On Wednesday afternoon's Talk of the Nation on National Public Radio, NPR political director Ken Rudin told host Neal Conan that of course, President Obama was "exactly right" in his El Paso speech to say Republicans are never satisfied on immigration, and want a moat with alligators in it:
CONAN: And this is not likely to pass as a piece of legislation but likely to be pretty effective as a piece of campaign rhetoric.
RUDIN: Well, remember, every moat counts. We always say that in November. But actually, that also was a very good Boehner impersonation.
When liberal investor George Soros gave $1.8 million to National Public Radio, it became part of the firestorm of controversy that jeopardized NPR's federal funding. But that gift only hints at the widespread influence the controversial billionaire has on the mainstream media. Soros, who spent $27 million trying to defeat President Bush in 2004, has ties to more than 30 mainstream news outlets - including The New York Times, Washington Post, the Associated Press, NBC and ABC.
Prominent journalists like ABC's Christiane Amanpour and former Washington Post editor and now Vice President Len Downie serve on boards of operations that take Soros cash. This despite the Society of Professional Journalist's ethical code stating: "avoid all conflicts real or perceived.
NPR's Mara Liasson noticeably left out anti-illegal immigration conservatives on Tuesday's Morning Edition as she reported on President's Obama's latest push for "comprehensive" immigration reform. Liasson only played clips from the President, Democrat Rep. Luis Gutierrez, and Republican consultant Marty Wilson, who claimed that "the hardline approach on immigration...is not going to work."
Host Steve Inskeep introduced the correspondent's report by noting the President's forthcoming speech later in the day outlining his "principles for an immigration overhaul." He continued by recalling how "President Bush's immigration efforts encountered opposition from his own party, and many Republicans are also likely to resist President Obama's efforts."
Instead of turning to those who would be part of such a resistance, Liasson quickly turned to an excerpt from Obama's recent commencement address at Miami Dade College, where he proclaimed, "I strongly believe we should fix our broken immigration system...and I want to work with Democrats and Republicans, yes, to protect our borders and enforce our laws, and address the status of millions of undocumented workers."
NPR's Ari Shapiro emphasized the possible political benefits for President Obama on Thursday's Morning Edition in the aftermath of the death of Osama bin Laden. Shapiro lined up sound bites from three pundits who touted the "big moment" for the "bold" President and how it amounted to a "fundamental shift in the way Americans perceive Mr. Obama."
Midway through his report, the correspondent introduced a clip from former Bill Clinton speechwriter Jeff Shesol: "He [Shesol] believes this week could mark a fundamental shift in the way Americans perceive Mr. Obama." The Clinton alum claimed that it would be "very hard after this moment to suggest that President Obama doesn't have the guts to make tough calls, to make bold and risky calls...and then to go ahead because he knows it to be the right thing to do."
On Monday and Tuesday, NPR played up how Osama Bin Laden's death might translate into a political win for President Obama. Mara Liasson trumpeted the "huge victory" for the President and spotlighted a scholar who gushed how Obama now looked "strong and competent and decisive." Cokie Roberts boasted how the military operation was a "score" for the Democrat and that it was a "game changer politically."
At the beginning of her report which lead Tuesday's Morning Edition, Liasson gushed that "every president benefits from moments of national unity, but none so much as Barack Obama, who ran for office promising to bridge partisan divides." Later, the journalist noted that, with the raid against Bin Laden, "he [Obama] made good on his repeated promise to act unilaterally if he had actionable intelligence."
Several media outlets on Sunday did their best to cast doubt on the legacy of Pope John Paul II as the Catholic Church beatified the late pontiff. NPR highlighted how the pope apparently "alienated many Catholics who began leaving the church in droves." CNN brought on a liberal theologian who claimed that John Paul II "led us backwards rather than forward." NBC played up the "avalanche of claims of sexual abuse by priests" during his papacy.
