Geoffrey Nunberg is a liberal professor of linguistics at Cal-Berkeley and has advised Senator Byron Dorgan and other Senate Democrats on their use of language. He’s the author of the book Talking Right: How Conservatives Turned Liberalism Into a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-Reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing Freak Show. So of course, he’s also a regular on National Public Radio – as a commentator on language for the program Fresh Air with Terry Gross.
On Wednesday’s program he mocked the Republicans for reviving the apparently antiquated word "socialism" as a charge against the latte-drinking left:
Although the audio that recently emerged of Sen. Barack Obama discussing "redistributive change" came from an interview he did with Chicago Public Radio, National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on Monday as well as "Morning Edition" on Tuesday completely ignored the audiotape of Obama's 2001 interview.
During his campaign stop in Dayton, Ohio, on Monday, Sen. John McCain specifically addressed the recently surfaced audio and even quoted Obama as saying, "One of the tragedies of the Civil Rights movement was because the Civil Rights movement became so court-focused I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change."
Nevertheless, during Monday's "All Things Considered" report on McCain's campaigning in Ohio, there was no mention of the audiotape or of McCain using Obama's own words against him. Instead, the broadcast focused on McCain's argument that one party ruling the country would be disastrous.
On Wednesday, the NPR talk show Fresh Air with Terry Gross aired an interview about Sarah Palin with Michael Carey, columnist and former editorial page editor of the Anchorage Daily News and public broadcasting host (of a political talk show called Anchorage Edition). Gross aggressively went after Palin on every front, including her "extreme" religious views:
GROSS: Sarah Palin's religious views strike some people as extreme. For example, in 2005, she attended a service at her former church, the Wasilla Assembly of God, where a bishop from Kenya prayed over her, asking Jesus to keep her safe from every form of witchcraft, and he had claimed to have driven out a witch from his village in Kenya. In June, she told a group that his prayers helped her to become governor. Have her religious views been seen as extreme at all within Alaska?
National Public Radio may win the prize as the national media outlet that’s most enthusiastic about a collapse of high finance on Wall Street. On Tuesday night, NPR’s evening newscast All Things Considered publicized the delighted reaction of Venezuelan socialist strongman Hugo Chavez, as reporter Tom Gjelten explained that "free-market fundamentalism" was falling out of favor, and the crisis may mean the "end of Reagan-Thatcherism." It may lead to less "economic preaching" about a "free-market gospel" from Washington. All the story’s experts were critical of "free-market ideologues," with no room for a debate.
Gjelten is married to ABC reporter Martha Raddatz, who also used to work at NPR.
MELISSA BLOCK, host: This is All Things Considered from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. At least one world leader is taking some pleasure in the turmoil on Wall Street. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said today that this week's meltdown shows the free-market approach long promoted by the United States has, in his words, "collapsed." Chavez may be overstating the case, but as NPR's Tom Gjelten reports, the current financial crisis is causing some rethinking of the free-market gospel, especially in Latin America.
Lazy journalism at NPR typically causes a return to their default position: liberal bias. Such was the case yesterday. In the morning edition, NPR reported on the recent and unsurprising announcement that NOW--the National Organization For Women, an ideological & partisan group--would endorse Barack Obama.
Rarely does the National Organization For Women endorse a presidential candidate. On Tuesday, the group announced it is endorsing Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Kim Gandy, president of NOW, talks with Renee Montagne about why the organization is endorsing Obama.
If the first woman ever nominated Vice President by a major political party left the door open to voting for the second such woman EVEN if she was in the opposing political party, would that be newsworthy?
Well, on Saturday, Geraldine Ferraro told NPR that she hasn't decided who she's going to vote for in November, while also stating that whatever Sarah Palin doesn't know about foreign policy "she will learn very quickly - she seems smart enough."
That “Made in America” sticker is looking more attractive.
Second-quarter (2Q) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was revised up from 1.9 percent growth to a higher than anticipated 3.3 percent, according to reports on August 28.
