Even liberal NPR

If you ever give another cent to NPR, you are a stooge. Here’s their political editor, Ken Rudin (joined here by sob-story memoirist David Carr) with the whole kit-and-kaboodle — Obama is Nixon, if Bush had done this, imagine how the media would haver reacted, etc. (via Steve Benen)

The problem, of course, is that Bush did do this, and no one in the media (except the specific journalists being attacked) said a word. They don’t even remember it happened.


There was the time
the Bush administration attacked Newsweek over a controversial story about the treatment of the Koran at Gitmo. Newsweek backed down.

There was the harsh criticism of NBC news
, noted here by Dan Froomkin.

There was the time they included a picture of journalist Ron Suskind in a Republican National Committee email.

There was the time Ari Fleischer told Houston Chronicle reporter Bennet Roth
that his question had been “noted in the building”.

Let’s be honest: part of the difference here is that the national media simply doesn’t fear Obama the way it feared Bush. In the end, they’re probably right: Ken Rudin can call Obama “Nixonian” all day without fear of repercussion. If he had said this about Bush, you’d better believe he’d be afraid he’d lose his job.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit






191 replies
  1. 1
    leo says:

    What a profound contempt for history Rudin exhibits. Obama is about as far from Richard Nixon as you can get and any attempt to compare the two is an insult to NPR’s listeners.

    That said, I wouldn’t cut off the funding because of this.

  2. 2
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    Let’s be honest: part of the difference here is that the national media simply doesn’t fear Obama the way it feared Bush. In the end, they’re probably right: Ken Rudin can call Obama “Nixonian” all day without fear of repercussion. If he had said this about Bush, you’d better believe he’d be afraid he’d lose his job.

    Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner! Big money runs the ‘presses’ and that is where the power is. Criticizing with right is wrong, end of job.

    It really is a disadvantage for Obama but I am not ready to count him out yet.

  3. 3
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    Criticizing with the  right is wrong, end of job.

    Argggh!

  4. 4
    Rock says:

    I have to think the big defense of Fox by everyone from ABC to NPR is due to every journalist thinking that they may need to work for Murdoch someday.

    I’d like to read an analysis of the IOKIYAR phenomenon. This episode clearly shows it exists. But why? I get that the major political pundits are rich and their friends are all Republican and they have Republican sensibilities. But this is more pervasive than just Chris Matthews and his ilk, as witnessed by this jackass at NPR piping off.

    FWIW, I no longer donate to NPR. They lost me when they decided to analyze whether Kerry was a good Catholic or not. That was enough on it’s own to do it, but to top it off their analysis was a sample of 3 people saying he wasn’t.

  5. 5

    I certainly think its a GREAT idea to cut off one of the few news sources that isn’t completely in the tank for the corporatists. It will strengthen the independent voices in the rest of the liberal media. So off with their heads and kill NPR!

    What could possibly go wrong with killing off NPR?

  6. 6
    Valdivia--phone says:

    I emailed this morning after reading the Bennen piece telling them they would not get one more cent from me. I also questioned the fact that they never defended anyone else against Bush. Villagers all of them.

  7. 7
    drillfork says:

    As I noted in an earlier thread, the Bushies bombed journalists in Baghdad early on.

    So yeah, I can see them fearing Bush more than BHO…

  8. 8
    Emrventures says:

    I listened to the podcast of this, and was shocked to hear two political reporters and a media critic discussing a “thought experiment” in which the Bush administration criticizes MSNBC, and imagine the outcry.

    Not one of them appeared to have a clue that their thought experiment was reality only a little over a year ago.

    And to hear the whining from David Carr, whose own newspaper was systematically ignored for eight years. Oy.

  9. 9

    Arrgh…NPR is still one of the few reliably present news outlets that covers science, so I hate to see them self-immolate. But I went to the transcript and its worse than DougJ’s shorter, but a lot.

    F*ck, F*ck, F*ck.

  10. 10
    kindness says:

    I stopped giving money to NPR during the bush43 reign. It was obvious then that they were going to follow the Phaux News slant. I’d hoped they would scale that back after President Obama was elected, but they haven’t.

    I’ll listen to them on drive time, but I won’t give them another dime till they shit can Cockie Roberts, Juan Williams and whom ever the producers are that are just Fox wanna be’s.

  11. 11
    Guster says:

    And what’s the story with Bushco and the NYT? Didn’t he refuse to every allow them to interview him, or something?

    Am I remembering that wrong?

  12. 12
    Va Highlander says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: I haven’t even listened to NPR since I heard one of their correspondents suggest that there might have been a few civilian casualties during the invasion of Afghanistan, though of course there was no way of knowing for sure.

    I nearly threw up.

  13. 13
    scav says:

    What should we call it, the thin-pinstriped line? How dare you criticize any of “us!?

  14. 14
    beltane says:

    Someone slipped the media a powerful drug during the Bush administration. They seem to have been asleep for the entire eight years of it.

  15. 15
    geg6 says:

    What’s really funny is that racist former Nixon speech writer Pat Buchanan even thinks this is the most ridiculous thing he’s ever heard.

    http://thinkprogress.org/2009/.....ama-nixon/

  16. 16
    eyepaddle says:

    I was listening to that yesterday and nearly blew a fuse when they started talking about their “thought experiment.” I think I might just fill up their inbox with emails referencing the links you posted before I cut off funding. It seems that they do still take their listener correspondence seriously.

  17. 17
    RememberNovember says:

    I wonder what would have happened if Thomas Paines’s press were funded by the Dutch East India Co…..

  18. 18
    raptusregaliter says:

    Villagers who are falling all over themselves to use this “Nixonian” meme are just as mentally deficient as the wingnuts who label everything fascist, socialist, and communist (usually in the same sentence).

    One of these days, teh stupid is going to reach minimum critical mass in Washington and take out half the eastern seabord.

  19. 19
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @geg6:

    Pat ain’t going to sit still for anyone conflating Obama with Nixon, no f’ing way. Pat would prefer that Reagan be used for this, not his sugar daddy Tricky Dicky.

  20. 20
    cokane says:

    un fucking believable

  21. 21
    colleeniem says:

    I’ve already done this. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when, during Morning Edition, they cited Sean Hannity as a critic from the right. I forget about what story, but I do remember the claim had already been debunked as false on its face. And I just couldn’t believe they lent Sean Hannity any credibility whatsoever on their flagship news program.
    I started pledging to NPR early in life (late teens). I told them if they didn’t provide more balanced news coverage, I would be withholding my pledges for another 40 years at least (based on expected life span) and I knew that others felt the same. Make sure if you stop pledging as a member, tell them why.
    You can still contribute directly to PRI from their webpage, and support great news coverage, and PBS, which I think does great work in so many places. As does NPR, but I don’t have to support it.

  22. 22
    beltane says:

    @geg6: Pat Buchanan is a racist authoritarian, but he is at least honest about his views. The others cannot even aspire to his level of awfulness. They are intellectual dishonesty personified.

  23. 23
    The Moar You Know says:

    I certainly think its a GREAT idea to cut off one of the few news sources that isn’t completely in the tank for the corporatists.

    @The Grand Panjandrum: Do you actually listen to NPR? They are completely in the tank for the corporatists – I’m talking 100 fucking per cent – and have been since I stopped routinely listening to them in 2000. And they’ve only gotten worse since then.

    Might as well just cut a check directly to the GOP.

    Fuck NPR. Seriously.

