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Great article about Diane Rehm (“Too Much of the Goodness Thing,” 8/2), whom I have long called the “Queen of Banality” for precisely the sort of sycophantism and credential-worship mentioned. Very insightful comparison of Rehm and the Big Fat Idiot himself—both serve the very useful purpose of policing the (narrow) ideological boundaries of American political discourse. It would have been even better, however, if her aptly categorized “state radio” talk show were contextualized within the larger framework of National Public Radio, which I usually refer to as National Government Radio. The entire NPR system—cleverly demonized by the Republicans as “liberal” media (left/liberal in U.S. parlance = center-right in European terms)—performs valuable work for the political and economic elite by providing the illusion of “debate.” I have noticed that Rehm’s boundaries have gotten even narrower: Where it once was Brookings vs. American Enterprise Institute, it is now AEI versus Heritage Foundation—i.e., center-right vs. far right. Keep up the good, critical work!
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