Journalists are said to love transparency, at least when it comes to other people. When it comes to others exposing reporters' own conflicts of interest and past histories, however, some take a decidedly different tone.
Ben Howe, contributing writer to both RedState.com and Breitbart.com, has posted video of a brief but instructive conversation with NPR reporter Peter Overby regarding NPR assigning Overby to cover stories about the liberal Common Cause challenging the tax-exempt status of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, even though Overby is a former Common Cause employee. In recent weeks, Overby has written five stories about Common Cause's attack on ALEC.
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.
On Thursday's Morning Edition, NPR's Peter Overby slanted towards a left-wing coalition targeting the conservative group ALEC. Overby trumpeted how Coke and Pepsi succumbed to pressure from the "campaign to put a spotlight on companies that sell products to a public that might object to hardline conservative policies, such as 'stand your ground' laws or requirements that voters show a photo I.D."
The correspondent featured representatives from two of the groups in the coalition- ColorOfChange and Common Cause- and labeled them as a "civil rights group" and a "good government group" respectively. He also made only one passing reference to their political ideology- that they were part of "progressive groups and shareholder activists."