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Does NPR have a hiring impediment?

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO- I can laugh at speech impediments with the best of them. But I'm less comfortable if there's no laugh track. Specifically, when it's a speech-challenged news reporter, I utterly object to being made to decipher from mispronunciation. On the radio, poor diction is as unacceptable as inaudible recording, and disabled- enunciation is as appropriate as a paraplegic delivering your piano. Take NPR's Louisa Lim. Give someone a job they can handle, but don't celebrate equal opportunity without consideration for the task required. Louisa Lim can't pronounce her Rs. Might not someone have thought to counsel Lim fwom puhsuing a caweeuh on the wadio? Dropped Rs represent an alphabet 1/26th deficient. More, if you adjust inversely by Scrabble point value. Monte Python's Pontius Pilate of Life of Brian was mocked by the chorus for not being able to say his R's. And yes, his Roman audience found the hilarity unending. It's why he was urged to release Bawabas and not Jesus. Gilda Radner similarly mocked Barbara Walters. Mispwonouncing her Rs didn't keep Bahbwa Wahwah from a lengthy career, but that's the point I'm coming to. If speech impediments were congenital, it would still be no reason to exhibit them center-stage like cultural accents. Aren't most speaking disorders remedied in the primary grades, given extra attention from speech therapists? Why do the exceptions seem to become Communications Majors? It's as if students who have reason to work on their locution, end up becoming the professionals. But choirs don't tolerate tone-deafness, why would broadcasters burden themselves with mis-speakers? Louisa Lim can't say R, but she's only one of a majority of female voices on NPR hobbled by flawed presentation. Don't you find that strange? Considering that Amy Goodman's delivery is criticized for being shrill. It's as if NPR thinks strong feminine voices would come across as too authoritative, unless a physical weakness is empirically discernible. Would this explain why most the female voices on NPR are nasal, or supported by the weakest lung capacity? Their tiny voices sound like they could extinguish themselves without the next breath. Audiences like it too obviously. Accents too, foreign and domestic, work to temper the projection of authority. Male presenters traditionally have sported commanding voices. Today, those who don't moderate for sporting events most often have voices in the higher registers, or modulate their voices with rises in pitch which communicates timidity.

Canadian Palin prank call over our heads

American media outlets are distributing an expurgated transcript of the CKOI prank call to Governor Sarah Palin. Lots of the jokes made for International listeners were apparently lost on American reporters, as obviously on Palin. Prank caller assistant "Frank the Worker" introduces French President "Sarkozy" who then refers to French faux-ex-pat pop icon Johnny Hallyday as his American adviser, and the Quebec pop country buffoon Stef Carse as the Prime Minister of Canada, not Stephan Harper, the single Canadian we might know, in particular if we were governor of Alaska. Then the Masked Avenger tells Palin that his wife Carla Bruni wrote a song for her, "De rouge a levre sur un cochon" which means "lipstick on a pig!" To be sure he speaks the phrase quickly, as if disbelieving himself that anyone would not recognize the joke. The Masked Avengers, comedians Marc-Antoine Audette and Sebastien Trudel, often make fun of the typical American's complete ignorance of Canadian politics. This prank call refers to the Prime Minister of Quebec Jean Charest, whom the caller assumes Palin would know, being "so next to him." But they pretend his name is Richard Z. Sirois, who Canadian listeners would recognize is their CKOI cohost of "Les Cerveaux de l'info" (their radio show "The Info Brains"). It might be noted that the duo pulled an identical prank call on George W. Bush in 2000. Here's the full unexpurgated transcript of the CKOI prank call made to Governor Sarah Palin. Corrections are in bold. Notes and translations are in brackets. HANDLER: This is Betsy. RADIO HOST: Hello, Betsy. HANDLER: Hi RADIO HOST: Hi, this is Franc L'ouvrier, [trans. Frank the factory worker, a pun on Joe the Plumber] I am with president Sarkozy, on the line for Gov. Palin HANDLER: Yes, one second please. Can you hold on one second, please? RADIO HOST: Yeah, no problem. HANDLER: Alright, thanks. HANDLER 2: Hi, I'm gonna hand the phone over to her. RADIO HOST: OK, thank you very much, I'm gonna put the president on the line GOV. SARAH PALIN: This is Sarah. RADIO HOST: Uh yeah, Gov. Palin? GOV. PALIN: Hello. RADIO HOST: Just hold on for President Sarkozy, one moment. GOV. PALIN: [off line] Oh, it's not him yet. I always do that. FAKE SARKOZY: Yes, hello, Gov. Palin. GOV. PALIN: [off line] I'll just have people hand it to me right when it's him. FAKE SARKOZY: Yes, hello, Mrs. Governor? GOV. PALIN: Hello, this is Sarah. How are you? FAKE SARKOZY: Fine, and you? This is Nikolas Sarkozy speaking. How are you? GOV. PALIN: Oh, so good, it's so good to hear you. Thank you for calling us. FAKE SARKOZY: Oh, it's a pleasure. GOV. PALIN: Thank you sir. We have such great respect for you, John McCain and I. We love you, and thank you for taking a few minutes to talk to me. FAKE SARKOZY: I followed your campaigns very closely with my special American advisor, Johnny Hallyday. GOV. PALIN: Yes, good. FAKE SARKOZY: Excellent, are you confident? GOV. PALIN: Very confident, and we're thankful that polls are showing that the race is tightening. FAKE SARKOZY: Well, I know very well that

