CNN’s Carol Costello began a new series on political talk radio on Monday’s American Morning, suggesting it was unfairly dominated by conservatives, and brought on a liberal psychiatrist who theorized that Rush Limbaugh has an audience because he’s “operating like the bully, and if you’re on the playground...you want to be...under the bully’s wing and go along with him and get...some power by proxy.”
The correspondent’s report, which aired just before the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour, was the first installment in a “special series on talk radio,” according to anchor John Roberts. Costello zeroed in on the listeners and why the format “can capture people for such long periods of time.” A graphic on the screen during her report heralded “anger on the air: what listeners don’t know about talk radio.” [MP3 audio available here]
Towards the end of her report, the CNN correspondent played a sound bite from radical left-wing host Randi Rhodes, who speculated that “the reason they don’t passionately listen to liberal talk radio is access” (Costello outrageously downplayed Rhodes’s political leanings by describing her as someone whom “many consider a liberal talker”). The “liberal talker” noted that apparently, “ninety-one percent of talk radio is conservative.” Costello continued that “according to Talkers magazine, liberal talkers fill just nine percent of the nation’s news talk radio on the commercial dial. Change that, Rhodes says, and liberal listeners would listen just as much.”
National Public Radio is making a change and has sent out a "guidance" email to member stations on the issue.
NPR'S deputy senior supervising editor Joe Neel drafted an e-mail that was sent out Oct. 14 to member stations addressing the number of uninsured. The e-mail clarified proper use of Census Bureau statistics and advised staff to "avoid the construction '46 million Americans.'" That number has been a flashpoint throughout the health care debate.
The NPR e-mail said, "We are sticking with the 46 million number issued by the Census Bureau in September (for 2008). It's the number of people in the U.S. who lack insurance coverage at any point during the prior 12 months. It includes citizens, legal residents and undocumented immigrants."
Forwarding a press release from a GOP Senate candidate to his Dem opponent, an NPR News Director called the Republican a "nimrod." Roll Call's "Heard on the Hill" column has the [subscription-required] story, which it describes as "another tale of e-mail forwarding gone wrong" [emphasis added]:
Army Col. Conrad Reynolds is one of several Republicans vying to take on Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) for Arkansas’ Senate seat in 2010. Reynolds’ campaign issued a press release last week blasting Lincoln for a vote, and among those who received it was Greg Chance, the news director of an NPR affiliate based at Arkansas State University.
It seems Chance attempted to forward the e-mail to Katie Laning Niebaum, Lincoln’s Washington-based communications director. In his forward, which HOH obtained, Chance mocked the press release and even the campaign’s logo, which features the Army colonel insignia.
“There was another one from this nimrod earlier today which I lost. I just love his logo. That ought to go over really well with the enlisted people. (ha ha),” he writes.
The folks at National Public Radio really don’t like Fox News. They don’t like NPR people on Fox News. When the NPR talk show Fresh Air with Terry Gross wanted to discuss Fox News and its role in nurturing tea-party protests, they gave 40 minutes to David Weigel of the left-wing site The Washington Independent. It had the usual tone of exploring the dark side of the moon. Gross led off the show discussing the new conservative protests:
It's a right-wing movement that has been interrupting town hall meetings, staging tea party protests, and challenging Obama's citizenship. The new influence of Fox News TV host Glenn Beck was demonstrated by the 9/12 March on Washington, which he promoted on his show.
To NPR, apparently every Tea Party protester is a birther, and every conservative question at a town hall meeting was an "interruption." They discussed his article on the recent Values Voter Summit for Christian conservatives first, and then turned to the topic of Fox:
The public-broadcasting-insider newspaper Current passed along a survey from The Chronicle of Philanthropy on executive compensation at large nonprofits in 2008. The salaries can be higher than the current presidential salary of $400,000 (and the current congressional salary of $174,000). The list includes national executives and leaders at large stations like WNET (New York), WETA (Washington), WTTW (Chicago), and KCET (Los Angeles.)
Former NPR C.E.O. Kenneth Stern, who departed in 2008, is atop the pubcasting list, receiving $1,319,541 as part of his four-year contract. Another former exec, PBS C.O.O. Wayne Godwin, who served from 2000 to 2008, was paid $398,063. Current PBS C.E.O. Paula Kerger, $534,500, up from $424,209 at end of fiscal 2007.
Has the Dem infighting for 2012 begun? Is Hillary exploiting Pres. Obama's waffling over Afghanistan to launch an offensive against her ostensible boss?
