JFIF;CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 75 C    $.' ",#(7),01444'9=82<.342C  2!!22222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222" }!1AQa"q2#BR$3br %&'()*456789:CDEFGHIJSTUVWXYZcdefghijstuvwxyz w!1AQaq"2B #3Rbr $4%&'()*56789:CDEFGHIJSTUVWXYZcdefghijstuvwxyz ?ؗzbmاF 9z&X F4FsR#`=G @R,"JmQCv&[h)XZ}J)kr;qnc v;,mkHlq\` ϳ_!+^C3=k5468<^>>+b+h{fβ 8jZ ̄рQ#񮕠Z4SƻA'fhB1IlSw"ȫM°UOy`} ]M#&6Ĥ0E]{d' i\|NhiCbRQ *m bN0ribۡ })%R#aa4i6|mSqCTq"BFr8Z˲+ 蹑IXic346&juPEUf!46OS[+ <)$ZE&AҔo+MDžҭKyp&tc$fQs r s\Nc\aVJ+әUx>:KhHx g)s׷@nhJvMV2f= _ҤeI8KKsD1 X2@@.g.~^kH .=qQ9"݉D*+}ibʻ)= 5d'ވ [3#GU:CqM5qȪwhc h{T+q \Iy%H]KgeyF%7P[,!~vWlnJF 5G5I2j1HQ1b}O\ %)k;u5w'oN*.]v@jefoF66W'm 8 icxM%Lpj4/0Yt uqޯHѨ9 *L]kie 2Y|zW_IzR]|c8L|ovz+ q.[Xi#`)i V2odА Mf\H1;Ћ`S[+, TN7JBmÑS1Ilbb5O$i4.N ]jg+3ˑj2jY(CJH穫.Ƌ$R1O>PFGjb$zO5O=_1Ƥ1bi^ &~)LFοm#JR nK|3fqx-!rsm9D.1Y:҄٤)CS{6xFLr:t[}[i*ZZٮ 6TӤao܆1~fT1 •3,SMA$a@pKVFy%fƻa-i :;^s tFiQIY7ʇҷqaAy*e!+K qPqU w5]$UI Gc{B N(udNT'&]BKP}Rry(rt=7R͆kkbSs+8Veɵ`G>dȮM g {8[bc65u+RSz1tޤs\֙TݏAY~Vd- CҲThҨB9q^(L >Q8wcM-;e,$MmN2$sV"OJ I"p U՟_5SӒp~I[E *Úd sJEu8J{Ib\b#=(\M H..T}?*Ϲ xyP74?fvb_R/#';t  O?5G%T% $FxdH8c7'{hF 1=\ M$oS[znEY:%ޞGڡxOkkvV0n=2&Sa5jy[KwoR;Snˈd+^GOjdmò3֦j] vW?pT%1LB6¬lɦd2}*F^]ǡ">r=)dldfSR(/JrM2n1OQ\Vc‘]$&o^&g~AtJ0F$)敮T[G_jZHH&8t~K k0>:'`OǤIr mևM$L6BYcqpy/n )#|l4]?NJ0A|upxj+qg!wNշIhVr~$|u[~H`VT08$ IB_txیtRNCQgcᛙV@ɹL;3i03o-5$S\~pW]UkVɼK.ijFJJ&KL>H5@n=X~$PԮ$XhXfc t֌ry>%@We<_$yR099-. %1?:b? a*믱{rM+:=6`%:k?ʿ+Jk؞iBt9qֺҁ2F h 2y9j~vkC>h*+7Jv1|o'J`qNʒFP;AUꮇIv g W 8{΍8[x[UAvOOʴ͞@o|:x)Y3hШ֨f_H:{9G!9 `{[]BH6nI+4/݂w*> ɋei YRAҩZ3( ǑRA:twB,&m=)SOsOaQ+XqGif8M0:i+512'mRJg3βF|f`zcJ&ԡ[~a/Hkm&Hby}!޾c[:_ٯ Sk > `m-iq.ySKey& RX9H&NDx>l kZOoVD-]1K.hmr`#1:F<8ѬAx/`:հK;)]GJO}E .A!n1]+r=jv6ZŎ Y& s߯j|VFX\(Ԝh6k]02_,K,|zY2HHbt3n&Ӵ b:\>Zgzw|6Y3tܯGX@r?嚬ڶ׭;pG ձY8qPҞsYDAg,Ab:Vݚ=ܳ:t*z tKɏ.AT?yH[]A(3Rͳ=BN.L79h?W)PYHcd{p~+$j9_Sk:3.#|w]TEv`pe+xE>G͹"'ˑ 0隻/.YMEsF6U$gl12 y#B_^] >&~Jo 5) kzdQq ,SVJX)<{jW$QFuarsz̊]u=h\w0mt@55Y#Qa$}nsVĿٮ$퇭[MkWVfdsr1ʓ(^"WѻZZnm m.S;]^0rϨ_ dgTؤ_J5[xmݱcVDb}Δx{X)iڃ>РZ&~`Ov^uk%_[SGN~uUtR68J5Kё. \'*LgݝX48 n8GOz[-RMmB%V6T2|ǵcI##Jz*m^x n]\JVgݝpζnGR3 8|=[#j̤G;Wus -Iv6=N)Ք`_ˌFz0J2QMNÚ'l9Iҙ6-_D4"1$\Ub3/ >n_k޹=֏Q[wgS>Aqo^tgVjy<=JF[Nk:7!~iE%iVP-NE'?oS:.V+dԢm_nȧ&=v+{ 287{QPrL0kWNR vߞqRUݝh:[_@Ys$q=GMմ侏8!9koj}1e]$pJ0q7FGݝ~aG< q:ԒYk}f0YUqvcOy랿R?5y`^cn{O#!i3;K{JMav $c袊#V?=3`}R+n8*(>N1Fi<>ʻ dS0b+E.m.GE NPR Omits Leftist Politics of 'Social Activist' Fr. Pfleger; Glosses Over Chicago's Strict Gun Control

