Personal Essay

Network for Sale. Integrity not included.

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By Scott Ross

The one fixed point in a changing world used, for this listener, to be Scott Simon. Despite the increasing conservatism and corporate viewpoint of his employer, Simon could be counted upon for his decency, thoughtfulness, intelligence, compassion and—when necessary—a dignified anger. All that changed for me this morning when, to discuss Trump, Scott Simon welcomed…

Glenn Beck.

And treated with him, moreover, as if he was a genuine political savant, like Gore Vidal or Katrina Vanden Heuvel, quietly and reverently lobbing softball questions and engaging with this wingnut as though he were some sage of the political arena and not a snake-oil-selling clown of minimal interest and even smaller consequence.

This, from the man who once reported, in four riveting, inexpressibly and almost unbearably moving 30-minute segments, on the poor of India. This, from the network that once had the respect even of its commercial rivals, for its innovation and its integrity.

First Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me invites Kim Kardashian on as its “celebrity” guest, and now this.

NPR has repeatedly broken faith with me—but this is altogether too much. The network is now as relevant as Fox News. Why does anyone still listen to these shills?

Copyright 2015 by Scott Ross