Washington Babylon — May 4, 2009, 8:08 am

Good Way to Start the Week: Jack Shafer eviscerates Cokie Roberts

From Slate:

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.

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