Posts Tagged ‘PBS’

#ThanksLarry: In praise of Larry Kudlow

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

“We believe that free market capitalism is the best path to prosperity!”
@larry_kudlow

I met Larry Kudlow at the Rainbow Room on Wednesday, November 16, 2005, at the Pajamas Media rollout party. Pajamas Media was having a momentary identity crisis, and we found out almost then that it was making its debut as OSM: Open Source Media instead.

There were a hundred people or so at the event, so I’m sure Mr. Kudlow doesn’t remember me, but here’s how it went:

Milton Friedman and Louis Rukeyser were instrumental in my transformation from a socialist to a capitalist, and I must partly thank PBS for that. As an economics/business major, I had read Friedman’s books, and they were pivotal to my change. (Years later, PBS aired Friedman’s Free to Choose series – which you can now watch on YouTube for free by courtesy of the Palmer R. Chitester Fund). While I was still in college, I started watching Louis Rukeyser’s Wall Street Week (W$W), which aired on PBS every Friday at 7:30PM. Friedman was a guest in the show.

I was a fan of the show for its entire run, from 1972 to 2002. There’s even a photo of me with my newborn son watching W$W on the day he was born.

In 2002 Rukeyser moved to CNBC, and he ended his show in 2004 due to his battle with cancer.

Larry Kudlow was a regular panelist in both shows, and, at the Pajamas party, I went over and introduced myself. Mr. Kudlow looks exactly as he does on TV, he’s shorter than I expected, and was (characteristically) very well dressed.

I started by asking him to tell Mr. Rukeyser, if he had a chance, that he was in my family’s prayers and convey our best wishes. Mr. Kudlow was most gracious, and he described how Mr. Rukeyser was the only person who would invite him to their show after Mr. Kudlow’s recovery following a scandalous and very public fall from grace due to his addictions. Mr. Kudlow also explained his conversion to Catholicism, as Catholics took him in during the time when he struggled to pry himself away from his disease. It was a remarkable conversation, and before we parted he mentioned again he’d convey my message to Mr. Rukeyser, whom he saw often.

CNBC started a show, Kudlow & Cramer, which I didn’t watch too often because I find Cramer annoying. Later on Kudkow got his own show, and I watched frequently (mostly while preparing dinner).

The Kudlow Report (and its earlier version, Kudlow and Company) was, without a doubt, the best moneypolitics show on the air. Differing, opposite, views were discussed civilly, and with clarity. It is entirely to Mr. Kudlow’s credit that he maintained such high standards on each and every broadcast.

Last night was The Kudlow Report’s last show. During his closing speech, Mr. Kudlow gave witness to his faith, movingly saying he “replaced addiction with faith.” He will continue as a CNBC contributor in other shows.

I wish Mr. Kudlow the best, and thank him for inspiring and encouraging Americans to prosper and grow.


Everything you need to know about Downton Abbey

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

in 5 minutes or less,

If they made a series about the “fiscal cliff”, would it be called Downturn Abbey?

PBS’s Ray Suarez can’t believe the truth about Cuba’s healthcare

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Ray Suarez is having a snit about Mary O’Grady’s article,

Apparently, Mary Anastasia O’Grady’s critique of Ray Suarez’ PBS piece on Castro’s health care system stung him not only a bit, but a lot. In a rambling and disjointed rebuttal on the PBS News Hour website, Suarez attempted to defend his Castro propaganda-laden report by citing instances where opposing views were presented, but the rebuttal quickly degenerated into a personal attack on O’Grady.

Suarez claims that

Cuba has, for a country of its income, very high life expectancy. Cuba has, for a country of its income, low infant mortality. Cuba has, for a country of its income, low rates of infectious disease.

Yet Suarez forgets to mention that the statistics for any of these are provided by the Cuban government, the same government that has refused access to any independent outside organization to examine the statistics, the criteria for the data, or how the statistics are gathered. Suarez can’t seem to realize that any statistics put out by a totalitarian regime in a closed society are to be questioned.

Additionally, Suarez ignored the medical apartheid system itself.

Suarez says that “Ms. O’Grady has not gotten that memo,” which brings up the cables.

What cables?

Ah, the Wikileaks cable:
Cables spotlight health woes in Cuba
A U.S. diplomatic cable from Havana in 2008 noted the problems in Cuba’s public health system.

The U.S. cable is not an in-depth assessment of Cuba’s health system. Rather, it’s a string of anecdotes gathered by the FSHP from Cubans such as “manicurists, masseuses, hair stylists, chauffeurs, musicians, artists, yoga teachers, tailors, as well as HIV/AIDS and cancer patients, physicians, and foreign medical students.”

At one OB-Gyn hospital, the dispatch reported, the staff “used a primitive manual vacuum to aspirate” the womb of a Cuban woman who had a miscarriage “without any anesthesia or pain medicine. She was offered no . . . follow up appointments.”

A 6-year old boy with bone cancer could only be visited at a hospital by his parents for “limited hours,” the cable added.

Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy or radiation get “little in the way of symptom or side-effects care . . . that is critically important in being able to continue treatments, let alone provide comfort to an already emotionally distraught victim,” the dispatch noted.

