Tuesday's Morning Edition on NPR slanted toward TLC's controversial "All American Muslim" series by playing sound bites from two who support the reality TV show versus only one opponent. Correspondent Elizabeth Blair also failed to mention that one of the supporters works for the left-leaning Center for American Progress, while clearly identifying the opponent as being from a "conservative" group.
Host Renee Montagne noted in her introduction to Blair's report that "criticism against the home improvement chain Lowe's isn't letting up. It started after Lowe's dropped its ads from the reality TV show, 'All-American Muslim,' in response to pressure from a conservative Christian group. Now, an online petition has nearly 20,000 signatures, calling on the store to reinstate the ads."
The counter-culture folks at National Public Radio are a natural stomping ground for Christmas, and stomp they have. NPR aired a story last week headlined "Pepper-Spraying the Holidays," and on Saturday morning's Weekend Edition, they were charmed by the old tradition of Krampus the Christmas demon in a story headlined "Horror for the Holidays: Meet the Anti-Santa." What NPR won't air later this month: any anti-Kwanzaa mockery.
Reporter Peter Crimmins of Philadelphia NPR station WHYY reported the Krampus advocates really hate the Christmas season. Joseph Ragan of Portland proclaimed, "Of all the 10,000 holidays that can be celebrated, we just have this one particular version of this one particular holiday really shoved down our throats for months at a time in the most saccharine form." These anti-"saccharine" haters are cheered by the stories of the Christmas demon eating children alive.
On Monday's Morning Edition, NPR science reporter Shankar Vedantam (formerly of The Washington Post) indulged the naughtiest little children, the ones that throw screaming, crying tantrums in public places. The story claimed scientists have now apparently proven that parents should just let the little monsters roar until they exhaust themselves. In the early stages of rage, parents should "do nothing. Don't shout, don't hit, don't try to comfort the child." You can thank NPR the next time this experiment unfolds at the mall."
Vedantam's first subject was little Katrina Doudna: "There was nothing wrong with Katrina. Small kids just have tantrums. Some have lots of them. Tantrums may be traumatic for parents, but they're mostly normal behavior. So science hasn't paid much attention to them, until now."
NPR played up a pro-illegal immigration rally at an Alabama church with "strong ties to the civil rights movement" on Tuesday's Morning Edition. Correspondent Tanya Ott of affiliate WBHM trumpeted how "they could hardly pick a more historic place to hold the rally," and highlighted a an advocate for illegal immigrants who likened opponents to the devil.
Fill-in host Linda Wertheimer touted how "pressure is mounting against Alabama's immigration law, known as the toughest in the nation" in her introduction to the journalist's report, and used her "strong ties" phrase as she stated how 3,000 showed up for the rally at the church. Ott specified that the "historic place" which hosted the event is the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, "where, almost a half century ago, a bomb exploded, killing four young black girls."
Harvard professor Randall Kennedy claimed “Black people know that if Herman Cain had his way, their lives would be diminished.” Former Time reporter Jack E. White added “Herman Cain tells them what they want to hear about blacks, and in turn, they embrace him and say, see, that proves we aren't racist. He's even willing to be a minstrel for them.”
NPR brought on Shinseki to hail "the president stepping out and leading in this area, trying to provide incentives for hiring young veterans. And this is the jobs bill. This is his speech in August at the American Legion. We won't balance this budget on the backs of veterans. I mean all very, very strong statements." This may not be surprising, but there's no record of NPR going out to interview the veterans affairs secretary on Veterans Day in the Bush years.
On Friday's Morning Edition, NPR's Joel Rose played up the apparently "ominous" finding that voting-age adults 30 and younger aren't as "enamored of Mr. Obama as they used to be." Rose obtained sound bites from the President's supporters, but didn't play any from opponents. He also expressed liberal hopes when he stated that "there's still time for [them] to rediscover the excitement they felt four years ago, but the Obama campaign has some serious work to do."
