On Monday's Morning Edition, NPR's Scott Horsley boosted President Obama's push for new gun control measures at the Sunday memorial service for the victims of the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. Horsley played four soundbites of Obama bemoaning the apparent lack of action on this issue, while including just one clip from the NRA's Wayne LaPierre.
The correspondent also asserted that two pro-gun control state legislators in Colorado were "recalled by voters after a campaign fueled by the National Rifle Association." In reality, gun control supporters spent seven times more money in the recall than gun rights supporters, as reported by CBS This Morningearlier in September.
NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley can be counted on to provide upbeat, Pollyanna-like reporting on Obama. His credulous reports could be mistaken for products of the Obama White House’s pretend news operation. On September 4, however, Horsley sensed that the leader he so admires stepped in it with his “I didn’t set a red line; the world set a red line...Congress set a red line” remark, calling for him to go even beyond his normal sense of duty.
Rather than quoting Obama directly or playing an audio clip of him, Horsley restated Obama’s remarks in a more helpful formulation: “it's not just his red line that Syria's now crossed, but the world's [Horsley’s emphasis] red line. He challenged the international community to back that up.”
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.”
NPR's Scott Horsley filed an unashamedly slanted report on Thursday's Morning Edition about the former national field director for Obama's reelection campaign trying to boost voter turnout among Hispanics in Texas as a means of helping Democratic candidates. The only talking heads that Horsley featured during the segment were the former Obama campaign official, Jeremy Bird, and a fellow of the left-wing Center for American Progress.
The correspondent mentioned only in passing that "some Texas Republicans are skeptical that Democrats will be competitive in their state anytime soon."
Scott Horsley's report on Wednesday's All Things Considered could have mistaken for a three-and-half minute ad from a pro-Obama super PAC. Horsley played up how "Mr. Obama often tempers his speeches with a dose of modesty about what government can and can't do" and how the President "pushes back strongly against the anti-government rhetoric of his GOP opponents."
The NPR correspondent also sympathetically noted that "part of the President's challenge...is persuading Americans that the people government is taking care of really are our own." Horsley filled the segment with talking points from Obama's campaign and with soundbites from the Democrat and his campaign, and failed to include any from his opponents.
Like all the other Obama-friendly media, NPR on its evening show All Things Considered devoted time to putting Obama’s “you didn’t build that” outburst “in context.” Co-host Audie Cornish promised, “In a few minutes, we'll listen to exactly what the president said in context.” They offered Obama a 70-second soundbite.
But first, Cornish turned to NPR correspondent Scott Horsley, who spent 90 seconds unloading how the businesses the Romney campaign is using to rebut Obama’s remark are all beneficiaries of government largesse:
On Friday's Morning Edition, NPR's Scott Horsley favored Obama supporters in his report on the battle for Virginia's electoral votes, playing three soundbites from them, versus only one from a Republican official in the commonwealth. Horsley also played up how "the demographics are shifting in the Democrats' direction."
The correspondent led the segment by noting the Democratic incumbent's planned stop at a high School in Virginia Beach. He wasted little time before playing clips of a recent graduate and his mother, who are both supporters of the President:
NPR's Scott Horsley amped up a campaign rally for President Obama to biblical proportions on Tuesday's Morning Edition, as he singled out an Obama supporter who clearly was in awe of the incumbent Democrat, to the point of practically deifying him.
Horsley set the scene, pointing out how "the rain had stopped, and a little sunshine was peeking through the clouds," and how the supporter attributed this change in the weather to the President: "See what his voice does? It clears up the weather, too. It clears up the economy, creates jobs, helps education, and straightens out the weather." [audio clip available here]
NPR's Scott Horsley could have been mistaken as a spokesman for the White House or President Obama's campaign on Wednesday's All Things Considered, as he defended the Democrat's record on the economy. Horsley also claimed that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's claim that on women losing the bulk of the jobs over the past three years was "not really the whole story."
The only expert the correspondent cited during the segment was a low-level economist at the Labor Department, who stated that "more recently, we've seen more jobs being lost in education and health services and in government, which historically is where women tend to hold the majority of jobs." Horsley placed more of the blame on Congress (which is partially controlled by Republicans) than Mr. Obama: "The President has been pushing for billions of dollars in additional aid to keep teachers in the classroom, but Congress has not been willing to go along."
On Tuesday, NPR somehow thought a poll commissioned by abortion behemoth Planned Parenthood on the controversy over an ObamaCare birth control mandate was newsworthy enough to play up on its website. But later in the day, on All Things Considered, a show that reaches millions in the U.S., the media outlet spotlighted how the "new polling...suggests most voters, including Catholics, support the measure."
Correspondent Scott Horsley noted the "survey released today by Public Policy Polling," but completely failed to mention Planned Parenthood's name during his report. Horsley also highlighted a disturbing strategy from the pro-mandate camp without: "Supporters of the new policy are belatedly trying to refocus attention in a more popular direction, away from religious freedom and towards women's health care."
NPR harped on Mitt Romney's "provocative tax detail" on Wednesday's Morning Edition, highlighting that the GOP presidential candidate "disclosed he's in the same low tax bracket as the billionaire [Warren] Buffett." Correspondent Scott Horsley later used clips from President Obama to accent liberals' class warfare spin about the rich paying a lower tax rate than "millionaires and billionaires."
On CBS This Morning, correspondent Jan Crawford also referenced the Buffett tax issue eight minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour, during a report on the Republican presidential race in South Carolina. She used the same label as the NPR journalist: "He [Romney] revealed that he pays a relatively low rate on his investment income. That's the same low rate that billionaire Warren Buffett pays."
There's a reason why Rush Limbaugh talks about "state-run media." On National Public Radio, Friday night's story on the embarrassing zero-jobs story included three experts for soundbites: current Obama economic spinner Gene Sperling, former Obama economic spinner Jared Bernstein, and the current Democrat Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, who blamed "senseless" congressional (read Republican) spending restraint.
It's not like NPR couldn't find a Republican anywhere to interview. Their view only came up when reporter Scott Horsley was discussing how reasonable Obama was being: "The administration's move to scrap smog regulations today could also be seen as an olive branch to Republicans and the business community." He didn't even say "proposed new smog regulations that would shut coal plants and cost more jobs." He just implied Republicans are pro-smog.
NPR's Scott Horsley apparently couldn't find any conservatives for his report on Thursday's All Things Considered, as he played nothing but sound bites from President Obama and former economic advisor Jared Bernstein. The two boosted a possible mini-stimulus, including "help for public works projects." Horsley played four clips from the President and two from Bernstein during the segment.
On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Renee Montagne and Scott Horsley spotlighted the "warm welcome" President Obama received during his recent visit to Ireland. Horsley marveled at the "large crowds lining the street to welcome him," as well as the "enthusiasm with which they greeted the American president. This is something we really haven't seen in the U.S. for a couple of years."
Montagne turned to the White House correspondent, who is traveling with the President, to report on Mr. Obama's European visit. After devoting the bulk of the segment to the British portion of the trip, the NPR anchor asked about the commander-in-chief's stop in the Emerald Isle and set up Horsley's effusive reply:
NPR's Scott Horsley favored Democrats over Republicans by a five-to-two margin on Thursday's Morning Edition. Horsley played sound bites or quoted from Obama administration officials or congressional liberals more often than from GOP representatives.
During his report, the correspondent highlighted congressional concerns over the safety of nuclear energy during the Tuesday hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Energy Secretary Chu and Nuclear Regulatory Chairman Gregory Jaczko were the main witnesses during the hearing. Horsley first noted that "Chu was cautious in talking about Japan's nuclear crisis and its meaning for the U.S. Damage to the Fukushima reactors seems more serious than Three Mile Island. But Chu confessed we don't really know what's happening, and the situation is unfolding hour by hour."
Someone at NPR.org is feeling wildly optimistic about the political direction of President Obama and the Democrats. A transcript from Weekend Edition Saturday was headlined "Obama's Very Good Week." They summarized: "Obama scored a couple of significant victories during the week, earning a weekend break in Maine with his family. But it's not clear whether his wins will improve public approval." Not clear? When NPR anchor Scott Simon and White House reporter Scott Horsley discussed the polls, it wasn't a good week in the world of public opinion. It looked "terrible for the Democrats." Find the sunny side of this:
SIMON: And the skepticism about the president's economic program, if you take a look at the polls, its not just limited to his obvious political opponents, is it?
HORSLEY: Yeah, for some time now we have seen doubts about the stimulus program - widespread doubts. This week the White House released a report saying that the stimulus had saved or created as many as three and a half million jobs so far. But what the public is really focused on is that still painfully high unemployment, and slower private sector growth than any of us would like.
Although the audio that recently emerged of Sen. Barack Obama discussing "redistributive change" came from an interview he did with Chicago Public Radio, National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on Monday as well as "Morning Edition" on Tuesday completely ignored the audiotape of Obama's 2001 interview.
During his campaign stop in Dayton, Ohio, on Monday, Sen. John McCain specifically addressed the recently surfaced audio and even quoted Obama as saying, "One of the tragedies of the Civil Rights movement was because the Civil Rights movement became so court-focused I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change."
Nevertheless, during Monday's "All Things Considered" report on McCain's campaigning in Ohio, there was no mention of the audiotape or of McCain using Obama's own words against him. Instead, the broadcast focused on McCain's argument that one party ruling the country would be disastrous.
As Congress takes new aim at speculators for the high price of gasoline, some media reports seem to be following suit. But as The Biz Flog explains this week, there is considerable debate over whether speculators should be blamed for the high cost of oil.
June 23, the same day Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee condemned oil speculators, the "CBS Evening News" and ABC's "World News" blamed oil speculation for a large chunk of the spike in prices.
"There's no doubt speculation plays a role in the skyrocketing price, but how much?" ABC correspondent Ryan Owens said June 23. "Experts say if it were just simple supply and demand a barrel would cost $75. Today it closed north of $135."
Scott Horsley explained oil speculation on June 29 for National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," where he pointed out that there have always been financial players in the oil market and there is still a debate over what influence they really have.