  24. 24
    Napoleon says:

    Rudin is terrible. Every problem the Villagers have you can find front and center in him.

    My membership to my local NPR station was up 9/30 and on Tuesday, right in the middle of the on-air campaign they are running, I mailed them the renewal form they sent me with a note that they would not see one more penny from me and specifically cited the whole issue with being unable to call torture torture. I am so glad I did it.

    (I also canceled my local paper the same day that I have gotten for 25 years due to a complete hit piece they ran on ACORN as the most prominent front page story in their Sunday edition).

  25. 25
    WyldPiratd says:

    The Great Panjandrum@:

    I certainly think its a GREAT idea to cut off one of the few news sources that isn’t completely in the tank for the corporatists. It will strengthen the independent voices in the rest of the liberal media. So off with their heads and kill NPR!
    What could possibly go wrong with killing off NPR?

    Seriously, TGP, does it really matter one way or another if NPR exists or not? When you have big wheel news maggots in both television and print who are too lazy to use teh Goggle to find out in under 30 seconds that they are full of shit with their rhetorical “What if Bush had done what Obama did?”

    The news industry is the GOPs battered wife. They’ve been getting the fuck beat out off them for 40 years by their GOP hubby and they keep going back for more and defending GOP hubby by saying it’s “their fault” for not doing what hubby said.

  26. 26
    Kryptik says:

    3 Words, Ms. Marcus:

    Tea Party Commercials.

    Fox news had them, actively promoted the protests, and had paid correspondents on site, decrying the ‘facism’ from the Administration.

    Tell me, please, please, please tell me where the equivalent to this was when Bush shut the NY Times out time and time again. When they called on Jeff Gannon and pushed Helen Thomas to the back rows in the WH Press Room. When they browbeat Time, Newsweek, etc. for unflattering stories.

    Fail more, Washington Post. Maybe in a year, you’ll have achieved the status of your hometown rivals and become COMPLETELY worthless.

  27. 27
    Qbert says:

    Let’s not forget other classically Nixonian traits as using the Justice Dept for political payback, or declaring the Executive Branch immune to judicial review or the rule of law, or tapping the phones of Americans.

    Let’s not forget either that at the time of Watergate, the press was largely in Nixon’s corner until John Dean spilled the beans, dutifully believing that Watergate was the work of a few renegades. (The press doesn’t like people to remember this.) So Rudin’s comparison is about as 180 degree from the Nixon era as it’s possible to be.

    What this is reminiscent of is the press’ reaction to the Clinton Administration’s internal document, “The Communications Stream of Conspiracy Commerce” (aka “the vast rightwing conspiracy”). This document, too, was greeted with much chin-stroking about its “Nixonian” character and wild theories of a concerted movement to smear the Clintons by pushing unfounded stories through a lazy, scandal-addicted press. Yeah, how ridiculous that notion turned out to be.

  28. 28
    slag says:

    If you ever give another cent to NPR, you are a stooge.

    Been there. Figured that out. Very sad, really. I used to volunteer for them and donate, because even when I took issue with some of their coverage, I could see where it was coming from. It was at least reality-based. No more. I kinda wish This American Life and Car Talk could form their own station. But that’s what the internet’s for, I guess.

  29. 29
    cokane says:

    As upset as this makes me, it’s just one moment on NPR. Overall it would be a shame to see the organization suffer. So I say, no to any kind of boycott.

  30. 30
    aimai says:

    Anyone remember when Helen Thomas was exiled t the back of the room? And ignored? And anyone remember the bald prostitute who was given preferential treatment over actual reporters because he was doing the Administration’s bidding in more ways than one?

    I stopped giving money to NPR after a few years of giving them checks with “not for Juan Williams” scrawled over them. I think I should start giving money again but with an angry letter each time.

    aimai

  31. 31
    MikeJ says:

    @slag: This American Life is produced by American Public Media. Completely different from NPR. Local public radio stations buy programs from a variety of sources. Of course since money is fungible, helping your local station pay for TAL frees up somebody else’s cash to go to the Nice Polite Republicans.

  32. 32
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    @Rock:

    I have to think the big defense of Fox by everyone from ABC to NPR is due to every journalist thinking that they may need to work for Murdoch someday.

    I suspect there’s more to it than that. When Obama called out Fox “News”, by implication he embarrassed the rest of the MSM for their failure to label Fox for what they are. The same dynamic was behind the MSM’s defense of the Iraq war.

    I’d like to read an analysis of the IOKIYAR phenomenon.

    So would I. I have a little theory on it. I like George Lakoff’s metaphor of the GOP as the “Daddy party” and the Dems as the “Mommy party”, but I would add to it. The GOP and the Dems are parents who had a bitter divorce. The Dems are the mommy who tries to be a responsible parent. The GOP is the daddy who doesn’t pay child support (to screw mommy) but indulges the kids (voters) with whatever they want, whether it’s good for them or not (screwing mommy again). Guess which one is more popular with the kids? At least in the short term.

  33. 33
    colleeniem says:

    Re: F*ck NPR

    There is that non-willingness to call torture by it’s proper name. That has made it extremely easy to withhold my money.

  34. 34
    bayville says:

    There is so much WRONG involved in that Rudin/Carr interview, I don’t even know where to start.

    How ’bout this from NYT Media Critic Carr:

    if you remember during the campaign, Bill O’Reilly spent a lot of time getting red in the face talking about the president. Then the president actually walked in to Fox News studio, sat down with Bill O’Reilly. They saw he didn’t have horns and tails – Mr. O’Reilly did a really, really good job.

    A refresher on that “really, really good job” done by O’Reilly:
    can be found here:
    http://blogs.suntimes.com/swee.....obama.html

    The whole NPR interview reads like a Jonah Goldberg/Andy McCarthy tongue-bath disguised as an intellectual discussion.

  35. 35
    gbear says:

    I wind up giving Minnesota Public Radio money because their local programming is (mostly) really good, but I always include a note saying how much I detest NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ and ‘Morning Edition’. I know that the effect of this note is exactly zero, but ultimately I have to agree with TGP at #5.

  36. 36
    flounder says:

    If there is a silver lining in all this I think it is that Ken Rudin says very silly things on a week to week basis and I have to believe that no one listening except the half-wit Neil Conan takes him seriously.

  37. 37
    stacie says:

    Don’t forget Dan Rather. Long before Bush was at war with NBC, his administration was at war with CBS. I don’t think the source of the documents that Rather used in his National Guard report has ever been fully traced, and my gut always told me that the hand of Karl Rove was somewhere in that line.

    Let’s also remember that Even The Liberal New York Times contributed to massively inaccurate reporting before the Iraq war, and that Even The Liberal New York Times (and the White House it was, in effect, colluding with) allowed a reporter to go to jail to cover for Scooty Libby.

  38. 38
    Kryptik says:

    I just continue to find myself amazed, really, at the incestuous reflex to defend Fox sometimes. It’s such a one-way relationship too. Fox News gleefully calls most of these folks ‘liberal puppets’ and claim their in Obama’s pocket and the like, yet the moment Fox is threatened, you’ll find no more ardent defenders than the WaPo, NPR, AP, and most media folks outside of Olbermann and Maddow.

  39. 39
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I don’t give money to NPR. Never did, and never will. I give that money, instead, to MPR–the best regional public radio station, in my not-so-very-humble opinion. I know a portion goes to NPR, but I can deal with that.

    gbear, damn you for beating me to it.

