NPR's Diane Rehm Loves the Clintons and Obamas, Still Steaming Mad at Gingrich

The D.C. area women's magazine I Am Modern interviewed NPR talk-show host Diane Rehm for their Spring issue, and Rehm’s liberal tilt was unmissable. Rehm warmly declared that her favorite "fascinating" interviews were with Hillary and Bill Clinton and that her “dream guests” were Barack and Michelle Obama. (Her biggest disappointment was Newt Gingrich.)

Not only that, Rehm was asked about attempts to defund public broadcasting and pretended the media was dominated by conservatives. PBS and NPR are seen “as a counterweight to the many outspoken conservative voices who currently dominate the airwaves.”

Conservatives certainly don't dominate on her show. Rehm hasn't interviewed any Republican presidential candidates since Ron Paul on May 3, 2011 (he was then merely exploring it). Conservatives are very rare on her program unless you count someone like David Frum as a conservative (we don't). So here's Rehm on the Clintons:

I AM MODERN: Which guest left the most lasting impression on you? Why? Who was a disappointment?

REHM: Yes, I have interviewed many fascinating people. I loved interviewing then-First Lady Hillary Clinton for the first time in my studio. She was and is so articulate, warm, and kind. I was also fortunate enough to become the first radio journalist to interview a sitting President in the Oval Office, when President Clinton gave me a full half-hour of his time.

One of my very favorite interviews was with Mr. Rogers, whose warmth and love of children very certainly extended to adults. One of my recent more disappointing interviews was with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. We'd been promised a full hour with him. He hung up half way through the hour, without warning.

One should question the use of the word “recent.” Googling around shows Gingrich departed early from Rehm’s show five years ago – on May 15, 2007. Don’t think the NPR liberals are blissfully tolerant people who don’t carry a grudge. The interview ended with this:

I AM MODERN: Name a dream guest who you haven’t interviewed yet? Do you ever get awestruck?

REHM: I would very much like to interview President Obama. I did interview him for his book, while he was still in the Senate, and before he began his run for the Presidency. I would also like to interview Mrs. Obama. I believe her to be a true role model for many women striving to improve their own lives and those of their families.

Both the interviewer and interviewee freely associated a federal defunding of public broadcasting with the "end" of public broadcasting. PBS/NPR types constantly suggest they only need two percent or twelve percent of their budget from the taxpayers, but when you suggest taking that federal fraction away, suddenly the entire pubcasting empire collapses like a house of cards.

In the body of the interview was the text “The effort to do away with Public Radio...has been pushed by many conservatives.”

I AM MODERN: There has been a concerted effort by some in Washington to see an end to public radio. Why do you think that is? And what would an America without NPR and public radio and television be like?

REHM: The effort to do away with public radio and public television has been pushed by many conservatives, not only because of taxpayer monies that go into the broadcasts, but also, I believe, because they regard the reporting they hear as coming from a ‘liberal’ media. The outpouring of support for public radio and television says to me that many people in this country count on that reporting as a counterweight to the many outspoken conservative voices who currently dominate the airwaves.

The publisher of I Am Modern is Hulya Aksu, who recently became a Huffington Post contributor.

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