On Sunday's All Things Considered, Sylvia Poggioli, NPR's Rome-based senior European correspondent, turned to "investigative journalist" Jason Berry midway through her report, who blasted John Paul on his handling of the priestly sex abuse issue: "Someone who was so fearless in his confrontation with the communist empire, I for one do not understand how he could not have engaged in the same fearless introspection about the church internal." More than 3 years earlier, Berry, with the assistance of the Los Angeles Times, falsely claimed in a November 2007 opinion piece that the American bishops "had identified about 4,400 abusive U.S. priests," when that figure is actually the number of priests who faced allegations.
"Saturday Night Live's" Seth Meyers headlined Saturday's White House Correspondents' Association dinner, and somewhat surprisingly went after media outlets on both sides of the aisle.
Apart from jibes at Fox News, the New York Times, and NPR, Meyers said of MSNBC's event after party, "President Obama makes the Kool-Aid, and everyone there drinks it" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Charles Krauthammer on Friday perfectly elucidated the media's hypocrisy concerning their avid defense of Barack Obama against attacks from Donald Trump and the birthers.
As the discussion on PBS's "Inside Washington" turned to the President finally revealing his birth certificate, and liberals on the panel including the Washington Post's Colby King expressed disgust about how the White House resident was being treated, Krauthammer marvelously replied, "I think it’s somewhat amusing to hear people on the left talking about how awful it is to delegitimize a president when they spent half a decade saying that George Bush stole the election" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NPR's Ari Shapiro leaned towards supporters of the Obama administration's new "voluntary principles" to limit junk food ads to kids on Thursday's All Things Considered. Shapiro played three sound bites from backers, versus only one from a critic who blasted the proposal: "If the federal government decided to issue voluntary guidelines about what newsmen should say to avoid inflaming the public, I think you guys would be pretty upset."
Host Melissa Block did acknowledge opponents' concerns about the proposed guidelines in her introduction for the correspondent's report: "The Obama administration wants to limit the amount of advertising kids see for junk food. It's part of a broader push to improve child nutrition, and, as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, it's part of what critics see as a growing nanny state."
On Wednesday's All Things Considered, NPR's David Folkenflik erroneously claimed that NBC's Meredith Vieira "notably failed to contradict Donald Trump or others casting doubt on where Mr. Obama was born. Vieira...acknowledged those remarks passively." In reality, the Today show challenged the billionaire about the birth certificate issue, twice asking, "Do you believe he's [Obama's] lying?" [audio clips available here]
The media correspondent began his report by noting how "there comes a moment in almost every American presidency when the commander-in-chief turns media-critic-in-chief." After playing two clips from President Obama's press conference earlier in the day regarding the release of his birth certificate, he continued, "Mr. Obama said that for too long, the nation has been distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers. Notice, however, the President's words didn't criticize the carnival barker. He criticized those who get distracted, like the press corps sitting in front of him."
[View video clips from Vieira's April 7, 2011 interview of Trump below]
NPR's Renee Montagne apparently didn't take an alleged death threat seriously, as she practically chuckled during a report on Friday's Morning Edition about anti-Koch brothers protesters mistakenly calling a Des Moines, Iowa business named Koch Brothers office supplies.
Substitute co-host Mary Louise Kelly, noted that "Charles and David Koch are the billionaire owners of a giant industrial conglomerate based in Wichita, Kansas. They've poured millions into conservative and anti-union causes. People who don't like their politics have sent many critical e-mails and letters, even death threats, to Dutch Koch."
When former NPR executive Ron Schiller said that the organization would be better off in the long run without public funding, he was envisioning an editorial independence that can never really be achieved while NPR is on the public dole. That is not to say that the station's editorial judgment is compromised by its receiving taxpayer dollars. But by bringing taxpayer money into the mix, NPR is inevitably subjected to political considerations. And it should be. Taxpayers must have a say in how their money is spent.
