On Monday’s All Things Considered, NPR media reporter David Folkenflik drew this unintentionally hilarious sentence out of NBC executive Alexandra Wallace: “Our job is to report on what's going on in the world. We're not activists. We're observers and analysts.”
Folkenflik’s story pressed on NBC News from the left, that they must campaign against Russian repression before, during, and after the Olympics. NBC protested they'd been interviewing gay athletes like Billie Jean King and Brian Boitano and letting them express their joy at being picked by Obama to represent the U.S. delegation. Russian gay lobbyist Konstantin Yablotskiy represented the Russian leftists:
Benghazi could have been prevented. Those were the findings in a newly released bipartisan report from the Senate Intelligence Committee that blamed the State Department for failing to protect the U.S. consulate in eastern Libya.
During its nightly All Things Considered program on Wednesday, NPR anchor Audie Cornish and reporter Tom Gjelten spent nearly four minutes discussing the report without uttering the names Obama and Clinton once. Gjelten even made a bit of a gaffe about the Democrats. On Thursday, NPR’s Morning Edition didn’t bother to cover Benghazi, but instead found time to discuss whether or not Florida would decide that medical marijuana should be given to children with seizures.
Milestones in one's life should serve as an impetus for a person to reflect on the past and on the future. Totenberg turned 70 yesterday. Another such milestone occurred at the end of 2013 in the life of NPR's high-profile Legal Affairs/Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg. Totenberg concluded her 19-year run as a weekly no-holds-barred pundit, pontificating on about every topic under the sun -- not just on her journalistic beat.
Most notoriously, she said in 1995 that a fitting punishment for a quite controversial remark by Republican US Senator Jesse Helms made about AIDS funding would be that he or his grandchildren contract AIDS: "I think he ought to be worried about the -- about what's going on in the good Lord's mind because if there's retributive justice, he'll get AIDS from a transfusion or one of his grandchildren will get it."
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.”
On DC's NPR affiliate WAMU on Wednesday, New York Times environmental blogger Andrew Revkin complained about those conservative "confusers" taking joy in the stranded Antarctic ice ship full of hyperbolic global-warming activists. Washington Post senior editor Marc Fisher was guest-hosting on the Kojo Nnamdi Show, and he asked him to explain how "this incident somehow has energized the climate change contrarians."
"So anyway, you get a ship trapped in growing sea ice, a ship full of climate scientists who have been blogging about the importance of global warming, getting caught in sea ice, it's like raw meat for those who want to confuse the public, or who just, again, as that listener and Matt have said, who already holds an ideological position that's firm, it just sort of reinforces that position, and on we go into the future."
Last week, I wrote up how The New York Times wrote a demonizing obituary about Harold Simmons, a major MRC donor. NPR’s Peter Overby slimed him after he died as some sort of pioneer of negative advertising. His obituary highlighted how he “backed Swift Boat ads.” I discovered another obvious contrast in obituaries when I came across this piece on Peter Lewis in The Washington Post from November 26:
“Peter Lewis, the longtime head of Progressive Corp., died Saturday at age 80,” wrote Sean Sullivan. “In the business world, Lewis will be remembered for growing a modest automobile insurance company into one of the nation's biggest operations. In the political realm, he'll be remembered for being one of the biggest liberal mega-donors in history.”
No, NPR didn't accidentally air the paranormal-themed radio show Coast to Coast AM with George Noory (heir to Art Bell's show) on Sunday morning. Instead, it was a credulous interview of psychiatrist Jim Tucker by NPR host Rachel Martin about the supposed science of reincarnation.
And given NPR's classification of the piece as a science piece, their vaunted Science Desk dutifully tweeted "Searching for Science Behind Reincarnation."
On the day after Christmas, NPR’s All Things Considered offered a little gift to openly gay reporter Ari Shapiro: seven minutes of air time for a story with the online title “How 2013 Became The ‘Gayest Year Ever’.”
As anchor Robert Siegel said NPR was looking at the “winners and losers of 2013...for gay rights groups, the last 12 months saw a huge string of victories, from state legislatures to Congress to the Supreme Court. The surprise ruling in Utah legalizing same-sex marriage is just the latest win. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on why some LGBT advocates are calling 2013 the gayest year ever.”
NPR sports-and-culture correspondent Mike Pesca appeared on MSNBC's "Up With Steve Kornacki" on Sunday to discuss the Winter Olympics in Russia and how Obama is sending gay Olympians and gay tennis legend Billie Jean King instead of going himself. Kornacki asked Pesca "What is your sense of what the atmosphere is going to be like for gay athletes? And just in general, the atmosphere is going to be like at these games?"
