Thursday, October 13, 2011

NPR: A Source of News Lullabies & Unintended Giggles

Confession time: I love NPR's news shows. I don't find it to be the Mouthpiece of Radical Liberalism that some politicians/pundits claim that it is. I actually think they're pretty balanced in their reporting and they delve deeper into stories than most other news outlets.

But that's not why I like them. I like NPR news (Morning Edition, All Things Considered and so on) because they report the news in such calm, soothing voices that no matter how horrible the events their reporting on are, we the listeners never feel the panic. It's like someone's singing you a lullaby but instead of Mommy buying you a mockingbird the economy is bringing you a double dip recession. Dramatically different lyrics but same relaxing rhythm and tune. It makes it all so much easier to stomach. And when you need to sleep NPR news is great! How many times have I woken up too early (say 5 am) and not been able to get back to sleep? No more of that! Now when I wake up mistakenly at 5 I just turn on my radio and let Morning Edition lull me back to slumber with quiet tales of corporate corruption and dysfunctional governments. It works every single time! To quote my son, "Morning Edition reminds me of why I love to sleep in."

But yesterday afternoon, when they were reporting on Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, aka, the underwear bomber...well that's when my love of NPR news reached a new height.

 The female reporter was detailing the exact events as they occurred on the day of the foiled Christmas day attack.  "(Abdulmutallab) took a long bathroom break when the plane was about an hour outside of Detroit," the female reporter said, her voice quiet, sophisticated, calming and portraying little to no emotion so as not to influence the listener's view of the facts. "...when he returned to his seat, he covered himself with a blanket and injected the explosives with an accelerant that was supposed to set them off. His seatmate was so surprised when the flames started shooting out from Abdulmutallab's pants that he said to him, dude, your pants are on fire."

Now as serious as this situation is (thank GOD the bomber was the only one hurt) it would be hard not to smile at that last sentence. But when that last sentence is delivered with total professionalism, without even a hint that the narrator might be aware of the humor, well then that sentence becomes hilarious. 

And then you realize that NPR has actually done a great job of "making you think," because at that moment I was thinking, "How could anyone want to harm America? Without Americans who would say things like "Dude, your pants are on fire" to the guy who has sparks flying out of his lap? The Saudis? The French? The Chinese? I think not! Americans make the world a more entertaining place! 

And NPR is part of that entertainment...or at least that's what they do when they're not keeping me informed or graciously putting me to sleep.

Kyra "Fashionista Fatale" Davis


Terri Osburn said...

I actually love NPR, but I can't listen to All Things Considered on the way home anymore. The political stories make me mad (not because of how they are reported but the situation in Washington in general). The heartbreaking stuff from around the world puts me in the fetal position.

In fact, a few months ago, I had to stop watching all news. But I still flip over to NPR to catch a book/movie/music review or a nice soft news story that makes me smile.

The response of that passenger is hysterical. I think mine would have included profanity. Then it never would have made the news.

Robin Kaye said...

I used to listen to NPR on my long commute years ago for exactly the reason you're stating. I haven't listened to them since, so I really can't speak to the balance of the news now, but I can totally relate. "dude, your pants are on fire." LOL I'll have to listen to it!

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