Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Put Me In, Coach Al, Please!

National Public Radio continues to fulfill its God-given function of rousing me from my slothful bed each morning: it's a rare day when Morning Edition doesn't annoy me with smug centrism, tone-deaf commentary, or its hosts' obnoxious perkiness.

This past weekend, protestors disappointed NPR and the rest of the corporate media by not rioting in response to the release of the video of the police murder of Tyre Nichols. It was probably their worst frustration since the failure of a Republican Red Wave to materialize last November.  Nichols' funeral was scheduled for today, so perhaps in revenge, host A Martinez and reporter Lucas Finton discussed the funeral as if it were an upcoming sport event.  (NPR prefers predictions to actual reporting most of the time.)  I don't know how well the framing will come across in text, so here's a link to the audio.

MART├ŹNEZ: Lucas Finton has been following the Nichols case. He's a reporter for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis. Lucas, I can pretty much guarantee it's going to be an emotional day. What do you expect to see at the funeral today?

LUCAS FINTON: I expect that we're going to see a range of emotions from joy to humor to that really profound sadness that we've seen over the last few weeks in Memphis. I think that that'll probably be seen throughout the chapel with family members, high-ranking officials and also friends and activists and community leaders as well.

MART├ŹNEZ: Now, we just heard from Al Sharpton a minute ago. You spoke with the Rev. Sharpton about his eulogy. What did he tell you?

FINTON: He really focused on the power of someone who's unfamiliar with an individual eulogizing that person and how that can really give the speaker power to really figure out what that person's death can mean for the future not just for the family, but also for police reform at a state, local and national level. And he focused on how there really needs to be some strong national reforms in order for police reform to stick.

And so on.  Later in the program Martinez got to move to a more comfortable topic, Tom Brady's latest retirement, but by then I was out of bed, listening to music on another station, and ready to face the day. Thank you for your service, NPR!