NPR Puts Obama's 'You Didn't Build That' In 'Context' -- With Think Progress Anti-Romney Spin

Like all the other Obama-friendly media, NPR on its evening show All Things Considered devoted time to putting Obama’s “you didn’t build that” outburst “in context.” Co-host Audie Cornish promised, “In a few minutes, we'll listen to exactly what the president said in context.” They offered Obama a 70-second soundbite.

But first, Cornish turned to NPR correspondent Scott Horsley, who spent 90 seconds unloading how the businesses the Romney campaign is using to rebut Obama’s remark are all beneficiaries of government largesse:

HORSLEY: Mitt Romney started talking about this at rallies last week, and they had a really strong feedback from business owners in the audience. Some of those business people took visceral exception to the suggestion from the Romney campaign that Mr. Obama doesn't think small business owners deserve credit for what they've built. In addition to talking about this at live events, the campaigns released a TV ad featuring another New Hampshire businessman Jack Gilchrist in which he challenges that premise.

JACK GILCHRIST [in ad]: My father's hands didn't build this company? My hands didn't build this company? My son's hands aren't building this company?

CORNISH: But I understand there's more to Gilchrist's story.

HORSLEY: Yeah, I was actually at the Gilchrist metal fabricating plant last September. That's actually where Jon Huntsman unveiled his jobs plan, and it's a neat company. They pay good wages. They have good benefits for their employees. But it's not entirely self-made by Gilchrist and his family. The Union Leader newspaper, not exactly a liberal rag, has pointed out Gilchrist was the beneficiary of tax exempt revenue bonds to help finance a factory. The company also got a loan from the Small Business Administration, and they've gotten contracts from the Navy and the Coast Guard totaling about $90,000 last year.

CORNISH: Now, what about some of the other business people Romney is spotlighting? I mean, have they gotten government help too?

HORSLEY: Yes. For example, Secure Care Products, the company we heard from at the beginning of this story, has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in business from the federal government, much of that from the veteran's administration. They've also gotten help from the government in exporting some of their products, and exports have been a growth area for the company. I checked out some of the other firms. There's Applegate Insulation in Michigan. They note on their website that customers may be eligible for tax incentives if they install their product.

Wait a minute. So if you tell your customers there’s a tax break for installing insulation, that’s government aid? This is the way liberals think. But it continued:

HORSLEY: There's a company in Virginia, a franchise company, Home Instead, that provides in-home care for the elderly. The franchising company points out on its website that the president's health care law included measures to help support that. The point here is not that these business people got some sort of handout or don't deserve credit for the companies they've built, but simply that most businesses in the United States benefit in one way or another from government services. And that's not even counting the sort of big infrastructure of roads and bridges and public education that the government backs.

Most of these examples are also on a list made by the Democratic machine at Think Progress. Is NPR just playing Think Progress Rip and Read, with a little rewrite for a thin disguise?

Then Cornish insisted NPR listeners hear the whole clip: “And now, let's take a listen to a longer portion of the speech by President Obama, which stirred up all this fuss. This excerpt begins just after the president has spoken about wealthy, successful Americans who, as he says, want to give back, implying that they'll accept higher taxes.”

Then came the seventy seconds of Obama. That included this snide section:

OBAMA: If you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. You didn't get there on your own. I'm always struck by people who think, well, they must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something, there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

Honestly, NPR thinks this long clip helps Obama? Who is President Obama to attack someone else for thinking they’re so smart? Obama thought he was smart while he was making these damaging remarks. Isn’t this the man who boasted “we are the change we’ve been waiting for"? But NPR is demonstrating they’re in the “pro-Obama context” business.

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