Monday's first hour of National Public Radio's Diane Rehm show out of Washington focused on the health and political ramifications of Sen. Tim Johnson's brain surgery. Guests were Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Early in the show (about 7 and a half minutes in), Rehm grew a little crass, asking if Sen. Johnson's family could ruin the slender majority the Democrats hold in the upper chamber. Consider this through the lens of the Terri Schiavo debate, and see the liberal flip-flop coming:
Rehm: "What’s if Johnson’s family were to say ‘Tim Johnson can no longer serve’? Do they have the right to do that?"
National Public Radio oozes liberalism in nearly everything it does, especially when it starts tickling itself, like insisting Cheney lives in Rove's butt on its game shows. NPR's website advertises its "First Ever Holiday Craft Contest." Listeners are invited to design either a handmade menorah or a Christmas tree ornament. "We are looking for designs that reflect the news of 2006. We also welcome quirky, funny and/or offbeat designs. (See examples to the left.)" That would include a Christmas ornament with Scientology baby Suri Cruise, and some Mel Gibson mockery:
Sample Entry: Mel Gibson Mel-norah. This menorah works on two levels: It symbolizes a willingness to accept Gibson's apology for his anti-Semitic rant but also, for skeptics, offers the chance to watch hot wax drip down his punim (the Yiddish word for face). Materials: Mel Gibson cutouts and menorah.
Expect a pile of new-Congress stories extolling the historic highs for the number of women in Congress as part of the welcome wagon for Speaker Pelosi. I found one early indicator in a Nexis search, a public-radio show called "Weekend America," distributed on about 80 NPR stations via American Public Media. A report by correspondent Jill Morrison said the new high for women in the House (87 out of 435) is still a "small minority." That would seem to betray the feminist view that at least half of Congress should be female, if it were truly representative of America.
The females-are-superior-humans angle emerged. Democratic congresswomen-elect in the Morrison piece explained how "women tend to be a better part of the process" (Gabrielle Giffords) and "we get so much done because we make lists" and we'll get more government-mandated health care because "women are going to be less inclined to look at the politics of it and just say, you know, I need health care for my family." (Nancy Boyda)
If we were to believe liberals, the last several years could be dubbed the Age of Propaganda, what scandalized columnist Frank Rich, who knows quite a lot about this subject, calls the “decline and fall of truth.”
They complained when government agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services put out “video news releases” that some lax TV stations aired without editing. They complained when the Pentagon hired American P.R. companies like the Lincoln Group to place positive stories about American forces in the Iraqi newspapers. They complained when conservative P.R. man Armstrong Williams struck a deal with the Department of Education to promote the Bush “No Child Left Behind” policy.
But the same left-wing crowd that claims to hate propaganda seems to be offering nothing but flowers and best wishes for the November launch of al-Jazeera English.
Howard Kurtz concluded his Monday "Media Notes" column in the Washington Post with a story about much-hyped Democratic star Barack Obama, and how smooth he is at courting reporters, especially ones he's previously miffed. Obama recently relied on National Public Radio to sweeten the apology:
Nicklaus Lovelady says he tried to ask the Illinois senator a question at a news conference two years ago, only to have Obama say the event was for professional media only. When Lovelady protested that he worked for the local newspaper, Obama said: "I thought you were a college student. You have such a baby face." That putdown, writes Lovelady, caused a "pretty young thing" he'd been courting to give him the cold shoulder.
Commuting can be dangerous for a conservative if the car radio is tuned into National Public Radio. On Wednesday night’s "All Things Considered," NPR anchor Michele Norris interviewed ultraliberal Henry Waxman, now returning to his perch as chairman of the House Government Reform Committee. He claimed that his return meant an end to investigative politics: "And oversight ought to be done based on our responsibility, not our political point of view."
This is simply bizarre, and NPR should know it, and not let it go unchallenged. But Norris did.
