The other day I tuned my radio to NPR and discovered (to my dismay) that they were smack in the middle of one of their pledge drives. For those of you that have not had the pleasure, basically their pledge drives consist of NPR radio personalities trying to make you feel guilty for listening to their station and not contributing money. While I find these segments annoying, I realize that they are a necessary evil for public radio. The problem arose when NPR took a break from its pledge drive to air some COMMERCIALS for Nissan and Progressive. Now I'm no genius but I was under the impression that the reason NPR has to beg for money periodically is because they are a public radio station, made possible by listeners like me. Okay, maybe not like me since I haven't contributed, but you get the idea. My point is, what the hell are commercials doing on this station?!
"But Ryan," you may be saying, "they aren't commercials. They're just shout-outs to companies that contribute money to the station." First of all you really shouldn't start a sentence with a conjunction. Secondly, bullshit. They are pre-recorded endorsements promoting specific corporate consumer products in exchange for money. If that's not a commercial I don't know what is.
Now don't get me wrong, I love NPR. It is a great radio station that provides a wealth of fascinating information. One of the reasons I love it, however, is for its balanced approach to news. If they continue to accept corporate sponsorship they run the risk of becoming biased towards their investors. I understand that the economy is bad and money is scarce (which is why I haven't contributed to their programming yet). I just worry that they are going down a dark road. Also, the fact that they're taking breaks in their PLEDGE DRIVES to air commercials is just plain insulting.
So pull yourself together NPR. You're on notice.