On NPR's Morning Edition on Monday, anchor Steve Inskeep welcomed a regular guest, Wall Street Journal economics editor David Wessel (from the liberal news side, not the conservative opinion-page side). The new Congress is already too "shrill" and "ugly" with libertarian argument against Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's printing money to buy government bonds:
INSKEEP: Rand Paul is a name that got a lot of attention in the election this past Tuesday. He won a Senate seat from Kentucky. But, of course, his father, Ron Paul, ran for president a couple of years back, is still in the House, and it looks like he's going to chair the committee that oversees Ben Bernanke's Fed.
WESSEL: That's right. Ron Paul, who wrote a book called "End the Fed" - so you know what he thinks ought to happen. He'll definitely give Mr. Bernanke a hard time, but he's really seen as something of an outlier. He's a Libertarian. He doesn't believe in paper money. And I don't think many of the other Republicans are quite comfortable with that view. But it will be interesting to have him in the House and his son, a senator from Kentucky, taking a seat that was vacated by another shrill critic of the Fed, Jim Bunning. So, it will be a lot of fireworks there, I'm sure.
An examination of both the board of NPR's non-profit foundation and its national board of directors recently found that their members are overwhelmingly - almost uniformly - adherents to various left-wing ideologies.
National Review's Matthew Shaffer conducted the examination. He found that "nearly all have demonstrably liberal political sympathies, with heavy support for the Democratic party, pro-abortion-rights groups, and environmental activism in particular."
NPR's Nina Totenberg said Friday that she's very afraid of the upcoming elections.
Newsweek's Evan Thomas, her co-panelist on "Inside Washington," said historians might look upon November 2, 2010 "as kind of a joke...obviously the political system’s a mess" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"Follow the money," the left insisted when News Corporation donated $1 million to the Republican Governor's Association. The implication was that since News Corp. gave lots of money to Republicans (nearly 10 times as much as it did to Democrats), Fox News coverage that casted the GOP in a positive light could fairly be seen as a direct result of that contribution.
By the standard much of the left advanced, National Public Radio's firing of Juan Williams can fairly be presented as a direct result of liberal billionaire George Soros's $1.8 million contribution to NPR two days before Williams's firing.
NPR and other liberals are trying to convert the firing of Juan Williams into another episode of bullying conservatism. NPR deployed Jon Stewart in self-defense on Tuesday’s Morning Edition. Anchor Steve Inskeep noted Stewart’s arrival in Washington, DC marked his first show since the Williams purge, and they ran this joke:
STEWART [From the Daily Show]: Are you kidding me, NPR? Are you picking a fight with Fox News? They gave Juan Williams a $2 million contract just for you firing him. NPR, you just brought a tote bag full of David Sedaris books to a knife fight.
NPR suggested that this came in the spirit of "sanity" and that Stewart's rally is designed to "take it down a notch." But wasn’t NPR the network who took a knife to Juan's career, and Fox the ones with a tote bag full of goodies? In The New York Times, Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter also explained that liberalism is losing because it’s not doltishly simple, it’s too complex for the average American:
The National Public Radio (NPR) executive who fired Juan Williams is behind an effort lobbying for a new tax to be levied on private media outlets in order to finance a BBC-style state media, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center Brent Bozell told viewers of Fox Business Network's "Varney & Company" at 10:45 a.m. today.
NPR president Vivian Schiller is "part of a group which wants to essentially tax existing media companies... and use that tax money to create a national network of public broadcasting companies to put out a news broadcast on a national basis, like an American BBC," Varney noted.
"Let's put it another way, the attack on Juan Williams... wasn't really an attack on Juan Williams," Bozell replied.
National Public Radio’s firing of Juan Williams tells you all you need to know about the radical, and thoroughly intolerant, Left. Juan Williams is a liberal, but still, he isn’t liberal enough. The idea that he would acknowledge a mere thought of discomfort at the idea of people in “Muslim garb” on airplanes in a post-9/11 world became a firing offense. It didn’t matter that he prefaced it with all the perfunctory and politically correct disclaimers about not being a bigot and we shouldn’t blame all Muslims for terrorism.
