Lazy journalism at NPR typically causes a return to their default position: liberal bias. Such was the case yesterday. In the morning edition, NPR reported on the recent and unsurprising announcement that NOW--the National Organization For Women, an ideological & partisan group--would endorse Barack Obama.
Rarely does the National Organization For Women endorse a presidential candidate. On Tuesday, the group announced it is endorsing Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Kim Gandy, president of NOW, talks with Renee Montagne about why the organization is endorsing Obama.
Pay attention to the highlighted material. According to NPR, NOW rarely endorses a presidential candidate. If by "rarely" they mean once every 4 years, then, yeah, they rarely endorse a candidate for President. But here's the problem, a cursory search of the internet reveals that earlier this year, when she was still in the running, NOW endorsed Hillary Clinton. In 2004, NOW endorsed John Kerry. Presumably, though I haven't done the search, they endorsed Gore in 2000 and so on and so forth.
Discovering this information took me about five minutes. Five minutes! Do you think it was laziness on the part of NPR that caused them to present NOW's endorsement in this fashion?
It's unlikely the NPR writer and editor responsible for this piece purposely sought to deceive listeners and readers. The more likely explanation is that they, as mentioned above, lazily default to a liberal position. In all probability, they are blissfully unaware of either their own biases or NOW's.
The obvious trouble arises for the NPR listener who knows nothing about NOW and takes NPR at their word. A Harris telephone poll in 2006 found that NPR is among the most trusted news sources. This raises the stakes. A listener might reasonably think to themself, 'If a non-partisan organization for women is for Barack Obama, (1) he must be great and (2) what's wrong with Sarah Palin that they wouldn't endorse her--a woman--and John McCain?'
Despite the fact that Sarah Palin is, obviously, a woman, NOW would never consider endorsing her or her top-of-the-ticket partner, John McCain because NOW is ideologically opposed to the pair on nearly every issue. Thus, their impending announcement shouldn't have kept anyone wondering, with bated breath, which way they would go. And furthermore, inviting them to share their reasons for endorsing Barack Obama amount to little more than a political ad--free air time--for Barack Obama.