In the midst of taxpayer-subsidized NPR's week of John F. Kennedy / utopian Democratic president idolatry (four full hours plus 22 stories--plus others that discussed him), NPR's Dallas reporter and anti-conservative sermonizer Wade Goodwyn slandered the right and the GOP by shifting blame for President Kennedy's assassination. In his "reporting," the far-left Alinskyite community organizer turned NPR reporter played fast and loose with the facts, selectively quoted left-leaning writers, and provided his own subjective interpretation of history to lay the blame for Kennedy's death on Goodwyn's political opponents.
In his November 21 All Things Considered rant, Goodwyn presented a left-wing funhouse-of-mirrors version of 1963 Dallas. He falsely claimed that the Dallas Morning News chose to border its front page in black on the day of Kennedy's Dallas visit. The truth is that the black bordering was on a paid advertisement--on Page 14. Goodwyn went on and on about the hateful right-wing leaders in Dallas and how they were responsible for Kennedy's assassination. Despite his piece being drenched in politics, Goodwyn never bothered to mention that the lone killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, was a far-left communist who just seven months earlier attempted to assassinate another prominent anti-communist in Dallas.
NPR rarely misses the opportunity of a mass shooting to beat the drums for more gun control. The news magazine show Here and Now, which recently became a joint venture of NPR along with NPR’s Boston affiliate WBUR, didn’t disappoint dispirited gun control advocates. Its September 19 show featured a lengthy segment of strategy for pushing through gun control legislation.
The sole guest in the segment was gun control advocate Paul Barrett, a journalist with Bloomberg Businessweek (owned by gun control activist Michael Bloomberg). Just the day before, they interviewed their only other guest about gun control since the Navy Yard shooting, gun control advocate Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democratic U.S. Senator.
NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley can be counted on to provide upbeat, Pollyanna-like reporting on Obama. His credulous reports could be mistaken for products of the Obama White House’s pretend news operation. On September 4, however, Horsley sensed that the leader he so admires stepped in it with his “I didn’t set a red line; the world set a red line...Congress set a red line” remark, calling for him to go even beyond his normal sense of duty.
Rather than quoting Obama directly or playing an audio clip of him, Horsley restated Obama’s remarks in a more helpful formulation: “it's not just his red line that Syria's now crossed, but the world's [Horsley’s emphasis] red line. He challenged the international community to back that up.”
Previously, Newsbusters described how NPR News refused to answer in writing NPR’s own ombudsman’s devastating critique of a series by correspondent Laura Sullivan in which she made sensational claims of South Dakota state government greed at the expense of American Indian families. In their brief non-response response, NPR admitted that there were a few mistakes, but spent as much space attacking their own ombudsman (including ironically inflating the number of months he spent on the investigation). As reported in the public radio trade publication Current, NPR continues to stonewall on the issue.
NPR news executives not only refuse to discuss the matter with outsiders, but they won’t even do so with their own. While the NPR ombudsman agreed to talk to NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik, NPR news executives would not. They also would not speak to Bob Garfield, host of the NPR-distributed weekly media program On the Media out of WNYC in New York.
The recently announced upcoming departure of NPR CEO Gary Knell serves as a useful time to look at the history of NPR leadership. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, NPR insists that it doesn’t play favorites in its news coverage of political parties. One indication of NPR’s actual commitment to being nonpartisan in its news coverage is its choice of President/CEO. Just from what is publicly known about NPR’s nine leaders over the past 42 years, most were known to be devoted Democrats before being hired. None were known to be Republicans (even liberal Republicans).
NPR’s first two leaders had no public history of partisan activity. The NPR board can’t take much credit for that, though. The first leader, Don Quayle, was picked before NPR was even broadcasting. The second leader, Lee Frischknecht, a life-long friend of Quayle’s and already second in command at NPR, was hand-picked by Quayle to take over at NPR, so that he could move on to another job. Those were unique cases.
President Obama is now on his fourth annual “man of the people” summer vacation to Martha’s Vineyard (for some reason, Obama skipped that vacation three months prior to Election Day 2012). While there, he hangs around fellow rich and powerful liberals. Last night (August 12), one of those liberals included NPR anchor and special correspondent Michele Norris, who hosted Obama for a cocktail party at her vacation home on the Vineyard.