Host Steve Inskeep introduced the correspondent's report by noting that "young people powered the election of President Obama in 2008. The so-called Millennial generation...voted in record numbers... [and] gave time, money, and a sense of excitement to the campaign. Now, a Pew Research Center report shows that some Millennials are questioning their support for the President. They're anxious about the economy."
On Monday's Morning Edition, NPR's Carrie Kahn followed her network's standard operating procedure by omitting anti-illegal immigration conservatives from a report highlighting Latino Republicans' concern over the apparently "rough" language from GOP presidential candidates. Kahn cited one activist who bemoaned that the "the harsh talk is making it difficult to recruit new Latino voters."
During his introduction for the correspondent's report, fill-in host Ari Shapiro acknowledged that "Mr. Obama has lost popularity with Latinos recently, mostly due to the economy," but then added that "Hispanic voters looking for alternatives are not too happy with the Republican slate either." Kahn continued by playing up how "if you've been listening to the GOP presidential candidates lately, the talk about immigration control is getting rough."
In 2008, NPR's All Things Considered tried to take apart the "swift-booking" of Barack Obama by conservative author Jerome Corsi, insisting in several places "we know" Corsi's reporting wasn't factual. On Friday's All Things Considered, NPR media reporter David Folkenflik took a looser standard in publicizing the Palin-bashing book by liberal author Joe McGinniss. Folkenflik eventually found book experts who disdained the difference between a "warts and all" book and an "all warts" book. But none of the book's claims were held up individually as false. It just on the whole "felt unreliable."
This leads the listener to wonder what might be true: Palin's cocaine-snorting, the premarital sex with NBA stars, the neglect of her children? Which? Folkenflik brings up McGinniss's tawdry publicity stunt, renting right next to the Palin home in Wasilla, running some mini-soundbites of outrage from conservative talkers like Sean Hannity ("creepy") and Bill O'Reilly ("immoral"). But Folkenflik tweeted Friday "How rascally is the writer behind 'The Rogue'?" All in all, the stunt was a plus:
On Thursday, NPR's Morning Edition used a Republican mayor to boost Obama's push for infrastructure spending. On Friday, the same show displayed a new Tea Party Republican House member representing tornado-ravaged Joplin, Missouri to gush over the effectiveness of the Obama disaster relief team, as if to say "No Katrinas here, America." Janet Napolitano told NPR Long would give them a "12" out of 10.
Liberals have this habit of thinking that disaster relief somehow rebuts "foes of Big Government," or that Tea Party members ran on the promise of abolishing disaster aid. NPR reporter Frank Morris pressed hard on the chastened-anti-statist angle:
The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 contained language that the liberals inside PBS and NPR have rarely tried to observe, to seek "fairness and objectivity in all programming of a controversial nature." Apparently, there was no controversy about gays in the military, since NPR's coverage of the end of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy consisted of five segments adding up to almost 27 and a half minutes interviewing elated gay men and lesbians.
Was there anyone inside the military or outside who disagreed? Was there anyone who feared what would happen going forward, what next step on the gay agenda would be imposed? NPR had no time for any dissidents from the PC line. They were a publicity network for one side.
On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Wade Goodwyn carried water for pro-abortion activists who are targeting Governor Rick Perry and the Texas legislature for cutting the state funding of "women's health clinics." Goodwyn didn't give an ideological label for the activists, referring to them merely as "family planning advocates," and highlighted their objection that some of the cut funds were now going to crisis pregnancy centers.
Hosts Steve Inskeep and David Greene pushed a liberal talking point against the Republican presidential contender in his introduction for the correspondent's report: "Texas has been attracting people who move there for jobs. At the same time, though, more than a quarter of the state's population has no health insurance, which is more than any other state. Hospital emergency rooms and dozens of women's health clinics have been filling the gap." Greene continued that "this year, Perry and the state legislature drastically cut funding for the clinics."
On Monday's Morning Edition, National Public Radio channeled the thrill of discovering an ancient Roman writer's "spookily modern" writings. Anchor Steve Inskeep touted a long-forgotten work championing atheism: "Some people wake up in the morning and thank God for granting them another day. Others get up, and thank their genes, their frontal cortex and their lipids. Secular thinking has a long, long history, longer than many of us knew."