Today’s Left is void of any principles whatsoever. They can be as astonishingly offensive and insulting as they want toward Christians, and no one gets punished. The indefatigable Catholic League provides the documentation.
Last night Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly aired an ambush interview that "O'Reilly Factor" producer Jesse Watters sprung on Vivian Schiller, National Public Radio's president.
Last week, Schiller fired Williams over the phone in reaction to a comment the Fox News contributor made on the October 18 edition of O'Reilly's eponymous program.
Schiller, no stranger to cable news -- she used to head up CNN's documentary division -- also put her foot in her mouth last week by flippantly dismissing Williams's comments on the "Factor" as something he should have kept between himself and his psychiatrist.
Whatever happened to Ed Schultz's solidarity with the working man? Isn't that supposed to be the essence of Schultz's shtick? But on his MSNBC show this evening, Ed played the paid-by-management Pinkerton, busting his nightstick over the head of . . . Juan Williams.
Proclaimed anti-worker Ed: "when you fire somebody: it's over, move on. Don't go back over spilled milk."
Ed Schultz, tool of the bosses--who knew? Video after the jump.
Congressman Joe Barton, ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that authorizes spending for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, sent a letter Friday to Media Research Center President Brent Bozell about his call for an investigation in the firing of Juan Williams by National Public Radio.
The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne said Sunday that NPR is one of the best news organizations in the world and challenged anyone to find evidence the radio network is the slightest bit liberally biased.
To prove his claim, Dionne hysterically pointed out to his fellow "Meet the Press" panelists that whenever he's on NPR, he's often countered by "conservatives" - like New York Times columnist David Brooks (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume condemned NPR for its “howling double standard” in firing Juan Williams for expressing an opinion, a standard “manifestly not being applied to other NPR people.” He forwarded the theory that “in the culture of NPR, appearing on Fox is a sin” and “for an African-American man” to “be kind of a Bill Cosby liberal, not a down-the-line liberal, is a sin as well.”
Hume’s assessment came after host Chris Wallace read from a column in which Cokie Roberts denounced Glenn Beck as “worse than a clown. He’s more like a terrorist,” showed a clip of her disagreeing with a court ruling on partial birth abortion and ran a soundbite of Nina Totenberg, NPR’s legal correspondent, attacking a Supreme Court decision. Fortune magazine’s Nina Easton recalled how Daniel Schorr “did a biting, acerbic, liberal commentary regularly on NPR” where “he called the 2000 Supreme Court decision, that gave George Bush the right to take office as President, he described that as a ‘junta,’ as ‘a coup.’”
“So much to dislike about NPR, it's hard to know where to begin,” Bill Kristol later quipped.
Andrew Sullivan on Friday said that if you say something bigoted on Fox News, you get rewarded, promoted, and celebrated.
As the topic of NPR's firing of Juan Williams was raised on the syndicated program "The Chris Matthews Show," Sullivan was far more critical of the cable news station than the radio network (video follows with transcript and commentary):
“Why is it okay for Nina to express opinions, as she has tartly, sharply, unashamedly and openly” while serving as “an honored correspondent” for NPR, while Juan Williams, “because he expresses his opinions, gets canned from NPR?” So Charles Krauthammer demanded while sitting Friday with Totenberg on the same Inside Washington set. “In fact, the standard ought to be lower in the case of Juan because he’s an analyst, whereas Nina is a correspondent.”
Krauthammer had picked up on NPR CEO Vivian Schiller’s contention that the network had canned Williams because he violated the policy that “news analysts may not take personal public positions on controversial issues; doing so undermines their credibility as analysts, and that's what's happened in this situation.”