The question arises after former senior Clinton aide Dee Dee Myers described PBO as looking "indecisive" and "pushed around" in his handling of Afghanistan, and Hillary herself laid down a heavy marker, describing in graphic terms the dangers of an al Qaeda resurgence were the Taliban permitted to succeed.
That, and the Washington Post reports on how ACORN was just "playing along" with the sting artists who caught them on videotape. You knew that was coming, didn't you? You already know that the freelance sting artists who zapped ACORN are being -- and have been -- referred to as "racists" and puppets of conservative radio and Fox News. Now, ACORN is utilizing a tried and true (but not very successful) tactic: Explaining that they were just "playing along" with the "ridiculous scheme."
I'm old enough to remember the famous (or infamous) Abscam sting of the early 1980s. One of the representatives who was convicted of taking bribes -- Richard Kelly -- famously (and hilariously) defended his illegal actions by claiming he was "undertaking his own investigation" and "spent part of the [bribe] money to maintain his cover." It didn't work. Kelly spent thirteen months in the federal pen.
But more interestingly on their Two-Way news blog, NPR's Frank James blames not ACORN itself, but society:
NPR "senior news analyst" Daniel Schorr recited the socialist sermon on Wednesday night’s All Things Considered: nationalized health care "would save many lives," and all that bother about providing taxpayer-subsidized abortions and health care for illegal aliens are tiresome "distractions" from the urgent need for more government. Schorr lamented:
Barring illegal from insurance benefits doesn't bar them from receiving treatment in a hospital emergency room. ERs have become the place of treatment of last resort for too many people here legally or illegally. T.R. Reid tells of a dramatic case in his book "The Healing of America." Nikki White lost her job and health insurance as a result of having a type of lupus. Because of her pre-existing condition, she couldn't get new health insurance. Eventually, she collapsed and was taken to the emergency room. Three doctors undertook to treat her until her condition stabilized. That involved six months in critical care and 25 surgical operations. Then she went home, still without insurance, and died at the age of 32. Her doctor, Amylyn Crawford, said: Nikki died of complications of the failing American health care system.
A new Investor’s Business Daily poll of more than 1,300 physicians finds that nearly two-thirds (65%) don’t back ObamaCare, more than 70% say the government cannot provide insurance coverage for 47 million additional people and save money without harming quality, and 45% of doctors say they “would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement” if the liberal health care plan passes.
Earlier this week, as the front-page story in today’s Investor’s Business Daily noted, the Los Angeles Times ran a front-page story touting the American Medical Association (AMA)’s backing of President Obama’s health care plans, while a National Public Radio publicized a poll funded by a pro-ObamaCare group to claim that “nearly three-quarters of doctors said they favor a public option.”
The IBD/TIPP poll of 1,376 physicians suggests that the AMA does not represent most doctors as it advertises and lobbies on behalf of the administration’s plan, and offers a second opinion to the poll (of 991 physicians) originally published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggesting strong support for a bigger government role.
National Public Radio ombudsman Alicia Shepard isn’t afraid to raise questions of liberal bias occasionally. Her latest column is titled "Too Much Kennedy." She reports NPR offered 53 stories on Ted Kennedy’s death in the first five days (August 26-30), "But on that first day, in the 23 on-air stories, only one mentioned the name Mary Jo Kopechne and 5 mentioned Chappaquiddick." When they did, it was passed over gently as an obstacle to the White House:
NPR's Brian Naylor did tell the Chappaquiddick story during a 9-minute obit for Morning Edition. But the focus was on how Chappaquiddick and the death of Kopechne derailed Kennedy's presidential ambitions.
"An effort to draft the youngest Kennedy for the White House was short lived at the Democratic convention of 1968, and his presidential aspirations were dealt a blow a year later when in July of 1969, his car went off a small bridge on the Massachusetts island of Chappaquiddick," said Naylor.
Mark Hemingway at the Corner followed up on an item at Jules Crittenden's blog late last night.
What perked Hemingway's interest was Mr. Crittenden's relay of the following yesterday concerning an exchange during NPR's Diane Rehm Show:
Newsweek’s Ed Klein (told interviewer) Katty Kay about Kennedy’s love of humor. How the late senator loved to hear and tell Chappaquiddick jokes, and was always eager to know if anyone had heard any new ones. Not that Kennedy lacked remorse, Klein quickly added, seeming to intuit that my jaw and perhaps those of other listeners had just hit the floorboards. I gather it was a self-deprecating maneuver on Kennedy’s part, exercised with the famous Kennedy charm, though it sounds like one of those “I guess you had to have been there” things.