I recall an example from 1997, when the Government Reform committee was investigating how the Clinton-Gore campaign and the Democratic National Committee accepted contributions from mysterious Asian donors. In the Weekly Standard, Matt Rees really captured how partisan Waxman was:
President Bush traveling to Vietnam was guaranteed to bring out the Iraq-Vietnam comparisons, especially on National Public Radio. On Wednesday's "Morning Edition," co-host Steve Inskeep interviewed liberal author David Halberstam, who reported on Vietnam for the New York Times. Halberstam warned that we needed to withdraw from Iraq because it wasn't worth the death of "some kid in the Ohio National Guard" for an "undoable" goal.
It's one thing for the liberal media to hail more liberal Hillary clones coming to Capitol Hill. But it's another thing to insist that women are a superior breed of politician, a much more caring, empathetic, and ethical breed. Driving home on Tuesday night, I heard this "women are seen as more ethical" line at least twice on the live coverage on National Public Radio. (No cattle-futures memories in the middle of Pom-Pom Night.) They even had a syrupy interview with Robin Gerber, author of "Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way," to cheer blatantly on the taxpayer-funded radio for incoming feminists like Senator McCaskill. On ABC Tuesday morning, Cokie Roberts opened up the latest can of Uterus-Empowered Superiority:
"But Nancy Pelosi will bring a style that is different to the speakership. Let me just tell you one little tidbit. Her daughter, Alexandra, is due to have a baby any minute and everybody knew that if that baby came, that Nancy Pelosi, regardless of the fact that she was about to take over the House and have the great night of her life, was ready to leave and just go to her daughter. I think you wouldn't necessarily see that with a male speaker."
On the weekend before the election, the NPR show "On The Media" brought their usual liberal criticism of the media to bear, with co-host Brooke Gladstone complaining how the national media was somehow an over-enthusiastic puppy in coverage of Kerry's don't-be-stupid-and-get-stuck-in-Iraq comment: "But the media can't stop masticating on this latest liberal gaffe like a Washington Monument-sized Snausage." (As in "scrumptious" doggie treat.)
Her guest was Washington Post national political editor John F. Harris, who boasted he succeeded in burying the Kerry story inside the paper, at least on the first day. But NPR's Gladstone hammered him for "playing right into the Administration's hands" by covering it, when Kerry wasn't even running:
On NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, the network’s senior "news analyst," Daniel Schorr, offered a typical liberal pundit’s take that John Kerry’s remarks about bad students being "stuck in Iraq" wouldn’t harm the Democrats in the midterm elections, but somehow has a serious impact on his ambitions of running for president again. NPR also featured, on the last weekend before midterm elections, a novelist restating bitter charges that George Bush and the Republicans stole the 2000 election in Florida.
Substitute host Lynn Neary described the Kerry remarks: "But will these words have lasting effect on this congressional race, do you think? Or on his career?" Schorr replied:
NPR's weekend program "On The Media" ran several interviews on Obama-mania in their last edition, including a talk with National Journal media writer William Powers. After discussing the many steps of national media hype, Powers suggested Obama was really a black Kennedy:
NPR host Brooke Gladstone: "In this recent round of what a lot of people are calling Obama-mania, would you say that there is now a media consensus about Obama, that he's just a natural?"
William Powers: "Oh, I think there's a consensus that he is The Natural, the most preternatural political figure we have seen since the Kennedys. The Kennedys come up constantly in these comparisons.
Gladstone: "The Kennedys or one particular Kennedy?"
Sometimes, leftists make arguments that are just too odd to take seriously. On the blog News Corpse (an appropriate location to discuss whack-Bush movies, perhaps), there's great gnashing of teeth over CNN and NPR deciding not to air commercials (oops, that would be "enhanced underwriting" at NPR) for the Bush-assassination film "Death of a President."
CNN issued a brief statement that virtually admits its intention to censor, saying that…
“CNN has decided not to take the ad because of the extreme nature of the movie’s subject matter.”
