The Tender Years

The FCC requires local tv stations to mix a bit of “educational programming” into their Saturday-morning marketing efforts. Can you spot any differences between this, which was also usefully summarized here and the PBS-aired (and now “educational” filler on commercial stations everywhere) video below from about the 8:30 mark?

Tass was a pack of amateurs.

10 Replies to “The Tender Years”

  1. Michelle Bachmann disagrees disagrees with y’all’s eggheaded misunderestimating of history:

    “But we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States,”
    Raw Story (

  2. In a hundred years or so, the documents might all conform to that fiction. The secondary sources will overwhelmingly do so, and even if the remaining primary documents aren’t literally destroyed, they’ll be made so hard to access–possibly for reasons of historical preservation–that the difference won’t matter much.

    We’ve certainly seen that more access, rather than less, can be effectively used to control people. E.g., “so much bullshit is on the internet, ergo you can’t trust stuff on the internet,” with the postscript, “unless it’s from a real site.” Like, err, Arianna.

    The same power that controls the value of “dollars” controls the value of “information.” People are choosing the illusory economy over the barter economy, even where the barter economy is freely available.

    On a side note, makes you wonder how much of the rest of the historical record you can trust, assuming elites have been massaging the numbers as long as we think there’ve been elites.

  3. Good lord, that was painful to watch. Where to begin? How about the fact that ‘Americans’ and ‘British’ are already identifiable by sharply differentiated speech (although the British have really awful American accents!). Then there’s the French kid (and another execrably performed accent) who is mocked for his lack of military bravery and obsession with food.

    Then there’s the terminology: ‘great story’, ‘expose’. Winning ‘hearts and minds’? Seriously WTF? But how about the whole ‘what are you called’ BS: ‘Revolutionaries’, ‘Sons of Liberty’? No, just ‘Americans’. Y’see, kids? Now its’ even bad to be an American ‘revolutionary’—too strong a term, too ideologically charged, too dangerous. Next they’ll be callin’ you a ‘freedom fighter’…or, worse, an ‘insurgent’.

    And, well, the Jefferson/slavery stuff is simply obscene and inexcusable. A veritable tour de farce.

  4. Whoa, whoa, omg, I only caught after the fact that this gem was aired on PBS. Well, that concludes my journey of completely giving up on any large scale media. 7-8 years ago i started reading the major daily newspapers (WSJ, and NYT), because, well, that’s what an educated, politically engaged, middle class person in the 20% of the population that “matter” is supposed to do, right? (Chomsky bitch-slap here…).

    After about 3 years of uncriticaly ingesting this over morning coffee, some doubts begun to creep in, or maybe just for whatever reason I started paying more attention. (Thank you David Brooks and Thomas Friedman for being such complete morons so that you made it easy to eventually question the whole charade [how can you trust the judgment of an institution giving a platform to THESE two dweebs?], and thank you Murdoch for purchasing and completely destroying whatever was left of the credibility of WSJ.

    So, PBS, NPR, etc. were next. It “only” took me about 2 years of NPR to get the same nagging doubts that the potential of the institution for good notwithstanding, the actgual programming and analysis, while marginalyl better, were just as full of shit, and self-congratulating, timid, smug, marginally progressively flavored soundbites, safely planted within the narrow range of acceptable ideas.

    And now this. That’s it for me: if it’s on TV, in the newspaper, on or a major web site, it’s dangerous to consume. (Even as I was fully aware of how full of crap the above cartoon is, it still gave me the feel-good goosebumps. Freaking goosebumps!).

  5. NPR infuriates me. I literally have zero tolerance for it. It’s often on when I borrow my mom’s car, and I can’t change the channel fast enough. It’s 100 percent analogous to the Democratic Party. Both operations are knowing tricks on gullible liberals. At least corporate news is corporate news. It’s not pretending very hard to be serious. NPR adds over-enunciating news-readers and 50 percent more length to its identical stories, and strikes its preening pose.

    And is there anything more over-rated than Ira Glass? Have you seen his pal Davidson, who parlayed his meandering nonsense on Ira’s ridiculous show into that atrocious “economics” column for the NYT Sunday mag? His latest dartboard-toss argues that we are in a “golden age” of great TV shows!

  6. To help with the TCT outrage, other allies in construction of the hall o’ shame should be noted, for the record. The S.H.AM.E. Project, under the able snarl of ex-EXile journalist Yasha Levine, completely detroyed this Davidson fool – leaving the quisling with nothing but corruption attached to his name – as opposed to the warm bath given him by putative Marxist Doug Henwood on his radio show.
    Of course, all this means is another massive media outlet to ignore – along with the New Yorker, the New York Times, and the other guardians of the raj.

  7. Wow, Martin, thank you. Davidson is even worse than I knew. Here’s the link, btw. This “Planet Money” thing is actually a big step worse than almost anything about “economics” on commercial evening news shows, including Fox’s. What a mindfuck.

  8. Yes! Thanks for posting about the shame project. Much needed project indeed.

    Since I’m still in the “appearances & style” mode from the Ethan thread, I can’t help but notice the different type of physical similarities found in this specific group of hacks: the soft, white, pudgy, well-fed faces, the classes, the calm, mellow, uncontrovercial and vaguely concerned – but just a tad – expressions, and above all: the self-satisfaction oozing through every pore and through every fiber of the expensive, but poorly executed outfits.

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