That's a strange opening. It's not very historical -- no one questioned theism in ancient Greece? But NPR's Robert Krulwich seemed thrilled at the story of "our book" of godlessness being saved for the ages. His guide was leftist literary theorist Steven Greenblatt, but NPR failed to mention the taxpayer-funded network was following the footsteps of The New Yorker. Greenblatt concluded by touting the "deep truth" and joy found in discovering there is no God:
On Thursday's Morning Edition, NPR's touted the Obama administration's "more aggressive legal approach" towards pro-life demonstrators with the stepped-up prosecution of alleged violations of the controversial FACE Act. Correspondent Carrie Johnson highlighted the prosecution of an elderly pro-lifer, and let an abortion lobbyist denigrate pro-lifers as possible terrorists.
Host Steve Inskeep introduced Johnson's report with slanted language about how "the fight over abortion rights continues in courtrooms and state houses all over this country. But a smaller-scale version of that conflict is on display almost every day between protesters and escorts at abortion clinics. And some of those tensions are on the rise, as the Obama administration takes a more aggressive legal approach against people who block access to clinics."
On Wednesday, NPR strongly hinted that they would bring their liberal bias into their special programming for the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Their planned reports on the mass atrocity includes an investigation which scrutinizes the efforts of private firms guarding soft targets like sports arenas: "[The] investigation...suggests that these kinds of programs are disrupting innocent people's lives."
An August 30, 2011 press release on the public-funded network's website stated that "it has been said that America would never be the same after terrorist attacks took nearly 3,000 lives on September 11, 2001. A decade since the tragedy, how have the attacks affected people's lives and shaped America's collective outlook and future? Beginning September 5, NPR News offers a week of reports looking back at the events leading up to 9/11 and reflecting on the ways it continues to impact the nation."
On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Julie Rovner promoted the supposed benefits of ObamaCare, and played up a recent poll which found that "about a third of those without health insurance think the law will help them, and that's because only about half know that it includes key provisions that will make insurance more available and affordable."
The sole source for the correspondent's report was an August 2011 tracking poll conducted by the liberal Kaiser Family Foundation. Rovner played three sound bites from Drew Altman, who works for the foundation, and none from opponents of ObamaCare. In his first clip, Altman highlighted how a majority of people surveyed for the poll agree that "it [ObamaCare] really does help the uninsured. Thirty-two million uninsured people will get coverage."
NPR's Nina Totenberg spent more than 4 minutes on Wednesday's Morning Edition to supposed ethical conflicts of interest for conservative Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Antonin Scalia. By contrast, Totenberg devoted only 17 seconds to the more current issue of liberal Justice Elena Kagan's service in the Obama administration as a factor in upcoming cases before the Court.
Host Renee Montagne introduced the correspondent's report by noting how both "liberal groups have chastised conservative justices for attending private conferences put on by conservative political interests, and conservative groups have responded by leveling some criticism in the other direction." However, the journalist devoted the first three minutes of a seven-and-a-half minute segment on the criticism launched at Clarence Thomas's wife from the left:
NPR pretended that there wasn't a single supporter of Pope Benedict XVI in Spain on Friday's Morning Edition, choosing to devote an entire report on the "many people are grumbling at the cost" of the upcoming papal visit to the country. Correspondent Lauren Frayer not only failed to mention the 428,000 people from around the world who are registered for the World Youth Day event with the Pope, but also omitted the leftist bent of the protesters who are organizing a boycott.
Host Steve Inskeep, after delivering the "grumbling" line, highlighted how "local priests, though, have issued a rare complaint. The Pope's visit will cost Spain millions, at a time when the government is also slashing public salaries and public services." Frayer then explained at the beginning of her report that "more than 100 priests from Madrid's poorest barrios posted a letter online, saying they disagree with the cost and style of Pope Benedict's visit. Father Julio Saavedra says it's unfair how the Spanish government is giving tax breaks to companies like Coca-Cola and Santander Bank for sponsoring the visit."
