Fort Hood amnesia seems to be a recurring malady this week. First came the Washington Post. Then on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show on Wednesday, Rehm falsely described the Boston bombing (with three fatalities) as worse than Fort Hood (13 fatalities). “This has been described as the second most lethal event since 9/11. But we are told that there've been a great many incidents prevented. What do you know about that? "
At least her guest Gary LaFree of the University of Maryland, in reviewing the statistics in his Global Terrorism Database, eventually pointed out that two terrorist attacks since 1971 had a higher death toll:
A Wednesday report by Keith Laing at the Hill failed to point out a quite obvious contradiction during departing Transportation Secretary LaHood's appearance on NPR's Diane Rehm show.
From all appearances, based on the video available at her site, Rehm, once LaHood launched into a predictable rant about how our transportation infrastructure is in serious disrepair, didn't ask -- and should have asked -- why the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the stimulus plan accompanied by those ubiquitous Recovery Act promotional signs seen at road construction projects didn't stabilize things two or three years ago. Excerpts from Laing's lackluster effort follow the jump (bolds are mine):
On Thursday's Diane Rehm show on NPR stations, NPR political director Ron Elving was truly beside himself in praising the Bill Clinton speech on Wednesday night, going so far that he presumed Democrats said to themselves at every pause for the next gem of wisdom, "What'll that be, Daddy?"
Elving began by oozing "That was about as full-throated, robust and effective, to use your word, a defense of President Obama as I can imagine. I don't know very many people who were seeing it as inadequate last night... frankly, there are things Barack Obama can do as a speaker. We all know that. But he has not been particularly good at his own defense. This was hiring the right attorney at the right time in the right courtroom."
As usual, it was a panel of three liberal journalists on the domestic politics roundup on NPR's Diane Rehm show. Former New York Times reporter Steve Roberts praised Obama's gay-marriage announcement: "I think he's gone through the evolution a lot of us have, Diane, that when you know people you love and respect, who are in the solid relationships, it becomes increasingly odd and out of keeping with belief in human rights to continue to oppose same-sex marriage. "
In fact, Roberts announced, he recently attended a baby shower held by two gay guys who raised $100,000 for a surrogate mother, and he couldn't think of a better example of commitment to "basic family values" in America:
The D.C. area women's magazine I Am Modern interviewed NPR talk-show host Diane Rehm for their Spring issue, and Rehm’s liberal tilt was unmissable. Rehm warmly declared that her favorite "fascinating" interviews were with Hillary and Bill Clinton and that her “dream guests” were Barack and Michelle Obama. (Her biggest disappointment was Newt Gingrich.)
Not only that, Rehm was asked about attempts to defund public broadcasting and pretended the media was dominated by conservatives. PBS and NPR are seen “as a counterweight to the many outspoken conservative voices who currently dominate the airwaves.”
On Friday's Diane Rehm Show distributed across America by NPR, the host could not stand Republicans getting praised -- the Paul Ryan budget to be precise.
Doyle McManus, a columnist and former Washington bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, acknowledged, "this is a huge, ambitious, bold budget that would restructure the tax system. It would lower the top tax rate to 25 percent. That would be a great gift to upper-income families...You have to give Republicans credit for doubling down, sticking to their guns and sticking to the Tea Party government-cutting and deficit-cutting proposals that they made two years ago in the face of a lot of public skepticism." Diane Rehm wasn't having it:
The Obama administration announced plans to force Catholic schools, hospitals, and other church-affiliated organizations to subsidize sterilization, abortifacients, and contraceptives in their health insurance plans. Bizarrely, this is causing the media to wonder if the exact opposite is happening. Time.com posted this odd headline on Monday: "Birth Control: Could It Be Illegal Again?"
On Thursday, NPR talk show host Diane Rehm echoed that science-fiction question: "Are we creeping towards a wiping out of the availability of birth control?" NPR health correspondent Julie Rovner replied "I'm not sure I would say that." Because it's not exactly supported by any present facts?
Guest hosts of the NPR-distributed Diane Rehm Show announced on Thursday and Friday that "Diane is in Maine on a station visit." But that description to the public was incomplete. In fact, Rehm went to Portland, Maine as a keynote speaker on Friday to the fall conference of the local environmental group Maine Businesses for Sustainability. "Diane Rehm will discuss the ways in which sustainability and sustainable concepts have infiltrated current events, touching on her personal observations of sustainability trends in the media."
On Friday’s edition of the Diane Rehm show on many NPR stations, a conservative-leaning caller, identified as “Frank from St. Louis” lit into “you guys in the mainstream press” for ignoring and/or delaying sex scandals about liberal Democrats, but leaping on the Herman Cain allegations, no matter how fuzzy.
What “Frank” got in return from the three journalists on the “Friday News Roundup” panel was denial, denial, and denial. They said there was “no evidence” of a double standard. Obviously, someone needs to look at the MRC’s 63-to-7 numbers on Cain vs. three of Clinton’s sex scandals.
