As I argued yesterday, the unanimous state court ruling in New York blocking Mayor Mike Bloomberg's ban on fountain soda cups larger than 16 ounces in capacity would be portrayed in the liberal media as a setback to a well-meaning public health effort and a boon to big business. True to form, taxpayer-subsidized NPR is peddling this spin to readers of its website while completely ignoring how the ruling is a win for consumer choice or how continuing to litigate this in courts may be a waste of taxpayer money.
NPR loves to label individuals and groups—but not all the time. They usually want listeners to know who Republicans are, as they did incessantly last year with GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin. A piece about the North Carolina General Assembly righting an old wrong on the July 25 All Things Considered evening news show took a different approach, with reporter Julie Rose entirely omitting party designations.
North Carolina, like many other states, had an involuntary eugenics-based sterilization program for most of the 1900s. The program finally stopped in 1974. In the four intervening decades, the state did nothing to compensate victims. Last week, that changed with the passage of a bill establishing a fund for victims.
The next time a public-radio station goes into pledge-drive mode and begs listeners to chip in $100 for those snazzy premiums like the Nina Totin'-Bag, it would be wonderful if, in the spirit of balance and fairness, they would read off some salary numbers for NPR stars. Do people on modest incomes really want to chip in $25 to make sure an anchor can take home $375,000?
Instead, pledge-drive announcers often plead that stations need donations to pay for program fees, not anchor salaries. Blogger and news-app developer Andy Boyle pored over a few IRS 990 forms and revealed some of the highest-paid public radio poobahs:
NPR announced to its listeners on Thursday night's All Things Considered that their audience is chock full of "tolerant" lefties. Dipping into letters from the audience, anchor Melissa Block said there were "a lot of strong reactions" to Tuesday's ludicrous one-sided story by Margot Adler on young people demanding to be whimsical about gender pronouns and redefining the "gender binary." Some letters were negative, "but most of your comments were positive," Block insisted.
"Anndal Nurayan of Chapel Hill, North Carolina writes this: 'I wanted to thank you and her for this thoughtful coverage. There is so much nastiness about trans people in public discourse. As Adler rightly said, that they are one of the most vulnerable groups in our society.'”
In a classic "diversity" turn at National Public Radio, Thursday’s Morning Edition promoted the comedic career of Indian-American Hari Kondabolu, who writes for the FX comedy show “Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell.” He also has a forthcoming album of stand-up comedy. Anchor David Greene declared "The brainy, young comedian cuts through any polite talk about race or gender. And his incisive anecdotes are making a whole lot of people laugh."
NPR reporter Elizabeth Blair unsurprisingly plucked out a routine from a recent show at the indie-music venue the Black Cat in Washington, DC, where Kondabolu mocked the Bible as a ridiculous guide for someone’s beliefs on homosexuality. He compared the snake in the Garden of Eden to a “Jungle Book” scenario:
On Wednesday's All Things Considered, NPR's Elizabeth Shogren blasted the Republican congressional majority led by Newt Gingrich during the 1990s. Shogren spotlighted a MIT professor's assertion that former President Bill Clinton "stood up for the EPA when it faced the most frightening attack it had ever had. Congressional Republicans, led by Newt Gingrich, wanted to gut regulations...some even wanted to do away with the EPA."
The correspondent made this over-the-top statement as she covered the EPA renaming its headquarters after the two-term president. Shogren also hit the Democrat from the left by claiming that "Clinton's record on the environment was mixed".
You could tell it was going to be a wild night of transgender advocacy on NPR when Tuesday's All Things Considered anchor Melissa Block sent this insane-sounding tweet: “Coming up on @npratc: beyond he and she? High school students say ‘I want you to call me 'Tractor' and use pronouns like Zee, Zim, Zer.’” But wait, there is one certainty in this milieu: NPR would be channeling the Left, and there would be no time to consider conservative dissent from the evolving political correctness.
