As usual, it was a panel of three liberal journalists on the domestic politics roundup on NPR's Diane Rehm show. Former New York Times reporter Steve Roberts praised Obama's gay-marriage announcement: "I think he's gone through the evolution a lot of us have, Diane, that when you know people you love and respect, who are in the solid relationships, it becomes increasingly odd and out of keeping with belief in human rights to continue to oppose same-sex marriage. "
In fact, Roberts announced, he recently attended a baby shower held by two gay guys who raised $100,000 for a surrogate mother, and he couldn't think of a better example of commitment to "basic family values" in America:
Something shocking happened on Friday night on NPR's All Things Considered. "Conservative" pundit David Brooks took the anti-Washington Post position on the Mitt Romney high-school "scoop." Obviously, Post columnist E.J. Dionne stuck with his paper and his liberal guns, insisting more and more stories just like this are going to come out, whether that's a threat or a promise.
Anchor Melissa Block would not use the word "alleged" to describe the Post story which "details incidents of bullying by Romney when he was a senior at the tony Cranbrook boys prep school in Michigan. Five former classmates spoke about an incident when Romney led a posse that targeted a student with long bleached-blond hair, tackled him, pinned him to the ground and hacked off his hair as he cried and screamed for help." Brooks cried it was illegitimate "gotcha" journalism:
On Tuesday's All Things Considered, NPR's Claudio Sanchez spotlighted the efforts of college students who, with the assistance of the "liberal Center for American Progress," are lobbying Congress for an extension of low interest rates on their Stafford loans. While Sanchez did find a critic of the politicization of the loan issue, he came from another left-leaning organization, the Brookings Insitution.
All of the correspondent's soundbites came from the CAP-backed students and from Mathew Chingo of Brookings, with none coming from conservatives/Republicans. Sanchez noted how the students visited Senator Rob Portman and identified him as "a Republican from Ohio," but omitted that he is considered a possible running mate on the 2012 Republican presidential ticket. He also played up how one student was "upset about something one of the senator's staff members said," but failed to get the other side of the story.
Monday's "Reliable Source" gossip column in The Washington Post reports under the headline "Surreal Estate" that New York Times columnist (and official PBS and NPR "conservative" pundit) David Brooks is rolling in dough. He's bought a home in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington for $3.95 million.
"The New York Times op-ed columnist and wife Sarah are trading up — from their longtime home near Bethesda’s Burning Tree Club to a century-old (exquisitely renovated) five bedroom, four-and-a-half bath house in Cleveland Park," they wrote. "It includes a two-car garage, iron and stone fence, generous-sized porch and balcony, and what appear to be vast spaces for entertaining. The timing seems to have been right: After only a few days on the market, their old place (which also boasts five bedrooms) is under contract for $1.6 million."
Jonah Goldberg was probably delighted with a more than six-minute interview on NPR’s Morning Edition on Wednesday to promote his book “The Tyranny of Cliches.” True to his book, Goldberg presented himself on NPR’s airwaves as a conservative. That’s not what happened on Monday’s Morning Edition, when liberals Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein pretended to stand only for facts and science and conventional wisdom. '
Anchor Steve Inskeep actually stuck to the book’s thesis, unlike CNN’s bizarre Piers Morgan performance. But when Goldberg underlined how there is no such conservative grouping as the social Darwinists, Inskeep claimed there’s “probably more evidence” Republicans are social Darwinists than there is for Obama being a socialist:
On Sunday, the Washington Post’s Outlook section was dominated by an article with a headline imposed over an elephant’s rear end: “Admit it. The Republicans are worse. Don’t blame both sides for gridlock. Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein say it’s the GOP’s fault.”
Within about 24 hours, there were Mann and Ornstein, being interviewed on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. Anchor Steve Inskeep asked Mann if he would read from their hatchet job on the Republicans:
So when is lackluster economic growth a good thing? When it happens in the first quarter of an election year in which an incumbent Democrat president is attempting to win re-election and when the organization reporting this bad, or "good," news as they laughably attempt to categorize it is National Public Radio.
Here is the NPR comedy act performance by Scott Neuman in which he attempts to spin the lousy economy as a good thing:
NPR aired yet another attack on the Christian right on Thursday's Tell Me More. Michel Martin interviewed Democrat activist and author Michael Sean Winters about his new book "God's Right Hand: How Jerry Falwell Made God a Republican and Baptized the Religious Right." The headline for this interview on NPR.org was "Party Of Reagan? No, Party Of Falwell, Writer Says."
Martin drew out the harshest criticisms of Jerry Falwell, that he turned moderate Republicans into "Judas figures" and forced less conservative Christians to abandon Christianity altogether because they didn't want to be associated with Falwell's "fundamentalist cast of mind." At NPR, left-wing secular fundamentalists are never questioned as coarseners of American politics, but conservative Christians are accused:
PBS talk-show host Tavis Smiley is doing a media tour with his pal, the Marxist professor Cornel West, and no one at PBS seems to care that this underlines PBS as a hard-left media brand. Noel Sheppard noted Smiley bashing Romney on Hannity. Smiley also bashed Romney last week on the taxpayer-subsidized Pacifica Radio show Democracy Now.
Pacifica host Amy Goodman replayed the CNN interview in which Romney told Soledad O'Brien he was not interested in the very rich or the very poor. Smiley found that showed callousness and arrogance and even a demonization of the poor:
NPR's Mara Liasson outraged female listeners on Weekend Edition Sunday on April 15 when she said Mitt Romney's political problems aren't with "stay-at-home moms," but rather with "educated women."
Seven days later, NPR admitted it scrubbed the clip and the transcript for the website. On April 22, in a letters segment, Liasson claimed "I misspoke and that's one reason why we corrected the interview for later feeds of the show." Maybe she didn't "misspeak" as much as she betrayed her own opinion. She's never stayed at home and her biographies list no children. At least NPR returned to the scene of the self-censorship:
Peter Overby filed a one-sided report on Thursday's All Things Considered about a liberal coalition's campaign against the conservative organization ALEC. Overby cited the "good government group" Common Cause without mentioning the organization's left-of-center ideology. More importantly, the correspondent failed to mention that he is a former employee of Common Cause.
The NPR journalist lined up three talking heads, who all criticized ALEC, while failing to include sound bites from defenders of the conservative group. Overby also omitted that one of the three works for a law firm that represented Common Cause.
Van Jones has received a dramatic rehabilitation from the liberal media after conservative outlets dug out that Jones called himself a communist and signed a 9/11 truther petition, among other radical-left stands. (He also called President Bush a “crackhead” and Republicans “a–holes.”) He’s been reinvented like Sharpton.
But on NPR’s “Tell Me More” on Tuesday, NPR host Michel Martin gave Jones almost 12 minutes of air time. The headline on NPR’s website for the Jones interview was “Green Jobs Guru Back To Energize Progressive Base?” She began by calling the truther petition a “made-up story.” If it was fictional, why was it reported by “mainstream media” (sort of) and why was Jones pressed to resign? Martin began with Earth Day oozing in her introduction:
For over a year, the Left and their media minions have dishonestly claimed Congressman Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) proposed budgets would "end Medicare as we know it."
At the end of a discussion about Monday's report from the Medicare trustees predicting the program goes bankrupt in 2024, Special Report host Bret Baier got NPR's Mara Liasson to admit Medicare will end as we know it even if Congress doesn't pass the Ryan plan (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For the last two years, NPR has offered Newsweek/Daily Beast editor Tina Brown a monthly "Must Reads" feature on Morning Edition. Last week, she posed as the guardian of journalistic ideals as she trashed the late Andrew Breitbart (who "dropped dead," she sneered like a female Christopher Hitchens). So much for the sonorous civility of NPR, putting on this British-accented guttersnipe.
Does anyone at NPR want to suggest what Newsweek has done under Tina Brown is a crusade against the "degradation of journalistic ideals"? This was the last cover story, complete with a naked lady in a blindfold on the cover: "The Fantasy Life of Working Women: Why Surrender Is a Feminist Dream." It was a cover story on career women with sexual fantasies of wanting to be spanked!
On Thursday’s All Things Considered, National Public Radio offered leftist Sister Simone Campbell a megaphone to disagree with (and lecture) the Pope and the Catholic bishops for being clueless. “It was like a sock in the stomach,” she said about the Vatican’s attempt to hold women’s Catholic religious orders to Catholic orthodoxy. Just on human terms, this is odd – not just to suggest the bishops are bullying, but that a process that’s been going on for four years is suddenly shocking.
