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Each Monday, NPR Senior News Analyst Cokie Roberts trades four minutes of on-air blather about politics, the economy, and world events with whichever unlucky Morning Edition host has drawn the short straw.
If Roberts’ vacuous segments seem phoned-in, it’s probably because they are. She does them from her home. In 2000, she told the New York Times that her “dog barking during a show” presented the “biggest problem” doing the early-a.m. spot, adding that her pup’s NPR airtime had made him “something of a cult figure.”
If only the dog barked a little more—the segment might have more going for it. I can think of no comparably sized media space that’s as void of original insight and information as Roberts’. Her segments, though billed as “analysis” by NPR, do little but speed-graze the headlines and add a few grace notes. If you’re vaguely conversant with current events, you’re already cruising at Roberts’ velocity.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Estimated cost of the environmental damage caused each year by the world’s 3,000 largest companies:
Two thirds of U.S. teenagers experience uncontrollable rage.
Beekeepers began extracting 1 million honeybees living beneath the siding of a house in New York State.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”