By basing their decision on the movie’s “subject matter”, they have installed themselves as the public’s nanny. They believe that they are in the best position to decide for us which subjects matter. While they are a couple of yards further over the line than NPR, the public radio network’s excuse is not much better:
Those who are familiar with my economic analyses know that I have maintained for some time that the left and their media minions exercise a peculiar brand of arithmetic whereby one plus one sometimes equals one, two, or three depending upon the result required to fit the agenda of the person in question. Well, White House advisor Karl Rove was Robert Siegel’s guest on NPR Tuesday, and a rather lively discussion ensued over polling data and how to read such statistics culminating in Rove making a similar point about fuzzy liberal math (audio available here).
The exchange in question was precipitated when the host stated that Rove was on the “optimistic end of realism” concerning the upcoming elections. Rove quickly responded, “Not that you would be exhibiting a bias.” Siegel rebutted, “I'm looking at all the same polls that you're looking at every day.”
Media Life magazine had two media experts answer why Air America went south. Nancy Haynes said exactly what I've said from the beginning, that taxpayer-funded radio was the big obstacle, over 700 affiliate stations, a very established network:
Air America has had an especially tough time growing its audience because its affiliates must take listeners almost entirely from other, more-established stations, and the most likely source for Air America to “steal” audience would be from NPR affiliates. Yet NPR's isteners are among radio's most loyal. That's bad news for Air America.
Andrew Ettinger added the other obvious point, that radio dynamos like Limbaugh and Hannity built slowly, from the commercial ground up, not from the philanthropy-driven top down:
If you're looking for some fair-and-balanced commentary on the situation in Iraq, there's nothing like relying exclusively on a scholar with two degrees from Berkeley - particularly if that same person is a frequent NPR guest.
That was Good Morning America's approach this morning. The only expert invited to comment on the situation in Iraq was Shibley Telhami of the Brookings Institution. Predictably, he painted matters in the bleakest possible light:
"I believe that the United States has lost the ability to control events in Iraq. And it lost them long ago."
A quick Googling reveals that Telhami has both a doctorate and masters from Berkeley. He was an undergrad at Queens College in NYC, another liberal hotbed. According to his Wikipedia entry, Telhami was born into an Arab family in Israel and is a regular guest on NPR.
National Public Radio is so liberal that even the weekend game shows ooze liberalism. On Saturday, the show "Whad'Ya Know" from Wisconsin Public Radio (heard on 260 stations) interviewed New York Times columnist Frank Rich on his new Bush-bashing book "The Greatest Story Ever Sold on Earth" for almost half an hour. Near the end (about 27 minutes into the first half-hour), host Michael Feldman went on a tear against the use of the term Islamo-fascism" to define the terrorists:
Feldman: "Also, that 'Islamofascism' thing they keep saying, which is so annoying, first of all because none of these governments are fascist, really. But the government is acting in a way which is quite fascistic, really, because it’s corporate, it’s authoritarian, it’s you know, it’s anti-liberal. That’s the definition of fascism, but they’re using this, this is a phrase they’ve decided to use."
There still is a Blame America First lobby. On Friday's edition of "Inside Washington" on PBS affiliate WETA, National Public Radio reporter Nina Totenberg couldn't simply deplore Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez's remarks that President Bush was "the devil." She had to put the blame on the United States government for paying excessive attention to him. After Colbert King of the Washington Post dismissed Chavez as a "class clown," Totenberg went into her spin cycle:
Nina Totenberg: "I want to see -- say one thing about him. He is the class clown, but we have made him. We should have ignored him long ago. We were demonizing him at the beginning, trying to get him overthrown."
Here's a few tidbits from the Style section of Friday's Washington Post. Paul Farhi reports that NPR has a new CEO. It's executive vice president Ken Stern, who will replace Kevin Klose on October 1. Only at the end of the short article are we told Stern "was deputy general counsel for President Clinton's 1996 reelection campaign." Stern's official NPR bio also notes he was "chief counsel for the 53rd Presidential Inaugural Committee," Clinton's second inauguration.