NPR tried to portray evangelical scientific and theological scholars who no longer believe in the Book of Genesis's account of Adam and Eve as "conservative" on Tuesday's Morning Edition. Host Steve Inskeep used this bizarre label, while correspondent Barbara Bradley Hagerty cited a theology teacher who denies the fall of man into sin as an example of one of these "conservatives" who "want their faith to come into the 21st century."
After Inskeep's introduction, which also noted how "for many evangelicals, a historical Adam and Eve is a critical part of their theology," Hagerty almost immediately turned to Dennis Venema of Trinity Western University in Canada and asked, "How likely is it that we all descended from Adam and Eve?" He replied, in part, "Not likely at all."
On Friday's Morning Edition, correspondent Ana Tintocalis from NPR affiliate KQED in San Francisco spotlighted several supporters of California's recently-passed requirement for public schools mandating that they include homosexual historical figures in social studies classes. Only one out of the five people interviewed for Tintocalis's report opposed the new mandate.
The journalist began her report by playing two clips from a public school teacher from a "small district near Sacramento," who, despite expressing enthusiasm over the new law, felt "conflicted" over how to implement it: "It seems like we're meeting a quota, and that I don't like." She then turned to Will Grant, a private school teacher who has "led teacher workshops on how to include gay and lesbian history into social studies classes."
NPR's Dina Temple-Raston did her best to cast a Muslim fired by the State of Ohio in a sympathetic light on Monday's Morning Edition, describing him as a "college professor" dressed in a "tweed jacket, button-down shirt, [and] thick round glasses," but failed to mention his other firing from a Ohio college for violating their sexual harassment policy. Temple-Reston also featured an expert who attributed Ohio's actions against the professor to "elevated levels of Islamophobia."
The correspondent, who donned a headscarf and posed as a Muslim woman as part of a sting operation against U.S. border control agents earlier in 2011, and co-wrote a book with ACLU executive director Anthony Romero back in 2007, first introduced the professor, Omar al-Omari, with her "tweed jacket" description and added that he is a "big coffee drinker." She then played two sound bites from the professor, who described how he had been singled out by trainers at a seminar for law enforcement officers who, according to the journalist, had "offered specific examples of what they said was Islamic radicalism in Ohio."
On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Julie Rovner spun the debate over a proposed mandate for private insurance companies to cover birth control without a copay as being between "women's health groups," which were not given an ideological label, and organizations such as the Family Research Council, which she clearly identified as "conservative." A representative from her example of a "women's health group," Planned Parenthood, labeled "unintended" pregnancies an "epidemic."
Anchor Steve Inskeep began the report with an admission about ObamaCare: "President Obama's health care overhaul law touches almost every aspect of health care, including birth control." Rovner first highlighted a woman from Tucson, Arizona who, despite having a "full-time job with health insurance [and] a husband," along with two kids, apparently couldn't afford the $25 a month copay for her birth control prescription. This led to her having a third child, and the woman declared that "while we're happy that she's here, it was not planned, and had we had some better finances, we probably could have made some better decisions."
CNN's Fareed Zakaria made a bit of a Kinsley gaffe Friday.
On NPR's "Morning Edition," Zakaria said, "The people who watch Fox are not going to watch CNN...Our competitors should properly be The New York Times, the BBC, NPR" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NPR's Renee Montagne touted the Rep. Anthony Weiner sex scandal as a "dilemma" for Democrats on Wednesday's Morning Edition. Correspondent Andrea Seabrook also underlined how it was apparently "hard for Democrats to call for his resignation" because the New York politician is a "bulldog" for their issues.
Montagne used her label during an introduction for Seabrook's report, which put the Weiner controversy in the context of other Washington sex scandals: "The New York Democrat admitted earlier this week that he had inappropriate exchanges with women online, exchanges that included sexually explicit pictures. He also said he will not resign his House seat. As NPR's Andrea Seabrook reports, that poses a dilemma for his Democratic colleagues."
