On Monday May 5, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that government meetings can include an opening prayer without violating the United States Constitution and NPR did its best to spin the ruling as severely troubling for religious minorities.
On Monday’s All Things Considered program, reporter Carrie Johnson asked“The question before the Supreme Court, whether Greece did enough to respect that diversity or whether the town crossed a line by embracing Christianity and essentially oppressing religious minorities.” [Click here to listen to the full story.]
Carrie Johnson's Monday report on NPR's Morning Edition could have been mistaken as an informercial for the left-of-center ACLU and the NAACP's efforts to help "protect minority voting rights," after the Supreme Court's Shelby County v. Holder decision from June 2013. Johnson played up how "a divided Supreme Court gutted part of that law – throwing into chaos a system that had required...states to ask for federal permission before making election changes."
All but one of the correspondent's talking heads during the segment were liberal activists who lamented the Court's decision, but she failed to point out their political ideology or that of the groups they represent. Johnson also singled out one attendee of the organizations' "training session," who attacked the Obama administration from the left:
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.
When ultraliberal Henry Waxman ran the House Government Reform Committee, The Washington Post didn't often suggest he was a fierce partisan or ideologue. Instead, former Washington Post managing editor Robert Kaiser praised him in a book review headlined "Moustache of Justice." (The Waxman lovers even have a mug.)
Kaiser cooed, “Henry Waxman is to Congress what Ted Williams was to baseball -- a natural....Waxman has been one of the most effective members of Congress for 35 years....This is the voice of David, whose career has featured the slaying of one Goliath after another.” This is not how the Post is treating Waxman’s "feverish" successor Darrell Issa.
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:
On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Carrie Johnson played up the positive financial impact for same-sex couples if the Supreme Court strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act. All of Johnson's talking heads came from the left side of the political spectrum – the plaintiff challenging the 1996 law at the Supreme Court; an accountant who caters to same-sex couples; a fellow for the liberal Tax Policy Center; and an openly homosexual law professor.
The correspondent touted how the litigant before the Supreme Court "inherited a huge estate tax bill – a bill she would have avoided if her marriage had been recognized under federal law."
On Thursday's Morning Edition, NPR's touted the Obama administration's "more aggressive legal approach" towards pro-life demonstrators with the stepped-up prosecution of alleged violations of the controversial FACE Act. Correspondent Carrie Johnson highlighted the prosecution of an elderly pro-lifer, and let an abortion lobbyist denigrate pro-lifers as possible terrorists.
Host Steve Inskeep introduced Johnson's report with slanted language about how "the fight over abortion rights continues in courtrooms and state houses all over this country. But a smaller-scale version of that conflict is on display almost every day between protesters and escorts at abortion clinics. And some of those tensions are on the rise, as the Obama administration takes a more aggressive legal approach against people who block access to clinics."
On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Carrie Johnson highlighted critiques of the Obama White House from the left on their promise to be "the most transparent administration in history," but downplayed questions over the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Unit's use of non-disclosure agreements with companies under investigation.
Host Renee Montagne introduced Johnson's report, noting that "in Washington, D.C., some people are calling this 'Sunshine Week.' It's a time of year when government watchdog groups evaluate the administration's commitment to openness. Two years ago, President Obama promised to run the most transparent administration in history."
Reportedly few Republicans see reason to ultimately vote against confirming Obama's attorney general designee and the GOP Senate minority has only put a one-week delay on his confirmation hearings, but the Washington Post was insistent in its January 22 headline that that Republican senators were set on "Obstruct[ing] Eric Holder's "Path to [the] Justice Dept."
This is markedly different from the Post's take in 2001 when Democratic senators objected to whom the Post called the "highly contentious" John Ashcroft. The January 16, 2001 edition of the Post described the Ashcroft hearings as the "first test of Bush's strength on [Capitol] Hill." (excerpt via Nexis, emphasis mine):
Supporters and opponents of John D. Ashcroft mobilized constituencies and honed strategies yesterday in last-minute preparations for the opening today of confirmation hearings over his highly contentious nomination as attorney general.