Pesca began by mocking America: "Yeah, well, they`re going to have protest zones which seems un-American -- except, you know, America has used them for political conventions and stuff." Then he turned to quoting how Obama's decision is a "brilliant snub" of "soft power" that leaves Vladimir Putin sputtering at Obama's cleverness.
Past winners of this venerable award include: Nina Totenberg in 1991, for verbally accosting then-Senator Alan Simpson after a Nightline appearance on October 9 of that year: “You big [expletive]....You are so full of [expletive]. You are an evil man....You’re a bitter and evil man and all your colleagues hate you.”
In 2005, Helen Thomas took top honors for a quote she gave The Hill newspaper: “The day I say Dick Cheney is going to run for President, I’ll kill myself. All we need is one more liar.” Luckily for Helen, Mr. Cheney did not choose to run in 2008. (This year’s winners and videos after the jump.)
What’s been called the “war on Christmas” is often a case of secular liberals wanting to engage in Christmas denial. In the name of not wanting to offend people of minority faiths (or no faith), they remove the C-word from department-store catalogs and remove Christmas songs from public-school concerts, leaving us with lame messages about snow.
But there’s another kind of Christmas denial: the kind that simply stomps on Christianity as ridiculous and kicks over the nativity set. Take the atheist punk band Bad Religion and their new record of Christmas songs they found “hilarious” to record.
On Friday's edition of The Diane Rehm Show that's broadcast on many NPR stations from Washington, the host mangled her presidential history, but her guests and producers all humored her, like you might humor a nice lady who's 77. No one suggested a gold watch and an open space for a younger NPR liberal behind the mic.
As Rehm and a crew of reporters aerobically compared Barack Obama to Nelson Mandela, Rehm claimed Reagan was president in 1979 when she first took the microphone at WAMU-FM in Washington and he didn't want the U.S. involved in any anti-apartheid activities (video below):
On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid showed up for a phone interview on The Diane Rehm Show on NPR to discuss shredding the filibuster for presidential appointees. A very polite Rehm asked if this might make partisanship worse.
“I'm sorry to smile, as you can't see on radio, but more dysfunction? I mean, gee whiz,” Reid replied. But underneath the Nevada-nice routine came an attack out of nowhere on black libertarian judge Janice Rogers Brown as one of the “extreme right wing people” the Senate confirmed in the Bush years.
In the midst of taxpayer-subsidized NPR's week of John F. Kennedy / utopian Democratic president idolatry (four full hours plus 22 stories--plus others that discussed him), NPR's Dallas reporter and anti-conservative sermonizer Wade Goodwyn slandered the right and the GOP by shifting blame for President Kennedy's assassination. In his "reporting," the far-left Alinskyite community organizer turned NPR reporter played fast and loose with the facts, selectively quoted left-leaning writers, and provided his own subjective interpretation of history to lay the blame for Kennedy's death on Goodwyn's political opponents.
In his November 21 All Things Considered rant, Goodwyn presented a left-wing funhouse-of-mirrors version of 1963 Dallas. He falsely claimed that the Dallas Morning News chose to border its front page in black on the day of Kennedy's Dallas visit. The truth is that the black bordering was on a paid advertisement--on Page 14. Goodwyn went on and on about the hateful right-wing leaders in Dallas and how they were responsible for Kennedy's assassination. Despite his piece being drenched in politics, Goodwyn never bothered to mention that the lone killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, was a far-left communist who just seven months earlier attempted to assassinate another prominent anti-communist in Dallas.
There may be no more painful oxymoron than "feminist comedians." MTV flash-in-the-pan Sarah Silverman and "Daily Show" co-creator Lizz Winstead teamed up in New York City on November 18 for a telethon to fund abortions in Texas via NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Think Jerry's kids, except instead of saving the children, the unborn are eliminated. They call that "reproductive justice."
If NFL owners and players wanted to dismiss the racially charged hazing of Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin as Fun With Rookies, they better be prepared for the media nerds who want to destroy the popularity of football so it sinks to the cultural level of boxing.
On Wednesday’s Morning Edition, NPR set loose its sports commentator Frank Deford to tell parents not to let their boys (or girls) play football, because it can “damage your soul as well as your brain”:
Friday's All Things Considered made it clear that NPR is not just one-sided when it comes to the domestic agenda of left-wing homosexual activists, but it also slants toward them with foreign issues. Correspondent Michele Kelemen boosted a collaboration between visiting members of the "Rakurs" LGBT group from Russia and their American counterparts in Washington, DC and Maine.
Kelemen zeroed in on the testimony of one Rakurs member who lamented how the Russian city of Arkhangelsk has supposedly turned from a place "open to different views and trends" to a "stronghold of traditional values and religious beliefs in the Russian north".
On Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News and Thursday’s Today, NBC hyped the notion that Palestinian guerrilla leader Yasser Arafat “may have” been assassinated by poisoning. They let Palestinians accuse Israel, and bizarrely suggested only Israel “considered” Arafat a terrorist (forgetting decades where the U.S. officially agreed).
There was no NBC update Friday when NPR’s All Things Considered reported the Palestinian Authority released a separate Russian study that did not confirm the notion of poisoning with Polonium-210. NBC didn’t offer any journalist or government official who disagreed with the pro-Arafat line:
NPr headlines in the Bush years were in a different spirit, such as this beaut: “Naomi Wolf Likens Bush to Hitler.” The happy talker on this forget-lousy-polls story was NPR’s Ari Shapiro, who just left the Obama White House beat:
The latest and greatest Obama scandal is the disastrous Obamacare rollout, but it has something in common with all the others (besides Obama knew nothing). Some journalists are still brazenly trying to deny against all evidence that this scandal has any substance at all.
The same people who freaked out over President Bush's one sentence in one State of the Union speech that Saddam Hussein sought uranium in Africa are now making excuses for Obama saying everywhere, endlessly, "If you like your insurance plan, you will keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you." To them, that's not lying -- blatantly, repeatedly, shamelessly. He simply "misspoke," claimed the New York Times editorial page.
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.
NPR is looking quite desperate in its promotion of Obamacare. This was an actual headline at the NPR website: "Despite Glitches, HealthCare.gov Could've Been Worse." Jonah Goldberg told me "I thought you made up that headline!" He cracked on Twitter: "For instance, logging on could have permanently blinded you!"
On Tuesday night's All Things Considered, anchor Melissa Block borrowed this oddly optimistic concept inside the liberal bubble from Rusty Foster of The New Yorker magazine. He said "I'm sort of amazed at how well it does work, actually, which is, you know, where it kind of -- it could've been worse." They needed more time, he protested:
When Obamacare was signed by the president in 2010, NPR marked how its health reporter Julie Rovner had a "picture perfect day," and took a snapshot. She "was all smiles when asked about how important this day was to her.” She said: “It's the first month of my twenty-five years covering health policy...and I did not intend to miss this event!”
So it’s not surprising that she would write a blog on how utterly conservatives failed to nick Obamacare in the shutdown fight – or as she called it, “their 16-day tirade against the government.”
On PBS’s Inside Washington Friday, NPR’s Nina Totenberg actually called House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) “the most effective Congressional leader probably in 30 years” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
You can trust National Public Radio to take the statist side in a shutdown. It happened again on The Diane Rehm Show on Monday, where “objective” reporters took turns slashing at “reality”-deprived Tea Party conservatives. Washington Post reporter Lori Montgomery said “the Obamacare push was a giant mistake.”
She even announced that “Obamacare madness” can be blamed for the shutdown:
Sarah Varney's report on Friday's Morning Edition is just the latest example of NPR's one-sided coverage of the health care issue in general, and ObamaCare specifically. Varney spotlighted how California's government gave a local chapter of the SEIU – a major supporter of President Obama during his two presidential campaigns – $1 million to enroll people in the state's insurance exchange.
The journalist also turned to UCLA's Gerry Kominski, who downplayed the "bumpy roll-out", as she put it, of ObamaCare enrollment since it began on October 1, 2013. Varney didn't mention, however, that the professor trumpeted the Supreme Court's decision upholding ObamaCare in a June 2012 YouTube.com video:
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:
On NPR’s On Point Thursday, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman actually equated Republicans with the terrorist group Hezbollah (transcript follows with commentary, audio available here, and via NPR with relevant section at 13:48):
Andrew Beaujon of Poynter MediaWire reports that NPR standards editor Stuart Seidel asked reporters and editors to “please avoid overusing ‘Obamacare’” after the Maynard Institute’s minority-journalism blogger Richard Prince wrote him saying “the term can no longer be defended as neutral.” Prince said Obama isn't using "Obamacare" in recent speeches.
Seidel explained "I’m not persuaded that the use of 'Obamacare' is wholly inappropriate, but I am persuaded that good effort needs [to be] made to avoid over-using it. I’m sharing that feeling with NPR's editors and correspondents."
President Obama granted a 24-minute interview to NPR Morning Edition anchor Steve Inskeep, the man who compared him to Abraham Lincoln in a softball 2012 interview with David Axelrod. On Tuesday's morning show, they spread the interview into three segments distributed throughout the show. The questions were mostly brief, neutral process questions about budget negotiations, but Inskeep did ask a tough question, from the Left, about rising income inequality on Obama's watch. (The full transcript is here.)
What really stood out was the part where Inskeep helpfully suggested to Obama that conservatives are scared that Obamacare will be implemented because it will become popular – which it certainly isn’t now – and then agreed it’s a deficit-shrinker: