Is it any surprise that the age of National Public Radio’s listening audience mirrors that of the Democratic Party’s roster of would-be presidents?
National Public Radio — whose member stations, despite being government-funded, still rely on private donations to keep the doors open and the lights on — is getting old. Listenership is down; and among those who still cling to NPR’s programming, the age average is trending decidedly upward.
From The Washington Post:
NPR’s signal has gradually been fading among the young. Listening among “Morning Edition’s” audience, for example, has declined 20 percent among people under 55 in the past five years. Listening for “All Things Considered” has dropped about 25 percent among those in the 45-to-54 segment.
The growth market? People over 65, who were increasing in both the morning and afternoon hours.
Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but NPR’s demographic wane is perfectly analogous to that of the Democratic Party (which, by the way, is having its own trouble keeping the light bill paid).
As the Republican presidential field keeps getting younger and more diverse, the Democratic field — much like NPR’s core listener demographic — is showing both its age and its boring, so-last-century homogeneity.
We’re not flat-out saying the dotage of NPR and that of the Democrats are directly related, but we’re definitely not saying they aren’t.
Anyone who’s broken away from NPR’s agenda-driven programming (especially the propaganda emanating from its news division) long enough to familiarize himself with the wealth of alternative news sources knows how biased and bifurcated its coverage of progressive and conservative topics can be.
For many, it’s a habit that never gets broken as they age, and the values NPR’s programming conveys become a part of its longtime listeners’ worldview.
For those who innocently got hooked on NPR as part of some daily routine in their younger years, as the Post’s story suggests many did, it can be tough to divest from the idea that what NPR offers is anything but serious, fair-minded, down-the-middle story selection and editorial tone.
But, man, is breaking free of that deception ever a liberating experience.
Here’s just a snippet from legendary playwright and film director David Mamet’s much longer (and well worth reading) account of his road-to-Damascus moment with liberalism, which ended with his tuning out National Public Radio in disgust, adopting a generally grass-roots libertarian outlook and never looking back:
I took the liberal view for many decades, but I believe I have changed my mind.
… although I still held these beliefs, I no longer applied them in my life. How do I know? My wife informed me. We were riding along and listening to NPR. I felt my facial muscles tightening, and the words beginning to form in my mind: Shut the **** up. “?” she prompted. And her terse, elegant summation, as always, awakened me to a deeper truth: I had been listening to NPR and reading various organs of national opinion for years, wonder and rage contending for pride of place …
… I found not only that I didn’t trust the current government (that, to me, was no surprise), but that an impartial review revealed that the faults of this president [George W. Bush] — whom I, a good liberal, considered a monster — were little different from those of a president whom I revered [John F. Kennedy].
… What about the role of government? Well, in the abstract, coming from my time and background, I thought it was a rather good thing, but tallying up the ledger in those things which affect me and in those things I observe, I am hard-pressed to see an instance where the intervention of the government led to much beyond sorrow.
Tell that to NPR, whose lot is cast with government and its overabundance.
Come to think of it, that’s exactly the lot of our current crop of Democrats.