Forget Ports: Let's Hand Over 'American Idol'

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript

For insightful context on the controversy surrounding the Dubai ports takeover, few (if any) turn to Brian Unger. Still, he has some ideas on the matter.


And finally today for insightful context on the controversy surrounding the Dubai ports deal, few thoughtful people ever turn to Brian Unger. Nonetheless, it is the topic of today's Unger Report.

BRIAN UNGER reporting:

First, a nod to England, one-time proud colonial superpower and ruler of the high seas.

(Soundbite of music)

UNGER: Even after we waged and won a bloody war against the nation and dumped its tea into the Boston Harbor, we still forgave the British by allowing Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation company to run some of America's biggest ports since 1999. We're sorry it took over 200 years to hand over the goods, but heck of a job, P&O.

To the British, I'd say we're even over that whole American Revolution, but does this mean that in another 200 years, Afghanistan could be running, say, Disney? Well, while we await the purchase of P&O by the United Arab Emirates-owned Dubai Ports World and their eventual management of American ports, let's not get bogged down in xenophobic vitriol and prognostications of vengeful Arab pirates prowling our docks looking to stick someone with a hook. Let's instead sell off some other American industries for foreign government controlled companies to manage.

(Soundbite of music)

UNGER: For starters, can we just give American Idol to the French, for Pete's sake. They do know cheese. Or at the very least, we should turn over Idol to the Japanese. Imagine how much better the show could be in the hands of the very country that invented karaoke.

(Soundbite of music)

UNGER: Next, let's turn over the border patrol to the Koreans. If we really want to stop Mexican border crossings and the illegal flow of aliens into our country, let's hire some folks who can sit a grim, lifeless stretch of DMZ like nobody's business. How's that for an immigration solution, Lou Dobbs?

Moving on. It's high time we handed over Major League Baseball to the Dominican Republic. What better way to end the exploitation of impoverished Dominican youth? By turning over the game to the more than 15 hundred Dominican Republic-born already signed to Major League baseball organizations, at the very least female attendance will double.

While we're talking entertainment, let's sell Hollywood to India. Bollywood, Hollywood, it's changing one letter on a sign on a hill in a town where people can't spell anyway. But in India, whose moviemaking output is unrivaled in the world in terms of number made and tickets sold, small inexpensive films abound that few in the outside world see. Just like this year's Oscar-nominated movies.

But when it comes to ports, or other vital parts of America's infrastructure, let's forget about security for a moment. Aren't there any American owned companies that have the skill set to do the job? I understand we probably owe the United Arab Emirates a favor for being an important ally in the war on terrorism. But can't we just send them flowers? Because American companies who provide American jobs are an important ally in the war on poverty. And that is today's Unger Report. I'm Brian Unger.

BRAND: And you can hear all of the Unger Reports at our website and get podcasts of them there as well. Find out more at

Copyright © 2006 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.