Check out the following alarming headline for a story from National Public Radio (NPR):
“Catholic Church Still Hiding Sexual Predators?”
Wow. That is a provocative and disturbing headline, indeed. The thought that the Catholic Church is “still hiding sexual predators” in 2012 is very troubling. It surely seems to be an article worth investigating.
At the same time that the nation's leading networks can't call Obama a "liberal" more than about once a year, NPR's religion reporter Barbara Bradley Hagerty on Monday announced Rick Santorum was "very, very conservative" on the social issues, in addition to being "very pro-life." He even -- horrors! -- home-schools his seven children.
"He's Catholic. He's billed himself very much as the family values candidate," the reporter announced on NPR's afternoon show Talk of The Nation. "His wife Karen has homeschooled all seven of their children. He's surging in the polls because he's been very, very conservative on these issues." They also discussed if white conservative Christians dislike Obama because they're racists.
NPR marked Christmas morning by whacking at the Tea Party. NPR anchor Audie Cornish handed over her Weekend Edition Sunday microphone to American Enterprise Institute scholar Norman Ornstein, who gave the Tea Party a B if the goal was to “try and keep government from functioning,” but in “actually trying to make things happen in a constructive fashion, we’re down in the D-minus level, and that’s being generous in the Christmas season.”
Ornstein was much happier a year ago. On the morning of December 23, 2010, he told NPR’s David Welna the country had the “most productive lame-duck session” since the 1940s and Welna added “Ornstein says this lame-duck session was a fitting climax for an amazingly productive 111th Congress.”
National Public Radio was replaying "holiday favorites" on Friday's Morning Edition -- to be specific, allowing humorist David Sedaris offer a very nasty take on Christmas as he played "Crumpet the Elf" at Macy's. In a seven-minute reading from his "Santaland Diaries," there's some rather shocking attempts at humor that aren't exactly warm and fuzzy.
Sedaris's elf shouted at a woman for asking where the women's bathroom was, saying it was next to the line with all the women in it. This followed: "I had two people say that to me today: 'I'm going to have you fired.' Go ahead, be my guest. I'm wearing a green velvet costume. It doesn't get any worse than this. Who do these people think they are? 'I'm going to have you fired,' and I want to lean over and say: 'I'm going to have you killed.'"
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."
On the popular radio show A Prairie Home Companion this weekend, NPR star Garrison Keillor sang a different version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." It had a slightly different melody, and mocked Newt Gingrich, without naming him. Keillor sang: "Don’t think a sense of style conceals your escapades / Don’t vote to impeach Bill Clinton while shacking up with Congressional aides." Gingrich was cheating on his second wife (with his eventual third wife) at that time in 1998.
Keillor also sang that Santa is watching for who is "beating up on" gays or minorities. There's nothing wrong with opposing physical violence or mean-spirited bullying -- but with NPR, you'd have to suspect Keillor is implying a broader argument about conservative arguments against gay marriage or "affirmative action." Keillor sang:
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.
NPR's Yuki Noguchi and Lynn Neary completely omitted Jon Corzine's Democratic affiliation on Thursday's All Things Considered, while mentioning practically every other prominent occupation he has held- Goldman Sachs CEO, senator, governor, even "multimillionaire." On the other hand, Noguchi gave the Republican party ID of two representatives who questioned Corzine at a recent hearing.
Neary outlined in her introduction for Noguchi's report that "former Senator Jon Corzine returned to Congress...Corzine was once CEO of the most successful bank on Wall Street. He left Goldman Sachs for the Senate, then was elected governor of New Jersey." The correspondent soon added that "until late October, Corzine was the CEO of MF Global."
NPR anchor Robert Siegel interviewed Occupy Wall Street's inspirational force, Kalle Lasn of the Canadian group Adbusters, on Tuesday night's All Things Considered and discussed how ripe America was for a socialist revolution. Lasn brought up comparisons to 1968 and the hope for a "full-fledged, full spectrum movement that operates on all levels." Siegel suggested back then, it inspired violent revolutionaries like the Weather Underground. (Well, violence wasn't mentioned.)
Lasn warmed the heart of Bill Ayers by saying America is riper now for revolution than it was in the Sixties:
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."
New York Times media reporter Elizabeth Jensen reported on new NPR CEO Gary Knell on Monday without devoting one word to conservative NPR critics in a piece loaded with public-broadcasting officialdom. The Times is clearly reporting from inside the NPR tank.