Hemingway went and listened. There is a 1:40 YouTube posted of what he heard.
Here is the transcript of that clip, without wrap-up niceties:
Remember the outrage earlier this year for some of the bonuses paid out to executives of financial institutions that were TARP recipient? Or how about the press coverage that spurred on populist outrage when it was reported former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain spent $35,000 on a commode to redecorate his office?
NPR ombudsman Alicia Shepard has focused again on what NPR reporters say on Fox News. Reporter Mara Liasson infuriated the liberal listeners of the taxpayer-funded network when she proclaimed on Tuesday's Special Report that "Cash for Clunkers is like a mini-Katrina here," Liasson said. "It's not good to start a government program and not be able to execute it."
Liasson quickly acknowledged she "crossed a line" in comparing Bush's hurricane response to Obama's eco-friendly initiatives:
"I said something really stupid, which I regret," Liasson told me. "I should have merely said anytime time the government does something less than competent, it makes it harder to get people to trust them with other programs. People died in Katrina because of government incompetence. I should not have used that as an analogy. I was thinking of an example of government incompetence and I picked one that was too big and egregious. I was over the top in my choice of a metaphor. It was a mistake."
In the "First Person Singular" interview in The Washington Post Magazine on Sunday, ABC and NPR news analyst Cokie Roberts expressed her female chauvinism loud and clear: "Men are just lesser beings." Strangely, her extreme take on the sexes came right after she proclaimed she was in the common-sense middle of political opinion:
I think that often where I am is just in the middle. The middle is often the common-sensical place to be. The notion that one side is right and one side is wrong is generally, as one finds in life, not the case. Women tend to be a lot more common-sensical than men are. In fact, when the Mark Sanford thing broke, I went tearing into my husband's office and said, "Okay, that's it. Women just are better. Men are just lesser beings." He couldn't argue at that point.
Last Wednesday, NPR's Morning Edition ran a strange story picking up on how George Washington University professor Mark Lynch blogged for Foreign Policy magazine on how rapper "beefs" are a metaphor for foreign policy. Jay-Z, on top of the rapper heap, is the U.S., whereby a challenging rapper like The Game could be Iran. It prompted this funny letter, read on the air the next day:
LINDA WERTHEIMER: One NPR listener wrote on our Web site: Jay-Z and The Game are like foreign policy? I can't wait to see how Britney Spears and the Pussycat Dolls are like cancer research, or how the reunion of New Kids on the Block parallels how Russia is again consolidating power. Can I search your archives for a story about how Bobby Sherman mirrored the Tet Offensive?
Here's a part of Morning Edition anchor Steve Inskeep's interview with Professor Lynch:
NPR on Wednesday released results of a new poll finding declining support for President Obama and his healthcare initiative while also showing a tightening in which Party folks plan to vote for in the 2010 elections.
Also of note was the glaring difference between those believing the country is going in the wrong track versus the right track with those feeling the former exceeding the latter by a greater margin than has been seen in over a year, and the highest since the financial collapse last September.
Though none of this is surprising given other polling data of late, it is interesting to see this coming from NPR.
The results were published in an online article as well as discussed on Wednesday's Morning Edition (audio embedded below the fold, h/t Soren Dayton):
Boston talk-show host Michael Graham (we’re not related) was shocked and appalled by Jack Beatty, a liberal writer at the Atlantic Monthly and former book reviewer at Newsweek. Beatty’s a weekly news analyst on the WBUR show On Point, distributed nationally by National Public Radio to more than 150 stations. Looking back at the week in review on Friday, host Tom Ashbrook brought up the case of Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl, captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan and videotaped pleading for his release. While NPR correspondent Liz Halloran said the clip was heart-rending, Beatty went Cheney-bashing:
We have to hope that he is treated better than we have treated people we have taken prisoner in Afghanistan. We have to hope that he’s not essentially given indefinite detention, or as Lindsey Graham said this week about people in Guantanamo, ‘locked away forever.’ We have to hope that despite the worst efforts of John Yoo and Dick Cheney and others, he is not tortured, because we tortured.