  40. 40
    aimai says:

    You are all forgetting ground zero in this conflict.

    aimai

  41. 41
    flounder says:

    fwiw I was calling furiously yesterday to ask them what they thought about Nixon’s actual “Jew counter” working for McCain last year, and Nixon’s “enemy list” terrorist G. Gordon Liddy being McCain’s “good friend” and if they ever did a story discussing these outrages.

  42. 42
    colleeniem says:

    @colleeniem: it’s=its
    Damn.

  43. 43
    slag says:

    @MikeJ: But APM also does Marketplace, which seems to have turned into a front for some neolibertarian think tank. It’d be one thing if they disclosed the biases of their guests at the outset, but that’s not been my experience. They present these people as objective observers and then, after they pontificate their outlandish and totally fact-free bullsh#t, the correspondent maybe mentions offhandedly that their guest was a “fellow” at the Cato Institute or whatever. Not to mention the last time I listened to Marketplace they literally said that Michelle Bachman’s whole “Are we going off the dollar?” nonsense was, and I quote, an “important” question.

  44. 44
    Kryptik says:

    I just continue to find myself amazed, really, at the reflex to defend Fox sometimes. It’s such a one-way relationship too. Fox News gleefully calls most of these folks ‘liberal puppets’ and claim their in Obama’s pocket and the like, yet the moment Fox is threatened, you’ll find no more ardent defenders than the WaPo, NPR, AP, and most media folks outside of Olbermann and Maddow.

    (stupid moderation waiting)

  45. 45
    apmat says:

    The difficulty with Ken Rudin or Ruth Marcus is that they likely have not watched FOX NEWS for more than 5 min at a time. I understant that even in that time frame, one can often notice differences between organizations. But the contrast is really seen when daytime hours are compared between FOX and CNN or MSNBC. The exaggerations, mischaracterizations and lies are so evident when the programs are viewed for longer periods. Someone needs to ask each of them how much FOX NEWS they see in a week.

  46. 46
    eyepaddle says:

    Update:

    Ken Rudin has responded to me and basically says that he made a major mistake by offering a stupid and facile example, and will soon be posting a comment (that he acknowledges will have difficulty in “explaining” the event.

    I thanked him for his response and suggested that this might also be a good topic for next week’s show–he thought that sounded like a good idea. So far I am encouraged, but I am keeping my eyes open to see what kind of follow through he has.

  47. 47
    gbear says:

    @asiangrrlMN:
    Ha. I was going to mention in my posting that you’d probably be along to back me up. I remember you being a fan on MPR.

    I wonder how many people complain to them about NPR? They always mention during their pledge drives about the huge amout of money that they have to pay for ME and ATC. They could easily replace them with something cheaper and less irritating.

  48. 48
    r€nato says:

    I don’t know if Ken Rudin was on the same segment, but two days ago I heard on TOTN… Howie Kurtz.

    Talking about how the media got duped by the Heene family and their balloon hoax.

    The gigantic, enormous elephant in the room, of course, is how the media and specifically Howie Kurtz got duped by the Bush Crime Family and their Iraq War hoax.

    I’m not about to climb on your “I hate NPR” bandwagon, but it truly was 15 minutes of WT to the motherfucking F.

  49. 49
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    and have been since I stopped routinely listening to them in 2000. And they’ve only gotten worse since then.

    Good thing you threw that little word “routinely” in there – for a moment I thought you had yourself in an epistemological hammerlock.

    So just out of curiosity (not snark, just an honest question), how do you know that the sampled listening you still do from time to time is representative of their content as a whole?

    This is a problem I face all the time – suspecting that some channel or source of information is full of BS, but how does one know enough to publically condem them and warn others away, if one can’t or won’t put on hip waders and go deep into the muck? It seems to me that in these situations you really need somebody to be a trusted agent who performs the task of (as John puts it here) “I read these morons so you don’t have to“.

    But in that case you really need to have deep trust in the person who you are delegating that chore to, and if that trust is misplaced then we have a problem on our hands, because that is how echo chambers are created. So how do you balance out the dangers of groupthink vs. needing to delegate to others the exploration of parts of the meme-sphere that you don’t have the time or the stomach to handle yourself?

    It seems to me that in this era of access to vast amounts of info via the ‘tubes, most of which is BS, that this epistemological problem is more important than ever, and I’m curious as to how others here are dealing with this.

  50. 50
    Paul Weimer says:

    @GBEAR (and @asiangrrlMN) Agreed. MPR is far better with its local stuff than with the NPR stuff (with the PRI and APM stuf excepted)

  51. 51
    danimal says:

    I listen to NPR and usually find it a notch (or several notches) above other news outlets. Their weak spot is that they get weak in the knees when an issue becomes hotly partisan. The “Obama is Nixon” meme is an obviously partisan meme that was only born a few days ago.

    NPR suffers all the same maladies as the rest of the MSM when issues become partisan. They’re simply unable to get beyond the talking points even when simple, objective truth is staring them in the face. It’s maddening because they will report with a higher level of truth and fact when an issue isn’t hot with partisan fire.

    I guess we just expect them to do a good job because we know they can do a good job. They just don’t due to editorial cowardice.

  52. 52
    Violet says:

    That’s just awful. I gave to NPR last year for the first time in ages. When they bug me this time, I’ll be sure to let them know why I’m not donating.

  53. 53
    aimai says:

    Eyepaddle,
    Great work. I’d like to point out that there’s a huge problem for journalists who think of themselves as non partisan in filling talking time/writing space without falling into reflexive anti liberal tripe. I just noticed it in my latest New Yorker in which Hendrik Hertzberg essentially writes the same damn stupid thing about Obama’s Peace Prize that every other idiot wrote. A week from now and he would have more of a chance to see how his supposed take figures into the larger left/right discourse. Rudin, too, didn’t step away from his position as balanced commentator to realize that with Fox news pulling the entire system so far to the right each “centrist” or “moderate” is either buying in to the rightist slant or really has to fight back. There’s no middle ground anymore, and hasn’t been for years. Trying to take a “high road” or posing as “above the fray” is just another way of playing into the hands of the right wing since they have long excluded any serious leftist or anti corporatist voices from the mix.

    aimai

  54. 54
    flounder says:

    On the bright side, I suggested that an “opt-out” public option might be the compromise that gets us health care on TOTN on 9-17.
    I hadn’t heard such a suggestion before I made it (and to be honest, I was trying to use the idea as a Trojan Horse to point out that states already have the ability to accept insurance policies from other states and enact tort reform, so the federally mandated, anti-Federalist, Republican proposals on these topics are total bullshit). Maybe someone was listening and the opt-out idea got up to Congress ten days later or so.

  55. 55
    Ash says:

    @eyepaddle: I can appreciate people who take the time to respond. Even if they are stooges.

  56. 56
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Marketplace regularly features Megan McArdle and David Frum as commenters. That’s enough to keep me from contributing to that show. OTOH, This American Life is also run from Chicago Public Radio, which has some other good shows.

  57. 57
    eyepaddle says:

    @aimai Thanks–I’ll pass along the heads up when he posts his explanation.

    @asiangrrlMN and gbear: put me in the same “love MPR, annoyed with NPR” column too.

  58. 58
    whitewidow says:

    Remember the time that every Republican went after every media outlet and claimed they had a “liberal bias?”