But Jensen did find time to quote the radical-left Noam Chomsky lovers at Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) from October 7: "The media watchdog group...criticized Mr. Knell earlier when he said he wanted to 'depoliticize' the public broadcasting debate. The group has called such efforts 'code for appeasing public broadcasting’s conservative enemies by adding more right-wing content and censoring things they may not like.'” Jensen also sounded the tinny arf of a lapdog by utterly avoiding any mention of the Project Veritas "Muslim Brotherhood" video sting as she discussed people getting fired (for what?):
New NPR President Gary Knell made an appearance on their afternoon talk show Talk of the Nation on Friday (his first day) to give the appearance of transparency and responsiveness and to build morale after scandals such as the Juan Williams firing and the deeply embarrassing Muslim Brotherhood sting video, which led to several firings.
Knell just strained credulity beyond the breaking point by claiming NPR is not an advocacy organization, but a network of "fairness and accuracy and honesty," and it's "probably barred by our charter." It's correct that the founding Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 called for objectivity and balance in "all programming of a controversial nature," but NPR has followed that legal language about as seriously as Bill Clinton has upheld his marital vows. One might say this is a promising rhetorical start -- until you listen daily to the product right now.
Richard Harris wasn't the only NPR staffer wondering about the backwardness of America on Tuesday's All Things Considered. At the end of a completely supine interview with Barney Frank, anchor Guy Raz asked Frank if he was pleased at how far America had come from its backwardness on gay liberation from when he came out of the closet in the Reagan years.
"I want to ask you about a decision you made in 1987," Raz declared. "You went public to tell people you were gay. That was controversial at the time. Are you heartened at the distance America has come?" Frank said "without question," and said "prejudice" was very close to being eliminated in America:
On Wednesday, NPR's resident ObamaCare booster Jule Rovner spotlighted the left-leaning Kaiser Family Foundation's latest tracking poll on the law. Rovner indicated that 51% unpopularity for the legislation in October was merely a "blip," and played up how "the public is still confused about what the law does and does not do, more than 18 months after its passage."
The journalist led her November 30 item for NPR's "Shots" blog, "Health Law's Popularity Rises...Ever So Slightly," with her "blip" label. After briefly noting that "the federal Affordable Care Act still remains slightly more unpopular 44 percent) than popular (37 percent)," she explained that "the major reason for the uptick is the rebound in support among Democrats. Their favorability ratings jumped from 52 percent last month to 62 percent this month."
NPR's Tovia Smith sang the praises of Congressman Barney Frank on Monday's All Things Considered: "Frank has proven both piercing and pithy, zinging one-liners....bold and unabashed." Smith barely included any dissenting voices in her report, playing four sound bites from the staunch liberal and his supporters, versus only two from opponents.
Host Melissa Block noted how Rep. Frank is a "leading liberal voice and one of the first openly gay congressman" in her introduction for the correspondent's report and added that "because his district has just been redrawn, he'd likely face a grueling reelection campaign." Smith continued by stating that "some of the Democratic strongholds he's represented for decades have been replaced by more conservative towns."
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer and NPR's Nina Totenberg had a humorous exchange on PBS's Inside Washington Friday.
After mocking Totenberg for the "surprise" of her giving Democrats on the Super Committee credit, Krauthammer scolded her for constantly interrupting him saying, "I'm in the middle of a sentence, and I am going to get to the end, and I will let you know with punctuation, alright?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
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."
Ben Smith at Politico reports that in her new book, presidential candidate Michele Bachmann goes out of her way to praise Garrison Keillor, the arrogant liberal host of A Prairie Home Companion on NPR. This is the guy that wrote for Time magazine that "The Republicans are going to be the Party That Canceled the Clean Air Act and Took Hot Lunches from Children, the Orphanage Party of Large White Men Who Feel Uneasy Around Gals."
How would Bachmann process that one? She oozed in the book: “His politics are very different from mine, but I love his gentle, knowing humor. Keillor understands Minnesota, from Lutherans to lutefisk, and his ability to squeeze laughs out of serious-minded midwesterners makes him a legend.”
Charles Krauthammer justifiably lost his patience with his fellow panelists on PBS's Inside Washington Friday evening.
No matter how many times he explained that Republicans last week proposed a revenue increase that Democrats refused, PBS's Mark Shields and NPR's Nina Totenberg couldn't seem to grasp this simple concept leading Krauthammer to ask, "What planet are you guys living on...I’ve rarely encountered such thickness" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NPR's Nina Totenberg on Friday exhibited what Hillary Clinton would call a willing suspension of disbelief.
When the subject of failed solar company Solyndra came up on PBS's Inside Washington, Totenberg actually said with a straight face, "There is no evidence that there was any political anything about the awarding of this contract" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
National Public Radio proved a long time ago it disdains black conservatives. Remember when NPR’s Nina Totenberg launched the unproven sex-harassment charges against Clarence Thomas? NPR doesn’t even like black liberals who appear on Fox News: they canned Juan Williams. The sex-harassment charges against Herman Cain aren’t ruining him quickly as the media hoped, so on November 11, NPR viciously attacked Cain for being an enemy of blacks, and a “minstrel” to white conservatives.
