One of the greatest perversions of statism is the use of taxpayer money to push for ever more government spending and more government intervention. A casual listener to the far-left end of the FM dial, National Public Radio, will quickly conclude that NPR is one of America's leading offenders in this perversion.
Let's just take one show, the August 22 evening newscast "All Things Considered," perhaps one of the most ill-named programs in the history of radio. Conservatism is never considered. It is only besmirched, assaulted, and rhetorically dismembered.
Right-leaning New York Times columnist Ross Douthat was thrown into the David Brooks chair on the weekly political roundatable on NPR's All Things Considered Friday. NPR anchor Robert Siegel insisted Rick Perry had a whole set of strange and anti-scientific statements that suggest he's "too far right" to be electable. Notice how NPR just rolls up everything they disagree with and loads it into one question for the "conservative" panelist:
NPR's Scott Horsley apparently couldn't find any conservatives for his report on Thursday's All Things Considered, as he played nothing but sound bites from President Obama and former economic advisor Jared Bernstein. The two boosted a possible mini-stimulus, including "help for public works projects." Horsley played four clips from the President and two from Bernstein during the segment.
On Thursday's All Things Considered, NPR's Lauren Frayer emphasized the trend towards secularization in Spain during a report on Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the country for World Youth Day. Just as she did almost a week earlier, Frayer couldn't find any local supporters of the Pope, and completely misreported how the Catholic Church extended pastoral support to women who had abortions.
Host Robert Spiegel noted in his introduction for the correspondent's report that "Spain and its view of the Catholic Church have changed radically in recent decades." Unlike her report on August 12, Frayer did play two sound bites of Catholic youth who were happy to see the pontiff, but only from two Americans. But after playing her first clip, she highlighted how "thousands of angry protesters forced their way through police barricades...shouting, 'out, out.'"
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:
Openly lesbian NPR arts reporter Neda Ulaby was given the assignment of making light news out of the gay-activism petition to get the Muppet characters Ernie and Bert married on "Sesame Street" on Friday night's All Things Considered. Her only sources for comment were a lesbian comedian and a liberal Time magazine TV critic.
She did not interview the petition's author Lair Scott, who proclaimed: “I started this Change.org petition because I believe we need more media representation of gay and lesbian people in children’s programming,” said Scott. “There are currently no LGBT characters on Sesame Street, nor in any children’s television program.”
Charles Krauthammer on Friday evening exposed a classic liberal media hypocrisy concerning the differing bar used to determine truthfulness in politicians depending on their political leaning.
When "Inside Washington" panelist Nina Totenberg (NPR) asked if Republican presidential candidates might not have been totally honest Thursday evening when they all said they wouldn't accept a budget that incorporated ten dollars worth of spending cuts for every dollar raised in taxes, Krauthammer smartly responded, "Obama in the end said he wouldn’t sign a bill that didn’t increase taxes. In the end, he did. Was he lying?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
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."
As the debt ceiling “compromise” progressed on August 1, NPR revealed its slant against the bill in interviews with Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
But it was the phrasing of one particular question during Dreier’s interview that prompted more than 20 listener complaints that called it “hostile, “rude” and proof of “liberal bias,” according to the response by NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos. Schumacher-Matos described the question as “a virtual sucker punch.” (Listen to the interview here)
The “leading question” (by NPR’s own admission) Steve Inskeep had asked Dreier was, “Given that your speaker, in his words, said months ago that it would be a serious problem not to raise the debt ceiling, why did House Republicans spend this summer threatening to torpedo the economy by defaulting?”
On Sunday's Weekend Edition, NPR's Jeff Brady spotlighted the first same-sex "marriage" in New York State and how local political and business leaders in Niagara Falls, where this first ceremony took place, hope to cater to the homosexual community. Only one sound bite during Brady's report came from an opponent to such ceremonies, and the correspondent failed to mention the protests against the new law across the state.
The correspondent devoted the first half of his report to Kitty Lambert and Cheryl Rudd, two lesbians from Buffalo who were the first same-sex couple legally recognized by New York State. According to Brady, the two have been "advocating for gay marriage for at least seven years," and, unlike many couples, chose to have their cake-cutting and dancing before the actual ceremony.
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."
I thought Ryan did great, but he reported afterward he would have scored even more points had NPR not severely edited him. “NPR’s liberal colors shone though as they cut out minutes worth of my responses yet kept every single word he spoke intact,” wrote Ryan in a follow-up report.
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."
Charles Krauthammer on Friday marvelously demonstrated just how in the pockets of Barack Obama America's news media are.
After claiming on PBS's "Inside Washington" that we now have a "completely compliant, pliant, supine press accepting every leak out of the White House," he silenced the entire panel by asking them to name one specific cut to entitlements the President has proposed (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday’s All Things Considered, NPR profiled conservative activist Grover Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform. Michele Norris began: “In the debate over the debt ceiling, one person who has outsized influence is not actually at the negotiating table.” That might sound good to Norquist’s donors, but when liberal reporters accuse someone of “outsized influence,” it means “too much power for the good of the country.”
Reporter Ari Shapiro signaled hostility by strangely noting that Norquist’s “donor list is not public,” when that is true for almost every tax-exempt political group in Washington (not to mention NPR!):
The political prognosticator Charlie Cook appeared on National Public Radio on July 11 and summarized perfectly the media narrative on the debt-limit battle. Boehner, Cook said, “is not a burn-the-barn-down, break-the-china kind of guy [and] he does not necessarily reflect the views of a majority...of the House Republican Conference, who are of the burn-the-barn-down, break-the-china mold.”