    It’s a good thing that strategy was a total flop for Republicans, and there was such an immediate and vigorous backlash from The Free and Independent Press and all Democratic politicians, because otherwise we might have ended up with a sycophantic press that self-censored so as not to appear too liberal so they wouldn’t be fired or lose access.

    *******

    And there was the time that Bush’s military shot a rocket into the hotel in Baghdad where they knew journalists were based.

    And the time(s) that journalists have been detained and held for months without recourse.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    I certainly think its a GREAT idea to cut off one of the few news sources that isn’t completely in the tank for the corporatists.

    You haven’t listened to NPR lately, have you? Try an episode of “Marketplace” and tell me again that they’re not completely in the tank for corporations. When David Brancaccio was the host, they would at least entertain the notion that maybe, possibly a corporation shouldn’t be allowed to do anything it wanted if it impacted the rest of the economy. Now they pretty much say every day that our corporate masters have our best interests at heart and we should all just STFU and give them our money.

  60. 60
    Joshua says:

    @stacie: Not just that, but the liberal New York Times also hid information about Bush’s illegal, warrantless spying program until AFTER the 2004 election. At the request/browbeating of the Bush Administration.

    The NYT had an “October Surprise” in their hands. They just didn’t use it.

  61. 61
    DougMN says:

    Rock – wow- the Kerry Catholic story is also why I refuse to donate to NPR. Good to know that story really annoyed more than just me.

  62. 62
    Captain Haddock says:

    NPR doesn’t need listener money to run — corporations contribute enough. The “listener support” is just a marketing ploy. Same for PBS.

  63. 63
    eyepaddle says:

    @Ash, yeah, almost against my will I feel somewhat mollified–in my original email I referred to the three participants in the discussion as collosal fools, and my only comfort was that their foolishness was now a matter of public record–and that I fervently hoped he would enjoy his time pounding through emails commenting on their aforementioned foolishness.

    I get the sense that yes, he knows what we are talking about, and he knows we are right. Here’s to hoping that he won’t fall into this trap of laziness and stupidity again.

  64. 64
    Napoleon says:

    @slag:

    Marketplace is bad. It is one of the few shows on public radio that will cause me to change to another station or just turn off the radio.

  65. 65
    stinkwrinkle says:

    @Mnemosyne: Wow, no kidding. I used to think Kai Risdall did a pretty decent job of talking about business-type news without slipping into wingnut lunacy, but he got on a roll over “Obamacare” one day that had me yelling hearty “FUCK YOU”s to the radio.
    Of course, that’s just par for the course at NPR. I broke down and emailed them yesterday over the “fair and balanced” coverage of the health care reform issue. Paraphrase: the country is overwhelmingly for a public option! This is obviously nuts, so here are six “centrists” to tell you why! Plus, in the interest of fairness, a Socialist and a massively corrupt appointee to take the other side. They emailed me back and apologized that their political coverage wasn’t to my taste. Villager scum.

  66. 66
    margarita says:

    Another one from the memory hole:

    [Bush] said quite forcefully that this [warrantless wiretapping] program was something he regarded as part of the crown jewels of our national security, and that if we exposed it, we would be at least in part responsible, or [should] feel ourselves responsible, if there was another attack on the U.S. I think what he said was, “When we were called up to explain to Congress why there was another attack, you should be sitting beside us at the table.” …

    Bill Keller

  67. 67
  68. 68
    slag says:

    @Napoleon: Seriously. People all complain about CNBC (rightly so), but I don’t think Marketplace gets nearly the attention it deserves for not calling out the nonsense happening on Wall Street. CNBC’s excuse is that they’re corporate entities. I guess that could be Marketplace’s excuse too.

    Bastards. All of them.

  69. 69
    Napoleon says:

    @DougMN:

    I read a take down of that piece about 6 months ago and the alledged random Catholics the reporter used (its NPRs religion reporter, she is still with them) were all political operative types. It was a complete Potemkin story.

  70. 70
    cleek says:

    and then you get this via Sully where NPR appears to almost take on one of Limbaugh’s smears.

    but, since they still won’t call torture by its real name, when the US does it, they get no donations from me.

  71. 71
    winguts to iraq says:

    I’m so righteous and bad ass, I don’t give money to NPR. Take that!

    the e-peen is strong with y’all.

  72. 72

    Rather than respond to each of you individually I will say this: NPR is not my local public radio station. Both VPR and NHPR buy NPR programming and put it on the air. They also produce local programming, and most of it is pretty good.

    I do not trust any news outlet completely. If I find something objectionable, or I question its veracity, I investigate. But I do generally like my public radio station and most of the programming, including NPR programs.

    I listen every day, although I do not listen to it all day long. I support my LOCAL public radio affiliates. No they are not perfect. BUT they do present plenty of news that I want to hear.

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Word.

  73. 73
    Bullsmith says:

    Of course one real irony here is that Bush was Nixonian, right down to ceding much of the government to Cheney and Rumsfeld, who had personal stakes in vindicating Nixon and replicating his methods. Obama’s Clintonian.

    The other, bigger irony is that Bush succeeded in dragging NPR to the right and putting hacks in charge of it, creating the culture we’re seeing reflected here. So the guy calling Obama Nixonian is in fact being a perfect Nixonian himself.

    Fuckers.

  74. 74
    slag says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    It seems to me that in this era of access to vast amounts of info via the ‘tubes, most of which is BS, that this epistemological problem is more important than ever, and I’m curious as to how others here are dealing with this.

    This is a challenging question. And I haven’t found a terribly satisfactory answer to it. Instead, I think back to why I stopped listening regularly in the first place. And when I try to give it a second, third, fourth, fifth…chance and get smacked in the face again, I re-learn my lesson. I’ll admit that there are times when I’m surprised by something that actually takes on an issue in a more rigorous way, but those times are invariably followed by a far more serious letdown. And I like to think that the letdown rarely has anything to do with ideological content but more to do with a lack of substantive content. But, still, your point is valid. As Donald Rumsfeld sagely pointed out: You don’t know what you don’t know.

  75. 75
    Xanthippas says:

    If you ever give another cent to NPR, you are a stooge.

    That’s ridiculous. I don’t base my support of NPR on the half-assed opinion of one editor, and neither should you. The difference between NPR and Fox News, let alone the rest of the cable media is measured in light-years. I dare you to listen to Morning Edition or All Things Considered one time and tell me that I’m wrong.

    And thanks for reminding me to donate.

  76. 76
    Neutron Flux says:

    NPR is more good than bad, so I will continue to donate. My daily communte would suck huge without them on my radio.

  77. 77
    Redshirt says:

    That’s a good phrase: “Even the Liberal….”

    As in, “Even the Liberal NPR jumped in on the Obama fox controversy….”

    A very useful device for Repubs to have these “Even the Liberal….” sources to refer to.

    Just like the Washington Post.

    I gave up on NPR when it occurred to me they have a lot of people working at Fox.

  78. 78
    Enceladus says:

    This is somewhat out of left field, but I thought I’d join the NPR pile on with this:

    Every time I hear the smug, unfunny, self-congratulatory collective tone on “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me,” I want to plunge needles into my eyes.

    Thank Bog I have podcasts to play during the weekend morning shower routine.

  79. 79
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    But APM also does Marketplace, which seems to have turned into is a front for some neolibertarian think tank.

    Fixed.

