NPR Star Terry Gross Horrified at 'Very Extreme' Franklin Graham Ruining U.S. Image

The secular-left stronghold of National Public Radio dumped on conservative Christians again last week. On the August 25 edition of the nationally distributed talk show Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the topic was Christianity vs. Islam in northern Africa. Gross's guest was author Eliza Griswold, who Gross explained was the daughter of Frank Griswold, "the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in America in 2003, when Gene Robinson became the first openly gay person ordained as a bishop in the church."

With those PC credentials established, Gross asked about Griswold accompanying Rev. Franklin Graham to Sudan in the Bush years, when Graham asked the Muslim dictator there for the right to preach the Christian gospel, and he was refused. But NPR's Gross was most worried that "very extreme" Graham was ruining America's reputation in the Third World:  

GROSS: I guess, you know, I'm wondering, when Franklin Graham, who was perceived in the United States by a lot of people as very extreme, when he goes to a place like Sudan, establishes hospitals there, meets with the president, is he seen as representative of what Americans believe?

Ms. GRISWOLD: Very, very much so. And that is one of the more dangerous realities of how conservative evangelicals abroad can shape the perception of the West.

Especially, this is especially sensitive in the Muslim world. And this is not new. You know, I mean, this really goes back to post-World War II and the foundation of the Muslim Brotherhood, which largely came out of trying to be a Muslim YMCA because the only Westerners Muslims saw at that time were Christian evangelicals coming to spread their faith.

So this kind of defensive posturing of Islam, Islam is under threat by the West, unfortunately, a handful of evangelicals can misrepresent what the West is about and make Muslims feel very much under threat.

So blame the YMCA for radical Muslim groups. That's a view NPR spreads with our tax dollars. In the other interview on that August 25 show, Gross spoke (again) with leftist author Jeff Sharlet, promoting his new article in the September issue of Harper's magazine, entitled  "Straight Man's Burden: The American Roots of Uganda's Anti-Gay Persecution." Uganda's debating a bill that would punish homosexual sex with the death penalty, and American leftists blame American conservatives for the "genocidal" threat. It turned out that Uganda's legislators had found Sharlet through his appearances on Gross's show.

SHARLET: And because Ive been reporting on it, and here was, really, the author of this really potentially genocidal bill, saying come on over and I'll tell you what it's all about. I thought I had to take him up on that invitation.

GROSS: How did he know your work? (Laughter)

SHARLET: "Fresh Air," actually.

GROSS: Oh. (Laughter)

SHARLET: Because we had spoken about this before and a sort of a report on that interview was on the front page, I believe, of major Ugandan newspaper. And it sort of amped things up a little bit.

In a 25-minute interview, Gross and Sharlet didn't really focus hard on which American Christians are for "genocide," although Sharlet talked about evangelist Lou Engle. Sharlet talked about how Ugandan legislator David Bahati told him he'd be arrested for promoting homosexuality if he returned again to Uganda. Obviously, this being NPR, Gross wasn't going to discuss how promoting opposition to homosexuality is beginning to get preachers in legal trouble in the West.

NPR's pledge drives ought to say "NPR is where you can learn more about the far corners of the globe, and how conservative Christians are ruining our image there, and may be responsible for causing oppression and death."

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