Thursday, October 08, 2015

Tom Gresham of Gun Talk Shreds John Hockenberry on NPR's The Takeaway

   Wow. This was one of the weirdest exchanges I've ever heard on NPR. I just happened to catch Piers Morgan doing a really cringeworthy anti-firearms song and dance on the same show the other day. I've actually seen that Morgan guy be a perfectly respectable journalist at times, and have never had the contempt for him that many seem to have. I only caught about 15 minutes of the program, but boy was it fluff. And Hockenberry made very little effort to control his anti-firearm position. I do understand why people feel passionately about it...but the show was really cringe-inducing. And the exchange with Gresham was even more so. I'm not familiar with Gresham or his show, and expected him to be a kook--but if he is, it didn't come across in this segment. He was calm, reasonable and well-informed...and Hockenberry basically lost it. His questions barely concealed his agenda and his anger, and Gresham actually called him on it at one point. Hockenberry then began denying that he was trying to advance a position, and insisted that he was "just asking questions," which was patently false. I got home before the interview was over, and had one of those NPR "driveway moments" they like to go on about...but not in a good way. I have a lower and lower opinion of NPR as time goes on, but this may have been the nadir.
   Props to Hockenberry for letting that interview see the light of day. I'm afraid I'd have gone right in and erased the tape if I were him...


Anonymous Tom Gresham said...

Interesting that you would expect someone to be a kook without knowing anything about him.

11:29 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...


Though, OTOH, I *did* know *something* about him/you... I'd heard Hockenberry describe him/you as someone with a syndicated show on firearms.

Experience has shown that kooks abound on both sides of the discussion, and I'd just heard a fair bit of the terrible discussion with Piers Morgan the day before... So I (weakly) expected an equal and opposite kook on the other side...

At any rate, if you're him (Gresham), what I heard of your part of the show was well done. Even your calling of Hockenberry on this bias was done just right, I thought. You let him go for awhile, giving him an opportunity to get himself back on track, and when he didn't, you made the point gracefully and without embarrassing him too severely ("There is so much subtext in each of your questions..." or something similar to that.)

Overall, nicely done IMO.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

My husband regularly listens to NPR, and knowing I a civil rights advocate (i.e., love ALL of the protections in the Bill of Rights) has had me listen to NPR shows dealing with firearms. I've never, as in NEVER, listened to one where the anti-civil-rights agenda of NPR or it's hosts is not apparent. NPR has a few good shows, like Prairie Home Companion.

However I find it offensive that I have to pay for it with my tax dollars Sort of like I'm offended that my tax dollars go to the lawless Planned Parenthood. Show me where in the Constitution, the federal government is given authority to do that.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I'm mostly a liberal, and perhaps that's why it took me a long time to start seeing--or think I'm seeing, anyway--liberal bias on NPR.

Can't really agree with you on the other stuff... But reasonable people disagree on that. My tax dollars paid for the abominable Iraq war, vegetarians pay for farming subsidies that benefit farmers who raise animals for food, etc. etc.

As for the final question...dunno. The General Welfare clause?

10:11 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You should listen to Tom's show our catch a podcast of one. I think you'll find it entertaining and informative.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, I intend to, though I haven't gotten around to it yet.

11:11 AM  

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