Monday March 31 is the deadline for individuals to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act without facing a penalty and on Monday March 31 the folks at NPR’s “Morning Edition” did their best to spin the so-called success of ObamaCare in New Hampshire.
NPR reporter Tamara Keith hyped how despite polls in New Hampshire showing ObamaCare’s unpopularity, “Enrollments in the state have greatly exceeded expectations.” The story then went on to promote the story of Lisa Kerrigan who at 25 was “The ideal target for a sophisticated campaign in New Hampshire aimed at getting people to sign up for coverage.”
Taxpayer-subsidized NPR has a headline problem that won’t go away. As biased as much of its reporting is, NPR’s headline writers often appear to think that there is not enough bias. Sometimes they even write headlines that aren’t supported anywhere in the corresponding report. Even though there has been a history of headline problems at NPR recently, it appears that the headlines go out without being first checked by someone else.
On July 30, NPR congressional reporter Tamara Keith did a fair piece on Internal Revenue Service targeting of political groups (see Newsbusters post on it). That piece initially appeared only online with the headline, “Report: IRS Scrutiny Worse For Conservatives." In what looks to be an updated on-air version of the same story the next day , an NPR headline writer changed the initially accurate headline to one unsupported by the piece: “House Republicans Work To Keep IRS Scandal In The Spotlight.”
NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos has demonstrated he's not interested in the argument that NPR has a liberal bias. But he has repeatedly addressed listeners who are angry NPR favors Republicans too much, or fails to pounce immediately on leftist PR stunts like Occupy Wall Street.
On Wednesday, his post began: "Arthur Price of New York City asked this provocative question: 'Is it my imagination or is NPR featuring an excessive number of Republican voices when it comes to the so-called 'fiscal cliff'?' I didn't know, but I loved the issue he raised." Their internal count of stories from November 7 to December 6 said yes, Republicans were more quoted:
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's Tamara Keith filed a one-sided report on Monday's Morning Edition about Mitt Romney's "apparent shift in emphasis, if not an outright reversal" on the issue of energy policy. Keith cited the "liberal news site Think Progress" as one of her main sources for her report. She also turned to a former aide to Democrats John Kerry and Deval Patrick without giving his political/ideological affiliation.
Fill-in host David Greene spotlighted in his introduction to Keith's report how "the GOP candidates have seized on price spikes as a line of attack against President Obama, largely saying the answer is more domestic oil drilling. But one of those candidates, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, used to have a position somewhat contrary to that."