    I listen to NPR and…Their weak spot is that they get weak in the knees when an issue becomes hotly partisan…NPR suffers all the same maladies as the rest of the MSM when issues become partisan. They’re simply unable to get beyond the talking points even when simple, objective truth is staring them in the face…I guess we just expect them to do a good job because we know they can do a good job. They just don’t due to editorial cowardice.

    In this, they suffer from the same malady that the MSM media does: they’re deathly afraid that the right-wing noise machine and its everyday minions will raise enough stink that a) listener subscriptions will decline (think “paid subscribers” in a newspaper context) and b) all the corporate sponsors will bail because they fear the economic impact of the right-wing noise machine and its everyday minions.

    I know a former reporter for the Houston Chronicle and that’s exactly how it would work: if they ran a piece that was even remotely critical of the Bush Administration, the editor would get 10,000 letters or emails, all of which also went to the Chron’s coporate overlords. The latter would pee their pants, then tell the editors to quash such nonsense who, in turn would get all medieval on the reporters.

    NPR is *no* different, particularly after the Bushies stacked the deck at the Corp for Public Broadcasting.

    I haven’t given NPR a dime of money in almost ten years. One just has to listen to Liarson or Innscreep and the rest of the craptacular bunch on the political beat to know they’re scared shitless. And they get that from the editors.

  80. 80
    kay says:

    I don’t think the media recovered from post 9-11 deference for the entire Bush Presidency.
    That set the marker, and they never really got over being on the Bush national security “team”.
    The Obama coverage strikes me as weirdly obsessive. They report the big stuff, but they so inflate and obsess on the relatively minor events that there’s no perspective.
    They somehow lost their bearings during Bush, and now they’re faced with Obama, his election completely disoriented them, let’s face it, they had a lot more trouble with it than voters did, and they’re just lost.
    Nothing is ranked, or orderly, or even rational. It’s a blizzard of information, but so little of it is useful.
    They have to stop using the word “unprecedented” by the way. That word has actual meaning. It doesn’t mean “except for the events we forgot to include that happened 18 months ago”, or in 1994, or in 1968.

  81. 81
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Xanthippas:

    That’s ridiculous. I don’t base my support of NPR on the half-assed opinion of one editor, and neither should you. The difference between NPR and Fox News, let alone the rest of the cable media is measured in light-years. I dare you to listen to Morning Edition or All Things Considered one time and tell me that I’m wrong.

    And none of the people talking about how terrible NPR is are basing their statements on the half-assed opinion of one editor either. We’re talking about a perpetual, systematic, and consistent descent into increasing levels of mediocrity, wanking, and asshatery over the course of years. The situation with Rudin is just the latest installment in NPR’s substantial drop in quality, particularly on the heels of their continued insistence of not calling “torture” by its real name, torture. Even more egregious was their Ombudsman’s defense of their “policy,” featuring this kind of inane, simple-minded rhetoric:

    It’s a no-win case for journalists. If journalists use the words “harsh interrogation techniques,” they can be seen as siding with the White House and the language that some U.S. officials, particularly in the Bush administration, prefer. If journalists use the word “torture,” then they can be accused of siding with those who are particularly and visibly still angry at the previous administration.

    Sure, you could be “accused of siding with those who are particularly and visibly still angry at the previous administration DFHs.” But you would also be right.

  82. 82

    @kay: Excellent assessment. and Major cuts in funding to CPB which required more funding from corporate sponsors have taken a toll as well. Stir in the clear ideological jihad of the Bush appointees and it is no wonder NPR has so many problems with its news division.

  83. 83
    SFAW says:

    The GOP is the daddy who doesn’t pay child support (to screw mommy) but indulges the kids (voters) with whatever they want, whether it’s good for them or not (screwing mommy again). Guess which one is more popular with the kids? At least in the short term.

    Interesting concept. The only quibble I have with it is “At least in the short term.” Unlike the kids in the model, the electorate never matures, so – look over there! Something shiny! – there’s little if any chance of them coming to their senses in the long term.

    Ken Rudin can call Obama “Nixonian” all day without fear of repercussion. If he had said this about Bush, you’d better believe he’d be afraid he’d lose his job.

    What a crock. It’s not as if Froomkin had anything happen to him.

  84. 84
    dadanarchist says:

    If you ever give another cent to NPR, you are a stooge.

    This is silly. Just because the national NPR sometimes sucks (and it certainly sucks a lot less than most national news producers) doesn’t mean that one should stop giving money to the local NPR affiliates.

    Generally, the local stations are independent of the national system, and produce much good local programming. After all, most NPR shows from Garrison Keillor to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me to This American Life bubbled up from the affiliates. Cutting off their funds would destroy a lot of good work and talent.

    Besides, I still like All Things Considered, and Terry Gross.

    So I’ll be kicking some money to WNYC, if not to the national NPR.

  85. 85
    joshers says:

    Rudin has issued a lengthy apology for the comparison:

    “comparing the tactics of the Nixon administration — which bugged and intimidated and harrassed journalists — to that of the Obama administration was foolish, facile, ridiculous and, ultimately, embarrassing to me.”

  86. 86
    Xanthippas says:

    And none of the people talking about how terrible NPR is are basing their statements on the half-assed opinion of one editor either. We’re talking about a perpetual, systematic, and consistent descent into increasing levels of mediocrity, wanking, and asshatery over the course of years. The situation with Rudin is just the latest installment in NPR’s substantial drop in quality, particularly on the heels of their continued insistence of not calling “torture” by its real name, torture.

    Such as? You’ve listed one. I see another up top, Juan Williams. But frankly, I have lost track of all the things I’m supposed to be offended about NPR doing. This comment by danimal is the most accurate description I’ve seen thus far in comments:

    I listen to NPR and usually find it a notch (or several notches) above other news outlets. Their weak spot is that they get weak in the knees when an issue becomes hotly partisan. The “Obama is Nixon” meme is an obviously partisan meme that was only born a few days ago.

    I agree with that, so forgive me if I get a little hot at being called a “stooge” because I think NPR is still well beyond the idiocy you find on CNN, MSNBC, etc., etc. But then I’m not a blogger whose job it is to find things in the MSM to be outraged about, so I don’t feel the need to write off an entire news organizations credible and in-depth reporting for their occasional flops. For the record I think DougJ’s weak spot is dealing with hotly partisan issues, but that doesn’t stop me from reading Balloon Juice, or even DougJ’s posts.

  87. 87
    Morbo says:

    I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: It is a travesty that Cokie Roberts and Juan Williams will outlive Daniel Schorr.

  88. 88
    SFAW says:

    I don’t think the media recovered from post 9-11 deference for the entire Bush Presidency.

    It started long before that. The SCLM has been demonized since the days of St. Ronnie – probably before – and after more than 20 years of being told that they’re un-American and so forth, they’re a-skeered of getting labeled “liberal” again.

    That set the marker, and they never really got over being on the Bush national security “team”.

    I don’t know what to make of this statement – team? It’s more likely that they were afraid of being branded as unpatriotic/traitorous if they pointed out (loudly) that BushCo was lying to the American people. Remember, if you ever disagree with W, the terrists win!

  89. 89
    John S. says:

    Hey DougJ-

    If you really want your head to explode, listen to this morning’s Diane Rehm Show where they were having a discussion about regulating financial markets. The guests were:

    Greg Ip, U.S. economics editor, “The Economist”

    Michael Greenberger, professor, University of Maryland Law School, director, Center for Health and Homeland Security, and former senior regulator, Commodities Futures Trading Commission

    Martin Baily, is senior fellow in economic studies at Brookings Institution, former chair of the Council of Economic Advisors during the Clinton administration (1999-2001)

    Martin Baily is a total fucking wanker. Greg Ip to a lesser degree. If not for Michael Greenberger, the entire show would have been a complete fucking waste of time.

