NPR Anchor Audie Cornish Peddles Liberal Talking Points During Interview with Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul sat down with NPR anchor Audie Cornish on the January 29th All Things Considered, and from the moment the interview began, NPR’s listeners knew the likely outcome: a one-sided attack job.

Anchor Robert Siegel explained that while Cathy McMorris Rodgers gave the official GOP response, Sen. Mike Lee had a Tea Party response, and Paul had an online video response. Cornish began the interview by asking, “How do you convince the independent voter out there who sees this kind of mishmash of responses from various Republicans and no definitive agenda?”

Cornish was somehow pretending that Rand Paul and Mike Lee are a wildly divergent pair of Republicans. (Rodgers has a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 91 percent conservative.)  

As the interview continued, Cornish enthusiastically peddled Obama’s talking points. The NPR host jumped on President Obama’s mention of Kentucky’s health exchange during the State of the Union: 

CORNISH: Now, President Obama also last night put some focus on your state of Kentucky. The governor, Steve Beshear, was there. And that's because Kentucky's online health insurance exchange, Kynect, is considered to be doing quite well. Given how well Kentucky has done running this online exchange, should more states have agreed to participate?

PAUL: I would say alleged to be running well. I'm from Kentucky, and I think it's a disaster. Two-hundred-and-fifty thousand people have been cancelled from their insurance and about 60,000 have been signed up. Of the 60,000 people who signed up, 85 percent of them were signed up for Medicaid. I know this 'cause I tried to sign my son up and they put him automatically into Medicaid.

CORNISH: Now, if Republicans eventually succeed in gaining control and having the votes to repeal and replace Obamacare, what is the plan to do with all of the people who will inevitably be taking insurance away from who could number in the millions in that point?

PAUL: Yeah, I don't think any Republicans were taking away insurance. What we work for is providing more choices and less expensive healthcare. I practiced medicine for 20 years, and the biggest complaint I got was that health insurance cost too much. And so what we need is more competition but more choices.

If Cornish were so concerned with “taking insurance away” from people, she truly should be more skeptical of ObamaCare, which has forced millions of Americans to lose their health insurance, rather than cheerleading for the administration. Cornish didn’t let up with her liberal agenda throughout the interview, and pushed Obama's remarks on "workplace equality" for women: 

CORNISH: Another issue the president spoke about was women and workplace equality. Democrats have been campaigning on this pitch for quite sometime that there's a Republican war on women. But you've said if there's a war on women, women are winning it. How do you respond to the criticism that this is dismissive of real concerns some women voters have?

PAUL: What I can say is that when you look at the marketplace, young women are doing fabulously well. So I think the people who are talking about this war on women really aren't actually looking at the facts. When you look at the facts, young women are out-competing young men in school, graduate schools....

CORNISH: And you write that especially for millennial women, they're making 93 percent of what men make. But, you know, for the average woman, it's still 77 cents for every man's dollar. And for black women, that's 64 cents.

PAUL: Yeah. And if you - if you equal...

CORNISH: I mean, what does that mean for your outreach?

PAUL: If you equalize people based on exact professions and exact time spent and time spent away, they're virtually the same. So the thing is it's not perfect yet. It's heading in the right direction. And so for people to concoct something and say, 'Oh, one party doesn't like women,' it's the farthest thing from the truth. And, really, it's just partisan gamesmanship is what it is from the other side.

NPR wasn't going to notice that even Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler called out Obama for cherry-picking the 77-cents number: 

There is clearly a wage gap, but differences in the life choices of men and women — such as women tending to leave the workforce when they have children — make it difficult to make simple comparisons. Obama is using a figure (annual wages, from the Census Bureau) that makes the disparity appear the greatest. 

The entire interview was so ridden with Obama talking points that Ms. Cornish could have gone to the DNC website to know what to say to Senator Paul. For a network that receives 25 percent of its funding from taxpayers, it would seem logical that its anchors would at least pretend to be impartial rather than act as an arm of the Obama White House instead of a supposed news station. 

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.