Rising exports played a significant role in the expansion. According to the Commerce Department, real exports increased 13.2 percent in the 2Q of 2008, compared with an increase of 5.1 percent in the first. Real imports of goods and services decreased 0.8 percent in the first quarter and 7.6 percent in the second.
Estranged family members come out of the strangest places when the lottery is won or someone has presidential aspirations. These quiet individuals find a sense of power never felt before in their lives when a blood relative hits it big or is about to hit it bigger.
In Barack Obama’s case, Vanity Fair reported on a half-brother who was recently discovered living in a small shack in Kenya. Obama’s relative lives on less than $1 a month.
As Congress takes new aim at speculators for the high price of gasoline, some media reports seem to be following suit. But as The Biz Flog explains this week, there is considerable debate over whether speculators should be blamed for the high cost of oil.
June 23, the same day Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee condemned oil speculators, the "CBS Evening News" and ABC's "World News" blamed oil speculation for a large chunk of the spike in prices.
"There's no doubt speculation plays a role in the skyrocketing price, but how much?" ABC correspondent Ryan Owens said June 23. "Experts say if it were just simple supply and demand a barrel would cost $75. Today it closed north of $135."
Scott Horsley explained oil speculation on June 29 for National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," where he pointed out that there have always been financial players in the oil market and there is still a debate over what influence they really have.
Mass murder in real concentration camps in the Soviet Union are ancient history to National Public Radio, but the cause of poor, blacklisted communists in Hollywood charging America was a concentration camp is still a fresh and poignant soundbite. On the June 17 edition of All Things Considered, anchor Melissa Block championed a forthcoming new documentary about communist screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, made by Peter Askin and Trumbo’s son Christopher and featuring big celebrities like Michael Douglas. Block made no mention of Trumbo’s actual Communist Party membership in the age of Stalin, and nowhere in the interview was there even a whisper of an alternative historical point of view, from Ronald Radosh to Kenneth Billingsley.
Block could only lament once again this alleged persecution of communists, once again utterly free of the irony that communists specialized in persecution everywhere they came to power:
NPR’s Morning Edition broadcast an interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday, lamenting her from the left. Co-host Steve Inskeep reported that a new vote on war funding "means Democrats get a reminder of something they have not accomplished. For a year and a half now they've tried and failed to end the war." Would that really be an "accomplishment"?
While the story aired current and dated declarations from Pelosi that Bush has his "head in the sand" to conditions in Iraq, NPR’s interviewer, KQED/San Francisco correspondent Scott Shafer, never asked if improvement in Iraq might have changed just which politicians look like they have a "head in the sand" to current conditions. But then, Shafer has a partisan background: he worked as a press secretary to San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos and as chief of staff to Gray Davis when he was the state of California’s comptroller.
Shafer made no acknowledgment anything has changed since 2006, that the surge happened and violence is way down, but only that the death toll surpassed 4,000:
Now that the general election is apparently on, National Public Radio staffers and listeners are already bracing for the "rancor" that John McCain and the Republicans are going to unleash. On Wednesday’s nationally distributed Diane Rehm show, Rehm asked bluntly: "What kinds of comments, what kinds of rancor are we likely to see coming from John McCain as he goes up against Barack Obama?" Rancor is apparently a Republican product, and something that will never be emitted by the Obama campaign.
Several Obama supporters worried to Rehm that the American voters are dumb enough to be talked out of voting for Obama by right-wing rumor-mongering about Obama’s religion. One caller complained about how voters listen to "silly rumors on the talk shows, they don’t bother to ascertain facts." After another caller told a story of a houseguest who thought Obama was a secret Muslim, NPR political director Ron Elving said the American people are intelligent, but often uninformed. Former Time reporter John Dickerson, now with the liberal Slate website, added that Obama will have to deal with voters who are "willfully stupid" about his life history.
