Saturday, July 03, 2010

Glenn Garvin to donate his brain to science

I only wish the above statement were true.

Perhaps then, we'd learn why Garvin - who works for the once great Miami Herald - continues to find it necessary to to make a complete ass of himself. And seemingly enjoy it.

My friend over at South Florida Lawyers blog has done an admirable job of cataloging Glenn's brain farts. It's a job I don't want.

But I couldn't let the latest installment of "Glenn Garvin - Why I hate Everything," pass without mention.

The other day Garvin gleefully discovered that a 17 year-old screed he'd written bashing National Public Radio, had finally surfaced on the web.

Garvin's paper hides its archives behind a pay-wall. In Garvin's case, that's a good thing. (Note to Herald editors: Maybe there's a message in there somewhere...any chance you could follow suit and hold all of Garvin's copy for 17 years before publishing it.)

Anyway, the main point of Garvin's piece was that "NPR is nothing but a cultish echo chamber with a tiny audience anchored in a dying medium, funded almost entirely with money extorted from taxpayers."

Hmmm, "a tiny audience in a dying medium?" I wonder if Garvin was thinking about the Herald when he penned that line?

Well, it didn't take long for the folks at NPR to rip Garvin's thesis to shreds.
There are many aspects of [Garvin's] recent blog posting "An old-but-goodie" piece of NPR-bashing that NPR could challenge, but I’ll limit myself to one statement, written this week: by Glen Garvin: “But the thrust of the story, I think, remains valid. NPR remains a cultish echo chamber with a tiny audience anchored in a dying medium, funded almost entirely with money extorted from taxpayers. Other than that, public radio is great.”

The fact is – not one of these assertions is true – and public radio is great. We are dismayed that an organization with the Miami Herald’s reputation would fail to check the facts.
The statement that NPR is funded almost entirely with money “extorted from taxpayers” is outrageous and enormously disrespectful (emphasis mine) to the people who make up public radio’s largest source of funding: the 2.85 million households that voluntarily contribute to public radio stations annually. The fact is that roughly 10 percent of public radio station funding comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private non-profit chartered by the Congress. The largest source of station funding is contributions from listeners, followed by corporate sponsorship.

As to NPR, Inc., we have received no operating support from the federal government since 1983. About 2 percent of NPR’s annual budget comes from competitive grants from federally funded organizations. NPR, Inc’s largest sources of revenue are NPR member stations, who pay program fees and dues to NPR, and corporate sponsors.

Dana Davis Rehm

Senior vice president – Marketing, Communications & External Relations

Now if I was as anti-intellectual and intolerant of viewpoints that differ from my own - as Garvin seems to be - I'd recommend that the Herald fire him. But I'm not that way. I say let him continue to make an ass of himself. Everyday. And print his stuff on the front page with Dave Barry's crap!!

But, maybe there's a journalistic equivalent of a blanket party that his peers on the fifth floor can administer to Glenn. Quickly.

But until that day, it looks like Garvin is intent on embarrassing himself...and his paper.


  1. I don't object to a critic having a point of view and injecting it into his/her writing; that's what critics do. I am not sure that the critic's political views are relevant when you're writing a reviews of a television program and using them to bash the programs they review. That would be like a right-wing theatre critic disliking The Crucible because it is an allegory for the red-baiting of the 1950's. It has nothing to do with the performance. A good critic may disagree with the politics of a piece, but they should be able to judge it on its merits. If Mr. Garvin can't remove his views from his reviews, then he has a lot to turn about the art of being a critic.

    And he also should get his facts straight. As Dana Davis Rehm noted, he doesn't know WTF he's talking about regarding CPB. That alone should call his skills into question.

  2. A superb and royal arse-whacking -- thank you, I can take the day off!

    Mustang Bobby, you are right he is frequently erroneous. I have a soft spot for Garvin, because I do appreciate his contrarian tendencies and willingness to buck the prevailing wisdom.

    Where that sensibility fails him is is unwavering insertion of lame conservative talking points into what otherwise is a straightforward TV review -- those liberals all drive Volvos! They sip Chardonnay, hate red-staters, and want to protect the spotted owl!

    The dated nature of his references (Nixon, fluoride, "hippies vs. hardhats," ERA etc.) is likewise tiresome, but again at least I can relate to the anti-Norman Lear world Garvin seems permanently stuck in.

    What a meathead!


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