Odds are, on the long list of causes to which Americans would like their tax dollars devoted, subversion of the American military and foreign policy establishment is nowhere to be found. And yet, through NPR, taxpayer dollars are going towards the publication of information released for the express purpose of undermining the American government.
By reporting on contents of the latest Wikileaks document drop, which released massive amounts of sensitive and classified information regarding U.S. terrorist detention policies, NPR has advanced the objectives of an overtly anti-American organization.
As oil and gas prices head to new highs, we're hearing more calls from the President and his media minions about how this is all the fault of Wall Street investors.
On "Fox News Sunday," the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol said the two biggest speculators who have damaged the U.S. economy are President Obama and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke (video follows with transcript and commentary):
National Public Radio is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. In 1971, it began at the height of "anti-war" fervor against the U.S. government and its immoral war-mongering. That flavor remains at NPR to this day. Last Sunday, NPR anchor Noah Adams reminded listeners of the Bay of Pigs invasion, and naturally, the theme was anti-communist paranoia:
NOAH ADAMS: Today, April 17th, marks exactly 50 years since one of the biggest disasters in American foreign policy: the Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961.
JIM RASENBERGER (Author, "The Brilliant Disaster"): You know, I think the thing that you have to keep in mind when you ask yourself how did this ever happen is the extraordinary fear of communism in the United States in the late '50s and early '60s.
On Friday's "Inside Washington," during a discussion about American foreign policy in the Middle East and Africa, PBS's Mark Shields actually said, "The most urgent priority that we have is to find jobs somehow, not simply for Americans, which is an urgent priority, but for young Egyptians" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Friday’s Morning Edition, National Public Radio celebrated poetry – especially the left-wing, anti-war, anti-American "empire" kind. Poets were constructing a Japanese "renga" – a "kind of poetic relay race." Anchor Renee Montagne handed off the summarizing to poet Carol Muske-Dukes:
So the poets were in conversation with each other. In a line that Michael Ryan, for example, making a riff on the joke: How many poets does it take to change a light bulb? And it ends with how many poets does it take to change a country? How many presidents? How much pain?
The wonderful poet Brenda Hillman picks up on that with: And the light bulb turns earth, Berkeley lovers in a Thai cafe: mint, sweet basil, Geminid showers all this week, solstice, almost. You can take money out of the empire but you can't take the empire -- look, enough of these wars. A rabbit crouches in the Moon.
Empire? Well, Brenda Hillman is not just a poet, but a member of the Code Pink Working Group of protesters in San Francisco.
Former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed found himself in a debate on Wednesday afternoon's Talk of the Nation show on National Public Radio. The debate wasn't with a second guest. It was with TOTN host Neal Conan, who simply refused repeatedly to allow Reed to state that Barack Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder, have decided not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. Conan couldn't abide the concept that the Justice Department was failing to defend federal law as it currently stands.
The fight began when Reed was asked about Gov. Mitch Daniels, who annoyed social conservatives by saying there should be a "truce" on social issues in the Republican presidential debate:
On Thursday's All Things Considered, NPR's Robert Siegel used violent imagery to underline the supposed extreme nature of Arizona's SB 1070 law targeting illegal immigration: "It has been of one year since the state legislature dropped a bomb into the national debate over immigration."
Siegel led the introduction for correspondent Ted Robbins's report on the controversial law with his explosive phrase. He continued that "the get-tough bill, known as SB 1070, was later signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer." After playing a clip from Governor Brewer, the host noted that "some of SB 1070's key components are on hold, but supporters call it a success, and opponents say it has been a disaster for Arizona's image and economy. Either way, NPR's Ted Robbins says it has changed the state."
Conservatives who really wanted to see at least a spending “haircut” for NPR or public broadcasting in the underwhelming budget deal for 2011 might have suggested at least some symbolic victory for conservatives. Here it is: Fire David Brooks as the alleged conservative or Republican “counterpoint” on PBS and NPR on Friday nights. We could hire Donald Trump to announce it from the boardroom.