On Sunday, I mentioned that the Saturday night version of NPR’s All Things Considered was a pacifist’s dream. It was also a Bush-basher’s delight. Leftist actor John Cusack explained his new anti-war comedy (read: the next box office flop) this way: "The ideology behind this war is so radical and it's so destroying the country that I think a somber serious take on it would just add to the sense of depression and inevitable doom that this administration has unleashed on the country."
Cusack added War Inc. was Bush-inspired: "And the argument of the Bush administration is that there's nothing, no function of state, there's no national interest that is not a corporate interest. Everything is to be privatized, everything is to be -- the core function of government is to create the optimal conditions for a feeding frenzy."
It’s probably a good thing Cusack didn’t try to argue the Bush administration lied its way into war, since Cusack charmed and tickled his NPR interviewer by explaining how they basically lied to major companies seeking to use their corporate logos for mockery by filing innocuous requests, not telling the Financial Times, for example, that their logo was going to be put on the side of a tank for laughs.
Saturday night’s All Things Considered on National Public Radio came to an overtly pacifist conclusion. Substitute host Guy Raz (an NPR Defense Department correspondent) conducted a seven-minute interview with John Cusack on his satirical anti-war, anti-Bush film "War Inc.", and Cusack predictably denounced the war and Bush as absurd. Then came a six-minute interview with a smitten John Lennon fan who’s hoping to make a half-million dollars auctioning the original hand-written lyrics to "Give Peace a Chance," since she was there in Montreal for the original "bed-in" protest that produced the anthem. Then, as the music continued, Raz unloaded a little editorial.
Raz decided to read from Dwight Eisenhower, a "man who knew war better than most," on the need for peace: "I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of their way and let them have it."
As part of their post-mortem for the zombified Hillary Clinton campaign, National Public Radio is blaming the media (including talk-radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, and Fox's Neil Cavuto and Bill Kristol) for demeaning Hillary Clinton "pioneering candidacy" with sexist coverage during her race for the White House. On Wednesday’s Morning Edition, media reporter David Folkenflik interviewed male political reporters (Richard Stevenson of the New York Times and Chuck Todd of NBC) and liberal feminists (Dee Dee Myers and Susan Estrich) to recount Hillary’s burdensome struggles with cackle coverage:
FOLKENFLIK: But journalists and pundits do constantly describe Clinton in different terms than they would her male rivals. In the following clip, Fox News pollster Frank Luntz was asking voters what kind of campaign they wanted Obama and Clinton to wage.
FRANK LUNTZ (Pollster, Fox News): How many of you want them to really argue? Raise your hands. And how many of you want them to make love to each other?
FOLKENFLIK: Just try imagining John McCain and Mike Huckabee in that scenario, or Joe Biden and these remarks by conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
NPR war correspondent Anne Garrels spoke to students at Northwestern University recently and acknowledged the widely held belief that NPR's on the liberal end of the media spectrum that holds Fox News Channel in contempt. But in Baghdad, the two media outlets formed what Garrels called the "most unlikely of partnerships." Reported the Daily Northwestern:
Garrels, who spoke as part of the Crain Lecture Series, said NPR had been struggling with power; they received electricity from Baghdad's grid for only two hours a day.
Someone from Fox News offered to share the station's generator with NPR, which Garrels said it initially rejected.
"My boss said, 'Not on your Nelly,' " Garrels said. "But no Fox, no power and eventually saner minds prevailed. People do help each other out in Baghdad a lot."
Talk about finding every reason to push the war on climate change. National Public Radio President Kevin Klose found a way to get at the sensibilities of southern California commuters - by telling them global warming will make driving even worse.
Klose was a panelist at the forum "Covering a Changing Climate: The Media Challenge" held at Harvard University in Boston, Mass., on April 30. He said the effects of climate change will include migration from the south and cause a U.S. population boom of 100 million people. Klose told the audience this would be the subject of a series on NPR.
