90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Media Focus: Truth vs. Propaganda

The Shirley Sherrod story turns a spotlight on big problems in the quality of our national information flow. We ask what’s news, what’s propaganda?

A display at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., featuring the Bloomberg Internet, TV and Radio Gallery. (Credit: Newseum.org)

Through the battlefield smoke of the Wikileaks reports and the fresh news out of federal court in Arizona, a story from last week keeps ringing through the news business. The misrepresentation of Shirley Sherrod as a racist – and her sudden firing, then rehabilitation – has put the media, the news media itself, on trial. What has happened to the quality of this country’s national information flow? Is it poisoned? Is it now, really, propaganda? And whose?

This hour On Point: charges of propaganda in the news.

Guests:

Charles Madigan, presidential writer in residence at Roosevelt University in Chicago where he teaches classes focused on journalism and politics. For forty years, he was a reporter, editor and columnist at the Chicago Tribune and a foreign and domestic correspondent for UPI.

David Keene, president of the American Conservative Union, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots conservative lobbying organization. He served as Special Assistant to Vice President Spiro Agnew. Southern Regional Political Director for George Bush’s 1980 presidential race. Senior Advisor to former senator Bob Dole in 1988 and advisor to Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign.

E. J. Dionne, syndicated columnist for the Washington Post Writers’ Group and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. On Monday, the Washington Post published a column of his titled, “Enough Right-Wing Propaganda.”

Closing segment:

On Friday, NPR senior news analyst and journalistic legend Daniel Schorr passed away. He was 93. In remembrance of Schorr, we’re re-airing comments excerpted from a speech he gave on the present state of journalism when he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002. You can read NPR’s story on Schorr’s life, read the transcript of his Academy of Arts and Sciences speech, and see a slideshow about his career in broadcast.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 6, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves as he speaks before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Since Republicans took control of Congress two months ago, an elaborate tug of war has broken out between GOP lawmakers and Obama over who calls the shots on major issues for the next two years. (AP)

Netanyahu’s speech. Hillary Clinton’s email. Obamacare back at the high court. A stunning start to the Boston Marathon bombing trial. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Mar 6, 2015
"The Sellout" is novelist Paul Beatty's new book. (Courtesy Farrar, Strauss & Giroux)

Author Paul Beatty’s novel “The Sellout” is a satirical look at race relations in America. He joins us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 5, 2015
One in four women use psychiatric medication. The reasons for the medication aren't always so clear. (Flickr)

Are American women being prescribed psychiatric drugs – anti-depressants, anti-psychotics — for normal emotions? We’ll hear out one psychiatrist’s bold claim.

 
Mar 5, 2015
A car passes a memorial for Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson last summer, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Ferguson. A Justice Department investigation found sweeping patterns of racial bias within the Ferguson police department, with officers routinely discriminating against blacks by using excessive force, issuing petty citations and making baseless traffic stops, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the report.  (AP)

The big Justice Department report finds a pattern of racial bias in the Ferguson Police Department. Now what? We’re back in Ferguson – and beyond — for answers.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: March 6, 2015
Friday, Mar 6, 2015

Weasels, woodpeckers and a whole bunch of sassy McCall’s dress patterns. Oh, and thoughts on the provenance of caller and guest quotes when and where we post them.

More »
Comment
 
Answers To Your Questions On Black Holes
Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015

Yale University’s Priyamvada Natarajan answers your black hole questions in full. (Well, most of them.)

More »
Comment
 
Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

More »
Comment