Reporter Karen Grigsby Bates began with Harvard professor Randall Kennedy. “Black people know that if Herman Cain had his way, their lives would be diminished,” he announced. “And they intuit that Herman Cain's policies are against their interests.”
MSNBC host and radio talker Ed Schultz gave a "What I Read" interview to The Atlantic, but the reading list was less interesting than his complaining about how talk radio is owned by conservatives: "Citadel doesn't do liberal talk radio. Bonneville doesn't do liberal talk radio. The Salem Radio Network, same thing." Of course, he admitted, If Ed Schultz owned 600 radio stations, I can guarantee you Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity or any other right-wing hack job would not be on my stations. But until liberals go out and buy signals, you're not going to get a lot of liberal talk radio."
Then Schultz admitted where liberal radio is located. It's at the left end of the dial. "I don't buy that there are more conservative listeners than liberal listeners. A lot of the liberal listeners are listening to NPR. In Washington or New York City, the NPR station has huge listenership. That's where most of the liberal audience is and that's who we, the commercial liberal format, have to peel away listeners from. This industry is ideologically-driven. That's the culture of it."
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.
Bill Clinton appeared on Tuesday morning on NBC and MSNBC to promote his latest book, and neither asked the man – who paid an $850,000 settlement to Paula Jones and surrendered his law license for false testimony – to comment. The same pattern happened on National Public Radio. Morning Edition anchor Steve Inskeep gave Clinton more than seven minutes of air time to his thoughts on Obama and the economy, but no harassment inquiries.
This question was jaw-dropping in its ignorance. “Your administration was known politically for seeking to reposition the Democratic Party, not get stuck as being defined as tax-and-spend liberals,” Inskeep proclaimed. “President Obama also was seen as trying to take the party in a new [moderate] direction, but ended telling an interviewer last year that he had been tagged as another tax-and-spend liberal. How'd that happen to him?”
Would NPR or other liberal outlets ever suggest liberals were leading the fight for tax cuts for the rich? But on Saturday night’s All Things Considered, substitute host Laura Sullivan announced “In the small tourist town of Holland, Michigan, an unlikely group of religious leaders and conservatives are leading the fight for gay rights.”
But the star of reporter Lindsey Smith’s piece was not a conservative, but Rev. Bill Freeman, whose own website boasts “He has marched for world peace, lobbied Congress to pass the Hate Crimes Law, lobbied the state legislature to pass anti-bullying legislation and been arrested for civil disobedience in his support of gay rights.” When a liberal pushes a liberal cause, why can't NPR be honest?
On Friday night's All Things Considered, the Week in Politics segment could have been titled "Another Horrible Week for Republicans." Helping out enthusiastically was New York Times columnist David Brooks, who is billed as the conservative half of the political analyst team with ultraliberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne. But the two end up agreeing so much you can't tell which one is the liberal.
When anchor Robert Siegel asked if this week marked the "beginning of the end of the Cain phenomenon," Brooks sneered that Cain was a "TV show that lasted a little while," and Dionne naturally agreed. Then Brooks turned to Romney and insisted he drops the emotional temperature of the room to chilling lows -- and of course, Dionne agreed.
At the tail end of the second hour of the Diane Rehm Show on many NPR stations Friday, defense reporter James Kitfield of the National Journal broke out his outrage about the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, which was firebombed this week. Like Time's Bruce Crumley, Kitfield saved his outrage for the "irresponsible" satirists and all his sensitivity for the Muslims of France.
In the Huffington Post, French journalist Romina Ruiz-Goiriena complained that while "For many, the publication has been an iconic soapbox for the far French left since its creation in 1960," it failed to achieve what freedom should: "The issue was not thought-provoking; it simply contributed to burgeoning anti-Muslim sentiment. What it should have been doing was pushing the conversation forward to confront the seemingly dormant but rampant institutional bigotry. After all, is that not the point of having a free press tradition in the first place?"
PBS's Mark Shields on Friday took some childish swipes at Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
During an Inside Washington discussion about who might be next to challenge Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination, Shields said, "Don't count out the chubby fellow from Georgia, Newt, the rehabilitated Newt Gingrich, carrying along a bogus IQ and some other baggage" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Guest hosts of the NPR-distributed Diane Rehm Show announced on Thursday and Friday that "Diane is in Maine on a station visit." But that description to the public was incomplete. In fact, Rehm went to Portland, Maine as a keynote speaker on Friday to the fall conference of the local environmental group Maine Businesses for Sustainability. "Diane Rehm will discuss the ways in which sustainability and sustainable concepts have infiltrated current events, touching on her personal observations of sustainability trends in the media."