In 2011, Norris appropriately notified her NPR supervisors that husband Broderick Johnson was offered a full-time position in the Obama reelection campaign. She then recused herself from any coverage of the 2012 campaign and became a special correspondent and fill-in host. Now apparently nothing is off-limits, including hosting at her home the president she inevitably has to cover (or at least discuss) as a journalist. The official pool report from the White House press corps didn't list any media conflict:
From October 25 – October 27, 2011, NPR’s investigative correspondent Laura Sullivan and NPR West producer Amy Walters made sensational charges against the state of South Dakota on NPR’s two largest news shows. They claimed that the state forcibly removed American Indian children from their families and placed them in white families for the purpose of receiving additional revenue from the U.S. government.
The series soon came under withering scrutiny by John Hinderaker at Power Line (see links below to his 6-part 2011 examination). Unbeknownst to Hinderaker and about everyone else, NPR’s independent ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos began his own inquiry into the series about the same time. He spent 22 months examining the reporting of the series and actually went back and re-reported what Sullivan and Walters had reported. The result is a stinging 80-page rebuke of Sullivan, Walters and their editors August 9, in which he characterized the series as “an injustice.” Here is an extended excerpt of Schumacher-Matos’ report summary (emphasis mine):
The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics released its July monthly jobs report August 2. While the unemployment rate fell, economists did not view the report as positive. Even the liberal (called that by NPR itself) Economic Policy Institute, panned the results the same day.
That widespread negative assessment of the report didn’t stop NPR’s senior national correspondent and frequent fill-in host Linda Wertheimer from yet again casting news in a favorable light for Democrats. Here is the 42-year veteran of NPR’s upbeat summary of the jobs report from the previous day (emphasis mine):
Taxpayer-subsidized NPR has a headline problem that won’t go away. As biased as much of its reporting is, NPR’s headline writers often appear to think that there is not enough bias. Sometimes they even write headlines that aren’t supported anywhere in the corresponding report. Even though there has been a history of headline problems at NPR recently, it appears that the headlines go out without being first checked by someone else.
On July 30, NPR congressional reporter Tamara Keith did a fair piece on Internal Revenue Service targeting of political groups (see Newsbusters post on it). That piece initially appeared only online with the headline, “Report: IRS Scrutiny Worse For Conservatives." In what looks to be an updated on-air version of the same story the next day , an NPR headline writer changed the initially accurate headline to one unsupported by the piece: “House Republicans Work To Keep IRS Scandal In The Spotlight.”
On July 27, 2013, former Democratic congresswoman Lindy Boggs died at the age of 97. She achieved a number of firsts in her career, including being the first woman to serve in Congress from Louisiana and the first woman to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican for Bill Clinton.
She was also known for strongly championing a number of causes. One of those causes was opposition to abortion. NPR aired four pieces after Boggs’ death that remembered her, mentioning just about every major achievement and cause of Boggs—except her commitment to fighting abortion and the resulting significant impact that stand had on her career.
NPR loves to label individuals and groups—but not all the time. They usually want listeners to know who Republicans are, as they did incessantly last year with GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin. A piece about the North Carolina General Assembly righting an old wrong on the July 25 All Things Considered evening news show took a different approach, with reporter Julie Rose entirely omitting party designations.
North Carolina, like many other states, had an involuntary eugenics-based sterilization program for most of the 1900s. The program finally stopped in 1974. In the four intervening decades, the state did nothing to compensate victims. Last week, that changed with the passage of a bill establishing a fund for victims.
NPR in general and their legal affairs/Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg in particular want the public to believe that they view sexual harassment charges against public figures as a very important issue that demands immediate and full coverage. The reality: they behave that way only if the accused has a Republican party identification.
The most recent evidence of that: the reporting on the charges of sexual harassment and sexual assault by San Diego’s current Democratic mayor and former 20-year U.S. Congressman Bob Filner. In the two weeks following the initial disclosure of the accusations July 11, which was followed by named accusers coming forward July 22, 23 and 24, NPR has aired a grand total of two pieces on the matter. The first occurred a full five days after the accusations first came out, on July 16 (even The New York Times reported it July 12). And both pieces were done by a public radio journalist in San Diego who doesn’t even work for NPR.
Even after tax-subsidized NPR’s very slanted coverage of the racial aspect of the George Zimmerman trial, NPR delivered a unanimous verdict on President Obama’s July 19 Trayvon Martin race speech: it was outstanding and political considerations had nothing to do with its timing. On all of NPR’s Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows post-speech, all NPR hosts, NPR reporters, NPR commentators, interviewees and those featured in audio clips saw Obama’s speech the same positive way.
