Note to Diane Rehm, 21 April 2011:
I have always admired your ability and courage to call people out and keep them honest, but I have to say I was really disappointed with the disconnect between the eloquent and heartfelt comments from listeners and the predictable, dismissive, tired, and ultimately connected and insider responses from the panelists (with a few exceptions). The impression one gets is of a group of people who are overly invested in the status quo and who marginalize anyone who challenges it, even if they are slightly different flavors of whatever the "center" happens to be at a particular moment. Those of us who are branded "liberal", or "far left" right now are part of the intelligentsia of this country that has been responsible for much of the change throughout history that has made a life of dignity and prosperity for the human species that we now enjoy. The establishment currently has found success in marginalizing us as fringe, or outright branding us as dangerous. Those who are less intellectual in inclination have been marginalized, manipulated and distracted into ineffectiveness.
I realize NPR is struggling for federal dollars with a hostile right wing, but if a call-in show is not open to ideas from its listeners, and if NPR in general is not representing truth and resisting phony binaries (left/right, fringe/center, etc.) it is giving up what makes it worth the federal dollars.