NPR Omits Leftist Politics of 'Social Activist' Fr. Pfleger; Glosses Over Chicago's Strict Gun Control

On Friday's Morning Edition, NPR's Cheryl Corley stacked her report on President Obama's gun control push full of left-of-center talking heads. But the one who stood out was Father Michael Pfleger, whom she merely identified as a "social activist". Corley ignored his controversial background, which includes a 2008 defense of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's former radical pastor, and threatening to "snuff out" a Chicago gun store owner in 2007.

The correspondent also failed to point out the liberal affiliations of two other "activists" who are on the faculty at University of Chicago: a political science professor with an interest in "lesbian and gay politics" and a law professor who is also a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Half of the six soundbites during Corley's report came from two individuals from the Black Youth Project associated with the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago: Dallas Connell, the group's web coordinator, and founder Cathy Cohen. During her sole clip, Cohen lobbied for President Obama to "really work to get illegal guns off the street...[and] put in place mentoring programs." She added, "If we really want to deal with gun violence and transform the lives of young people and their communities, it means long-term investments."

However, the NPR journalist didn't mention that Professor Cohen, the "lesbian, partnered and a parent", serves on the board of the Arcus Foundation, a homosexual activist group, whose current executive director is Kevin Jennings, a notorious former Obama administration official. Her Black Youth Project bio page also points out the professor's past involvement on the board of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the City University of New York and how she is an "active member" of the Black Radical Congress.

Later in the segment, Corley played a soundbite from Jens Ludwig, whom she identified as "University of Chicago's crime lab director." She noted that Ludwig "likes to quote the mayor of Kansas City, who calls the daily gun violence that occurs in cities slow-motion mass murder" and how he was "encouraged...when the President announced the federal government would resume long-stalled gun violence research." But the correspondent omitted his work for Brookings, which plainly mentioned on the Professor Ludwig's University of Chicago Law School bio.

The two clips from Pfleger came near the end of Corley's report. The NPR journalist painted a sympathetic picture of the Chicago pastor, and pointed out how he "spoke at Hadiya Pendleton's funeral", which was also attended by First Lady Michelle Obama:

CORLEY: ...In Chicago's Auburn Gresham neighborhood on the city's South Side, a group of kindergartners – the girls in plaid skirts, the boys in blue pants – walk past the rectory at St. Sabina Church. In the window are signs that read, 'turn in guns; no questions asked'. Father Michael Pfleger is the priest here.

Father Michael Pfleger, St. Sabina Catholic Church, Chicago, Illinois; Screen Cap From June 2008 Episode of ABC's Good Morning America | NewsBusters.orgFATHER MICHAEL PFLEGER, ST. SABINA CHURCH: When there had been a tremendous amount of shootings and killing going on last summer at the end of the school year, I told my church we're going to go out every Friday night.