Ordinarily skeptical of political motivations by politicians, NPR’s journalists lapped up the Obama administration’s claim that Obama’s July 19 race speech just happened to be delivered spontaneously when it was. The fact that Detroit’s bankruptcy filing, terrible news for Obama, occurred less than 24 hours earlier, along with the fact that the Zimmerman verdict was a full six days earlier, didn’t raise anyone’s suspicions at NPR. NPR political correspondent Mara Liasson’s explanation for the timing: “they wanted to make sure that the protests were not violent.”
What do you get when an already race-focused news organization staffed and run almost entirely by liberal journalists decides that it needs a full race desk alongside its foreign and crime desks? A full 259 separate on-air pieces (not including web-only ones) discussing Trayvon Martin over a 16-month period — 190 of them (80 percent) mention the word "black.". You also get coverage that furthers the narrative of whites targeting blacks. The theme that Trayvon Martin was unarmed was repeated in 89 stories (35% of the Trayvon stories).
Despite NPR always granting complete deference to a mixed-race President Obama being regarded as black, very few NPR journalists used the words "Hispanic" or "Latino" for Zimmerman. While the words were used in 15% of the the 190 articles that mention Zimmerman, only five of them (3%) called him simply "Hispanic" or "Latino."
NPR afternoon co-host Melissa Block inexplicably seems to have changed her view of the value of U.S. Senate candidates living in a state for a while before running. On the July 17 All Things Considered, Block wondered why Liz Cheney would run for a Senate seat in the West. She "grew up in the East. She only moved back to Wyoming last year. Why is she running for Senate now and launching a primary fight against the incumbent?“
While Cheney had lived off-and-on in Wyoming before considering a Senate run, in 2000 then-First Lady Hillary Clinton had never lived in New York. Yet Block blithely announced on the February 16, 1999 All Things Considered: “On the books, there's nothing to bar Mrs. Clinton from a New York Senate run. All she needs to do is set up residence here by Election Day, and that's worked before....Robert Kennedy came from out of town to win the New York Senate seat in 1964.”
One might think that with the constant barrage of liberally-slanted news and commentary on NPR news shows, NPR game shows would give the liberal bias a rest. That is certainly not true for the top NPR game show “Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me,” a show based on current events. That humor sometimes goes beyond the pale, as it did Saturday.
During the show’s “Lightning Fill in the Blank” segment Saturday, NPR game show host Peter Sagal asked a question about KFC considering a lawsuit against a Thailand restaurant that used an altered version of the Colonel Sanders logo -- one that had an image of Adolf Hitler superimposed over Sanders. After advice columnist Amy Dickinson provided an incorrect answer to Sagal, he said that the restaurant would just use Chick-fil-A’s logo the next time.
NPR’s Legal Affairs / Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg loves to cast conservatives as fringy. In 2005, President George W. Bush nominated then-Circuit Court Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court. At the time, Totenberg seemed to be suffering from a fixation on the word “very,” calling Roberts “very, very conservative” and “very, very, very conservative.”
Even though Roberts voted for Obamacare last year, Totenberg insisted last week on the news magazine "Here and Now" (a new joint venture of NPR and Boston NPR station WBUR) that he was still “very, very conservative.” Maybe with more Roberts rulings that she likes, she'll whittle it down to “very conservative.” For now, "This is a very, very conservative justice who also believes in a certain level of , as he puts it, modesty, meaning don’t do it all at once if you can do it one step at a time."
Controversial sex columnist and liberal political activist Dan Savage was treated to a hero’s welcome—courtesy in part to taxpayer funding— by NPR’s mega-affiliate (staff of 55) WBEZ in Chicago. He appeared June 28 on WBEZ’s interview program "Afternoon Shift" to promote his most recent book on politics, "American Savage." WBEZ business reporter and interim Host Niala Boodhoo acted more like an adoring fan than an impartial journalist.
Even though the 24-minute interview was primarily about political matters, never once did Boodhoo challenge the incendiary Savage. She didn’t ask him about his many outrageous actions and statements over the years (such as wishing cancer on Sarah Palin, calling the Pope obscene names, and calling for political opponents to perform sexual acts on him; see NewsBusters' archive for a partial list), or about him then broadly painting all opponents of same-sex marriage as “haters.” In fact, Boodhoo sympathetically brought up what Savage calls “Bigot Christmas,” where Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage went to Savage’s house for dinner (and debate).
In the past few years, NPR has run a public relations campaign called “I Heart NPR,” featuring photos of celebrities (nearly all liberal) proclaiming their love for NPR by holding an “I Heart NPR” sign. NPR may never actually print a “NPR Hearts Wendy Davis” sign, but NPR News has nonetheless clearly displayed its affection for Davis in news pieces by several of its journalists.
