On July 17, the day before NPR's Diane Rehm Show had a unanimous panel of four leftists on transgender issues (including a Time reporter), NPR’s nationally distributed Fresh Air talk show devoted 43 minutes to “the growing number of people who identify as transgender.” Host Terry Gross brought on three transgender “rights” advocates to promote the book Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Trans Community.
As usual, the guests were treated to perfectly one-sided and sensitive questioning, the “rudest” of which came on how they never want to discuss genitals they were “assigned at birth” or surgeries to alter them:
As suspected, there is no more favorable publicity outlet for an “abortion comedy” like NPR. On the June 13 Fresh Air, film critic David Edelstein loved the concept in Obvious Child.
“It shouldn't be a particularly earth-shaking turn, but in a world of rom-coms like Knocked Up and Juno, in which the heroines make the heartwarming decision to go ahead with their pregnancies, this modest little indie movie feels momentous,” he argued.
It’s been over a month but NPR has finally decided that the Benghazi scandal is worth covering. On Wednesday, May 21 House Democrats chose five members of Congres to participate in the House Select Committee on Benghazi and NPR’s Morning Edition covered the story on Thursday, May 22. NPR didn’t bother giving full a news report to the actual formation of the Select Committee, but deemed the Democratic response worthy of full coverage.
The latest NPR story was the first full news story to air on Benghazi since an April 3. In fact, since February 26, NPR has only aired two full news reports and one news brief on the subject.
It started sounding like Unholy Week on NPR. On the national show “Fresh Air,” one day after Bart Ehrman insisted Jesus didn’t see himself as God, host Terry Gross brought on another atheist author, Barbara Ehrenreich. The segment was titled "A Nonbeliever Tries to Make Sense of the Visions She Had as a Teen."
Or as Hanna Rosin summarized it for Slate: “Could Barbara Ehrenreich, fourth-generation atheist, proud socialist, and mocker of brightness and smiles, have found religion? Dream on, Billy Graham.” But apparently titling your book "Living With a Wild God" makes your atheist comrades unhappy.
NPR's Terry Gross anticipated the Christian holy day of Easter on Monday's Fresh Air by boosting "popular" author Bart Ehrman's latest book, where the agnostic scholar asserted that "Jesus himself didn't call himself God and didn't consider himself God, and that none of his disciples had any inkling at all that he was God." During the segment, Gross wondered if "Christians made the claim that Jesus is God in order...to grow from being a small cult."
Ehrman also claimed, "I don't think Jesus was given a decent burial – that he was probably thrown into a common grave of some kind," and that the early disciples of Jesus probably hallucinated his resurrection:
Billionaires who back conservative Republicans are trashed on NPR when they die as “scathing TV ad” backers. But what about a black radical who wrote a poem blaming 9-11 on Israel and implying America was evil and terrorist? On Thursday night's "All Things Considered," NPR began by calling him “one of America's most important — and controversial — literary figures,” under the headline “Amiri Baraka's Legacy Both Controversial And Achingly Beautiful.”
The man’s invented Muslim name was Amiri Baraka (formerly LeRoi Jones). He was the poet laureate of New Jersey in 2002, but they abolished that honorary office after his poem. NPR cultural correspondent Neda Ulaby found his most controversial work wasn’t too negative, it was “complicated.”
Feminism isn't just a brutal philosophy for millions of unborn children. It's brutal on the Internet. Take the website Jezebel.com, a reference to the prophetess in the Book of Revelation who was "teaching and beguiling my servants to practice immorality."
This summer, a Catholic priest in Gainesville, Virginia took to Facebook to help find an adoptive home for an unborn child with Down syndrome. It spurred a little press boomlet when hundreds of people called or e-mailed the church, volunteering to raise the child.
The first laugh line from Gross? She asked Matthews, “Can you remember that far back, to when you were partisan?” Another gag line came when Gross asked if Matthews grew emotional when his liberalism (“love for the political process”) was challenged by people who want to dismantle and defund things:
Inside the liberal echo chamber that is National Public Radio, the stale show known as “Fresh Air with Terry Gross” addressed Congress on Wednesday with New York Times congressional reporter Jonathan Weisman. Host Terry Gross announced “this Congress has been one of the least productive in history. They have accomplished so little that the president is looking into how he can bypass Congress and use executive actions to make changes in areas like job creation, immigration and the economy.”