Hold on here. Why is it destructive to insist on a limited government? Why is fiscal sanity equated with pyromania? Cook was brought on as a “nonpartisan” analyst, but there’s nothing either civil or accurate in casting conservatives as barn-burners.
NPR devoted over eight minutes on Monday's All Things Considered to the possible economic and social impacts of the legalization of same-sex "marriage" in New York State during two reports from correspondents Margot Adler and Tovia Smith. Adler highlighted the bridal stores and other vendors who were "upbeat" and positive about the development, while Smith focused on the lesbian demographic who are torn about the decision to hitch or not. Neither correspondent featured any opponents of same-sex "marriage" during their reports.
Host Michele Norris noted in her introduction for Adler's report that "New York City is gearing up to become the premier gay marriage destination" and how the journalist "visited with some very eager bridal shops and florists." Adler expanded on this by highlighting the efforts of NYC's tourism board:
Like so many members of the press, "Inside Washington" host Gordon Peterson wrongly thinks New York Times columnist David Brooks is a conservative.
When Peterson depicted Brooks this way on Friday, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer marvelously corrected him with surprising support from Politico's Evan Thomas (video follows with transcript and commentary):
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):
On Tuesday's All Things Considered, NPR's Philip Reeves lamented the supposedly "anti-Muslim" climate in Denmark, noting that the country was once "considered a model of tolerance," but now, "men...[with] beards and traditional Islamic robes....are no longer entirely welcome, because some Danes want them to leave." Reeves quoted one imam who feared "a spiral, in which anti-immigration nationalist extremists fuel Islamist extremists and vice versa."
Host Robert Siegel wasting little time in setting a slanted tone in his introduction to the correspondent's report, which referenced the recent legal victory of Dutch politician Geert Wilders:
On Thursday, NPR's Linton Weeks spotlighted several extreme proponents of eliminating gender differences and hinted at support for such an endeavor: "In a country with the ideal of treating everyone fairly and equitably, do we really need to know if someone is a boy or a girl?" Weeks portrayed the cause as just part of the normal progression of society: "As history shows, one enterprise in which Americans excel is the breaking down of divisions."
The correspondent began his article for NPR.com, "The End of Gender?" (which was the most viewed article on the website on Thursday), with three "signposts" which supposedly pointed at an end of the concept of gender:
NPR's Andrea Seabrook reminisced about the "defining moments" of former Representative Anthony during a glowing report on Thursday's All Things Considered. In particular, Seabrook highlighted his infamous 2010 speech on the House floor defending a multi-billion dollar proposal to aid sick 9/11 rescue workers, and labeled the New York Democrat a "scrappy and passionate defender of heroes."
The correspondent summed up Weiner's early career at the beginning of her report and noted how "his star began to rise toward the end of the health care debate in Congress, a debate that snarled most of 2009 and the spring of 2010." After playing a clip from a speech that the politician gave to a group of Young Democrats, Seabrook underlined how "he always had pluck, but that debate brought out the anti-Republican bulldog in Weiner."
NPR Fresh Air host Terry Gross is never more favorable toward a guest than when she’s hosting a conservative-bashing comedian. (See her cooing over Jon Stewart.) On Tuesday, Gross interviewed Stewart’s partner in satire Stephen Colbert for 40 adoring minutes. She fawned over his moonlighting on Broadway and boosted him as brave for going to Iraq (and Colbert mocked both attempts to fawn).
When they discussed how Colbert took his fake O'Reilly-mocking character to a House hearing chaired by liberal Democrat Zoe Lofrgren last fall to advocate for migrant farm workers, Gross found it "like, so amazing" and Colbert said that after Rep. John Conyers asked him to leave, he recanted and they had a great time talking jazz and listening to records in Conyers' office. How cozy, Colbert and the Democrats and NPR:
On Wednesday's All Things Considered, NPR's Ari Shapiro let The Daily Show's John Oliver and The Washington Post's Dana Milbank cast aspersions on some of the declared 2012 Republican presidential candidates and their surrogates. Oliver mocked the talking points of a Ron Paul spokesman as "pointless" and "meaningless," while Milbank derided the candidacy of Herman Cain.
Host Melissa Block introduced Shapiro's report about the White House correspondent's first visit to a post-presidential debate spin room, and gave a hint of its overall mocking tone: "The spin room might be a good name for an amusement park ride or part of a fun house. That makes it a perfect fit for a presidential campaign, which can get a bit wacky even in these early days."
NPR counter-terrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston walked into a testy confrontation recently when she spoke to a YWCA "Women of Distinction" luncheon in Darien, Connecticut. A local journalist was amazed that she would insist on no video or audio taping of her remarks there. The journalist, Jim Cameron, wrote about the fight on his blog. He was upset that print reporters could cover it, but he couldn't record for a cable-access TV channel:
A day before the event, at my request, the Y sponsors circled back to me with more information. Apparently her agent was wrong. It was not an NPR rule about no taping, it was Ms. Temple-Raston's rule. Clearly, the Juan Williams case (of NPR staffers speaking off-air) has had a chilling effect on those NPR staffers' outside, money-making speaking gigs.