NPR reporter/pagan witch Margot Adler was exploring the brave new world of gender fluidity with young cultural innovators who reject the "gender binary" as oppressive. It came to this conclusion:
On Weekend Edition Sunday, NPR's Rachel Martin helped Daily Beast editor Reza Aslan promote his new biography of Jesus, who posited that there is a "chasm between the historical Jesus and the Jesus...taught about in church." As proof of this supposed gap, Aslan claimed that "there is actually no statement of messianic identity from Jesus" in the Gospel of Mark.
Aslan has it wrong. Jesus actually affirmed that he was the Christ (the Greek word for Messiah) in Mark 14: 61-62: "Again the high priest asked him...Art thou the Christ the Son of the blessed God? And Jesus said to him: I am. And you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming with the clouds of heaven." Even NPR pointed out Aslan's false statement in a correction on Monday, but Martin, a former religion correspondent for the public radio network, didn't catch his error during the segment.
On Friday’s Morning Edition, NPR “Code Switch” blogger Gene Demby (exploring the "frontiers of race, culture, and ethnicity") was brought on to discuss the Zimmerman trial. For his blog at NPR.org, he had written that trials like this are “lousy proxies for fights over big, messy social issues” like racial profiling.
But in making this point, Demby highlighted his point unintentionally. He declared that the legal proceedings in the courtroom were focused on “really, really small technical points” like who attacked whom in the Zimmerman-Martin fight and who was acting in self-defense:
Government-funded National Public Radio has a vested interest in seeing liberal programs succeed, as their funding could evaporate under a conservative administration. Given NPR’s heavy reliance on federal dollars, it should come as no surprise that they have weighed in on the side of the Obama administration in its decision to lobby sports leagues to promote the controversial health care law.
In a piece on the July 8th All Things Considered, Colorado Public Radio’s Eric Whitney highlighted the lengths the Obama administration is going to “recruit baseball teams and other sports franchises to help” push Americans into signing up for new health insurance exchanges. When it comes to the health exchanges, Whitney lamented that “polls show most Americans don’t understand how they’re supposed to do it” and how recruiting sports teams in the past “worked before.”
On Wednesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Wade Goodwyn trumpeted Wendy Davis' pro-abortion filibuster in the Texas State Senate as a "tiny ray of hope" for Democrats in the Lone Star State. Goodwyn ballyhooed how "Davis took to the floor in a desperate filibuster" against a pro-life bill, which he labeled "one of the nation's most restrictive abortion bills." He later added that it was "as good a moment as Texas Democrats have had in 20 years."
The correspondent, a former leftist community organizer, also spotlighted the Battleground Texas effort, headed by former Obama campaign staffers, aimed at increasing Hispanic voter turnout in Texas. He underlined that getting higher turnout amongst this growing minority group was "the pot at the end of the Democratic rainbow – the donkey holy grail."
National Public Radio enjoys a brand new and quite costly state-of-the-art facility just north of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The new facility "includes a cafe with chefs, a gym with a trainer, a staffed wellness center, plug-ins for electric cars and other perks" and that begs the question, "Does an organization that well-heeled still need taxpayer money?"
As a news organization funded in large part by those on the left and staffed by those on the left, NPR often hews to the priorities of the left in its coverage. Those priorities deem the death of one individual, Trayvon Martin—a black teen killed by a non-black man—to be far more newsworthy than the gruesome deaths of numerous black babies killed by abortionist Kermit Gosnell just after birth.
In the 15 months between Zimmerman’s shooting of Trayvon Martin and the start of jury selection, NPR aired about 100 pieces dedicated to the issue. Contrast that with the number of pieces NPR aired about Kermit Gosnell in the 36 months between a federal raid on his clinic and the start of jury selection: just 3 pieces. That works out to one piece about every five days for Zimmerman and one piece about every 12 months for Gosnell.
NPR’s new “Code Switch” blog on the “frontiers of race, culture, and ethnicity” is already demonstrating just how sensitive it gets on the liberal frontier.
Blogger Gene Demby assembled tweets demonstrating that many NPR listeners thought Michelle Obama’s lesbian heckler Ellen Sturtz was employing “white privilege” and the media coverage seemed racist. Demby began:
Judging from the silence from the NPR ombudsman, it would appear that the taxpayer-funded radio network has solved the pervasive problems of bias and ideological monoculture that have plagued it for decades.