Book reviewer Carolyn See has taken a strong liking to Arianna Huffington. She even claimed sexism was responsible for people disliking her: "She's that social climber with the funny accent who married some rich Republican who tried to buy a Senate seat. When that failed, they separated, and she switched political sides. Then she gave many Gatsby-style parties, invited everyone, got a newspaper column and set up a blog called the Huffington Post. Groan. People don't care much for women who think, and it's not only men who get creeped out: If a woman like that disagrees with you -- and has the nerve to say so out loud -- it's more than possible that she may be right." See is wrong.
Sorry, this item is a bit dated. On last weekend's edition of "On The Media" on National Public Radio, host Bob Garfield devoted a segment to the utter, outrageous waste of public broadcasting. Oops, no, not that public broadcasting, but U.S. propaganda broadcasts to Cuba. (Forgive me for chortling whenever a government-funded news outlet denounces another government-funded news outlet. It ought to come with a disclaimer. "We here at National Public Radio believe deeply in biting the hand that feeds us -- hard.")
Garfield began by reporting on TV Marti's satire show, "The Office of the Chief," that mocks Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. In the chair normally occupied by El Jefe was his brother Raul Castro, "waxing about his 59 luxury homes and barking orders at his staff." After a clip, Garfield instructed:
Talk about your culture clash! A hip hop music site juxtaposes a report on Bill Cosby's condemnation of that musical genre with news of the latest criminal doings of hip hop stars. AllHipHop.com bills itself as 'The World's Most Dangerous Site.' Currently up on the site is an article reporting a recent speech in which Cosby . . . "went on the offensive against rap music."
States the article:
"'They put the word 'nigga' in a song, and we get up and dance to it,' Cosby said.
"The two-hour Coppin State University-hosted event dubbed 'Fatherhood Works,' was the last stop on the entertainer's day-long visit to the city.
"In addition to hip-hop, Cosby expressed his views on teenage pregnancy, re-emphasized the importance of a good education and urged fathers to take a more active role in raising their kids, as he visited three West Baltimore elementary schools and the church."
So here was AllHipHop respectfully passing along Cosby's message. Meanwhile . . . to the right of the Cosby article is a column with links to the latest news from the hip hop world. But while reports of new record deals and other doings were mixed in, much of it read like a 'rap' sheet of an altogether different sort. Examples:
Foxy Brown Misses New Jersey Court Date, Must Attend Next Hearing
Estate of Slain Man In CCC Club Files Lawsuit Against Proof Estate
of the photographer's comment (it appears that Denton's original is
gone, but that another commenter reposted it within his own comment;
scroll down to "Andy Levin Fri Aug 11 09:54:08")
i have been working in lebanon since all this started,
and seeing the behavior of many of the lebanese wire service
photographers has been a bit unsettling. while hajj has garnered a lot
of attention for his doctoring of images digitally, whether guilty or
not, i have been witness to the daily practice of directed shots, one
case where a group of wire photogs were coreographing the unearthing of
bodies, directing emergency workers here and there, asking them to
position bodies just so, even remove bodies that have already been put
in graves so that they can photograph them in peoples arms. these
photographers have come away with powerful shots, that required no
manipulation digitally, but instead, manipulation on a human level, and
this itself is a bigger ethical problem.
Remember when Cokie Roberts said on Sunday’s “This Week” on ABC that a Ned Lamont victory in Connecticut would be a “Disaster for the Democratic Party” not once, but twice as reported by NewsBusters here? Well, on Monday, in an interview on NPR with Steve Inskeep (audio link here, hat tip to American Thinker), she reversed her position -- or what many conservatives like to refer to as a “flip-flop” -- and said that this “is going to be hard for all incumbents, but it's especially hard for the party in power.”
That would be the Republicans, wouldn’t it? Inskeep, maybe aware of what Roberts said on Sunday, then asked:
In a Tuesday USA Today article on the 90th birthday of NPR's left-wing commentator, Daniel Schorr, Peter Johnson revealed the ignorance of NPR producers about modern history. Johnson began his July 25 puff piece on the CBS News veteran, “60 years later, NPR's Schorr is still a 'precious resource,'” with some anecdotes about how NPR producers turn to him for basic facts:
Daniel Schorr is used to producers popping into his Washington, D.C., office at National Public Radio to ask, on deadline: Which war came first, Korea or Vietnam? (Answer: Korea.)
But when one asked, "You covered the Spanish-American War, didn't you?” Schorr couldn't help but respond, matter-of-factly: “That was 1898.”
“Oh, sorry, of course,” the younger man said, excusing himself.
Guess we folks at NewsBusters and at our parent organization, Media Research Center, can go home. Our work is done. Not only is the media not controlled by liberals, it's actually . . . dominated by the right wing. For that matter, it has been for decades! If only we had known, we could have saved ourselves all this trouble.
How did I learn this? From Arshad Hasan, of Democracy for America, the group Howard Dean founded at the end of his candidacy, and that has as its stated goal "to rebuild the Democratic Party." Dean's brother Jim serves at its chair.
Arshad was nice enough to send me an email this morning [OK, I signed up for their list], informing me of the exciting news that DFA is working "to take back our media" and that for such purposes will be conducting online 'DFA Night School' sessions to cover the following subjects:
The On Point radio show on WBUR public radio in Boston (no liberal leaning there!) featured host Anthony Brooks and several panelists chewing over the NYT's bank spy story, including reporter Eric Lichtblau, the reporter responsible (or should we say irresponsible) for coauthoring the piece.
Joining Brooks by phone, Lichtblau offered this lame defense in response to a question from fellow guest Heather Mac Donald, who wrote critically about the Times' report for the Weekly Standard: “The idea that we’re alerting terrorist to the idea that their finances may be tracked I think is misguided. I think they’ve been alerted to that for the last four-and-a-half years by President Bush and by numerous aides, including former Treasury Secretary Snow and others. That drumbeat has been constant from the administration, and it’s such a poorly kept secret, if you can call it even that.”
I caught a snippet of an NPR game show in the car today, and even the game shows remind you that the liberals take the taxpayer money of conservatives and smear them with it. On the game show titled "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," a game show asking trivia questions about the news of the week, host Peter Sagal not only joked that Karl Rove ordered the killing of Rep. Jack Murtha, but that Rove's rear end is Dick Cheney's undisclosed location.
The show is a weekly co-production of Chicago Public Radio and NPR. About twenty-nine minutes into this weekend's show (just after NBC anchor Brian Williams was a guest guesser), host Peter Sagal turned back to the panel:
"Charlie, as you know, as the debate about the Iraq war goes on, it’s getting nastier. This week Representative Jack Murtha, who was the first to call for withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, decided to make an issue out of Karl Rove’s what?"
Not that there's been any doubt as to the politics of NPR and PBS - home to world-class Republican haters such as Bill Moyers. Still, it's instructive to see just who has launched a massive organizing effort to ensure continued taxpayer funding of the two organizations. Turns out . . . it's none other than the far-left MoveOn.org.
Here's a mass email sent out today by Move-on:
From: Noah T. Winer, MoveOn.org Civic Action Sent: Monday, June 12, 2006 12:27 PM To: Subject: Deadline tomorrow! Re: Save NPR and PBS (again)
Rick Klein at the Boston Globe reported Thursday that Republicans in the House are proposing a cut for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) again, which completely failed last spring:
On a party-line vote, the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees health and education funding approved the cut to the budget for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which distributes money to the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio. It would reduce the corporation's budget by 23 percent next year, to $380 million, in a cut that Republicans said was necessary to rein in government spending...
A similar move last year by Republican leaders was turned back in a fierce lobbying campaign launched by Public Broadcasting Service stations and Democratic members of Congress, in a debate that was colored by some Republicans' frustration with what they see as a liberal slant in public programming.