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.”
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."
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.
Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit mocked the curious turn of phrase National Public Radio Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving used on his Watching Washington blog to defend a recent NPR survey showing dire straits for the Democrats in the fall.
Beneath the surface, the NPR poll was all about the tyranny of constituency, the down and dirty of serving the folks back home. House districts (and states' legislative districts) tend to be intricately drawn demarcations of the folks back home...
That’s why the NPR survey, done by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and Republican counterpart Glen Bolger, focused on the 60 Democratic districts likeliest to be lost to Republicans this fall.
The NPR survey also included ten marginal GOP districts that Obama won in 2008. What they found in these 70 districts was that respondents favored Republicans over Democrats, 49 to 41, and President Obama drew 40 percent approval and 54 percent disapproval. No wonder NPR-loving liberals were unhappy.
Elving's "tyranny" phrase was a reflection on Joe Barton's apology to BP:
Here’s more proof that NPR’s most devoted listeners consider it their own liberal playground. NPR ombudsman Alicia Shepard reported "NPR has more than 400 reporters, editors, producers and analysts on its news team, and none is more of a lightning rod than Juan Williams. But it's usually not for anything he says on NPR." It’s about his appearances on Fox News, where he had a contract before joining NPR in 2000. Shepard wrote:
Last year, 378 listeners emailed me complaints and frustrations about things Williams said on Fox. The listener themes are similar: Williams "dishonors NPR." He's an "embarrassment to NPR." "NPR should severe their relationship with him."
It’s gotten so serious that NPR's Vice President of News, Ellen Weiss, "has asked Williams to ask that Fox remove his NPR identification whenever he is on O'Reilly."
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.