The ombudsman at a media outlet is supposed to be an advocate for the audience, a watchdog to keep the media outlet honest. But several new ombudsmen are following a more comfortable rut: kissing the hand that feeds them, and defending the media outlet from "baseless" public criticism. Patrick Pexton is doing that at The Washington Post, and Edward Schumacher-Matos is doing the same at NPR.
Late Monday, the NPR ombudsman slammed NewsBusters and National Review Online. The pull quote summarized: "I want to learn from the advocacy groups. But not much of their criticism holds up." He even suggested there was "certainly no liberal bias" as NPR flooded the zone of the London phone-hacking story that leftists thought could be Rupert Murdoch’s undoing:
Some wonder if NPR is altering its left-wing tilt while it’s in the middle of a budget fight in Congress. For evidence that nothing’s changed, see Thursday’s Diane Rehm show, starring socialist Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont. Rehm touted his latest book, The Speech (published by the radical Nation magazine’s Nation Books), taken from a "historic" Sanders eight-hour filibuster/jeremiad on the Senate floor against last December’s deal extending the Bush tax cuts.
Rehm began: "Thank you. Before we begin to talk about the speech, tell me your thoughts on what is happening in Libya. We now have CIA people on the ground. It strikes me that that is precisely how Vietnam began." From there, she actually insisted to Sanders that public broadcasting has socialist impulses in questioning America’s unequal distribution of wealth:
Former president Jimmy Carter lied in an interview with NPR talk-show host Diane Rehm on Tuesday. She ended the interview by asking about the Tea Party and he claimed he had never criticized them -- despite smearing them as racists in 2009 in an NBC interview with Brian Williams:
REHM: Last question, very briefly, what do you think of the Tea Party movement?
CARTER: You know, I never have criticized the Tea Party movement because, strangely enough, I capitalized on the same kind of situation politically that has made the Tea Party successful -- that is, an extreme dissatisfaction with what was going on in Washington. Because I came along right after Watergate and right after the Vietnam lost and right after the assassination of the two Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King, Jr., and so I capitalized on that, and I was elected over some very wonderful people who were U.S. senators and immersed in the Washington scene.
Fired NPR news analyst Juan Williams is firing back at critics of Fox News Channel. In an interview with the Baltimore Sun, Williams said Fox management is "much more enlightened" than executives at other news outlets, from NPR to CNN:
"At NPR they don't know this: A third of the audience for Bill O'Reilly's show is made up of people of color," Williams said. "At NPR, they think, `Oh, these people who watch Fox don't appreciate diversity of opinion, they're not smart people. They're not informed people. Oh, yeah? I'll tell you what: They're informed."
...Williams said NPR "just doesn't understand the Fox audience" -- or have any idea how much more enlightened Fox News management is in some ways compared with news outlets like NPR, CNBC or CNN.
NPR talk show host Diane Rehm was lionized in the Washington-area newspaper The Beacon ("In Focus for People Over 50") as "the queen of talk radio." It became quite clear in Barbara Ruben's profile that this queen’s most amazing career moments on the radio were spent in the presence of the Clintons:
"To have an opportunity to interview a sitting president in the Oval Office [Bill Clinton], to have Hillary Clinton come in here two or three times...those were all amazing experiences," she said with her distinctive leisurely cadence and careful enunciation.
"Leisurely cadence" is a very kind definition of Rehm’s broadcast voice, which we could also kindly suggest is not universally pleasing (like an older female version of Bob Woodward). The Clintons made a point of schmoozing the local NPR folks at WAMU and telling them they were regular listeners.
As you might expect, Rehm's list of politician guests leans to the left, as well.
As the Dow Jones dipped below 7,000, it’s worth remembering that formerly conservative pundit Andrew Sullivan (for a while with Time magazine, now with The Atlantic) touted how "grown-up" Barack Obama would restore calm in the markets. From the October 17, 2008 Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio, just after Sullivan claimed Gordon Brown and Obama were calming while Bush was not:
Bush at this point, I think largely because of Katrina and Iraq, is unable to use the authority of the office to calm people or the markets, and I think until this election is resolved, the markets will not stabilize. They need to know there is a grown-up back in the White House.
Two days later, Sullivan went on the set of the Chris Matthews Show and declared the McCain campaign a bust on fiscal conservatism: "It's been all tactics and no strategy. He’s supposed to be a fiscal conservative, but in fact he will add more to the debt than Obama will."
In Sullivan’s last appearance on the Sunday Matthews show, on February 15, he wildly denounced the conservatives for daring to oppose his hero Obama’s socialist deficit-spending plans.
Now that the general election is apparently on, National Public Radio staffers and listeners are already bracing for the "rancor" that John McCain and the Republicans are going to unleash. On Wednesday’s nationally distributed Diane Rehm show, Rehm asked bluntly: "What kinds of comments, what kinds of rancor are we likely to see coming from John McCain as he goes up against Barack Obama?" Rancor is apparently a Republican product, and something that will never be emitted by the Obama campaign.
