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NPR -- the Initials Stand for Nothing

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NPR announced recently that it's no longer National Public Radio. Like CBS and NBC before it, it has decided that its initials are now so iconic they stand for nothing but themselves (ABC recently revived its full name, the "American Broadcasting Company", probably to ride the early Iraq War patriotism wave).

Well, here's a clue about what NPR stands for now. I've just made a documentary film about why New Orleans flooded, "The Big Uneasy", in theaters nationwide on Monday. Having been denied access to coverage by either of the network's two flagship news programs, I decided to buy in, purchasing some of those "enhanced underwriting" announcements that the rest of us would call ads.

The money was on the table, and then things got... kind of NPR'y. Long story short, NPR's legal department ruled that these words were not acceptable in the announcement: "documentary about why New Orleans flooded", that the only words that would work for them were "documentary about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina" -- this despite the fact that the movie IS about why New Orleans flooded, and it most certainly is not about the hurricane (since the experts interviewed in the movie agree that the flooding was a "man-made engineering catastrophe").

So, yes, like CBS and NBC, NPR has decided its initials stand for nothing. What the network itself stands for at this moment sounds a lot like censorship.