An uncomfortable Totenberg asserted “it’s a very, very difficult line to draw. And NPR tries to draw it, in my view, using rules that don’t exist anymore.” To which, Krauthammer wondered: “But what’s the difference between you and Juan expressing opinions? You on this show, and him on Fox?” He condemned NPR: “It’s completely illogical and hypocritical.” (Audio: MP3 clip)
Juan Williams struck back at his former employers on Friday by pointing out the hypocrisy of him being fired for his comments about Muslims when others at NPR have said far worse without receiving any disciplinary action whatsoever.
Filling in for the regular host of Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor," Williams gave the radio station he dutifully represented the past ten years a well-deserved piece of his mind (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It appears Juan Williams’ firing is just what the public needed to realize their tax dollars are being poorly handled through subsidies from the federal government given to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to prop up National Public Radio.
However, “Red Eye” host Greg Gutfeld makes the most reasonable case not to deprive NPR of its taxpayer subsidies. On the Oct. 23 broadcast of his program, Gutfeld explains to his viewers his case for not defunding the radio organization, but not without taking some jabs their decision to fire his Fox News colleague.
Hey, it's Friday night. Time to kick back, relax, and have a few chuckles, courtesy Ed Schultz. On his MSNBC show this evening, Schultz, somehow managing to keep a straight face, claimed that NPR is "as down the middle as you can get."
Schultz served up his side-splitter in condemning Jim DeMint and other Republicans for proposing the federal defunding of NPR. In the world according to Ed, the Republican suggestion to withdraw NPR's taxpayer subsidies reflects a GOP plan to "shut down any dissenting voices in this country." Ed, buddy: Dems control the White House and both houses of Congress. NPR is the voice of pro-government flackery, not dissent. The rebels are . . . the Republicans!
>Former NPR senior analyst Juan Williams told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America" Friday that his surprise termination has changed his view of which side of the political aisle is actually the tolerant one.
"I've always thought the right wing was the ones who were inflexible and intolerant, and now I'm coming to realize that the orthodoxy at NPR, if it's representing the Left, is just unbelievable" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Trying to write off calls—in reaction to the Juan Williams firing fiasco—for the federal defunding of NPR as mere right-wing electoral politics and "cable catnip," Norah O'Donnell has grossly understated the proportion of its budget that NPR obtains from the feds.
Aided and abetted by Chuck Todd, Norah offered her misleading math on today's Daily Rundown on MSNBC. O'Donnell claimed that only 1-3% of NPR's budget is derived from federal funding. But as you'll see, the real number is at least double that.
Juan Williams's firing from National Public Radio (NPR) earlier this week was not only animated in part by the liberal George Soros-backed radio network's disdain of Fox News, it also reeks of a double standard, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told viewers of Friday's "Fox & Friends" program.
"If [Juan Williams] had said those words on the Charlie Rose show, it would have been seen as provocative or thoughtful.... This is the same network that featured Nina Totenberg hoping that Senator Jesse Helms would die or one of his grandchildren would die of AIDS because of his position on gay rights and nothing ever happened to her."
Fired NPR analyst Juan Williams is pushing back hard against the taxpayer-funded network firing him over his appearances on the Fox News Channel. In an opinion piece for Foxnews.com, Williams says he was a victim of political correctness and increasing ideological orthodoxy in media, and concluded that NPR is worse than Richard Nixon and his enemies list:
I say an ideological battle because my comments on "The O’Reilly Factor" are being distorted by the self-righteous ideological, left-wing leadership at NPR. They are taking bits and pieces of what I said to go after me for daring to have a conversation with leading conservative thinkers. They loathe the fact that I appear on Fox News. They don’t notice that I am challenging Bill O’Reilly and trading ideas with Sean Hannity. In their hubris they think by talking with O’Reilly or Hannity I am lending them legitimacy. Believe me, Bill O’Reilly (and Sean, too) is a major force in American culture and politics whether or not I appear on his show.