Even though events didn’t finish up until after midnight, that night East Coast-based NPR reporter Elise Hu posted a sympathetic online story about Texas state Senator Wendy Davis’ “riveting” filibuster of an abortion bill. In her piece, Hu included photos and quotations sympathetic toward Davis, but none critical of her. She attributed one of the four included quotes to President Obama from a tweet that was actually written by his political organization Organizing for Action. That her piece was sympathetic to Davis is confirmed in a reply on Twitter to lefty writers Rachel Sklar and @geekgrrl33, who were outraged over “lack of media coverage” of the filibuster.
In sharp contrast to her view of the Supreme Court decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8, NPR’s Legal Affairs / Supreme Court Correspondent Nina Totenberg was quite unhappy about the Court’s June 25 ruling on the Voting Rights Act. Parroting the assessment of the very liberal chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy, Totenberg tweeted June 27, “Court conservatives gut voting rights act.” Unsurprisingly, she did not equivalently characterize the Court as “gutting” DOMA, however.
In trying to paint the Court decision as extreme, Totenberg in the June 26 Morning Edition piece linked to by that tweet, ludicrously claimed that the very partisan Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) is “normally soft-spoken,” but that the decision prompted an "outraged" response from him. It is not clear whether Totenberg has ever heard Lewis’ many sharp-elbowed rants, or whether she simply views them as “soft-spoken.”
White liberals often arrogantly see themselves as more qualified to know how blacks should behave politically than blacks who are conservative. Bill Moyers is one such white liberal—a white liberal who has become wealthy by leveraging taxpayer-subsidized public television.
While Clarence Thomas was facing severe racial discrimination and hostility in the mid- and late-1950s as a black child, white Bill Moyers was working for then-outspoken civil rights opponent Lyndon Johnson. But Moyers thinks his bare-knuckled political experience with LBJ in the White House qualifies him to understand discrimination better than someone who’s lived as a black man for 65 years. Following are Moyers’ comments about the Voting Rights Act and Clarence Thomas in an appearance June 26 on the liberal Colbert Report, followed by the video of Moyers’ appearance (start at 4:18):
NPR health policy correspondent Julie Rovner has a bad habit of stacking the deck in her stories, frequently giving the liberal side several times as much time as conservatives. During NPR’s June 21 Morning Edition, Rovner appeared to be aiming for a personal record in tipping the scales for a piece about the group Enroll America. Rovner gave almost 15 times as much time for the group’s case than against it.
Enroll America is a liberal organization working to get as many people sign up for ObamaCare as possible. Its founding chairman is Ron Pollack, head of the liberal (even according to The New York Times) advocacy group Families USA. That group pushed hard for both major Democrat health care bills (Hillarycare & ObamaCare). Enroll America’s president is Anne Filipic, a former Democratic political operative. Rovner conveniently left out the ideological and party labels and the background for Ron Pollack, Families USA, Anne Filipic and Enroll America, instead portraying them as impartial experts: “of…Families USA,” “consumer group,” “president of Enroll America,” and “a private nonprofit group" respectively.
As a news organization funded in large part by those on the left and staffed by those on the left, NPR often hews to the priorities of the left in its coverage. Those priorities deem the death of one individual, Trayvon Martin—a black teen killed by a non-black man—to be far more newsworthy than the gruesome deaths of numerous black babies killed by abortionist Kermit Gosnell just after birth.
In the 15 months between Zimmerman’s shooting of Trayvon Martin and the start of jury selection, NPR aired about 100 pieces dedicated to the issue. Contrast that with the number of pieces NPR aired about Kermit Gosnell in the 36 months between a federal raid on his clinic and the start of jury selection: just 3 pieces. That works out to one piece about every five days for Zimmerman and one piece about every 12 months for Gosnell.
On June 7, liberal Democratic House member John Dingell became the longest-serving member of Congress in history and NPR was prepared to celebrate—four days straight.
On June 5, NPR’s Talk of the Nation host Neal Conan and “Political Junkie” Ken Rudin discussed the milestone. Then, on All Things Considered May 6, longtime host Robert Siegel conducted a gushing interview with Dingell himself. In the six-minute interview, Siegel couldn’t bring himself to ask a single tough question—not even about whether the 86-year-old Dingell was too old or too out of touch after being in Washington for so long.
NPR’s rising young celebrity-like star Ari Shapiro, White House Correspondent, appears to be able to follow his own set of rules at NPR. As detailed in Newsbusters Wednesday, Shapiro will soon join vicious bomb-throwing activist and lefty partisan Democrat Dan Savage to promote Savage’s new book. Last May, when covering Romney, Shapiro slammed him as a bully on Twitter and Instagram with a carefully juxtaposed photo.
