Is Public Radio Growing Out Of Touch With The Public?
On Only A Game, Bill Littlefield and Paul Attner from the Sporting News decided that people were having a hard time getting excited about this game because the "wrong teams" made the Super Bowl. On Weekend Edition, Chicago Sun Time's columnist Ron Rapoport said "we're going in to this game kind of disappointed" because it lacked star power.
How could they be so wrong?
Nielsen ratings show this Super Bowl had the highest ratings since 1996, the last time the Steelers played in the Super Bowl. That's more viewers than the years when New England and New York were in the game.
The nation was interested in this game. The people who were disappointed in the match-up were the sports writers and commentators covering the game. It seems as if they all hung out together and came to the conclusion that if they weren't excited by it, no one was excited by it.
I suspect this happens all too frequently among many NPR commentators, not just those who cover sports. Most of us don't question their expertise. They're on NPR after all.
But this was an easy catch, especially for a Steelers fan. Two separate NPR programs missed the pulse of the nation on the Super Bowl. If it can happen with the nation's biggest media event, on what other issues might it be happening and going unnoticed?