Reforming NPR


Publicly admitting to an Orwellian manipulation of words, National Public Radio will no longer attach the word "reform" to George Bush's plan to reform (I am not bound to this dictat) Social Security. According to the Media Reserach Center:

Gladstone told listeners: "You just heard CNN, NPR, ABC and NBC refer to the President's plan as 'reform,' but several news outlets, including NPR, no longer do....On February 8, NPR Washington editor Ron Elving sent a memo to staff members, instructing them to use more neutral words to describe the President's plan."

Elving, in a soundbite, explained: "Reform, if you look at the dictionary, has a strong implication of improvement, to better something. It's a corrective process." 

Gladstone: "He suggested some substitutes, like—" 

Elving: "Revision or change or revamping or overhaul, retooling."

But Gladstone thought she could still detect too much Bush boosterism: "I refer you then back to your dictionary, Ron, because I looked up 'overhaul,' and it means to examine for purposes of repair, very much like reform."

Elving accepted her criticism: "You make a good point, and I would re—examine the use of the term 'overhaul.' I do not think that it contains the same implication that a system has to be improved."

However, as the article points out, this admirable neutrality was not evident during the Clinton years when every thought or idea emanating from the administration received the NPR reform seal of approval.

Apparently NPR responds to its listeners' concerns so grit your teeth, listen to the station and the send them an e mail  that Social Security needs reforming as does NPR itself.

Then send another e mail to your representative protesting the waste of government monies for publicly funded radio and television stations. 

Now that's reform.

Ethel C. Fenig  3 04 05