CORLEY: Pfleger says there have been no shootings since last September, after the church helped negotiate a truce among four gangs and set up a weekly basketball game. Pfleger is a social activist who lost a foster son to gun violence. He spoke at Hadiya Pendleton's funeral, and says whatever the President's plan, there needs to be a sense of urgency.

PFLEGER: Because we don't have time for children to keep dying.

Earlier, Corley noted how "there were 506 murders in Chicago last year, most of them gun-related. And January continued to be a bloody month – 42 murders in all, the most for a January in a decade." But she didn't once mention the Windy City's strict gun control laws.

The full transcript of Cheryl Corley's report on Friday's Morning Edition:


LINDA WERTHEIMER: The President will leave the sequester debate behind this afternoon when he travels to Chicago. He's expected to talk about the gun violence that plagues his home town. Fifteen-year-old Hadiya Pendleton became a symbol of the problem after she was murdered last month in a park about a mile from the President's Chicago home.

NPR's Cheryl Corley reports on what activists expect from President Obama.

CHERYL CORLEY: Shortly after Hadiya Pendleton's death, the University of Chicago's Black Youth Project started a petition drive on the White House website, urging President Obama to come home to talk about gun violence. Nearly 50,000 signed the petition.

Dallas Donnell is one of the group's coordinators.

DALLAS DONNELL, BLACK YOUTH PROJECT: We felt like there was a need for a national kind of response to this crisis – not just for Hadiya, but for all black youth impacted by this crisis. And when we say that, we don't just meant the victim of violence, but the kid pulling the trigger.

CORLEY: And Donnell said there's no better person than the President to draw attention to an epidemic.

DONNELL: He went to Newtown after that terrible tragedy. He went to Aurora after that horrible tragedy. And we felt like it was the right thing for him to come to Chicago – to his hometown, where young people are dying mere blocks from where he literally has a home and has lived for many years.

CORLEY: Later this afternoon, the President will talk to about 700 students, community leaders, and parents at Hyde Park Academy on Chicago's South Side. He'll also meet privately with a group of young men in a mentoring program called B. A. M., or Becoming A Man. Those signing the petition asked the President to talk specifically about the root causes of gun violence in black and Latino communities.

Black Youth Project founder Professor Cathy Cohen says that includes a lack of quality education, mental health services, and employment opportunities in neighborhoods where gun violence is rampant.

CATHY COHEN, BLACK YOUTH PROJECT: He has to come tell people that there are immediate things that we can do. We can really work to get illegal guns off the street. We can put in place mentoring programs. We can try to support counselors. But that if we really want to deal with gun violence and transform the lives of young people and their communities, it means long-term investments.

CORLEY: There were 506 murders in Chicago last year, most of them gun-related. And January continued to be a bloody month – 42 murders in all, the most for a January in a decade.

University of Chicago's crime lab director, Jens Ludwig, likes to quote the mayor of Kansas City, who calls the daily gun violence that occurs in cities slow-motion mass murder. Ludwig was encouraged, though, when the President announced the federal government would resume long-stalled gun violence research.

JENS LUDWIG, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO: Making sure that there's some sort of space for gun violence research to be added to the federal government's research agenda, I think, would be hugely helpful.

CORLEY: Among other things, Ludwig says it will help politicians prioritize which gun regulations to fight for.

In Chicago's Auburn Gresham neighborhood on the city's South Side, a group of kindergartners – the girls in plaid skirts, the boys in blue pants – walk past the rectory at St. Sabina Church. In the window are signs that read, 'turn in guns; no questions asked'. Father Michael Pfleger is the priest here.

FATHER MICHAEL PFLEGER, ST. SABINA CHURCH: When there had been a tremendous amount of shootings and killing going on last summer at the end of the school year, I told my church we're going to go out every Friday night.

CORLEY: Pfleger says there have been no shootings since last September, after the church helped negotiate a truce among four gangs and set up a weekly basketball game. Pfleger is a social activist who lost a foster son to gun violence. He spoke at Hadiya Pendleton's funeral, and says whatever the President's plan, there needs to be a sense of urgency.

PFLEGER: Because we don't have time for children to keep dying.

CORLEY: Activists here hope the President's visit will help motivate people on this issue. But regardless, they pledge there will be a push to change the gun culture in neighborhoods where so many lives have been lost. Cheryl Corley, NPR News, Chicago.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center