Years ago NPR tried to stop me from going on "The Factor." When I refused they insisted that I not identify myself as an NPR journalist. I asked them if they thought people did not know where I appeared on the air as a daily talk show host, national correspondent and news analyst. They refused to budge.
In the wake of commentator Juan Williams' feckless firing by National Public Radio, supporters on the Internet sounded a cheeky rallying cry: "Free Juan!" But Williams has now been liberated from the government-funded media's politically correct shackles. It's taxpayers who need to be untethered from NPR and other state-sponsored public broadcasting.
Public radio and public television are funded with your money to the tune of some $400 million in direct federal handouts and tax deductions for contributions made by individual viewers, not to mention untold state grants and subsidies. Supporters argue that this amounts to a tiny portion of state-sponsored media's overall budget, and an even tinier portion of the overall federal budget.
If it's so negligible, why do NPR's government-subsidized "journalists" cling so bitterly to the subsidies? Leverage. The government imprimatur gives NPR and PBS a competitive edge, favoritism with lawmakers and the phony appearance of being above the fray.
At NPR, you cannot admit your prejudices, even in the context of disavowing them. You can, however, suggest that a U.S. Senator and his grandchildren should be infected with the AIDS virus, claim the world would be a better place if everyone who believes in the Christian rapture did not exist, claim that Newt Gingrich seeks "a civil way of lynching people," and, as long as you are just a freelancer, call for Rush Limbaugh's death.
That is National Public Radio's editorial (double) standard. NPR fired analyst Juan Williams, an 10 year employee of the organization, for admitting that he gets "nervous" when he sees people in Muslim garb on an airplane. But NPR employees (and a freelancer in one case) have made each of those statements above without suffering the swift action brought against Williams.
Managing Editor's note: National Public Radio (NPR) has fired longtime analyst Juan Williams for admitting he gets nervous on a plane when he sees a person dressed in Muslim garb. What follows is a statement from NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell.
Juan Williams has done nothing wrong. What he said echoes what the vast majority of Americans believe. It’s their tax dollars that fund NPR. But NPR is ignoring them. Instead, they are kowtowing to the agenda of radical anti-Americans like CAIR, and doing the bidding of George Soros, who hates Fox News with a passion.
And since when did NPR have standards? Here are just three examples of left-wing statements 100 times more outrageous than what Juan Williams said, with no reaction from NPR:
If Juan Williams knew at 9:45 p.m. yesterday that he was out of a job, he sure didn't show it.
The same night he was fired by NPR, Williams appeared on Sean Hannity's "Great American panel" segment in an ostensibly cheerful mood, exchanging playful banter with the host and panelists.
"I love the sartorial splendor of his mutton chops," quipped Williams, referring to New York gubernatorial candidate Jimmy McMillian's facial hair. "And I'm thinking what would you look like with this? A little bit of that deputy dog look. You know what I'm talking about? You would look marvelous, my friend. That would be you as more liberal. That was a hip, younger Sean."
It shouldn't be shocking that as many NPR stations are conducting pledge drives of their liberal audiences, NPR has found a pretext to fire its longtime analyst Juan Williams for an appearance on Fox News. NPR listeners have complained loud and long that NPR analysts should not dignify that right-wing media outlet with their presence. Williams admitted on The O'Reilly Factor "when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."
It should be noted that the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) sent around a press release on Wednesday afternoon. CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad called for action against Williams: "Such irresponsible and inflammatory comments would not be tolerated if they targeted any other racial, ethnic or religious minority, and they should not pass without action by NPR." The New York Times somehow omitted CAIR from its Juan-is-gone story.
