NPR Book Critic Lauds the Election of Obama as Proof of 'Overwhelming Tolerance'

National Public Radio’s website has a section called "Books We Like," and NPR is unafraid to declare it likes books that please the hard left. NPR book critic Simon Maxwell Apter lauded a book on white supremacists called Blood and Politics by the author Leonard Zeskind, a man who recently declared on Pacifica Radio that Sean Hannity and Pat Buchanan offer "a rational sense of justification" to hardened racists. Apter revealed that he liked not only the book, but the election of Barack Obama:

The recent murder of a security guard at D.C.'s Holocaust museum reminds us that racial and religious fanaticism live on in the U.S. But thankfully, while a handful of bigots are still grumbling on about the South's loss of the Civil War, the tyranny of "ZOG" (the "Zionist Occupied Government" currently reigning in Washington) and the "eight Jewish families" who "own" the Federal Reserve, some 70 million others have, in a testament to the overwhelming tolerance of contemporary American society, gone ahead and elected Barack Obama president.

The NPR bio of Apter touts his left-wing publishing credentials: "Simon Maxwell Apter is assistant editor at Lapham's Quarterly, where he also runs the Web site. His commentaries and reviews have appeared in The Nation, The Guardian, The American Prospect, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He is also a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post."

Most of NPR.org’s "Books We Like" are works of fiction. The last nonfiction book touted before Zeskind’s was D.D. Guttenplan’s "valentine" to radical journalist I.F. Stone. It came with the headline "Journalism’s Courageous, Cantankerous Hero." (Conservatives might use the headline "The Viet Cong’s Cantankerous Hero.") Cornell professor Glenn Altschuler offered the Stone tribute:

Stone declared the war in Vietnam all but lost as early as 1963, and a year later speculated that the attack on the U.S.S. Maddox that precipitated the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution might well have been provoked by the United States.

Guttenplan recognizes that Stone's claim to the title "first blogger" has become "a cyber-space cliche." But, he adds perceptively, banishment from the corridors of power after the anti-communist hysteria of the 1950s saved Stone — and his subscribers — from mere punditry. [His newsletter] I.F. Stone's Weekly became legendary for grounding opinion in hard and trustworthy information.

Well-researched and gracefully written, An American Radical gets inside the head and heart of a courageous and cantankerous reporter with a "street-wise, lapel grabbing" signature style. With newspapers on life support these days, Guttenplan's paean to investigative journalism and one of its boldest practitioners is sure to make some of his readers nostalgic for a return to the Stone Age.

Altschuler didn't touch on the conservative argument from the Soviet archives that Stone was not only pro-Soviet, but at one time was a Soviet spy.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis