I was a bit taken aback by a story aired in WHQR that informed us that “A conservative limited-government group is actively campaigning against Democratic nominee Deborah Ross in North Carolina's U.S. Senate race”. The story went on to outline their objection to Ms. Ross’ policies, accusing her of “raising taxes and supporting reckless government spending.", buzz words worthy of Roger Ailes. I found that story, virtually verbatim, in the News and Observer, and discovered that your reporting left out the next paragraph, which revealed that this particular limited government group is funded by the Koch brothers. They, like most superrich, find government spending anathema to their quest to personally acquire the largest share of the nations’ wealth. After all, he who dies with the most cookies wins.
We received some calls and messages on Monday when listeners heard Donald Trump’s full speech to the Detroit Economic Club on our air. Some pointed out that there were some odd moments, such as when our local announcement aired right on top of NPR. Some wondered why we decided to pre-empt Here and Now to carry it. In both cases, at the beginning of the day, we were not aware that NPR intended to preempt the entire noon hour (and beyond) of Here and Now to carry the speech. A communications snafu caused us to miss some of the normally scheduled program cues.
Listener Margee Herring wrote: "As you consider programming to fill aging programs (enough with Car Talk!), or retired programs (Prairie Home) or repetitive programming … , please give thought to introducing a less-than-accessible perspective. Several years ago, NPR conducted its own "voice audit" and recognized that its voices-of-color were frequently less than ethnic-sounding, and thus, began its code-switch programming in earnest. As communities re-consider our country's progress, or lack thereof, in race relations, an authentic and accessible black perspective would valuable.
Jake Thomason had this reaction to a recent interview on The State of Things from WUNC: “Why is there a Christian discussion on your broadcast right now? My coworkers and I are loyal listeners, but are very concerned and not interested in hearing this. Christians have their own stations. Thank you for your time.” I wrote to Jake that the show segment featured an interview with two people who are attempting to approach environmental activism from a religious perspective, much as Dr. Martin Luther King worked within both an activist and a religious framework in the battle for civil rights.
Here’s a Feedback question I expected to get but did not, as of press time: “What happened to the Midday Interview?” Well, it’s still around, but with several changes. Our daily in-depth look at art, culture and ideas, hosted by Gina Gambony, is now called Communique. It’s still heard at noon on Classical HQR, and now on HQR News twice a day, at 8:50 during Morning Edition and 4:45 during All Things Considered.
Thanks to everyone who participated in yesterday’s 1-Day December Drive. We’re pleased to support the work of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, and we join with them in thanking Food Lion for donating 4 pounds of food for every pledge received. Here’s a typical reaction from the drive. James Jones of Wilmington wrote:
It’s great to see the station & Food Lion helping feed the hungry at this time of year.
Thanks for all you do to keep listeners on top of things. I look forward to receiving the [station’s] emails regularly. What’s happened to Friday Feedback? It hasn’t been on air for several weeks. Happy Holidays, to everyone at WHQR.
Thanks to vacation schedule and some minor health-related down time, we have rearranged some people’s times on air – you’ve heard Bob Workmon, Gina Gambony, Todd Patterson, Rachel Lewis Hilburn and yours truly taking guest slots, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria, you name it.