“Cancer patients are not provided with, nor can they find locally, simple medications such as Aspirin, Tylenol, skin lotions, vitamins, etc.,” it added.

HIV-positive Cubans have only one facility, the Instituto Pedro Kouri in Havana, that can provide specialty care and medications, the cable noted. Because of transportation problems and costs, some patients from the provinces may be seen only once per year.

Kouri institute patients can wait months for an appointment, “but can often move ahead in line by offering a gift,” the dispatch added. “We are told five Cuban convertible pesos (approximately USD 5.40) can get one an x-ray.”

Although the practice was reportedly discontinued, some HIV-positive patients had the letters “SIDA” (AIDS) stamped on their national ID cards, making it hard for them to find good jobs or pursue university studies, according to the cable.

The cable acknowledged that medical institutions reserved for Cuba’s ruling elites and foreigners who pay in hard currencies “are hygienically qualified, and have a wide array of diagnostic equipment with a full complement of laboratories, well-stocked pharmacies, and private patient suites with cable television and bathrooms.”

Hospitals and clinics used by average Cubans don’t come close, the dispatch added, providing details on the FSHP’s visits to four Havana hospitals:

At the Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital, part of which is reserved for foreign patients and was featured in the Michael Moore documentary Sicko, a “gift” of about $22 to the hospital administrator helps average Cubans obtain better treatment there. The exterior of the Ramon Gonzalez Coro OB-Gyn hospital was “dilapidated and crumbling” and its Newborn Intensive Care Unit was “using a very old infant `Bird’ respirator/ventilator — the model used in the U.S. in the 1970s.”

During a visit to the Calixto Garcia Hospital, which serves only Cubans, the U.S. nurse “was struck by the shabbiness of the facility . . .and the lack of everything (medical supplies, privacy, professional care staff). To the FSHP it was reminiscent of a scene from some of the poorest countries in the world.”

At the Salvador Allende Hospital, the emergency room appeared “very orderly, clean and organized.” But the rest of the facility was “in shambles” and guards by the entrance “smelled of alcohol.”

Of course Suarez will probably dismiss this as “anecdotal”. Since he was not free to visit any clinics/hospitals/facilities on this own while in Cuba, he ought, however, to spend some time looking at first-hand evidence and eyewitness accounts by people who are in Cuba.

Prior post here and at the Green Room.

Cross-posted at The Green Room.

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NewsHour’s Cuban healthcare fairytale

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Just the facts, M’am,
A Cuban Fairy Tale From PBS
What public television didn’t tell you about health care in Castro’s socialist state.
O’Grady’s article on line is by subscription only, but it’s also in today’s WSJ. In it, O’Grady explains that the NewsHour report by Ray Suarez, made with the Communist regime’s “cooperation”, comes across as party-line propaganda, but also makes revealing commentary, such as, when doctors make housecalls,

Homes are investigated, water quality checked, electrical plugs checked.”

Back in 2007 I was posting about ¡Salud!, a propaganda film about Cuban healthcare that was featured at the Princeton Public Library. The film shows the medics going through a patient’s home, including rifling through furniture drawers, checking for liquor, drugs, and tobacco.

Pause for a moment and ponder whether Americans would be better off being forced to endure an investigation of their home, in exchange for a house call from a medic/doctor who’s getting paid $200 month by the government. Even then the truth evaded Suarez,

As to doctors checking on water quality and electricity outlets, the PBS reporter might be surprised to learn that most Cuban homes have no running water or power on a regular basis. This is true even in the capital. In 2006, Mr. Botín says, a government minister admitted that 75.5% of the water pipes in Havana were “unusable” and “recognized that 60% of pumped water was lost before it made it to consumers.” To “fix” the problem, the city began providing water in each neighborhood only on certain days. Havana water is also notoriously contaminated. Foreigners drink only the bottled stuff, which Cubans can’t afford. In the rest of the country the quality and quantity of the water supply is even less reliable.

Go read the rest of O’Grady’s article, and keep in mind that your taxpayer dollars pay for PBS.

Cross-posted at The Green Room.

UPDATE
John Hinderaker ponders the World’s Most Successful Propaganda Campaign?

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VIDEO: Digital Nation interview

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

On PBS’s Digital Nation, while at BlogHer09

Latino Social Resistance Powered by Hip Hop: Today’s podcast

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

In today’s podcast: Vee Bravo and Loira Limbal, filmmakers for the documentary Latino Social Resistance Powered by Hip Hop, talk about the upcoming PBS special, Estilo Hip Hop:

ESTILO HIP HOP chronicles the lives of three hip hop enthusiasts from Brazil, Chile and Cuba who firmly believe that hip hop can change the world. These three inspirational leaders mobilize young people to become politically active. However as the stakes assume greater risks, the leaders are faced with challenges and have to make a life-altering decisions that ultimately impact the course of their lives and of the hip hop movement.

The documentary focuses on rappers Eli Efi of Brazil, Guerrillero Okulto of Chile, and Magia and Alexei of Cuba.

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At noon, I’ll be on CNN Live’s Blogger Bunch, talking about government healthcare.