Even after tax-subsidized NPR’s very slanted coverage of the racial aspect of the George Zimmerman trial, NPR delivered a unanimous verdict on President Obama’s July 19 Trayvon Martin race speech: it was outstanding and political considerations had nothing to do with its timing. On all of NPR’s Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows post-speech, all NPR hosts, NPR reporters, NPR commentators, interviewees and those featured in audio clips saw Obama’s speech the same positive way.
Ordinarily skeptical of political motivations by politicians, NPR’s journalists lapped up the Obama administration’s claim that Obama’s July 19 race speech just happened to be delivered spontaneously when it was. The fact that Detroit’s bankruptcy filing, terrible news for Obama, occurred less than 24 hours earlier, along with the fact that the Zimmerman verdict was a full six days earlier, didn’t raise anyone’s suspicions at NPR. NPR political correspondent Mara Liasson’s explanation for the timing: “they wanted to make sure that the protests were not violent.”
If we're going to have our tax dollars spent on NPR covering political news, can't we at least insist that they report the news accurately?
On Friday's All Things Considered, co-Host Audie Cornish opened an eight-minute segment by saying, “the gay marriage debate arrived at the Supreme Court, and White House efforts to tighten the nation's gun laws ran into serious Republican opposition.” Granted, the Tea Party caucus in the Senate is planning on a filibuster of the anti-gun bill that’s making its way to the floor, but the “serious” opposition comes from within the Democratic Party, as no less a partisan Democrat than Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid noted a few weeks ago.
On March 19, Ed O’Keefe and Philip Rucker of the Washington Post reported that Sen. Feinstein’s assault weapons ban amendment to the gun control bill had, in the words of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, “using the most optimistic numbers, has less than 40 votes.”
During Friday’s broadcasts of the PBS's NewsHour and NPR’s All Things Considered, liberals continued with their narrative about the fiscal cliff, and how it’s not all that bad. Previously, Mark Shields and E.J. Dionne agreed with New York Times-style Republican David Brooks that they would go off the cliff. The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne equated it with the “will of the people.”
But now, the Post’s Ruth Marcus and E.J. Dionne insist that the cliff isn’t a cliff. It’s actually a well-defined “slope." But in the words of Joe Biden, “this is a big f***ing deal.”
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:
NPR's Tamara Keith forwarded the "war on women" talking point of Democratic senators on Tuesday's All Things Considered as she reported on their proposed Paycheck Fairness Act. Keith spotlighted how "the bill's author...Senator Barbara Mikulski from Maryland, points out women earn just 77 cents for every dollar made by a man in the same position. She says that's the real war on women."
However, the correspondent omitted that several cosponsors of the bill actually pay their female staffers less than male staffers. She also slanted towards the liberal politicians by playing three soundbites from them, versus only one from a Republican senator.
NPR obviously thought the case of Monsignor William Lynn, "the highest ranking Catholic official in the U.S. to be criminally tried for covering up child sex abuse by priests," was newsworthy, as they devoted four and a half minutes to the story on Thursday's All Things Considered. Meanwhile, the public radio network has yet to cover the Monday filing of 12 major lawsuits against ObamaCare's contraception/abortifacient mandate by Catholic dioceses and organizations on the air.
Peter Overby filed a one-sided report on Thursday's All Things Considered about a liberal coalition's campaign against the conservative organization ALEC. Overby cited the "good government group" Common Cause without mentioning the organization's left-of-center ideology. More importantly, the correspondent failed to mention that he is a former employee of Common Cause.
The NPR journalist lined up three talking heads, who all criticized ALEC, while failing to include sound bites from defenders of the conservative group. Overby also omitted that one of the three works for a law firm that represented Common Cause.
NPR marked Christmas morning by whacking at the Tea Party. NPR anchor Audie Cornish handed over her Weekend Edition Sunday microphone to American Enterprise Institute scholar Norman Ornstein, who gave the Tea Party a B if the goal was to “try and keep government from functioning,” but in “actually trying to make things happen in a constructive fashion, we’re down in the D-minus level, and that’s being generous in the Christmas season.”
Ornstein was much happier a year ago. On the morning of December 23, 2010, he told NPR’s David Welna the country had the “most productive lame-duck session” since the 1940s and Welna added “Ornstein says this lame-duck session was a fitting climax for an amazingly productive 111th Congress.”