Usually, when a reporter files a fact-check on a presidential press conference, there are some definitive mistakes listed. Clay Waters at TimesWatch noted that even The New York Times found that Obama's deficit-cutting claims would only be true if he left every troop in Iraq for another ten years. But after Wednesday night's press conference was aired live on National Public Radio, NPR health reporter Julie Rovner signaled that Obama may have goofed when he said that nationalizing health care wouldn't add to the deficit, but "there's a distinction about whether or not you think that adds to the deficit or not. I guess it's people's call to make on their own." Here's how it unfolded:
MADELEINE BRAND, anchor: I think there's a couple of places where the president may have sort of misstated a few things. There was one place, where he said that he wasn't going to let it add to the deficit. Here's what he said.
BARACK OBAMA: I've also pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our deficit over the next decade, and I mean it.
While the big liberal media usually find it hard to skip any news related to the Kennedy family, ABC, CBS and NBC breathed not a word about Saturday’s 40th anniversary of Chappaquiddick. On the night of July 18, 1969, Senator Edward Kennedy left a party with 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne and later drove off a bridge. Kennedy left the scene with Kopechne still in the submerged vehicle; he did not call the police until the following morning.
The Saturday and Sunday New York Times and Washington Post also had nothing about Chappaquiddick. Several newspapers did carry a brief, if inadvertent, mention, since on Saturday the Associated Press made it the day’s “Highlight in History” in their re-cap of big news events that happened on a July 18, beating out the start of the Great Fire of Rome in A.D. 64 and the death of naval hero John Paul Jones in 1792.
The Washington Post’s Saturday story on the approaching Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings tried to suggest that conservative allegations that the New York appeals judge is a liberal activist who rules with her feelings have been crushed.
The trio of reporters Robert Barnes, Michael Shear, and Perry Bacon cited "one recent study" that readers might suppose is nonpartisan – but the cited study came from a very liberal, pro-Sotomayor source, the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University -- a think tank named after liberals' favorite activist justice. Here’s where that study emerged:
The White House and Sotomayor's supporters in the Senate and elsewhere say charges that she has let her feelings influence her rulings has not registered with the public in an environment roiled by the still-faltering economy and a showdown on health-care reform.
The allegation has also been refuted by a series of studies that show Sotomayor's decisions in 17 years as a district judge and on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit fit comfortably in the mainstream, if on the liberal edge of it. One recent study said that on matters of constitutional interpretation, she has sided with the majority 98 percent of the time.
Terry Gross, the female Philadelphia-based host of the National Public Radio show Fresh Air, notoriously tangled with Bill O’Reilly in 2003 by asking O'Reilly to respond to Al Franken's attacks on him (two weeks after a giggly interview with Franken himself). A July 1 interview with Washington Post political reporter Dan Balz on the (apparently hopeless) state of the Republican Party caused her to pick up the left-wing bloggers’ attack on Rush Limbaugh as someone who says "extreme wild things" and damages the GOP:
GROSS: You know, I always wonder what Republicans -- and I know you can't really generalize here because every Republican is different -- but what Republicans think of right wing talk radio and TV. Take Rush Limbaugh, for instance. He says some pretty extreme wild things. He's not running for office. He's not taking responsibility for running the country. He's, I mean, he's a talk show host and what he needs is an audience and ratings and saying extreme things is very good for getting audience and ratings.
On Monday's Tell Me More, NPR talk show host Michel Martin offered a few supportive thoughts about Sarah Palin: she "was somebody you wanted to see in the game" as a working mother, and "She seemed practical, honest, unfazed and down-to-earth, exactly the qualities people hope newcomers in general and hopefully women will bring to public life." Apparently, though, these warm feelings evaporated within days. When she "trashed" Barack Obama at the Republican convention, she became "just another Mean Girl" on a rampage:
But then for some reason, maybe it was the glare of the national spotlight, maybe she was that way all along, Palin seemed to morph pretty quickly out of Superwoman into just another Mean Girl — ridiculing people who don't make the same choices she does, and then crying about it when the rest of the world bit her back.
National Public Radio’s website has a section called "Books We Like," and NPR is unafraid to declare it likes books that please the hard left. NPR book critic Simon Maxwell Apter lauded a book on white supremacists called Blood and Politics by the author Leonard Zeskind, a man who recently declared on Pacifica Radio that Sean Hannity and Pat Buchanan offer "a rational sense of justification" to hardened racists. Apter revealed that he liked not only the book, but the election of Barack Obama:
The recent murder of a security guard at D.C.'s Holocaust museum reminds us that racial and religious fanaticism live on in the U.S. But thankfully, while a handful of bigots are still grumbling on about the South's loss of the Civil War, the tyranny of "ZOG" (the "Zionist Occupied Government" currently reigning in Washington) and the "eight Jewish families" who "own" the Federal Reserve, some 70 million others have, in a testament to the overwhelming tolerance of contemporary American society, gone ahead and elected Barack Obama president.