"We're going to do a unique one-week series called ‘The Next Hundred Million,' because in the next 30 years, absent of anything else, there will be another hundred million people living inside the United States of America," Klose said.
For a moment, let's step away from the commentary, per se, and focus on the commentators. Liberals love to chide Fox News for its alleged conservative bias. So why don't we see, when it comes to being fair and balanced, how this morning's Fox News Sunday panel stacked up against that of its main competitor, Meet the Press?
Republicans are welcome on National Public Radio – especially if they’re former Republicans who think the Bush-Cheney administration is a reckless disaster. On April 17, NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross interviewed former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee, who’s now left the GOP and gone independent. He has a new book titled "Against the Tide: How a Compliant Congress Empowered a Reckless President." Chafee wasn’t kidding: he told Gross the Democratic opposition was too weak, and regretted not contesting President Bush’s election in 2000, as the Congressional Black Caucus requested. NPR’s Fresh Air site also reprinted an excerpt from Chafee’s book, as he described his horror at a meeting with Dick Cheney pressing his "clashist" agenda.
But Chafee’s GOP primary opponent in 2006, Cranston mayor Steve Laffey, also wrote a book (published last September) called Primary Mistake, complaining that the national GOP favored the hopelessly liberal Chafee. NPR and Fresh Air didn’t grant him a book interview. The ideology didn’t match as neatly as NPR’s and Chafee’s did. Here’s a part of the interview where Chafee underlines how nobody in Washington stands up to the Bush-Cheney machine:
At the time, Kristen was being invited by all kinds of media outlets -- including Fox News -- to discuss her research either on television or radio. All such requests were turned down, as Kristen wasn't ready for the camera or the microphone.
Well, it appears that turning sixteen has been a good thing for Kristen's confidence, for on Tuesday, she was interviewed by NPR, and she did a fabulous job.
As such, with great pride, I recommend you sit back, and listen to America's future, which, with folks like Kristen waiting in the wings, is far better than the left and their media minions want you to believe (audio available here).
National Public Radio knows how to identify itself as the secular liberal media. On Good Friday, the show Fresh Air with Terry Gross recycled a 2004 interview with retired academic John Dominic Crossan, a co-founder of the Jesus Seminar, a man who believes the Gospels are largely mythology, someone's ahistorical hopes, and that the resurrection of Jesus never occurred, and that perhaps the body of Jesus was consumed by wild dogs. In this interview, Gross also asked him to comment on (disparage) the movie The Passion of the Christ, which he eagerly did. He suggested too much focus on the passion of Christ is "dangerously close to pathological." (Photo from NPR.org)
In all the brouhaha last week over the incendiary comments made by Barack Obama's pastor the media seemed to forget to partake in their traditional Holy Week Christian-bashing excercise. There were a few entries in the "Easter Hit Parade," like the Comedy Central show "Root of All Evil" which my boss, Brent Bozell, wrote about in a column recently, and an episode of "Law and Order" which featured another Christian-stones-someone storyline.
I suppose it's good news that there was less faith flagellation courtesy of the liberal media, and yet at the same time it's sad that I was expecting to find it at Easter time. But the fact remains that Christmas and Easter are generally times when the media attacks on Christians are more pronounced.
On Friday, the NPR chat show Fresh Air with Terry Gross (aired on over 400 stations from WHYY in Philadelphia) carried two interviews on science and religion. They might claim the discussion was balanced, but not when you consider the time allotted, as listed on the NPR web page:
Apparently, an almost three-to-one time difference is a fair fight on NPR.
In case that's not imbalanced enough, the Dawkins page also helpfully links to another 30-minute NPR interview with Dawkins about his book The God Delusion on the show Talk of the Nation. The interviews are repeats from last year, but NPR doesn't generally tell listeners about that when the show airs.