Or keep him, but banish forever, for once and for all, the notion that he is a man of the Right.
After President Obama’s budget speech at George Washington University, Brooks wrote a column for The New York Times declaring: “It doesn't take a genius to see that Obama is very likely to be re-elected.” Republicans may try to reform entitlements, but “voters, even Republican voters, reject this.” Obama “hit the political sweet spot with his speech this week. He made a sincere call to reduce debt, which will please independents, but he did not specify any tough choices.”
On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Tovia Smith promoted a homosexual activist's campaign protesting the inability of same-sex couples to file joint federal tax returns. Smith played sound bites from the founder of the campaign, as well as two other supporters of same-sex "marriage," but omitted any from opponents. NPR also highlighted the tax-related "complications" of a specific same-sex couple on Friday's Morning Edition.
Host Renee Montagne introduced Smith's report by noting how "some same-sex married couples are planning a protest this Tax Day. They object to the federal law requiring them to check the 'single' box on their federal tax returns....In defiance of that law, known as DOMA, some couples are checking the married box on their federal returns."
The $1.8 million grant George Soros gave to NPR was for local reporters in every state capital. But that doesn't mean NPR isn't also beginning to look like a Soros-pleaser on the national scene. Once again on Monday, NPR media reporter David Folkenflik went after Rupert Murdoch, and a voice-mail-hacking scandal at his U.K. tabloid News of the World. In England, the socialist newspaper The Guardian has been all over this story of disreputable media conduct, but The New York Times also filed a story on April 8.
Folkenflik found dramatic former Murdoch employees, like Andrew Neil, who made Watergate analogies. Folkenflik insisted the damage to Murdoch may not be contained, and then quoted Neil: "Who knew - the old Watergate question - who knew and when did you know it?" It began like this:
ROBERT SIEGEL: One of Britain's most popular newspapers has admitted that it hacked into the private voicemails of celebrities and politicians. NPR's David Folkenflik reports that the story underscores close ties between the authorities and Rupert Murdoch's media empire.
New York Times reporter Katharine Seelye is the latest Times reporter to defend government spending, this time on a tiny but "life-affirming" radio station threatened by the Republican budget ax - public radio station WMMT in Whitesburg, Kentucky: “A Regional Radio Voice Threatened From Afar.” The story was accompanied by a cutesy sidebar, “88.7 on Appalachia’s Dial,” describing such original programming as “Holler to the Hood,” “which plays hip-hop aimed at the growing prison population in the region.” Sounds vital. Only one problem: The funding is being challenged by "the rise of the Tea Party and with anti-earmark, budget-cutting fervor gripping the nation’s capital."
Seelye handed the mic to a lefty from the “private Community Action Council,” a “private” group that nonetheless gets 95% of its money from the federal government.
Eleanor Beardsley slanted towards opponents of France's ban on the niqab, or Islamic face veil, on two NPR programs on Monday. Beardsley played several sound bites from French Muslims during her Morning Edition report who forwarded the notion that the law contributes to an "anti-Muslim climate" in the country, and agreed with a guest on Tell Me More who labeled the ban "sinister."
The correspondent, who is based in France, led her report on Morning Edition with a clip from the imam of a mosque in Aubervilliers, a suburb of Paris, who stated, "You know there is an Islamophobic climate right now and the police don't like to see us praying in the streets." She also turned to another Muslim man who singled out the niqab ban for contributing to this apparent climate:
NPR's Cokie Roberts hinted congressional Republicans were going to resort to extreme tactics regarding the debt ceiling on Monday's Morning Edition. Roberts noted the "rough votes" on the horizon in Congress, specifying the "debt ceiling that has to be increased, where Republicans have promised Armageddon."
