calling him “one of America's most important — and controversial — literary figures,” under the headline “Amiri Baraka's Legacy Both Controversial And Achingly Beautiful.”
The man’s invented Muslim name was Amiri Baraka (formerly LeRoi Jones). He was the poet laureate of New Jersey in 2002, but they abolished that honorary office after his poem. NPR cultural correspondent Neda Ulaby found his most controversial work wasn’t too negative, it was “complicated.”
Drucker came to NPR with the earnest recommendation that America desperately needs a significant hike in marginal tax rates that's more like socialist Europe, and perhaps a little value-added tax on top for seasoning:
Todd Purdum, a former White House reporter for the New York Times in the Clinton years -- a man so impressed by Clinton's first press secretary Dee Dee Myers that he married her -- discussed his latest Vanity Fair article on how Washington is broken on the NPR show Fresh Air on Tuesday. Purdum's most noteworthy complaint is how the Washington press corps is mean-spirited, even "profoundly silly" in its "perverse rituals" of questioning President Barack Obama. (See Lachlan's blog, too). Dave Davies, the substitute host for Terry Gross, helpfully summed up the thesis:
DAVIES: In the afternoon, you say there's this what you call one of the most perverse rituals of the modern presidency. That's the press briefing. Why is it perverse?
PURDUM: Well, if what the congressional leaders do is Kabuki theater, what the press do is really it's really comic theater. It's opera bouffe (comic opera), I guess. But, you know, I used to cover the White House 15 years ago for the New York Times, and I went to the briefing every day, and I confess that I thought it was kind of silly then.