Jennifer Harper, Washington Times reporter and friend of Newsbusters, gives us a revealing look at how far left our taxpayer funded National Public Radio network has gotten itself these days. Even when they try to go a little toward the conservative side of the debate, they get lambasted by their audience, angered that they had the temerity to air conservative views. Of course, the only reason they would get such a rude reception from their own audience is because they have garnered only a far left listenership as a result of their far left programming. After all, if they had a balanced listenership they wouldn't get deluged by angry emails when they aired conservative content.
Apparently, at the end of February, the NPR program "Morning Edition" took the unusual move of airing four consecutive days of interviews with conservative thinkers in a segment they dubbed "Conversations with Conservatives."
The Washington Post reported Thursday that National Public Radio, long a taxpayer-subsidized sandbox for Sixties-retread liberalism, has decided to keep its headquarters in the District of Columbia -- thanks to a huge 20-year property tax holiday. "Neil O. Albert, deputy mayor for planning and economic development, said that NPR will not pay property taxes on the building for 20 years, saving $40 million. The city has agreed not to raise property taxes by more than 3 percent on the station's Massachusetts Avenue building for two decades, or until NPR sells it."
Reporters Yolanda Woodlee and Miranda Spivack also reported other local property owners were incensed at the special dealing as their taxes multiply:
Nicholas Deoudes, who owns three buildings less than a mile from the future NPR location, said that his property taxes increased last year from $13,614 to $36,151. Deoudes, who has owned the buildings for 29 years, said the city needs to help longtime business owners who stayed when the area was a "ghost town."
Over last weekend, the NPR show On The Media devoted a segment to co-host Bob Garfield remembering the legacy of William F. Buckley Jr. Garfield quoted George Will on the massive effect Buckley had on the history of conservatism and even ending the Cold War, but he turned it around to how conservatism is badly represented today by the Limbaughs and Coulters.
"It’s an unfortunate bit of media irony, then, that the most famous moment in his courtly, witty, supremely civilized pundit’s career would be his televised confrontation in 1968 with author and rival Gore Vidal," as Garfield recalled Vidal calling Buckley a "crypto-Nazi" and Buckley pledging to sock him in his "queer" face. Would the liberal media remember liberal eminences by their biggest TV fight? Garfield concluded:
New NPR ombudsman Alicia Shepard took up a flurry of complaints when veteran news anchor Jean Cochran told listeners President Bush was traveling to Africa, the "dark continent." They insisted NPR was sounding racist:
"I thought that we had wrested that comment along with 'colored' and other euphemisms for Africans or Afro-Americans," wrote one listener, summing up how others felt. "Could you please report my comments to NPR management? I almost drove off the side of the road to start a protest!!!"
"This is simply an outdated reference as well as being outrageously offensive," wrote another listener, Karrye Y. Braxton.
The copy, which had been approved by an editor, was pulled and Cochran agreed to never use the expression again.
"The New York Times is not a supermarket tabloid," boasted their Washington Bureau Chief R.W. Apple when Gennifer Flowers first declared in 1992 that she and Gov. Bill Clinton had an affair. Even then, the line sounded laughable.
One year before, then-Times reporter Maureen Dowd penned a 2400-word front-page stink bomb passing along discredited gossip author Kitty Kelley’s unproven charges of something apparently too glorious to fact-check: an alleged long-time affair between Nancy Reagan and Frank Sinatra, including private "luncheons" that went on all afternoon at the White House.
During the four weeks preceding February 20, New York Times Company stock had been staging a nice comeback.
Lord only knows that the company's long-suffering shareholders, who before then had seen the share price drop more than 70% since June 2002, a point in time that roughly coincides with the onset of the Old Gray Lady's seemingly intractable case of Bush Derangement Syndrome, welcomed any kind of reversal of fortune.
For a while, they had it. From a intra-day low of $14.01 on January 23, the stock rose over 50%, closing at $21.07 last Wednesday.
But on Thursday and Friday, that climb was halted abruptly, and partially reversed. While the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.4% in those two days, and the S&P 500 dipped 0.5%, NYT stock dove almost 9.7%, closing Friday at $19.03.