Campbell told anchor Melissa Block that the religious sisters had the superiority of “experience” of faith all over the Vatican and the bishops, and then was starkly sexist: “Women get it first and then try to explain it to the guys who -- I mean, as the women did to the Apostles.”
The D.C. area women's magazine I Am Modern interviewed NPR talk-show host Diane Rehm for their Spring issue, and Rehm’s liberal tilt was unmissable. Rehm warmly declared that her favorite "fascinating" interviews were with Hillary and Bill Clinton and that her “dream guests” were Barack and Michelle Obama. (Her biggest disappointment was Newt Gingrich.)
Not only that, Rehm was asked about attempts to defund public broadcasting and pretended the media was dominated by conservatives. PBS and NPR are seen “as a counterweight to the many outspoken conservative voices who currently dominate the airwaves.”
On Monday's Morning Edition, NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty touted how "liberal religious leaders said the Republican [budget] plan...was an affront to the Gospel, and especially Jesus's command to care for the poor." At the same time, Hagerty avoided mentioning the left-wing ideology of two critics of the proposal: Peter Montgomery of People For American Way, and liberal academic Stephen Schneck.
The correspondent did, however, clearly identify Ryan as a "Wisconsin Republican" and Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention as part of a "conservative resistance to taxation." She also highlighted how "for other religious conservatives, the Bible is a blueprint for robust capitalism," and cited evangelical radio host David Barton as an example.
NPR's Scott Horsley could have been mistaken as a spokesman for the White House or President Obama's campaign on Wednesday's All Things Considered, as he defended the Democrat's record on the economy. Horsley also claimed that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's claim that on women losing the bulk of the jobs over the past three years was "not really the whole story."
The only expert the correspondent cited during the segment was a low-level economist at the Labor Department, who stated that "more recently, we've seen more jobs being lost in education and health services and in government, which historically is where women tend to hold the majority of jobs." Horsley placed more of the blame on Congress (which is partially controlled by Republicans) than Mr. Obama: "The President has been pushing for billions of dollars in additional aid to keep teachers in the classroom, but Congress has not been willing to go along."
On Monday night's All Things Considered newscast, National Public Radio promoted the latest Mr. Gay World pageant, which was apparently made newsworthy since it was based this year in Africa (with black African contestants). Judges were looking for someone who could be a positive LGBT advocate and display their well-dressed and groomed "innate charm and sparkle." As is often the case on NPR, there was zero room for social conservatives.
Jo Ann Downs, leader of the African Christian Democratic Party, objected to this pageant being held on Easter Sunday, but NPR didn't find that worth noting. The pro-gay Daily Maverick site reported on Downs:
During the Holy Week before Easter in 2011, Brent Bozell noticed an "Easter bonnet of mud" timed to be thrown at Christians. One of those mudballs was thrown in Italy, a comedy movie called "Habemus Papam" (Latin for "we have a pope.") Franco Zeffirelli, the director of the TV miniseries “Jesus of Nazareth,” agreed Nanni Moretti's film was an insult to the Pope and the Catholic faithful. "It's a horrible cheap shot," Zeffirelli said. "I feel especially sorry for this pontiff, who may not be a crowd-pleaser, but who is very civilized and reasonable."
So it should not be surprising that National Public Radio would applaud its American release, timed once again on Good Friday. Openly gay movie critic Bob Mondello implausibly declared "There's nothing in 'We Have a Pope' that's likely to offend, much that will amuse and also quite a bit of effective design work."
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer made a point about today's media that should make everyone think twice about the state of American journalism.
In a discussion about the Ryan budget proposal on PBS's Inside Washington Friday, Krauthammer observed, "Obama will win the argument if the electorate is as gullible as Nina [Totenberg] and Mark [Shields] and Evan [Thomas] in accepting what the Administration is saying about the cuts" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday's Morning Edition, NPR's Peter Overby slanted towards a left-wing coalition targeting the conservative group ALEC. Overby trumpeted how Coke and Pepsi succumbed to pressure from the "campaign to put a spotlight on companies that sell products to a public that might object to hardline conservative policies, such as 'stand your ground' laws or requirements that voters show a photo I.D."