Gross put all the blame for Congress on the “radical” Obama-resisting conservatives: “What do you think have been the most dramatic examples of partisanship or obstructionism or radicalism during this 113th Congress so far?” Weisman said tax hikes made Congress "productive" at first, but conservatives ruined it:
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.
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:
In a cozy radical-to-radical interview on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross on Wednesday, incoming MSNBC primetime host Chris Hayes announced he’s watched Bill O’Reilly “very, very, very little...I’m positive I have never watched an hour of the O’Reilly show.”
Hayes is going to pretend that Fox News and MSNBC aren’t really competitors at all: “I genuinely don’t think of myself as in competition with Bill O’Reilly.” They don’t have the same “pool of viewers.” Hayes sounded like he meant “gene pool.” He can’t “hate-watch” conservative programs like some liberals do:
Pardon the age of this item, but it's on an issue of campaign history. On March 13, NPR Fresh Air host Terry Gross interviewed new CNN host Jake Tapper about politics and journalism, and whether there was blowback from presidents and candidates over tough questions. But Gross felt compelled to bring up the "lies" told about John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign -- without expressing anything specific.
Tapper said he was assigned as a Swift Boat Veteran fact checker by ABC. Gross said, "So you were fact-checking some of the Swift Boat attacks against presidential candidate John Kerry. There were so many lies in those attacks. What was the fact-checking like, and how effective do you think it was in trying to counteract the lies?"
MRC president Brent Bozell ripped The New York Times and the Washington Post in his November 17 column for their positive reviews of Colm Toibin's short novel "The Testament of Mary," which distorts the biblical Virgin Mary into an angry woman bitter at her son Jesus' crucifixion and filled with contempt for His followers. But these left-leaning rags weren't the only media outlets boosting Toibin's iconoclastic re-purposing of the Mother of God.
NPR boosted the Irish writer in an interview on the November 13 episode of Morning Edition. Correspondent Lynn Neary could have been mistaken for a publicist for Toibin as she unquestioningly forwarded his talking points on the book. Neary acknowledged that Toibin's warped version of Mary is a "controversial figure," but barely touched on how Christians - especially Catholics and Orthodox Christians - might be offended by his novel.
Bill Maher likes to deride conservatives for living “inside a bubble” where they consume news from only those with whom they agree and so are unaware of the “facts,” but he could just as well be describing the insular world of himself or others in the liberal media.
Case in point: An NPR and Washington Post contributor who spends her days reading left-wing magazines and watching MSNBC, to the exclusion of any conservative news sources, so much so that she conceded: “My 14-year-old daughter can rattle off the entire MSNBC line-up, so that should tell you something about our household viewing habits.”
NPR's idea of Republican convention coverage is to expose Mitt Romney as a flip-flopping fraud flirting with the "extremist camp within the Republican Party." On the very liberal show Fresh Air on Tuesday, host Terry Gross brought on two Boston Globe reporters who've penned an expose called The Real Romney. They talked for 43 and a half minutes.
Veteran Globe editor Michael Kranish found “disaster” in the GOP platform “which takes a very hard line on abortion, and he's picked Paul Ryan, who in the past has voiced a very hard line on abortion....And it's a disaster on the left and certainly in the center because Mitt Romney wants to talk about the economy.” Gross also wanted the Boston authors to trash Romney for his birth-certificate joke, and expose Romney's polygamous Mexico-based ancestors:
NPR is the network that sought out Christopher Hitchens to trash Mother Teresa upon her death as a horrible fraud, and then when Hitchens died, they warmly remembered how he hated God and Mother Teresa. So it's not surprising that radical leftist and gay activist Gore Vidal was going to be honored without a second of dissent or disapproval of critics.
