NPR Notes: Ted Koppel on Talk of the Nation, and On Point’s false dichotomies

A change of plans yesterday led to quite a bit of time in the car mid-afternoon, and a chance to listen to Ted Koppel promote his new documentary about Iran on NPR’s Talk of the Nation. I was very impressed with Koppel’s apparent grasp of the nuances of the Iranian political situation, of the shades of opinion within the country, and particularly with his commitment to educating people about it given its ongoing importance in world affairs and US foreign policy. The documentary airs on the Discovery Channel on Sunday and you can find the Talk Of The Nation interview here.

I was distinctly less impressed with the discussion of Iraq policy on On Point last night. All too often that programme seems to invite on “experts” who delight in presenting every situation as having only two possible solutions. Such binary distinctions are all too common in the US’ two-party political system, but I continue to hope that NPR programs will invite more voices to the table. I’m not equipped to fully judge McGovern and Polk’s “Blueprint for leaving Iraq now“, but that’s an example of an opinion that seems well reasoned and should at least crack open discussions like last night’s to talk about third, fourth, or even fifth ways.

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