    Though Diane did seem fascinated with the tale of Brooksley Born, who seemed to be one of the few people that saw this mess coming a long time ago. She was the subject of a recent episode of Frontline.

    I had never heard of the woman, but it is a fascinating tale and worth everyone’s attention. Basically, she tried to get Congress to look at regulating the derivatives markets and Alan Greenspan, Larry Summers, Phil Gramm et al. told her to STFU.

    Too bad she was right.

  90. 90
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Xanthippas:

    Such as? You’ve listed one. I see another up top, Juan Williams. But frankly, I have lost track of all the things I’m supposed to be offended about NPR doing. This comment by danimal is the most accurate description I’ve seen thus far in comments:

    Yes, I listed one, to compliment the litany of other examples that are scattered throughout this thread. I didn’t know that I had to give you a complete and total rundown of all NPR transgressions over the years. The point of the post was that not everyone saying “fuck NPR” is doing so all of a sudden because of this one incident, which is what you were making it sound like.

    I also agreed with the point made by danimal, so there’s no difference there. Sure, NPR does some great work on a regular basis; however, while they’re not as bad as the cable networks when it comes to mindless blathering, I certainly wouldn’t put them “light years” ahead of a CNN or MSNBC.

    I would also contend that pointing out their mounting record of failure is nowhere near the same as “writing off an entire news organization’s credible and in-depth reporting for their occasional flops.” Especially when those flops have become less occasional and more reoccurring and egregious in nature.

  91. 91
    kay says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    The post 9-11 coverage was self-conscious in a way that bothered me. It’s as if they were so completely wrapped up in the (fact) that they were involved in “history” that they could not produce an authentic response.
    I watched this great documentary of the media coverage of the JFK assassination the other night, just clips arranged chronologically, and the reporters were not aware of themselves in the way the press appeared to be in 2001, and appear to me now.
    Watch Hillary Clinton as SoS and compare her demeanor to that to of Rice.
    Hillary Clinton just goddam gets on with it. Dr. Rice comported herself as if every move and statement was deeply meaningful, and would reverberate for centuries. Rice was always telling us how to think about what was happening. Clinton is just doing, now. She’s not “creating a record”.
    The reporters who covered JFK assassination were like Clinton. Now they’re like Rice. I’ll take Clinton.

  92. 92
    John S. says:

    Blockquote fail.

  93. 93
    Redshirt says:

    My general opposition to NPR as they exist today is that they are held up as the pre-eminent Liberal news organization (Even the liberal NPR says….) when that’s not the truth at all.

    Now, if you want to say they’re just like any normal news org (not counting Fox), fine, I can agree with that in principle, since I think ALL the major news orgs are trash at this point, with very little worthwhile coming out of them. The bottom of the barrel is of course Fox, and I again point out the many links between Fox and NPR.

  94. 94
    valdivia says:

    @kay:

    this.

  95. 95
    Reason60 says:

    I was reading about Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was being hammered by Republicans for sending a military plane down to Arkansas to pick up his pet dog and fly it back to Washington.
    He went on the radio and criticized the GOP and the media for making a big deal of it, with a famous line about how they were petty and mean spirited for not attacking him, or his wife, but even his little dog.

    A clever and hilarious retort, effectively shutting down the opposition AND THE MEDIA, and ACTING LIKE A FUCKING POLITICIAN which of couse, every single President is.

    The idea that the President should be a crash test dummy who passively suffers the attacks from the opposite party is a bit of madness, a convenient mythology whopped up in just the last few weeks. I never heard this during the previous administrations.

    Oh, and just for the record- it WAS a stupid waste of a military aircraft and fuel during a time of war. But props to FDR for being a sharp enough politico to deflect the attack. And props to the media who didn’t whine and sulk about the President acting like a politician.

  96. 96
    valdivia says:

    I love that in the apology Rudin says Obama is being childish. That he losing his cool. These guys have been complaining that he is too unflappable, that he never sweats etc and now the criticism is that if he answers back to the lies then he is not being an adult. While I appreciate that he took back the Nixon thing the whole take on the issue is thoroughly Villagy.

  97. 97
    Lionel L. says:

    For what it is worth, Rudin expressed regret and embarrassment at his Nixon reference.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/polit.....f=97248522

  98. 98
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @valdivia:

    While I appreciate that he took back the Nixon thing the whole take on the issue is thoroughly Villagy.

    That’s exactly what I took away from it. The first 2/3 of the “apology” are Rudin saying things like:

    To spend a Sunday and go on five networks to sell his health-care proposals — but conspicuously skipping Fox in the process — is childish.

    Yes, you can make the case that Fox “started it,” as the White House is saying, though that sounds a bit juvenile to me. Fox News has been baiting President Obama from Day One — and before.

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? I mean, did he even pay attention as he put those two sentences together?

  99. 99
    danimal says:

    I appreciated Rudin’s apology, but I’m still troubled. The Nixon-Obama connection was conjured up, as far as I can tell, by GOP operatives and pushed by Lamar! Alexander a couple of days ago. I’ll posit that someone with more time and search skills could show a huge increase in Nixon-Obama search results in the past week.

    The Obama-Nixon analogy was not a random thought developed by Ken Rudin; it was a GOP talking point that Rudin passed on (internalized?) as his own thought. Rudin describes himself as a ‘political animal,’ and his gig involves assessing the back and forth between the parties, but still, he passed on transparently false crap without really analyzing the substance. Showing a sense of ethics, he has apologized, but a similar process shows up on a continuing basis on NPR.

    As I said before, NPR can do high-quality journalism in other areas. Why they stoop to the sewer-sludge level of the MSM discourse on hot partisan topics is beyond me.

  100. 100
    kay says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    To spend a Sunday and go on five networks to sell his health-care proposals—but conspicuously skipping Fox in the process—is childish.

    It’s not childish. It’s a waste of time for Obama to woo Fox viewers. Obama was trying to persuade. Fox viewers have their minds made up on health care reform. Obama’s appearances during the health care sweep weren’t news: he didn’t say anything new. He went there to persuade.
    We have to stop pretending that persuading the most-loyal 25% of the GOP base is a reasonable goal for Obama. It’s silly.

  101. 101
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SFAW:

    What a crock. It’s not as if Froomkin had anything happen to him.

    Okay, I may be losing track, but this is sarcastic, right? Or are you trying to imply that Obama is the one who got Froomkin fired?

  102. 102
    kay says:

    @valdivia:

    It was incredibly organized and orchestrated for the action of someone who is “losing his cool”.
    They disagree with this political tactic.
    Why not just say that, instead of dressing this up in Major Historical Issue garb?
    This is what I mean about “no perspective”. Not everything is “important” and has “ramifications”. Some things are just blatant political tactics, and have no grand historical relevancy at all.

  103. 103
    Makewi says:

    Obama has decided that he is only going to be the POTUS for people who agree with him. Which is why any comparison to Bush is, at best, inapt as Bush continued to talk to a hostile press on all issues. It’s because Obama is sort of a whiner really. Doesn’t take criticism very well.