None of the glowing obituaries and appreciations carried an ideological label, and one -- on Wednesday night's All Things Considered -- contained a glaring falsehood -- that William F. Buckley called Vidal a "queer" on national TV in 1968 without being provoked. Vidal called him a "crypto-Nazi" first. NPR turned to the gay novelist Christopher Bram to do the honors, and he brazenly lied:
When NPR Fresh Air host Terry Gross conducted an "I feel your pain" interview with radical-feminist Sister Pat Farrell on July 17, she promised a rebuttal from Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo. But Gross was much tougher in that interview on July 25. She laughably said "I don't mean to speak on their behalf here," but that's exactly what she did throughout the interview.
Gross said her "ultimate question" was why wouldn't the Catholic Church bend to changing times and liberalize on female priests, contraception, and homosexuality? "Churches change," so why won't the Catholics? Bishop Blair very calmly educated Gross that churches that have tried to obey Gross's dogmatism and follow "the spirit of the times" like the Episcopalians are having trouble retaining members:
New York Times welfare reporter Jason DeParle appeared on the NPR program "Fresh Air" hosted by Terry Gross, on Thursday to retell the horror stories that appeared in his lead story last Sunday: "I can't remember a time when I heard people talk so openly about desperate or even illegal things that they were doing in order to make ends meet. They were selling food stamps. They were selling blood. Women talked openly about shoplifting." Even committing "muggings of illegal immigrants." DeParle noted with laughable understatement that such "strategies" can "make them seem unsympathetic."
Asked by the sympathetic Gross about the 1996 welfare reform (which DeParle at the time said risked forcing mothers to "turn to prostitution or the drug trade....abandon their children....camp out on the streets and beg"), DeParle responded with tales of formidable state bureaucracy that won't cut much ice with anyone who has dealt with the DMV:
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":
Younger political junkies may not remember it, but watchers of the 1992 Clinton campaign can recall "The War Room," a documentary filmed inside the Clinton campaign. There's a new DVD of the film, out so National Public Radio just had to praise it.
On the program "Fresh Air" Wednesday, film critic John Powers described George Stephanopoulos as "a sweet but overbearing altar boy" while James Carville is "a flat out movie-star" like...a wisecracking snake in a Pixar movie."
NPR science correspondent Robert Krulwich promoted the ancient atheist Lucretius on Monday's Morning Edition with the author Stephen Greenblatt. Then the network took a second bite of the apple on Tuesday's Fresh Air with Terry Gross when book critic Maureen Corrigan raved for six minutes over Greenblatt's book The Swerve as "part adventure tale, part enthralling history of ideas." It a "brilliant work of nonfiction" and a "profusion of riches."
It didn't matter how Vatican-bashing it sounded, since that's a plus for NPR:
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:
Drucker came to NPR with the earnest recommendation that America desperately needs a significant hike in marginal tax rates that's more like socialist Europe, and perhaps a little value-added tax on top for seasoning:
National Public Radio’s firing of Juan Williams tells you all you need to know about the radical, and thoroughly intolerant, Left. Juan Williams is a liberal, but still, he isn’t liberal enough. The idea that he would acknowledge a mere thought of discomfort at the idea of people in “Muslim garb” on airplanes in a post-9/11 world became a firing offense. It didn’t matter that he prefaced it with all the perfunctory and politically correct disclaimers about not being a bigot and we shouldn’t blame all Muslims for terrorism.
Today’s Left is void of any principles whatsoever. They can be as astonishingly offensive and insulting as they want toward Christians, and no one gets punished. The indefatigable Catholic League provides the documentation.
Perhaps the people at National Public Radio are worried that a new Republican Congress could threaten the lavishness of its federal subsidies again. Or maybe NPR is just a sandbox for the Left. But on Wednesday, the show Fresh Air spent most of its hour suggesting the Republican Party was dangerously infested with extremists. The guest was socialist Princeton professor Sean Wilentz, who has written that George W. Bush practiced "a radicalized version of Reaganism." Host Terry Gross was promoting Wilentz's article in The New Yorker on Glenn Beck and the Tea Party:
GROSS: Can you think of another time in American history when there have been as many people running for Congress who seem to be on the extreme?
WILENTZ: Not running for Congress, no. I mean even back in the '50s.