Now, as reported June 13 in The Washington Post by Paul Farhi (but relegated to the Style section), Shapiro’s spouse Michael Gottlieb has been working in the Obama White House Counsel’s office since April. Despite this, NPR has kept Shapiro in the same position as White House Correspondent and has never disclosed on-air or on its website this significant conflict of interest.
With his disarming Texas drawl, NPR’s Dallas-based correspondent Wade Goodwyn hardly sounds like a far-left activist in the mold of Saul Alinsky, but that’s exactly what he used to be. During the 1980s—at least until 1989—Goodwyn was a community organizer in New York City working with a community group affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation, an activist network established by the far-left activist Saul Alinsky to further his politics.
That backdrop helps explain reporter Goodwyn’s angry denunciation of the Texas Republican Party in his May 23 report on NPR’s All Things Considered. Instead of simply reporting on the controversy of the Texas GOP deciding not to take federal funds in exchange for implementing parts of Obamacare, Goodwyn hammered away the Texas GOP’s decision. Goodwyn devoted six times as much time for others to argue against the decision than for it. Apparently believing that such a ratio was insufficient to push his position over the finish line, Goodwyn himself argued against the decision at length.
With its frequent overt bias, NPR’s weekend media show On the Media makes NPR’s news magazine shows like Morning Edition appear thoroughly objective by comparison. It is so hopelessly biased that shows to explore the question of whether NPR was biased were themselves overwhelmingly biased. More recently, it deemed the issue of media coverage of butcher Kermit Gosnell’s trial to be too insignificant for any of its nine one-hour shows that occurred after the trial began.
On this past weekend’s show, On the Media aired a segment on the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups. While the segment primarily consisted of a Bob Garfield interview with Michael Calderone, Senior Media Reporter for the Huffington Post, it’s clear the shows’ two co-hosts used the segment as an excuse to ridicule conservatives and conservative websites—Glenn Beck / TheBlaze and Right Side News on this occasion.
One of NPR's top member stations, WHYY in Philadelphia, home of conservative-trashing "Fresh Air" host Terry Gross, houses a large local news operation. That news operation includes the heavily taxpayer-subsidized Newsworks, which produces a daily 30-minute local newscast for WHYY, Newsworks Tonight.
On Friday’s Newsworks Tonight, Taunya English, health and science reporter for WHYY and Newsworks, actually said this of a man accused of snipping the spinal cords of babies born alive while joking about them, keeping gruesome souvenirs of the babies, and having women give birth to babies in toilets: “a physician who had worked in our community for 30 years, cared for women in all of that time." Contrast this with Newsworks’ headline about the hanging of an elephant 97 years ago in Tennessee: “Horrific case of animal cruelty basis for PIFA's 'Murderous Mary' play.”
As Newsbusters has detailed again and again, coverage by dominant news organizations of the Kermit Gosnell murder trial has been almost non-existent. Taxpayer-subsidized public radio is no exception, even after the issue of non-coverage gained widespread attention last week.
As the fifth week of the Gosnell trial continues (it opened March 18), NPR still has not devoted a single piece to the topic of the trial. It did briefly reference the trial once--in a story about Pennsylvania abortion clinic regulations that resulted from what authorities found in Gosnell's clinic during a raid. On March 28, NPR's afternoon news magazine All Things Considered gave only 19 seconds out of 4 1/2 minutes to reporting on the Gosnell trial. In sharp contrast, the piece's author, Jeff Brady, NPR's Philadelphia-based National Desk Correspondent, gave five times the amount to time to detailing the "expensive" hardships Pennsylvania abortion clinics now have to endure. The story left out entirely the details of the horrendous charges against Gosnell.
Some prominent US leader made threats about immediate dire consequences that would occur if the sequester went into effect, but NPR doesn't seem to know the identity of that leader. In a lengthy nine-minute piece featuring an NPR host and six NPR correspondents, the word "Obama" was nowhere to be found.
On Friday's Morning Edition, taxpayer-subsidized NPR's most-listened-to show, fill-in host David Greene said that "we heard some ominous warnings" about the results of the sequester, but he didn't identify the source of those "ominous warnings" -- nor did any of the six NPR correspondents in the piece: Brian Naylor, Tom Bowman, Julie Rovner, Yuki Noguchi or Claudio Sanchez. Instead, they spoke of potentially devastating harm that may occur at some point in the future.