NPR's internal media critic, Edward Schumacher-Matos, has not written a blog post since May 6 and has not been seen on Twitter since May 3, despite being called out several times by various individuals on the microblogging service for being unresponsive.
He may have committed the largest and most reckless leak of national-security information in America’s history, but Bradley Manning had a happy Monday at National Progressive Radio. NPR’s Morning Edition ran a story by reporter Carrie Johnson that contained absolutely no one who could see Manning in a critical light.
Johnson began: “In the three years since his arrest, the slight Army private with close-cropped blond hair and thick military glasses has become less of a character than a cause.” It’s a cause NPR believes in.
The Wall Street Journal's David Wessel channeled the Obama administration's doom and gloom about the sequester on NPR's Morning Edition on Monday. Host Renee Montagne turned to Wessel to give a "reality check" on the sequester's current and future economic impact. The journalist cited how unnamed "economic forecasters...say they're worried that the effects of this spending restraint may have bigger negative effects" later this year.
Wessel harped on the "lots of little ways" the sequester has impacted people around the country, including the "bathroom in a national park where the toilets have been closed in some places" and how "the military is mowing grass less often at bases."
On Thursday night’s O’Reilly Factor, the Fox News host opened the show by attacking former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman for visiting the White House 157 times, almost four times as many appearances as Hillary Clinton. O’Reilly hinted this was a “smoking gun” of the White House running the IRS harassment campaign of the Tea Party.
But guess what: this fact of Shulman’s well-worn path to the White House gates has yet to be reported by ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS. O’Reilly can’t believe this number:
On Tuesday's Fresh Air on NPR stations from coast to coast, host Terry Gross interviewed author Stephen King on his new book "Joyland," which features a young man in a wheelchair with muscular dystrophy and his grandfather, a radio evangelist named Buddy Ross, who insists the disease is divine punishment.
King might have surprised the secular-left devotees of public radio -- not with the usual talk of how organized religion seems like a "theological insurance scam," but by proclaiming he believes in God: "Everything is sort of built in a way that to me suggests intelligent design." He had to talk more about his inconsistency and doubts to get back in NPR's secular sweet spot.
Here’s a story that the liberals at MSNBC and the food police in New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office might not want to hear: requiring healthy options in vending machines could end up hurting the blind. So argued none other than a reporter for National Public Radio, hardly something you can dismiss as a conservative outlet. On the May 28 Morning Edition, Deena Prichep highlighted the potential unintended consequences of the food-police's war on snack food.
The article is a real liberal dilemma: Which is more important pushing healthy foods on a market that doesn't want it, or risking the layoff of up to 2,300 blind people? At issue is a 1936 law known as the Randolph Sheppard Act, which gave blind vendors priority to operate vending and concessions on federal property. it was later extended by each state to include state government buildings as well.
NPR could stand for Not Pro-Religion. It’s the taxpayer-subsidized network with the Wiccan-priestess reporter. On Friday’s All Things Considered, NPR promoted a new horror movie in which “it’s not the Devil that’s scary.” Instead, “the religious horror is religion itself.”
NPR is pushing an “atheist’s take on Catholic horror.” Those teachings can be “terrifying.” (Disclaimer: NPR reserves the right to spare Muslims all of these criticisms.) The director’s name is Rodrigo Gudino, and reporter Beth Accomando explained the plot:
With its frequent overt bias, NPR’s weekend media show On the Media makes NPR’s news magazine shows like Morning Edition appear thoroughly objective by comparison. It is so hopelessly biased that shows to explore the question of whether NPR was biased were themselves overwhelmingly biased. More recently, it deemed the issue of media coverage of butcher Kermit Gosnell’s trial to be too insignificant for any of its nine one-hour shows that occurred after the trial began.
On this past weekend’s show, On the Media aired a segment on the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups. While the segment primarily consisted of a Bob Garfield interview with Michael Calderone, Senior Media Reporter for the Huffington Post, it’s clear the shows’ two co-hosts used the segment as an excuse to ridicule conservatives and conservative websites—Glenn Beck / TheBlaze and Right Side News on this occasion.
