New NPR CEO: Adding Beck and O'Reilly Wouldn't Change Conservative Perceptions of NPR

NPR's On The Media is a weekly show produced by WNYC in New York. When there's a NPR scandal, they are not fair and balanced. They are liberal warriors. They have stated repeatedly that liberal bias is a "canard" that causes "false balance." So it's not surprising they went into major Self-Defense Mode this weekend.

BOB GARFIELD, co-host: Joyce Slocum, NPR’s General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs, was named interim president and CEO. She says that the political fallout from the sting will not change NPR’s journalism.

JOYCE SLOCUM: Knowing our newsroom and our journalists as I do, I think that they are going to continue to do as they have done and that is to take great care to ensure that their coverage is balanced, that they’re bringing a variety of voices to any given issue…

What is in the Kool-Aid at NPR that they repeatedly say this ridiculous stuff about being fair and balanced? But here was Slocum, telling the Associated Press: "I think if anyone believes that NPR's coverage is biased in one direction or another, all they need to do to correct that misperception is turn on their radio or log onto their computer and listen or read for an hour or two."

After her ouster, CEO Vivian Schiller  told AP her "departure from NPR would help to mitigate the threat from those who have misperceptions about NPR as a news organization."

But apparently conservatives are not only wrong about a liberal bias at NPR, they are so delusional that they wouldn't changer their "misperception" if you put Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck on NPR:

GARFIELD: As a practical political matter, if you hired Roger Ailes himself and brought Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck in to host All Things Considered, do you think that you have the capacity to change anybody’s perceptions?

SLOCUM: Well there are hardened critics who are never going to change their perception… but the really amazing thing that happens with a lot of people who have misperceptions about NPR…is all it takes to change that perception is to turn on their local member station and listen for a couple of hours. 

The arrogance and denial is apparently part of the job description for an NPR CEO, even on an interim basis. Garfield insisted that 14 House and Senate Republicans turned down his request for an interview. He couldn't find one elected Republican? He certainly could have found plenty of conservatives who would have loved an interview. Garfield did find former Sen. Larry Pressler, a serious hate object of the public broadcasters in the mid-1990s. Garfield introduced him this way:

In 1995, South Dakota Senator Larry Pressler sent a 16-page questionnaire seeking information about the ethnic backgrounds, sexes and previous employment of National Public Radio staffers. He told us this week that that eliminating federal support would make NPR more professional.

For a less tendentious summary, consider how the public broadcasting newspaper Current summarized it:

 Pressler also demanded lists of:

 -- all political contributions of $250 or more by "individuals employed by or working under contract for CPB-funded entities";

-- the annual income of PBS, NPR and APR [Public Radio International] on-air talent from public broadcasting sources; 

-- names and job categories of NPR staff who have worked for Pacifica stations and those "who have worked for evangelical Christian stations"; 

-- job descriptions of all full-time NPR staff members with details about their gender, age, length of service, salary and ethnicity.  

Pressler protested that the media objected to him questioning religions. He didn't ask for religions. He did mention the Christian stations as a way of underlining that's not where NPR was finding talent:

LARRY PRESSLER: For example when I was in the Senate, NPR said that I had asked about the religions of people there. We never asked about the religions and the New York Times wrote a retraction and a major article saying that. But it was so hard to get NPR to broadcast that. Recently, the error made on the death of Gabby Giffords, which, we don’t know, it might have just been a crank call that came in, but Ms. Schiller said our process has made mistakes. …And many people feel the error in that story was just the tip of the iceberg because frequently in the last few years NPR has just been wrong on many stories and just quietly corrects them later without any explanation.

I only included this to underline how Bob Garfield shamelessly flew the NPR flag as the most glorious broadcast news organization ever to grace the United States:

GARFIELD: Senator, could I just interrupt for a moment to ask you if you truly believe that this news organization …which has shelves and shelves and shelves full of Peabody Awards and Silver Batons and all of the highest honors in broadcast, whether you seriously believe that there is anything on the air on radio or television today that even comes close to competing with it. Are you really citing one or two fact errors as evidence that it is an unprofessional organization?

PRESSLER: Now if it does have all those Peabody Awards, which it does, that’s an argument that it can raise the money very easily. People will appreciate that, including myself. I will contribute. But it shouldn’t be getting federal funds.

GARFIELD: So either NPR is bad because of public funding, or it’s so good it doesn’t need public funding.

Here's another answer to Garfield's question. A shelf full of Peabody Awards could be characterized is a shelf full of liberal awards given to liberals by other liberals for achievements in liberalism. The Peabody judging panel has declared its awards have "sought to recognize excellence... especially when such programming has faced ideological attack." The "Silver Batons" are the duPont-Columbia University Awards -- again, liberal media recognizing liberal media. In other words, if you think there's liberal bias at NPR, don't trust your own ears. Trust a panel of liberal media people at Columbia University.

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