NPR Marks 9/11 By Hyping Counterterrorism's 'Disruption of Innocent Lives'

On Wednesday, NPR strongly hinted that they would bring their liberal bias into their special programming for the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Their planned reports on the mass atrocity includes an investigation which scrutinizes the efforts of private firms guarding soft targets like sports arenas: "[The] investigation...suggests that these kinds of programs are disrupting innocent people's lives."

An August 30, 2011 press release on the public-funded network's website stated that "it has been said that America would never be the same after terrorist attacks took nearly 3,000 lives on September 11, 2001. A decade since the tragedy, how have the attacks affected people's lives and shaped America's collective outlook and future? Beginning September 5, NPR News offers a week of reports looking back at the events leading up to 9/11 and reflecting on the ways it continues to impact the nation."

The release included a list of highlighted programs during the upcoming week. The fourth item on the list is a program titled, "Under Suspicion: An Investigation from NPR News and Center for Investigative Reporting." It gave the following summary of the investigation, which will run on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and on NPR.org:

Ever since 9/11, the nation’s leaders have warned that government agencies like the CIA and FBI can’t protect the country on their own – private businesses and ordinary citizens have to look out for terrorists too. Popular sites from shopping malls to sports stadiums have hired private counterterrorism firms to identify and then report "suspicious persons" to law enforcement agencies. A two-part investigation by NPR News and the Center for Investigative Reporting suggests that these kinds of programs are disrupting innocent people's lives.

The Center for Investigative Reporting's left-of-center leanings are certainly indicated by the liberal media notables on their advisory board, including Seymour Hersh, Bill Moyers, and Mike Wallace. Also, George Soros's Open Society Institute is listed on the organization's website as one of their major funders. Open Society also donated $1.8 million to NPR earlier in 2011.


Just days before NPR put out their press release, the New York Times spotlighted the soon-to-be-aired investigation in an August 25 article by Kathryn Shattuck titled, "9/11 in the Arts: An Anniversary Guide." Shattuck used language almost identical to the press release in her summary:

"All Things Considered," "Morning Edition" and NPR.org will offer a examination of private security teams hired by sites like shopping malls and sport stadium [sic] to report on "suspicious persons" and the resulting disruption of innocent people's lives. Check Web site for details: npr.org

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center