  104. 104
    kay says:

    “It’s a curious comment,” Gibbs said. “I think it’s pretty safe to say that the vice president was, for seven years, not focused on Afghanistan. Even more curious given that an increase in troops sat on desks in this White House, including the vice president’s for more than eight months.”

    Bang.

    Robert Gibbs is a tough individual, and the media and punditry are just going to have to get used to it.

    Dick Cheney’s speechwriter may have finally met his match,

  105. 105
    Tom says:

    Why all the NPR hate? It is the most unbiased, straightforward news reporting/analyzing organization around.

    I’m constantly amused when people freak out because they don’t agree with everything a paper or news org does.

    When their party is in power, people always seem to forget that the role of journalists to keep those in power in check. Journalists should question the administration.

    I’m a big Obama backer and very liberal in my politics, but I happen to agree that Obama is dumb to take on FoxNews like this. Now, if they said at the same time that MSNBC is not a new org, fine. But singling out Fox News, then sitting down with Maddow and Olberman (both of whom I enjoy) is just hypocritical.

    I think it’s fair for news organizations to criticize the administration for how they are handling this. This does not excuse what Fox News is, but because Fox is a joke, doesn’t mean that how the Obama administration chooses to deal with them isn’t beyond criticism.

  106. 106
    kay says:

    @Makewi:

    Conservatives continue to underestimate how tough these people are.
    Over two years watching them, that’s stupid bordering on arrogant.
    They’re not going to take a hit without hitting back. They want to succeed more than you want them to fail.

  107. 107
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Tom:

    Why all the NPR hate?

    The thread. Read it.

  108. 108
    kay says:

    @Tom:

    I think it’s fair for news organizations to criticize the administration for how they are handling this. This does not excuse what Fox News is, but because Fox is a joke, doesn’t mean that how the Obama administration chooses to deal with them isn’t beyond criticism.

    I agree. That isn’t the problem. The problem is pretending that it’s Nixonian, which is why he retracted that part.
    Because it’s a tactic you and he disagree with, not a civil rights issue.

  109. 109
    Tom says:

    Midnight Marauder

    I have read it, and it seems like a bunch of people bitching because NPR doesn’t match the exact political philosophy and opinion that pulses through the neurons in their brain.

  110. 110
    ricky says:

    You know what they say. “There is no I in Team. There is a We in media. Its spelled m, e.”

  111. 111
    kay says:

    I didn’t know Karl Rove called Robert Gibbs “a bully”. That is extremely amusing.

    Why did they ever, ever dream Gibbs was a pushover? The southern accent?

    They’re dumb as rocks. 90% of them have southern accents.

  112. 112
    valdivia says:

    Midnight and Kay

    This is the thing that i find Villagy, the constant obsession with the 24 hour cycle, no sense of proportion, the sense of urgency about irrelevant things, the sense of entitlement in terms of defining what is important and their inability to accept that the rest of the country does not agree.

    While the McCain camp kept saying the press were in the tank for Obama most pundits spent the whole month of Sept and Oct prognosticating a loss for Obama and how McCain could still win. They will never forgive Obama for proving them wrong on everything. Also–if you read assessments of the campaign last year a lot of the CW now is that McCain was ahead and would have won if it were not for the economic crisis. McCain had a bump in his numbers after the convention which is usual but this dissipated quickly and the independents hated Palin. But no one wants to read it like that anymore because they have their story to tell and hey that is better no? The thing is that because they misread what happened they are still seeing everything through that lens. They did not learn anything.

    Rant over. :-)

  113. 113
    Redshirt says:

    I am an Obama voter and think taking on Fox news is the perfect thing for his Admin to do.

    The big side bonus of it is it keeps Fox news and all their minions focused on this issue, while the grownups try and get real work done in the meantime (Healthcare!)

  114. 114
    Michael says:

    So this is what the end of the Presidency of Jack Ryan comes down to – incessant whining from his partisans.

  115. 115
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Tom:

    I have read it, and it seems like a bunch of people bitching because NPR doesn’t match the exact political philosophy and opinion that pulses through the neurons in their brain.

    I’d posit that it’s a lot of people discussing how the perception of NPR as some kind of “liberal bastion” is far from the actual reality of the situation. Put another way: if NPR is “the most unbiased, straightforward news reporting/analyzing organization around,” then you might need to start looking around more. There are some major deficiencies at NPR that seem to be getting larger and larger in the current media climate. They are in no way above the fray somehow, benevolently looking down at the tomfoolery of cable news and rags like the WaPo as they fight the good fight.

    That’s what people are talking about. Not the “groupthink” bullshit you’re trying to claim.

  116. 116
    Makewi says:

    @kay:

    I think we have different definitions of tough is all. In my definition, someone who is tough doesn’t whine that those mean old reporters from a certain network. They also don’t refuse to talk to them.

    You are right that I want them to fail at this type of obfuscation, to not succeed at thinking they only have to talk to who they want to talk to.

  117. 117
    Tom says:

    I’d posit that it’s a lot of people discussing how the perception of NPR as some kind of “liberal bastion” is far from the actual reality of the situation.

    I’ve never thought NPR was a liberal bastion (in its newsreporting anyway) and have always argued with people on the right when they called it that. It’s, as I said, very straightforward. They do provide opinion from both sides of the aisle, and that seems to get people’s undies in a bunch. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to hear opinions you disagree with when you tune into a news station. In fact, I think it’s a good thing.

    Put another way: if NPR is “the most unbiased, straightforward news reporting/analyzing organization around,” then you might need to start looking around more.

    Why don’t you point me in the right direction?

    Not the “groupthink” bullshit you’re trying to claim.

    Where did I claim “groupthing”? I said people were seemingly upset because NPR didn’t conform to their own personal opinion.

  118. 118
    kay says:

    @valdivia:

    I agree with you about McCain. I think they kept hope alive for two reasons, one of them very good.
    1. Because it’s not right to call a race before it’s over, because that drives down turn-out.
    I was okay with them pretending McCain was going to pull out a miraculous win. I agree with that. I don’t want them affecting turnout.
    2. is not so good: because keeping it a race keeps viewers and listeners engaged.
    On balance, though, I don’t want media calling the race prior to election day. I think that can actually skew the result.

  119. 119
    danimal says:

    @Makewi: Obama has repeatedly stated that he and his representatives will make appearances on Fox. There’s no “refusal” going on; just an acknowledgement that Fox has a partisan agenda.

  120. 120
    colleeniem says:

    @Tom: We can agree to disagree, but I will give some evidence:
    Two weeks ago, Glenn Beck was cited as a critic of the Administration’s Czars.
    On Morning Edition, a news program that should be covering only the big stories of the day.
    I hate to feed the trolls, but Beck is a laughingstock, and there was no mention of his other ridiculous opinions that should, in sane world, preclude him from being mentioned in a generalized political report. Most sane people can agree that his opinion is, or should be, irrelevant in an accurate national conversation about political developments. In the nineties, NPR was (and still is) lambasted before as being bland, because it should be bland. A logical conversation about developments of the day do not give credence to the extremists. And, lo, after I heard that piece, I searched the NPR Morning Edition website to see if either Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow (because they are considered our lefty “extremist”) to see if they had been mentioned as a source of criticism of administration doings. I could find no stories that mentioned either one, other than a media critique of their work. And these were not on the morning or afternoon news programs.
    And let’s not forget those folks who died from “enhanced interrogation techniques,” in NPR’s parlance.
    Not a dime of my money until they fix their ostensible “news” programs.

