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:
NPR’s Legal Affairs / Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg loves to cast conservatives as fringy. In 2005, President George W. Bush nominated then-Circuit Court Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court. At the time, Totenberg seemed to be suffering from a fixation on the word “very,” calling Roberts “very, very conservative” and “very, very, very conservative.”
Even though Roberts voted for Obamacare last year, Totenberg insisted last week on the news magazine "Here and Now" (a new joint venture of NPR and Boston NPR station WBUR) that he was still “very, very conservative.” Maybe with more Roberts rulings that she likes, she'll whittle it down to “very conservative.” For now, "This is a very, very conservative justice who also believes in a certain level of , as he puts it, modesty, meaning don’t do it all at once if you can do it one step at a time."
Controversial sex columnist and liberal political activist Dan Savage was treated to a hero’s welcome—courtesy in part to taxpayer funding— by NPR’s mega-affiliate (staff of 55) WBEZ in Chicago. He appeared June 28 on WBEZ’s interview program "Afternoon Shift" to promote his most recent book on politics, "American Savage." WBEZ business reporter and interim Host Niala Boodhoo acted more like an adoring fan than an impartial journalist.
Even though the 24-minute interview was primarily about political matters, never once did Boodhoo challenge the incendiary Savage. She didn’t ask him about his many outrageous actions and statements over the years (such as wishing cancer on Sarah Palin, calling the Pope obscene names, and calling for political opponents to perform sexual acts on him; see NewsBusters' archive for a partial list), or about him then broadly painting all opponents of same-sex marriage as “haters.” In fact, Boodhoo sympathetically brought up what Savage calls “Bigot Christmas,” where Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage went to Savage’s house for dinner (and debate).
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.”
In the past few years, NPR has run a public relations campaign called “I Heart NPR,” featuring photos of celebrities (nearly all liberal) proclaiming their love for NPR by holding an “I Heart NPR” sign. NPR may never actually print a “NPR Hearts Wendy Davis” sign, but NPR News has nonetheless clearly displayed its affection for Davis in news pieces by several of its journalists.
Even though events didn’t finish up until after midnight, that night East Coast-based NPR reporter Elise Hu posted a sympathetic online story about Texas state Senator Wendy Davis’ “riveting” filibuster of an abortion bill. In her piece, Hu included photos and quotations sympathetic toward Davis, but none critical of her. She attributed one of the four included quotes to President Obama from a tweet that was actually written by his political organization Organizing for Action. That her piece was sympathetic to Davis is confirmed in a reply on Twitter to lefty writers Rachel Sklar and @geekgrrl33, who were outraged over “lack of media coverage” of the filibuster.
In sharp contrast to her view of the Supreme Court decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8, NPR’s Legal Affairs / Supreme Court Correspondent Nina Totenberg was quite unhappy about the Court’s June 25 ruling on the Voting Rights Act. Parroting the assessment of the very liberal chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy, Totenberg tweeted June 27, “Court conservatives gut voting rights act.” Unsurprisingly, she did not equivalently characterize the Court as “gutting” DOMA, however.
In trying to paint the Court decision as extreme, Totenberg in the June 26 Morning Edition piece linked to by that tweet, ludicrously claimed that the very partisan Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) is “normally soft-spoken,” but that the decision prompted an "outraged" response from him. It is not clear whether Totenberg has ever heard Lewis’ many sharp-elbowed rants, or whether she simply views them as “soft-spoken.”
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."
NPR health policy correspondent Julie Rovner has a bad habit of stacking the deck in her stories, frequently giving the liberal side several times as much time as conservatives. During NPR’s June 21 Morning Edition, Rovner appeared to be aiming for a personal record in tipping the scales for a piece about the group Enroll America. Rovner gave almost 15 times as much time for the group’s case than against it.
Enroll America is a liberal organization working to get as many people sign up for ObamaCare as possible. Its founding chairman is Ron Pollack, head of the liberal (even according to The New York Times) advocacy group Families USA. That group pushed hard for both major Democrat health care bills (Hillarycare & ObamaCare). Enroll America’s president is Anne Filipic, a former Democratic political operative. Rovner conveniently left out the ideological and party labels and the background for Ron Pollack, Families USA, Anne Filipic and Enroll America, instead portraying them as impartial experts: “of…Families USA,” “consumer group,” “president of Enroll America,” and “a private nonprofit group" respectively.
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.
On June 7, liberal Democratic House member John Dingell became the longest-serving member of Congress in history and NPR was prepared to celebrate—four days straight.
On June 5, NPR’s Talk of the Nation host Neal Conan and “Political Junkie” Ken Rudin discussed the milestone. Then, on All Things Considered May 6, longtime host Robert Siegel conducted a gushing interview with Dingell himself. In the six-minute interview, Siegel couldn’t bring himself to ask a single tough question—not even about whether the 86-year-old Dingell was too old or too out of touch after being in Washington for so long.
NPR’s rising young celebrity-like star Ari Shapiro, White House Correspondent, appears to be able to follow his own set of rules at NPR. As detailed in Newsbusters Wednesday, Shapiro will soon join vicious bomb-throwing activist and lefty partisan Democrat Dan Savage to promote Savage’s new book. Last May, when covering Romney, Shapiro slammed him as a bully on Twitter and Instagram with a carefully juxtaposed photo.
Now, as reported June 13 in The Washington Post by Paul Farhi (but relegated to the Style section), Shapiro’s spouse Michael Gottlieb has been working in the Obama White House Counsel’s office since April. Despite this, NPR has kept Shapiro in the same position as White House Correspondent and has never disclosed on-air or on its website this significant conflict of interest.
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.
With his disarming Texas drawl, NPR’s Dallas-based correspondent Wade Goodwyn hardly sounds like a far-left activist in the mold of Saul Alinsky, but that’s exactly what he used to be. During the 1980s—at least until 1989—Goodwyn was a community organizer in New York City working with a community group affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation, an activist network established by the far-left activist Saul Alinsky to further his politics.
That backdrop helps explain reporter Goodwyn’s angry denunciation of the Texas Republican Party in his May 23 report on NPR’s All Things Considered. Instead of simply reporting on the controversy of the Texas GOP deciding not to take federal funds in exchange for implementing parts of Obamacare, Goodwyn hammered away the Texas GOP’s decision. Goodwyn devoted six times as much time for others to argue against the decision than for it. Apparently believing that such a ratio was insufficient to push his position over the finish line, Goodwyn himself argued against the decision at length.
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: