NPR and “Liberal Bias”

Just got through reading an interesting and well-written piece by Steve Inskeep, co-host of NPR’s “Morning Edition.” In the piece he laments James O’Keefe’s sand-bagging of Vivienne Schiller and compares the “faux” story with the “real” stories of the Muslim Brotherhood that he and others were currently reporting simultaneously.

It was a well-written piece, but I couldn’t help but get the feeling that Mr. Inskeep was missing a much larger picture and, as a result, does deserve to be examined within a broader scale.

In short, Mr. Inskeep, I respectfully disagree with your selective scorekeeping.

As it happens I agree that, should the criticisms of O’Keefe’s tactics be confirmed, then Schiller’s removal from the office was patently unfair. However, she should never have been in the position long enough for O’Keefe to run his con if for no other reason than for the way she handled the Juan Williams firing.

Mr. Inskeep insists that we should view NPR based upon “my colleagues’ reporting technique [which] demonstrates their values.”

But isn’t that the problem?

You can talk about all the times you have legitimate, hard-working reporters who actually do legitimate reporting, but it’s not the comparisons to O’Keefe that are the problem. It’s the comparisons to Nina Totenberg’s wishing AIDS upon the grandchildren of Jesse Helms, or her reporting of the Tea Party as “cockamamie”, all of which were done on-air and were not op-ed.

Not that Juan Williams should be a conservative hero here. He had a notorious streak during the Los Angeles Port Unions dispute several years ago, when he would interview only union members who gleefully reported their willingness to illegally slow down work, while never discussing the other side of the negotiation table (still searching for the citation).

Should we even begin to discuss the lopsided reporting on Global Warming?

My own breaking point with NPR came years ago when Beth Fertig reported a story (on “All things considered”) on a New York City program that provided continuing education to students who had 2, 3 or more children of their own before they were 16 years of age. Even now, on NPR’s page, “the program hasn’t lived up to its promise.”

In short, NPR took on the role that the Nanny State should rule supreme, that those who refuse to take one shred of accountability are victims – an extremely liberal bias that still goes unchecked.

This, Mr. Inskeep, is not the exception to NPR’s programming, it is the rule. The international levels of correspondence are – within the world of news reporting – supposed to be head-and-shoulders above the domestic reporting because by its very nature it has salience to a broader audience.

It is disingenuous to characterize the nature of international reporting (and those correspondents) to the bulk of NPR’s reporting curriculum.

Despite the protests in the op-ed piece, and the selected examples therein, there still has yet to be a compelling argument as to why taxpayers should be forced to sacrifice their already-limited income to what is arguably a propaganda media outlet?

If, as you say, it is not propaganda (which can be defined as closing off conversation, as shown in the examples listed here) and is widely supported by both conservatives and liberals alike, as you state, why can it not survive in the marketplace of ideas? Why must NPR use the force of government to extricate money from the taxpayers for its survival?

Your position comes from a source of one who must not actually pay for his own supper, but attempts to justify the pillaging of others’ dinner tables. This is rationalization and justification, a platitude you tell yourself that you are needed and enrich the lives around you but are not actually sure if your constituents are willing to agree with you.

Only when your benefactors have a choice of contributing or not (e.g., your fund drives are good enough) would we truly see if your audience sees you as even-keeled as you make yourself out to be.

Sorry, but as long as a gun is held to my tax-paying head in order to provide your organization sustenance, I will be unable to see just how “balanced” you claim this arrangement to be.