On June 5, I reported that National Public Radio was piling on the story of murdered abortionist George Tiller, but had yet to report the shooting of Army private William Long, a gap of at least seven stories to zero. In her Ombudsman column on June 9, NPR’s Alicia Shepard asked the NPR staff why Tiller was more newsworthy than Private Long. They said because Tiller was a long-time figure of controversy. Liberals seem much quicker to conclude a soldier is a cold-blooded killer and more predisposed to think an abortionist is just a humanitarian doctor:
NPR Managing Editor David Sweeney defended last week's coverage decisions.
"The fact we gave more coverage to the killing of Tiller doesn't diminish the value of Long's life," said Sweeney. "But Tiller was a national figure given his practice and the attention he drew from abortion opponents. His killing has wider implications for the emotive debate on abortion on this country and we have covered those angles in reporting his death."
In one example, Morning Edition on June 5 carried a story exploring whether a 1994 law is sufficient to protect abortion providers.
Just like audio offered on the National Public Radio website, NPR transcripts in Nexis do not include top-of-the-hour newscasts. But a quick Nexis search finds there is no mention of the Monday shooting of Private William Long at a Little Rock recruiting station by a Muslim convert. I searched for "William Long," "army private," and "Little Rock."
Meanwhile, Nexis lists NPR has aired seven full stories or interview segments on the Sunday shooting of late-term abortionist George Tiller.
This is the only listing for Little Rock in the last week: a Tuesday story on master accordionist Steve Jordan:
The backroom studio is crammed with all the equipment they need to mix and produce albums on their own. The first CD will be titled "Carta Espiritual," "Letter to God;" quite different from earlier compositions like "Piedrecita," "The Little Rock," a paean to cocaine, but you won't hear a sample of it here. I tried. Jordan is famously paranoid about people ripping off his music.
In the very heart of the pro-life community, there is nothing they wanted less than another shooting of an abortionist. An unhinged vigilante's shooting of notorious Kansas late-term abortion "provider" George Tiller prompted an avalanche of press releases from pro-life groups denouncing the killing.
Why bother? Let's face it. The national media had zero interest in spotlighting a pro-life spokesman expressing horror, because let's face it, they don't believe it. Instead, as with ABC, they found anonymous citizens on the website Twitter saying "Oh, happy, day. Tiller the baby killer is dead." Another wrote, "God bless the gunman."
It was time for a barrage of liberal mudslinging. Keith Olbermann started his MSNBC program with these words: "A religious jihad by fundamentalist crusaders who believe that murder is justified, their acts of violence having the intended effect of changing behavior. Our fifth story on the Countdown: Not the Taliban, not Hamas, not al Qaeda."
National Public Radio’s reporting on the George Tiller murder was perfect on Monday – in shutting out pro-life voices wanting to express regret. Reports on Morning Edition and on All Things Considered from Kansas City-based reporter Frank Morris lined up Tiller’s friends, lawyers, and customers to praise him.
At almost the same time NPR's Peter Sagal and White House advisor David Axelrod were disgracefully mocking Carrie Prejean in front of a cheering crowd at George Washington University, NPR's Scott Simon was pointing out to his listeners how Barack Obama shares Miss California's views on same-sex marriage.
Talk about your inconvenient truths.
Potentially even more shocking, Simon exposed how absurd it is that folks have attacked Prejean while giving Obama a pass: "If you point out, as I have to a couple of e-mailers, that the president's opinion on gay marriage is more or less identical, the same people dismiss it as a painful insincerity he is forced to adopt because of people like Miss California."
The audio of this marvelous segment is available here with transcript below the fold (h/t JohnK):
In addition to a sympathy tour on Oprah Winfrey’s show, Elizabeth Edwards was interviewed by National Public Radio on Thursday. But All Things Considered co-anchor Michele Norris deserves credit for channeling some of the resentment of voters – both Edwards voters and others – who feel defrauded not just by John, but by Elizabeth, who consented to completely fraudulent media stories celebrating her wedded bliss. Deep into the interview, Norris asked the toughie:
NORRIS: Now, I don't have to tell you this, but you know that some people feel misled by your husband but also by you. You knew about the affair, but you chose to actively campaign for your husband and to present him as a man of character and to present yourselves as the people involved in an ideal marriage. And people are angry because they feel like you've perpetrated a fraud. People are angry because they feel that his campaign had an impact on the election. Is the anger directed at you justified?