The correspondent featured representatives from two of the groups in the coalition- ColorOfChange and Common Cause- and labeled them as a "civil rights group" and a "good government group" respectively. He also made only one passing reference to their political ideology- that they were part of "progressive groups and shareholder activists."
Brent Bozell mentioned that NPR "Fresh Air" host read from her own contributor John Powers for The American Prospect liberals on how many ways Rachel Maddow was fabulous. The long tribute is worth more attention.
Powers began: "I can’t say for sure when it happened—it was after Barack Obama’s swearing-in yet before Keith Olbermann got suspended for giving money to Democrats—but at some point it began dawning on people that the face of MSNBC was Rachel Maddow." That, Powers thinks, is excellent, and Maddow is the Obama era's "defining liberal newsman":
If it’s an important Christian occasion, you can predict National Public Radio will seek out an atheist expert. In 2008, NPR marked Good Friday by interviewing John Dominic Crossan, who believed the body of Jesus was not resurrected, but was perhaps eaten by wild dogs.
On Palm Sunday, NPR found it was the perfect day for atheist scholar Bart Ehrman, who has a new book out titled "Did Jesus Exist?" NPR weekend All Things Considered anchor Guy Raz was a big fan: “There are probably few people in the world who know more about the life of Jesus than Bart Ehrman. He's a New Testament scholar at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where his lectures are among the most popular on campus.” Raz was such a fan he even told Ehrman later that he had bought his lectures on tape:
NPR's Tamara Keith filed a one-sided report on Monday's Morning Edition about Mitt Romney's "apparent shift in emphasis, if not an outright reversal" on the issue of energy policy. Keith cited the "liberal news site Think Progress" as one of her main sources for her report. She also turned to a former aide to Democrats John Kerry and Deval Patrick without giving his political/ideological affiliation.
Fill-in host David Greene spotlighted in his introduction to Keith's report how "the GOP candidates have seized on price spikes as a line of attack against President Obama, largely saying the answer is more domestic oil drilling. But one of those candidates, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, used to have a position somewhat contrary to that."
On Friday's Diane Rehm Show distributed across America by NPR, the host could not stand Republicans getting praised -- the Paul Ryan budget to be precise.
Doyle McManus, a columnist and former Washington bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, acknowledged, "this is a huge, ambitious, bold budget that would restructure the tax system. It would lower the top tax rate to 25 percent. That would be a great gift to upper-income families...You have to give Republicans credit for doubling down, sticking to their guns and sticking to the Tea Party government-cutting and deficit-cutting proposals that they made two years ago in the face of a lot of public skepticism." Diane Rehm wasn't having it:
On Friday's Daily Rundown on MSNBC, anchor Chuck Todd asked about the sour outlook for ObamaCare: “There’s a lot of panic at the White House, to be frank. They really thought this wasn’t going to be that hard of a case....Now they’re biting their fingernails. Should they be biting their fingernails?”
NPR’s Nina Totenberg responded: “Yeah, they should be biting their fingernails." Totenberg insisted that everyone thought this was constitutional, a "piece of cake." But the Bush appointments were "very, very, very conservative." This is not the first time she's loaded the "very" boat:
On Wednesday's Morning Edition, NPR's pro-ObamaCare shill Julie Rovner predictably lined up backers of the contested law. Rover again cited the Kaiser Family Foundation and failed to mention their liberal leanings. She also turned to a former Clinton administration official, without identifying her as such, and played five total clips from liberals, versus only two from a conservative.
The correspondent hyped the "the potential impact on the relationship between the federal government and the states" if the Supreme Court struck down the controversial legislation, and that "virtually any program in which the federal government gives money to the states with conditions attached" could be at risk.
Possibly in response to NewsBusters readers who passed on our item on the string of Pope Benedict-mocking jokes on NPR's game show "Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me!" NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos tells NewsBusters and other critics: lighten up, or be compared to radical Muslims. Isn't the ombudsman supposed to advocate for the listeners, not denounce them?
"If we keep jokes about the pope off-limits, we create a silencing effect that is far more damaging than the jokes themselves. We threaten to become like the intolerant extremists now most notoriously bedeviling the Muslim world, though other religions suffer from strains of fanaticism as well." Say what?