On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Jennifer Ludden all but acted as an proponent of egg donation and freezing to preserve women's fertility, but failed to acknowledge the dangers associated with the donation process, ranging from negative psychological effects to kidney failure and death. Ludden barely touched on other risks to the procedures, such as using them to permit women over 50 become pregnant.
The correspondent began her report by hyping the emotion behind the problem the donation and freezing procedures aim to fix: the declining fertility of women 40 years of age and older:
On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Renee Montagne and Scott Horsley spotlighted the "warm welcome" President Obama received during his recent visit to Ireland. Horsley marveled at the "large crowds lining the street to welcome him," as well as the "enthusiasm with which they greeted the American president. This is something we really haven't seen in the U.S. for a couple of years."
Montagne turned to the White House correspondent, who is traveling with the President, to report on Mr. Obama's European visit. After devoting the bulk of the segment to the British portion of the trip, the NPR anchor asked about the commander-in-chief's stop in the Emerald Isle and set up Horsley's effusive reply:
NPR's Mara Liasson noticeably left out anti-illegal immigration conservatives on Tuesday's Morning Edition as she reported on President's Obama's latest push for "comprehensive" immigration reform. Liasson only played clips from the President, Democrat Rep. Luis Gutierrez, and Republican consultant Marty Wilson, who claimed that "the hardline approach on immigration...is not going to work."
Host Steve Inskeep introduced the correspondent's report by noting the President's forthcoming speech later in the day outlining his "principles for an immigration overhaul." He continued by recalling how "President Bush's immigration efforts encountered opposition from his own party, and many Republicans are also likely to resist President Obama's efforts."
Instead of turning to those who would be part of such a resistance, Liasson quickly turned to an excerpt from Obama's recent commencement address at Miami Dade College, where he proclaimed, "I strongly believe we should fix our broken immigration system...and I want to work with Democrats and Republicans, yes, to protect our borders and enforce our laws, and address the status of millions of undocumented workers."
NPR's Ari Shapiro emphasized the possible political benefits for President Obama on Thursday's Morning Edition in the aftermath of the death of Osama bin Laden. Shapiro lined up sound bites from three pundits who touted the "big moment" for the "bold" President and how it amounted to a "fundamental shift in the way Americans perceive Mr. Obama."
Midway through his report, the correspondent introduced a clip from former Bill Clinton speechwriter Jeff Shesol: "He [Shesol] believes this week could mark a fundamental shift in the way Americans perceive Mr. Obama." The Clinton alum claimed that it would be "very hard after this moment to suggest that President Obama doesn't have the guts to make tough calls, to make bold and risky calls...and then to go ahead because he knows it to be the right thing to do."
On Monday and Tuesday, NPR played up how Osama Bin Laden's death might translate into a political win for President Obama. Mara Liasson trumpeted the "huge victory" for the President and spotlighted a scholar who gushed how Obama now looked "strong and competent and decisive." Cokie Roberts boasted how the military operation was a "score" for the Democrat and that it was a "game changer politically."
At the beginning of her report which lead Tuesday's Morning Edition, Liasson gushed that "every president benefits from moments of national unity, but none so much as Barack Obama, who ran for office promising to bridge partisan divides." Later, the journalist noted that, with the raid against Bin Laden, "he [Obama] made good on his repeated promise to act unilaterally if he had actionable intelligence."
NPR's Renee Montagne apparently didn't take an alleged death threat seriously, as she practically chuckled during a report on Friday's Morning Edition about anti-Koch brothers protesters mistakenly calling a Des Moines, Iowa business named Koch Brothers office supplies.
Substitute co-host Mary Louise Kelly, noted that "Charles and David Koch are the billionaire owners of a giant industrial conglomerate based in Wichita, Kansas. They've poured millions into conservative and anti-union causes. People who don't like their politics have sent many critical e-mails and letters, even death threats, to Dutch Koch."