This is par for the course, since Gross promoted a New Yorker piece by Jane Mayer just a few weeks ago (on August 26) on how the Koch brothers were funding the Tea Party as part of a "war" on that secular saint, President Obama. What stuck out in this interview was the use of "extreme" labels for the conservative movement and the GOP -- twelve of them. In Sesame Street lingo, the hour was brought to you by the letter E for Extreme. Most of them came in Gross's restate-the-thesis (or in this case, restate-the-attack-ad) "if you're just joining us" reintroductions.
Nationally distributed NPR talk show host Terry Gross was putting her feelings on her sleeve and on the air Monday in an interview with liberal comedian Jon Stewart. The episode was taped at an event at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan with a live audience. Gross began by proclaiming "I just want to say thank you before I ask you the first question.....Thank you for the last thing I see every night, in addition to my husband and my cat, is your show. And I'm able to go to bed with a sense that there is sanity someplace in the world."
Stewart joked constantly through the hour, but it was also clear he had serious anger with how the Democrats haven't been leftist enough, and about a media that hasn't been biased enough. He expressed frustration near the show's end when he asserted that the media's too timid because of the talk of a "liberal media conspiracy." When asked about liberals being concerned that his October 30 "million moderates" march will hurt Democrats, he actually said "Tough [expletive]."
GROSS: Now, some people are worried. There's a big AFL-CIO liberal march, there's the FFL, the NAACP, a whole bunch of groups. Some people worry that your march is going to take away from their, like, serious political march.
The secular-left stronghold of National Public Radio dumped on conservative Christians again last week. On the August 25 edition of the nationally distributed talk show Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the topic was Christianity vs. Islam in northern Africa. Gross's guest was author Eliza Griswold, who Gross explained was the daughter of Frank Griswold, "the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in America in 2003, when Gene Robinson became the first openly gay person ordained as a bishop in the church."
With those PC credentials established, Gross asked about Griswold accompanying Rev. Franklin Graham to Sudan in the Bush years, when Graham asked the Muslim dictator there for the right to preach the Christian gospel, and he was refused. But NPR's Gross was most worried that "very extreme" Graham was ruining America's reputation in the Third World:
GROSS: I guess, you know, I'm wondering, when Franklin Graham, who was perceived in the United States by a lot of people as very extreme, when he goes to a place like Sudan, establishes hospitals there, meets with the president, is he seen as representative of what Americans believe?
Todd Purdum, a former White House reporter for the New York Times in the Clinton years -- a man so impressed by Clinton's first press secretary Dee Dee Myers that he married her -- discussed his latest Vanity Fair article on how Washington is broken on the NPR show Fresh Air on Tuesday. Purdum's most noteworthy complaint is how the Washington press corps is mean-spirited, even "profoundly silly" in its "perverse rituals" of questioning President Barack Obama. (See Lachlan's blog, too). Dave Davies, the substitute host for Terry Gross, helpfully summed up the thesis:
DAVIES: In the afternoon, you say there's this what you call one of the most perverse rituals of the modern presidency. That's the press briefing. Why is it perverse?
PURDUM: Well, if what the congressional leaders do is Kabuki theater, what the press do is really it's really comic theater. It's opera bouffe (comic opera), I guess. But, you know, I used to cover the White House 15 years ago for the New York Times, and I went to the briefing every day, and I confess that I thought it was kind of silly then.
From his usual perch on the NPR show Fresh Air, liberal linguist and Berkeley professor Geoffrey Nunberg predictably sneered on Tuesday at Sarah Palin's use of "refudiate," and then her refusal to correct herself. He suggested she obviously doesn't read enough. "You have to frequent the places the word hangs out in, the kinds of books and periodicals that have semicolons in them." But he also tried to cover his tracks a little bit by suggesting eloquence is overrated in politicians:
Palin could have picked up refudiate from someone else or come up with it on her own. The question is why she didn't correct it along the way, before she got called on it and felt the need to defend it. After all, the course of our lives is strewn with abandoned misconceptions about words. I'm always struck by how tenacious these are. A word will go right past me five or 10 times before I suddenly have this duh moment. As in, duh, it has a 'c' in it. Or duh, compendious doesn't mean comprehensive at all.
But Palin apparently never had a duh moment with repudiate, probably because she hasn't encountered it often enough.