On his own website, liberal Rep. Ed Markey boasts he “continues to be one public broadcasting’s most ardent supporters, fighting to fight to protect one of our most precious landmarks on the entire media landscape.”
So it wasn’t surprising when NPR reporter Tovia Smith filed a sympathetic story on Friday’s Morning Edition whacking away at Markey’s Republican opponent in the special election to replace Sen. John Kerry. She tilted the story toward Democrats who called Gabriel Gomez “immature” and using language that “has no place in public life.” He called Markey "pond scum."
NPR legal correspondent Carrie Johnson reported on the IRS scandal on Tuesday’s Morning Edition displaying an urgent need to spread some Bush administration into the story. First she mentioned a 2004 FBI probe that improperly acquired phone records from New York Times and Washington Post reporters without going through proper channels.
Then she concluded with how the last secret subpoena for a reporter’s phone records came in 2001. But it involved Clinton-appointed U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White – who just became Obama’s appointee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission:
NPR political director Ron Elving wrote a wistful blog post on Tuesday night headlined “Goodbye, Again, To Obama's Most Audacious Hope.”
“The sudden eruption of second-term scandals in his administration will have many costs for President Obama, but surely the most grievous will be the lost opportunity to transcend the partisan wars of Washington,” Elving mourned. “That aspiration was his fondest dream for his second term, much as it was for his first. Now it seems destined to be dashed once again.”
The Obama scandals started piling up on top of each other in the last few days. The civil servants who testified on Benghazi were heart-breaking. Then the IRS admitted a punitive agenda against tax exemptions for groups with “Tea Party” in the name, or groups which “educate about the Constitution.”
Then Eric Holder’s Justice Department was revealed to be wiretapping the Associated Press in April and May of 2012 to nail a leaker. President Obama is not a “victim” of a “second-term curse.” This is the corrupt first term beginning to smell, it is his administration, and even the media cannot deny the odor of malfeasance.
On Monday, NPR Morning Edition anchor Steve Inskeep expressed -- in the face of all the evidence of Fast and Furious, Solyndra, MF Global, and so on -- that the first term of Obama's presidency was "remarkably scandal-free." When I challenged him on the factual inaccuracy of this, he tweeted in reply , "Hm, did I say it was scandal-free or that it 'has been described' as such?"
However passively Inskeep expressed it, he certainly agreed with it. Inskeep asked Cokie Roberts, "This administration has been described -- I don't even know how many times- - as remarkably scandal-free. But when you get into the second term of an administration, there's often some dirty laundry that comes out. Is that what's happening now?" Roberts agreed:
How enthusiastic can NPR be in avoiding the emerging Obama scandals? Try this: So-called “All Things Considered” aired no features on Benghazi or the IRS on Saturday or Sunday. (This excludes on-the-hour news updates.) But they found time for six minutes on the trade in rhino horns.
It was more ridiculous on “Weekend Edition” Saturday and Sunday – they also skipped both. NPR correspondent Michele Kelemen reported on Secretary of State John Kerry for 4 minutes and 22 seconds without a single word about Libya. Somehow the State Department’s Benghazi fiasco wasn’t listed as a “thorny issue” in the Middle East:
The new Natalie Maines record is continuing to spur music writers to slam the "cowardice" of the country-music industry and the stuffiness of the country-music audience in the aftermath of Maines trashing President Bush at a London concert on the eve of the Iraq war.
On the NPR show "Fresh Air" on Wednesday, music critic Ken Tucker insisted Maines was just ahead of where the majority would arrive on Bush's wrong-headedness:
Today’s proof that National Public Radio is your taxpayer-funded rip-and-read press-release service for the Left: a Morning Edition story summarized as “College Divestment Campaigns Creating Passionate Environmentalists.”
Reporter Elizabeth Shogren compared Brown University's anti-coal campaign to anti-apartheid campaigns of the 1980s: “Students at more than 300 colleges in the United States are asking their school's endowment fund to distance themselves from any coal-producing companies.” NPR’s chasing after Rolling Stone and The Nation magazine in promoting the fight to stop "climate change" from baking Earth: