Five Out Of Five Liberal Pundits Say “NPR Has No Liberal Bias”

During a weekend where a casual listen to National Public Radio programming repeatedly, er, repeated that the economy double-dog-is in recovery, and Mitt Romney is probably doomed, I got to hear the network ask itself and its listeners:  Is National Public Radio biased?

This was the question addressed by NPR’s “On The Media” over the weekend.

The program, hosted by Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield, with some help from NPR’s Ira Glass (host of “This American Life”, which probes the obsessions of America’s white liberal upper-middle-class), ran the question a couple of different ways – listen at your leisure – including via some people who believe NPR is conservative.

Of course, bias is hard to measure, especially if you camouflage it as carefully as NPR does.

But here’s an easy example:  when Brooke Gladstone refers to the conservative response to NPR’s firing of Juan Williams, she referred to the response as “the Fox outrage”.

Because naturally Fox News – dog whistle as it is for liberals – is the voice of all of American conservatism, right?

Better example:  in the program, Gladstone plays a piece (while interviewing a “conservative volunteer”) in which an NPR reporter asks a commentator “if the country can afford” a tax break for corporations building domestic factories.

Gladstone’s reposnse: “there was a conservative response!”

And on one level, that’s true.  But on another?  The question itself could only come from someone with a purely “progressive” perspective; the idea that money exists first as government revenue, then as the property of those who earn it, is a purely liberal one.

A reporter who was truly detached from any politics might have phrased the question “so what’ll that do to tax revenue?” rather than “can we afford…” with the implied “to spend money via a tax cut”.

Listen to the whole thing.  Feel free to comment.

But when you do, remember; on NPR, the economy is perking right along, and the polls show us Mitt Romney – who, incidentally, favors cutting NPR funding – has already lost.

PS:  We must be between legislative sessions at the state and national level; Gladstone pointed out that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting receives 2% of its funding from the government.  That’s the same thing Minnesota Public Radio says – when we’re between sessions.  That changes, of course, the moment there’s a serious challenge to public radio funding in the legislature, when the message changes to “look at all the misery that will befall this state if the funding is touched in any way”.

5 thoughts on “Five Out Of Five Liberal Pundits Say “NPR Has No Liberal Bias”

  1. There are few things which piss me off more than the “can we afford tax cuts” meme. I guess it’s the small “L” libertarian in me, but I am not government property. Government exists for my convenience, not the other way around. I don’t live my life, exert my energy and plan my affairs to be coherent with government. Most of the time it is a 180 degree opposite.

    We have “public radio”. It supports itself. NPR should go the way of the dinosaurs.

  2. If you have ever heard a Lefty complain about “Corporate Media” and go on to claim that the media has a pro-Republican, pro-corporation, pro-1%, anti-union, anti-‘worker’ bias then scratched your head because you try balance that perspective with the fact that >90% of news reporters, editors, producers, etc. surveyed vote Democrat, then you have, by proxy, listened to “On the Media”. I would imagine that the contributors to that show consider the “Daily Worker” to be a centrist publication.
    Until all government funding – including the dough NPR gets after it’s laundered through the affiliates – stops, NPR, MPR, PBS, etc. should be called “State Controlled” or “Government Approved” whether its radio, TV or other media. I don’t care if they have a point of view I disagree with, I just shouldn’t have to pay for it via my taxes.

  3. Mitch’s rant about media pandering to the ‘low information voter’ is never more apparent than when media gets together in a “scholarly” setting and discuss their own intellectual purity.

  4. Terry, I believe the ones that refer to “WE” are the ones expecting a check to written by “YOU”.

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