Perhaps the people at National Public Radio are worried that a new Republican Congress could threaten the lavishness of its federal subsidies again. Or maybe NPR is just a sandbox for the Left. But on Wednesday, the show Fresh Air spent most of its hour suggesting the Republican Party was dangerously infested with extremists. The guest was socialist Princeton professor Sean Wilentz, who has written that George W. Bush practiced "a radicalized version of Reaganism." Host Terry Gross was promoting Wilentz's article in The New Yorker on Glenn Beck and the Tea Party:
GROSS: Can you think of another time in American history when there have been as many people running for Congress who seem to be on the extreme?
WILENTZ: Not running for Congress, no. I mean even back in the '50s.
This is par for the course, since Gross promoted a New Yorker piece by Jane Mayer just a few weeks ago (on August 26) on how the Koch brothers were funding the Tea Party as part of a "war" on that secular saint, President Obama. What stuck out in this interview was the use of "extreme" labels for the conservative movement and the GOP -- twelve of them. In Sesame Street lingo, the hour was brought to you by the letter E for Extreme. Most of them came in Gross's restate-the-thesis (or in this case, restate-the-attack-ad) "if you're just joining us" reintroductions.
Media reporter Michael Calderone at The Upshot reported on Thursday that National Public Radio officials were surprised the outpouring of attention they drew with a memo insisting reporters shouldn't attend the liberal Comedy Central rallies of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. When Calderone asked NPR senior vice president Dana Davis Rehm why there was no memo for the Glenn Beck Restoring Honor rally or the recent liberal One Nation event, she explained that NPR felt "it was obvious to everyone that these were overtly political events" and staff would surely know not to attend. "It's different with the Colbert and Stewart rallies; they are ambiguous," she continued. "But their rallies will be perceived as political by many, whatever we think. As such, they are off limits except for those covering the events."
Calderone asked other media outlets if they had a policy on the Stewart-Colbert event. ABC said it would follow a similar policy to NPR, to be present only as journalists and observers. An NBC News spokeswoman responded in a statement: "NBC News prohibits employees who function in an editorial role from participating at partisan events, however on a case by case basis we have permitted MSNBC hosts to participate in such events."
The Washington Post sent out a similar-sounding memo to staff about being observers, not participants:
The Poynter Institute's Romenesko website published a memo (sent today, and leaked today) from Ellen Weiss, senior vice president for news at National Public Radio insisting to the staff that they cannot attend the liberal Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert rallies on October 30.
NPR journalists may not participate in marches and rallies involving causes or issues that NPR covers, nor should they sign petitions or otherwise lend their name to such causes, or contribute money to them. This restriction applies to the upcoming John [sic] Stewart and Stephen Colbert rallies.
Glynnis McNicol at Mediaite quipped: "No word on whether NPR issued a similar memo prior to Glenn Beck's rally in August…I’m going to hazard a guess it probably wasn’t needed." Uh, yes. It could be argued NPR already gave Stewart an extremely positive promotion on Fresh Air with Terry Gross on October 4. (It was a Gross-out.) Weiss also said it would be wrong to advocate for political issues -- that "you could not" advocate, ahem, in your day job at NPR:
Nationally distributed NPR talk show host Terry Gross was putting her feelings on her sleeve and on the air Monday in an interview with liberal comedian Jon Stewart. The episode was taped at an event at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan with a live audience. Gross began by proclaiming "I just want to say thank you before I ask you the first question.....Thank you for the last thing I see every night, in addition to my husband and my cat, is your show. And I'm able to go to bed with a sense that there is sanity someplace in the world."
Stewart joked constantly through the hour, but it was also clear he had serious anger with how the Democrats haven't been leftist enough, and about a media that hasn't been biased enough. He expressed frustration near the show's end when he asserted that the media's too timid because of the talk of a "liberal media conspiracy." When asked about liberals being concerned that his October 30 "million moderates" march will hurt Democrats, he actually said "Tough [expletive]."
GROSS: Now, some people are worried. There's a big AFL-CIO liberal march, there's the FFL, the NAACP, a whole bunch of groups. Some people worry that your march is going to take away from their, like, serious political march.