Several Obama supporters worried to Rehm that the American voters are dumb enough to be talked out of voting for Obama by right-wing rumor-mongering about Obama’s religion. One caller complained about how voters listen to "silly rumors on the talk shows, they don’t bother to ascertain facts." After another caller told a story of a houseguest who thought Obama was a secret Muslim, NPR political director Ron Elving said the American people are intelligent, but often uninformed. Former Time reporter John Dickerson, now with the liberal Slate website, added that Obama will have to deal with voters who are "willfully stupid" about his life history.
Once again, those class-warring liberals are organizing a luxury cruise. This time, it's National Public Radio talk show host Diane Rehm, who's syndicated in more than 80 markets through D.C. affiliate WAMU at American University:
This intimate travel experience with Diane Rehm gives you the opportunity to meet the people and experience the culture that most tourists miss. Even better, you'll do it all in the best way possible--on a luxurious river cruise ship. Unpack just once and settle into your outside cabin.
For 14 nights, you'll cruise through the very heart of Europe on this incredible voyage between Budapest and Amsterdam.
One of the benefits of the Danube River trip is three two-hour chats with Diane Rehm. She has an online letter of invitation to potential WAMU donors:
During his Monday smackdown on the Laura Ingraham radio show, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin declined to say yes or no when Laura asked him if he had ever met or interviewed Justice Clarence Thomas before he claimed the Justice was "furious all the time." Toobin suggested Laura should ask Thomas. In a soundbite Ingraham aired at the top of the 10 am hour on Thursday, after his hour-long interview was done, Thomas confirmed that he granted no interview to Toobin. Thomas said he "would have no clue" who Toobin was if he saw him on the street.
Deep into his Monday interview on NPR’s Diane Rehm show, Toobin explained the difference between Justice Thomas and Justice Antonin Scalia. Thomas was "a nut." He added at show’s end that Thomas’s legal views were "highly unusual and extreme." He also predicted that if elected president, Hillary Clinton would nominate Barack Obama to the Supreme Court, a "political masterstroke" for Hillary since Obama would be an "unassailable nominee."
National Public Radio is continuing its historical place as the scene of the original unproven allegations of Anita Hill. NPR's Nina Totenberg broke the story of Hill's unsubstantiated tales of sexual harassment back in 1991. On Monday, NPR talk show host Diane Rehm professed it was "a remarkable thing to say" that Virginia Thomas would dare ask for an apology from Hill. At NPR, they can't even imagine a possibility other than Thomas is a liar. Rehm also wondered if "this kind of fury" from Thomas has biased his court decisions against "the people he calls the liberals who were out to get him." (Audio here.)
Diane Rehm's Monday guests were CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and Jeffrey Rosen of The New Republic. (Rehm described them as "two authorities on the Supreme Court," with no troublesome ideological label.) Toobin spurred Rehm's commentary by spinning his wild theory that Thomas was both popular at the Court and simultaneously "furious all the time," and Rehm didn't respond by asking if he'd ever met Thomas:
On Monday’s Diane Rehm show on National Public Radio, the arrogance of The New York Times was on full display. Times reporter Eric Lichtblau was a guest on the program discussing the story the Times published on Friday disclosing a secret anti-terror program designed to follow the money. Among the claims made by Lichtblau were, The New York Times determined this anti-terror program was a matter for national debate, the Bush administration is trying to score political points by feigning outrage over the disclosure of this program, and that none of the sources who disclosed the program had political motives.
Lichtblau ,and fortunately for the war on terror and the national security of America he didn't cite an example to back up this claim, wants listeners to believe:
"Um, you know, we’re not gonna just take a leak and run with it. We, you know, carefully look at the facts of the case to decide whether or not it’s worth publishing and I think it’s important to remember that there’s information that we at the New York Times and other papers keep out of the public domain all the time because we agree that yes, this could compromise a source and method, this could actually help the bad guys."
National Public Radio's "Diane Rehm Show" is created at American University NPR station WAMU (88.5 FM), but is nationally syndicated to about 100 stations. Today's first hour tilted to the left. On one side was retired Air Force officer Randall Larsen, a founder of the Institute for Homeland Security, calmly arguing that the DPW deal is not a grave threat. On the other side was a pile of Democrats arguing against soft-on-defense President Bush: Sen. Chris Dodd, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, and P.J. Crowley of the liberal Center for American Progress, a former staffer on Bill Clinton's National Security Council. That's 3-to-1 liberal (unless you count the host and make if 4 to 1).
On Monday, Rehm's first hour focused on presidential secrecy, with an unopposed liberal duo of "historians," the former Washington Post reporter and columnist Haynes Johnson and Tim Russert's favorite pop-historian, former LBJ aide and Hillary pal Doris Kearns Goodwin. (At least Tuesday's show on voting rights featured conservative expert Roger Clegg.)