Obama said The Ukraine not Ukraine tsk

On the subject of spinning the debates...   Did you hear about Barack Obama's horrible gaffe in the first debate?! According to public radio, Obama referred to "The Ukraine" instead of the less diminutive "Ukraine" sans-the. PRI's The World trotted out tsk-tsks from a Ukrainian-accented expert who derided Obama for his un-PC insensitivity to her country's post-Soviet independence. Self-respecting nations don't require "the" to distinguish them apparently. "The" is only for provinces or regions, the expert explained. The Balkins, the Riviera --I can't remember her examples. Certainly you wouldn't say The France, unless you were referring to the ocean liner. How undiplomatic for Obama to malign poor proud "Ukrayina." The would-be statesman [in evident need of more experience] should come visit, suggested the expert. But the report revealed [Instead] Obama was campaigning in Ohio. Shall we look into what the Ukrainian expert didn't explain: why English speakers unconsciously need to add "the" before Ukraine? Is it simply because we used to, when Ukraine was a part of Russia, and then a member of the USSR. But we didn't say the Georgia, or the Belorusse... Unless we meant THE Republic of Belarus. But that rule applies to every formal title. Then also we say the United States, we say the UK, and we say the People's Republic of China. We say the Netherlands, but not the Finland, nor the Afghanistan. We do not add THE to any of the -stan states, which was a Russian suffix meaning "land." Perhaps as we don't use THE for nations ending in -land either. We say the Philippines. We say the the Maldives. There seems to be a pattern related to territories in the plural. So it's nothing to do with client states but rather collected lands. As usual, I've entertained myself before doing the research. 1. The Ukraine Is the Ukraine (I can't help but say it that way) a reference to plural regions? Or is there some other idiomatic pattern which governs usage for English-speakers? The answer turned out to be the former. Apparentely, Ukrayina is named after the Old East Slavic for "border region." The Territories of Ukraine were the old Russian empire's western edge. Perhaps this suggests why Ukrainians want to be considered their own land, and not part of someone else's. There, the expert is right. A historically geographical name does not suggest a sovereign nation. The Transvaal, the Yukon, the Sahara, the Midlands on England's border to Scotland. I think it's interesting that no US state needs a "the," compared to their previous incarnations as the Dakota Territories, the Louisiana Purchase, etc. But to complicate the matter, in the Ukrainian language the word means "country." Doesn't it go against their own tongue to eliminate the definite article? To refer to either concept, country or border, requires "the." At least I know it is so in English. Which is my point here. Since their independence from the USSR the Ukraine has asserted an identity minus "the." The distinction is for diplomatic papers. So I'm

Amy Goodman fliers for distribution

Help spread the word that journalist Amy Goodman will be making an appearance on Sunday 3pm. This is an opportunity to ask KRCC to give her show DEMOCRACY NOW a morning or afternoon drive time slot.

KRCC promoting Amy Goodman and DN!

Most radio listeners are in their cars. That AM stations retain their clout is because for the longest time most cars could only receive the AM signal. Older established technologies present critical links not just older generations but to lower socio-economic populations.

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