Host Renee Montagne brought on the journalist to talk mainly about the recent proposed agreement on the budget between the Democrats and Republicans. Near the end of the segment, however, Montagne raised the other budget-related battles that are expected later in the year. Roberts dropped the biblical reference in her answer:
You would think after the Juan Williams debacle, NPR would keep away from bashing Fox News again. But even as NPR's liberal bias remains controversial in Congress, NPR is still waging war on Fox. It's apparently the only national news outlet worth questioning. On Thursday night's All Things Considered, NPR media reporter David Folkenflik profiled Bret Baier, but delighted liberals by announcing that he had studied six months of guest lists for Special Report with Bret Baier, and he insisted liberals were underrepresented:
FOLKENFLIK: I reviewed six months' worth of Baier's panels, and the same mix typically prevailed: two clear-cut conservatives and one other analyst, sometimes a Democrat or liberal but usually a journalist from a non-ideological news outlet. As I told Baier, that would seem to under-represent the left and also to cast reporters as though they're surrogate liberals.
NPR's Ari Shapiro slanted towards President Obama and two of his Democratic allies in Congress on Thursday's Morning Edition on the continuing battle over the federal budget, playing seven sound bites from them versus only three from Republican House Speaker John Boehner.
Shapiro highlighted the late night negotiations over the budget on Wednesday during his report, playing three clips from the President and one from Senator Harry Reid before even getting to his first one from Speaker Boehner:
In the midst of Republicans insisting on defunding NPR, the network thumbed its nose at the GOP again on Tuesday night's All Things Considered newscast by having a book review offered by hard-left "comedian" and failed radio host Janeane Garofalo. The book she reviewed was Tina Fey's new memoir, titled Bossypants. Garofalo spent most of the review in a rut of self-pity, but this political passage popped out:
Another area of interest to me was Tina's discussion of what happened when she impersonated Sarah Palin on "SNL" and became a target of ill-founded wrath. Regrettably, it's always been easy to marshal cultural hostility toward women, especially in politics, where double standards and misogyny tend to dominate the conversation. Those are my words, not Tina's.
Was Tina Fey the victim of cultural hostility toward women? Or was she the one dishing it out?
On Tuesday's All Things Considered, NPR's Melissa Block grilled Congressman Joe Walsh, a newly-elected member of the House Tea Party Caucus, on the impasse over the federal budget. Block questioned Rep. Walsh if there was any "middle ground" on the issue, and pressed him with the Democratic caucus's label that the Republicans' budget proposals are "out of whack and unreasonable."
The host led her interview of the Illinois Republican by noting how there was "still no deal. House Republicans holding out for $61 billion in cuts," and then asked, "Is there any middle ground for you?" After Rep. Walsh gave his initial answer, she followed up with the Democrats' talking point: "Democrats, though, say that it's the Republicans who've been intransigent, that the numbers are just out of whack and unreasonable, that you are the side that's not compromising here."
Block forwarded this label of the congressman and his GOP colleagues in her third question, using one of his own quotes to accent her point: "You said in an interview with Time magazine, I came here- meaning to Washington- ready to go to war. The people didn't send me here to compromise. It sounds like you are just as intransigent as you're accusing the Democrats of being."
NPR's Dina Temple-Raston touted Attorney General Eric Holder's reluctance to give detainees at Guantanamo Bay military trials during a segment on Monday's All Things Considered. Temple-Raston and host Michele Norris only featured sound bites from the Justice Department head, omitting clips from supporters of the military tribunals.
Norris began by noting the Obama administration's "major reversal" in their decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other 9/11 suspects in military court. After playing a clip from Attorney General Holder's recent press conference, where he announced the move, the host turned to the correspondent and recounted how " in late 2009...Holder announced that these five conspirators will be tried in New York City in a civilian trial. So today's decision officially reverses that."
Temple-Raston, who conducted a sting operation against U.S. border agents earlier in 2011 by wearing a headscarf and posing as Muslim woman, mainly acted as stenographer for the attorney general, though she did acknowledge the mismanagement of the rollout for the civilian trials plan: