Black Op Radio


It has only been a few years since I bought into this stuff, so I understand how people get sucked in. The JFK assassination was one of the most intensely rabbit-holed events of my lifetime, and the industry still thrives. There is one site in particular that seems to be charged with keeping the story alive, called Black Op Radio*. It has been going on going on 18 years now, and runs hours and hours of programming.

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The true art of lying

One of the most ink-consuming episodes in recent American history involved a man named Daniel Ellsberg and a 7,000 page document called the “Pentagon Papers.” The entire affair was highly instructive.

ellsbergEllsberg was an insider, and is to this day called out to perform in public when other rebels, like Edward Snowden, need an imprimatur of genuineness. His role as an actor was readily apparent when, faced with a prison sentence, he was remarkably set free due to “bungling” by the Nixon Administration group called the “White House Plumbers, who left a driver’s license … excuse me, left easily discovered evidence of the burglary of the office of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist. This in turn caused the court to set Ellsberg free. This sort of play-acting is sometimes called a “Kabuki Dance,” or an ” … event that is designed to create the appearance of conflict or of an uncertain outcome, when in fact the actors have worked together to determine the outcome beforehand.” (Wikipedia, my favorite source of lies.)

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NPR boldly goes

NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell me is a weekly comedic treatment of what they call “news,” NPR’s regular fare – what people here know as “fake news.” The host, Peter Sagal, is the visible promoter of the show’s content. He is prim and proper about current events, never questioning anything, always accepting official news as official truth. He’s a good doggy.

Now and then he will sneak something in – I distinctly remember one show where he promoted the use of LSD (in light doses) as beneficial. In last week’s episode, during the “Not my Job” segment,  he allowed guest Alan Cumming to go into intimate detail about his intimate relations with other men. He described how he and a former boyfriend were so taken with each other that they each had tattoos placed on their genitals as a memorial. Then they broke up, and oh the problems with new boyfriends!

NPR’s listening audience is generally older, and generally imagine themselves a cut above for getting their fake news from NPR instead of Fox. Sagal is taking them down! I shook my head in disbelief as I listened to the details of Cummings’ sex life. Good grief. I don’t want to know that about him. I don’t want to know that about anyone.

I am no prude. I am only a normally sensible adult who respects boundaries.

To:        Colorado Public Radio
From:   Mark Tokarski

I listened to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me last week, with guest Alan Cumming. It made me extremely uncomfortable, and was perhaps offensive to people of good taste. Cummings in the interview talked about how he and a boyfriend each had tattoos referring to each other placed on their genitals, and how he later had to warn new men he dated about what they would find before traveling “down there.”

I get that NPR wants to be out front in tolerance and acceptance of gays. I am not broaching that topic. But this was out of bounds, in my view, for any orientation. Imagine if the relationship was heterosexual and he talked of him and a girlfriend doing the same thing. It is private! It need not be aired! It makes people of ordinary taste and sensibility extremely uncomfortable. Is that the goal – to push the limits?

I hope that NPR got wide and vigorous condemnation for this episode. I doubt it , but hope so.

Mark Tokarski