Chances are that’s happened at the school you went to and maybe the church you grew up in or charity you have long supported. They are very different. If you are Episcopalian, you know exactly what we are talking about. If you’ve given money to the Sierra Club hoping they would protect the Sierras, you get it too.
Everywhere in this country formally respectable organizations seem to have gone off the deep end. Have you listened to National Public Radio recently? Admittedly NPR was always a little nutty, but in a familiar, non-threatening kind of way. Your average public radio station ran niche cultural programming most of the time. The Celtic music hour or a bluegrass show.
In fact, for decades, public radio’s most popular feature was something called “Car Talk.” Remember that? It was a show where two Italian mechanics from Boston argued about the merits of carburetors verse fuel injections. They gave you free advice on how to fix your Honda. And then in the morning and again at night, always in drive time, all NPR stations aired the news from Washington. There was the “Morning Edition” in the morning. There was “All Things Considered” on the trip home.
NPR anchors were left-of-center, obviously, but more than anything they were self-consciously upmarket. They spoke in comically stilted voices designed to suggest deep erudition. You can imagine them reading a lot of Rilke in their spare time and having complicated opinions about wine. This is NPR, they would say, National Public Radio. It was all pretty amusing and easy to mock, but it was basically harmless. NPR didn’t call for violent revolution or denounce white people as demons. That did happen on some radical stations like Pacifica, but not at NPR. At NPR they were dopey, self-important liberals. The kind of dangling earrings and composting bins in their yards.
Not anymore. You ought to listen to NPR now. Actually, don’t listen. We pulled the transcripts for you. Keep in mind this is entirely real. All of it aired on NPR over the last few weeks.
First up is a segment about dieting. That seems like a sensible topic. Obviously, the country could use some help dropping weight particularly with COVID in the air. But NPR doesn’t run straightforward segments anymore on anything. So it never occurred to them to air a feature about how to rid yourself of extra Christmas pounds. No. A segment like that would be racist. It has nothing to do with equity or marginalized communities.
Instead, here’s how NPR approached dieting:
SAND CHANG: I am a Chinese-American non-binary therapist and psychologist and DEI consultant.
ANDEE TAGLE: Chang specializes in research and treatment of eating disorders within marginalized communities in the Bay Area. They say decoupling from diet culture is often eye-opening and also uncomfortable.
Decoupling from diet culture. Are you following this? You can’t even have a conversation without certain prerequisites. If you talk about dieting on NPR you’re going to need a Chinese-American non-binary therapist and psychologist and DEI consultant to do it. A mere nutritionist will not cut the mustard. Those are the new rules at NPR. Come to think of it, don’t talk about dieting at all. Dieting is racist. It’s part of White supremacy culture. Here is NPR’s explanation:
ANDEE TAGLE: Sabrina Strings is a professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine, and author of the book “Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia.” Her extensive research shows that the fat phobia is so prevalent in today’s society was largely a product of two elements working together to anoint Europeans as superior to all others. … The thing is, the BMI was never meant to measure individual health. Again, it was based purely on studies of White men.
Do they believe any of this? Here is NPR, National Public Radio, telling you that your weight has nothing to do with your health. It’s “decoupled” as they might say from your health. If you think otherwise you are engaging in fatphobia. That means you, Mr. American, must ignore the COVID numbers, the numbers that suggest being overweight is a major risk factor for death. In fact, the biggest factor is among the young. Keep in mind those statistics are compiled by White men. The real problem with being fat, says NPR, is that you are constantly being oppressed by racist diet culture.
ANDEE TAGLE: A lot of their personal writing focuses on navigating the world as fat. Take airplanes, restaurants, movie theaters. Entry is limited to an assumed body size. We might consider basic accommodations like doorways or seatbelts as value-neutral, but that only shows us how much diet culture has influenced the design of our world.
We would love to get Andee Tagle on tonight to explain why the size of doorways is racist. You are probably thinking they pulled the looniest examples off NPR. Nope. That’s a representative sample. What you are hearing there is NPR’s approach to every story. You could do actual reporting on actual trends or stories that are of interest to your audience and have some inherent meaning. No. NPR has decided only to complain about frivolous questions.
In this segment, NPR’s news division informs us that our long national nightmare is finally over. Thank God. “Sesame Street” has finally hired an Asian-American puppet.
ADRIAN FLORIDO: This year, the show welcomed a new character, electric guitar playing Ji-Young, the first Asian-American Muppet in its history.
KATHLEEN KIM: I think, you know, the sort of genesis of Ji-Young was accelerated with the rise in hate crimes against Asians this year.
The rise in hate crimes against Asians committed by all the Trump supporters. That spurred “Sesame Street” to get an Asian Muppet and it spurred NPR to celebrate it. This is a big change. If you remember “Sesame Street,” there was Big Bird and Cookie Monster. They didn’t have ethnicities. In fact, that was the point. There was no tribalism on “Sesame Street.” That’s why they are animals, not people. Not anymore.
According to NPR, the ethnicity of the “Sesame Street” Muppets is the most important thing. And not just on “Sesame Street.” On all entertainment and art and culture. No one at NPR reads books anymore, obviously, they’ve thrown down the Rilke, which they probably never read in the first place, but they do stream a ton of garbage off the internet. When they watch it, they are most interested in what the people look like. The shade of their skin.
Here is an NPR producer explaining what he has been watching recently:
DOUALY XAYKAOTHAO: Well Kumari, what TV show were you binging this year?
KUMARI DEVARAJAN: I was watching “We Are Lady Parts.” It’s a musical comedy about a punk band in London made up of all Muslim women.
It’s a musical comedy about a punk band in London that is made up of all Muslim women. Okay. I guess there’s nothing wrong with that, but every story is a story about a musical comedy in London about a punk band of all Muslim women. The programming is like AI-generated. That’s all of NPR right now. Listen to this question this NPR personality asked about the new “Matrix” film.
A. MARTINEZ: Emily, have you seen the latest “Matrix” film?
EMILY VANDERWERFF: I have, indeed. It’s wonderful.
A. MARTINEZ: Now any additional trans allegories teased in the film? Or is this something that is being left for the first three?