It's Unanimous on NPR: Obama’s Trayvon Race Speech Was Apolitical, 'Spontaneous' and 'Stunning'
Even after tax-subsidized NPR’s very slanted coverage of the racial aspect of the George Zimmerman trial, NPR delivered a unanimous verdict on President Obama’s July 19 Trayvon Martin race speech: it was outstanding and political considerations had nothing to do with its timing. On all of NPR’s Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows post-speech, all NPR hosts, NPR reporters, NPR commentators, interviewees and those featured in audio clips saw Obama’s speech the same positive way.
Ordinarily skeptical of political motivations by politicians, NPR’s journalists lapped up the Obama administration’s claim that Obama’s July 19 race speech just happened to be delivered spontaneously when it was. The fact that Detroit’s bankruptcy filing, terrible news for Obama, occurred less than 24 hours earlier, along with the fact that the Zimmerman verdict was a full six days earlier, didn’t raise anyone’s suspicions at NPR. NPR political correspondent Mara Liasson’s explanation for the timing: “they wanted to make sure that the protests were not violent.”
Clearly the NPR leader in heaping on praise for Obama’s speech was White House correspondent Scott Horsley. That is nothing new for Horsley, however. When reporting on Obama, he is regularly quite the Pollyanna. Among many other words of praise for Obama, White House reporter Horsley said that Obama is "uniquely qualified to talk about those experiences" and "uniquely gifted at supplying…context.”
Other rave reviews of Obama’s Trayvon race speech on NPR:
* ”powerful”; “stunning” (Here and Now NPR / WBUR host Robin Young)
* "quite extraordinary" (All Things Considered NPR host Melissa Block)
* "remarkable" (All Things Considered NPR host Audie Cornish)
* "dramatic" (Weekend Edition Saturday fill-in NPR host Linda Wertheimer gave a commentary that at first appeared to be surprisingly positive, based upon its title “'Wringing' Out Personal Bias Is A Daily Exercise.” It instead turned out to be a love letter to President Obama over his race speech)
* Obama "pointedly addressed" (Weekend All Things Considered fill-in NPR host Jacki Lyden)
* Obama "spoke frankly" (Weekend Edition Sunday NPR host Rachel Martin)
* "deeply unifying"; "Obama at his best"; "I think in my heart...maybe something does have to be done about these [Stand Your Ground] laws" (longtime NPR weekly commentator / New York Times columnist / Obama admirer / NPR’s idea of a “conservative” David Brooks)
* "quite startling" (sole weekend NPR commentator / The Atlantic writer / Democrat and campaign contributor to Democrats James Fallows)
* "the most refreshing, startling and amazing comment I've ever heard him make in the 25 years I've known him on the issue of race”; “very poignant," ( law professor and former Obama campaign adviser Charles Ogletree)
* "Wow. We've been cheering" (Detroit radio host Angelo Henderson)
* ”Journalist Sylvester Monroe grew up in one of Chicago's toughest projects, light years away from the comfortable critics who say the president is ignoring black violence and crime.” (NPR race desk reporter Karen Grigsby Bates)