  121. 121
    kay says:

    @Makewi:

    Obama is more available to the press than any President in my lifetime. He holds more press conferences, agrees to more interviews.

    It is flat-out ludicrous for conservatives to claim that he’s “hiding” from anything.

    What your statement assumes is that every outlet besides Fox is biased toward the President, and that’s ridiculous.

    I watched Fox interview Obama during the primary, after the Wright controversy. It was jarringly partisan, and worse, designed to feed the rabid base.

    Chris Wallace conducted the interview like a lawyer at a hostile deposition, every question started with a bad faith assumption about the guest. It sucked as an interview. The questions were designed to elicit yes or no answers.

    I’ve watched tapes of police interviewing a suspect that were more professional and polite.

    Obama is not a fool. He’s not going to dance for you.

  122. 122
    Makewi says:

    @danimal:

    Fox is saying that Anita Dunn told them no more interviews for the rest of the year. Sounds like a refusal to me.

  123. 123
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Tom:

    I’ve never thought NPR was a liberal bastion (in its newsreporting anyway) and have always argued with people on the right when they called it that. It’s, as I said, very straightforward. They do provide opinion from both sides of the aisle, and that seems to get people’s undies in a bunch. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to hear opinions you disagree with when you tune into a news station. In fact, I think it’s a good thing.

    Again, there’s nothing wrong with reporting opinions from all sides, and that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying it’s in the way that those opinions are presented, and there’s a increasing tendency with NPR programming to present “conservative” opinions as the conventional wisdom of the day. That’s what “gets peoples’ undies in a bunch,” not just the fact that they present conservative opinions. It’s all in how they are framed and delivered. And again, I don’t think you’ll find too many people arguing against the idea that it’s “unreasonable to hear opinions you disagree with when you tune into a news station.” That’s one of the reason I enjoy coming to this site, because of the diverse opinions and ideologies of the commentariat.

    Why don’t you point me in the right direction?

    McClatchy

    Where did I claim “groupthing”? I said people were seemingly upset because NPR didn’t conform to their own personal opinion.

    I may have phrased my comment poorly, but it was in reference to your “it seems like a bunch of people bitching because NPR doesn’t match the exact political philosophy and opinion that pulses through the neurons in their brain.” That sounds a lot like groupthink to me.

  124. 124
    batgirl says:

    Wow, I just read Rudin’s “apology,” and it was supper crappy. It was one of those “yeah, I said a stupid thing, but let me continue to point out what is wrong with the other person.” He uses words like juvenile, childish, and war to describe Obama and the WH response to Fox News. And double downs on his critique.

    Why can’t anyone just say “I’m sorry” anymore and leave it there. And how in the hell did the WH criticism of Fox, which has been pointed out here again and again is not unprecedented, become so big? Oh yeah, it was because Fox is playing it up for it’s audience and the rest of the MSM is playing along.

  125. 125
    ricky says:

    I don’t hink Bush was mentioned when NPR accused Obama of being “almost Nixonian” or suggesting MSNBC was equally as outrageous as Glenn Beck, then downgrading that latter comparison.

    Mr. CARR: I think the mental exercise that Bruce suggests is an excellent one. I think if you switch around the dynamics of party and whose ox is being gored, I think the White House press corps and the rest of the press corps would have a reflexive disgust with a president taking the time to deploy White House resources to go on the attack against a specific outlet, regardless of what you think of their approach to journalism and/or opinion.

    RUDIN: Yeah – no, I agree with David completely.

    I do think Doug J spends too much time trying to document Bush wrongdoing. The problem was not Bush bitch-slapping the press, it was the press had its lips too tight around Bush’s privates or their tongues too deep in his fanny for anyone to hear even if they did protest.

  126. 126
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Makewi:

    Fox is saying that Anita Dunn told them no more interviews for the rest of the year. Sounds like a refusal to me.

    Right. Because you can believe exactly what Fox News tells you. Because they’ve been so reliable with the truth over the years. Because they have no reason to lie about the repeated actual statements the Obama Administration has made about continuing to appear on Fox News programming.

    It’s a little early in the day for such a standard weak effort, Makewi. But why should we expect anything different from you?

  127. 127
    valdivia says:

    @kay:

    kay I agree the media should not call the election before hand but it is a year later and they are still pretending McCain was going to win. If you look at the numbers it is very clear that is not what happened but they have a narrative and they are sticking to it, even after the fact.

  128. 128
    Gregory says:

    @Rock:

    They lost me when they decided to analyze whether Kerry was a good Catholic or not. That was enough on it’s own to do it, but to top it off their analysis was a sample of 3 people saying he wasn’t.

    If you’re thinking of the same segment I am, it’s even worse than that — for starters, that half-assed “analysis” was by Barbara Bradley Haggerty, self-professed evangelical Christian (whose obvious bias ought to disqualify her from being assigned as NPR’s religion correspondent), and her sample was of three people leaving a weekday Mass — in other words, three people quite likely to be very devout Catholics.

    She should have been fired after that odious piece of hackwork, but no.

  129. 129
    kay says:

    @valdivia:

    I think that’ s no harm no foul. I’m not a sore winner :)

  130. 130
    Makewi says:

    What your statement assumes is that every outlet besides Fox is biased toward the President, and that’s ridiculous.

    My statement does no such thing. Whether Fox is biased against the POTUS or not is besides the question. The people have a right to have the administration answer tough questions. This vendetta the administration is making against Fox is designed to chill criticism. He’s dancing to his own tune, and the title isn’t ‘open government’.

    You seem to think that his being able to deliver his set piece announcements is some sort of fantastic transparency, but those paying attention are watching how he deals with questions he doesn’t like and it isn’t a pretty picture.

  131. 131
    Gregory says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    one of the few news sources that isn’t completely in the tank for the corporatists.

    Since when? Have you listened to NPR lately? If you want to know what the Republicans think about an issue, they’re the go-to guys, but otherwise, not so much.

  132. 132
    Makewi says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Liar! He explains.

  133. 133
    SFAW says:

    Or are you trying to imply that Obama is the one who got Froomkin fired?

    If that were the case, I’d post as BoB or Makewi.

    Oooh, now there’s an idea …

  134. 134
    valdivia says:

    @kay:

    LOL but you know what really gets me–that that lens, that framework is used by the Village to make it seem like Obama won in a fluke, that their analysis was right but somehow things went mysteriously unlike they think they should. For me it is not about being sore it is about the media seeing Obama as someone who does not deserve the job or their respect. To me is a symptom of the same exact illness we are talking about in this thread.

  135. 135
    SFAW says:

    Obama has decided that he is only going to be the POTUS for people who agree with him. Which is why any comparison to Bush is, at best, inapt as Bush continued to talk to a hostile press on all issues. It’s because Obama is sort of a whiner really. Doesn’t take criticism very well.

    Wow, projection and lying, all wrapped up in a neat little package. Thanks!

    I think we have different definitions of tough is all. In my definition, someone who is tough doesn’t whine that those mean old reporters from a certain network. They also don’t refuse to talk to them.

    Again with the projection. Once was enough.

    You are right that I want them to fail at this type of obfuscation, to not succeed at thinking they only have to talk to who they want to talk to.

    Fixed.

    Liar! He explains.

    Hey, if the shoe fits …

  136. 136
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @valdivia:

    This is the thing that i find Villagy, the constant obsession with the 24 hour cycle, no sense of proportion, the sense of urgency about irrelevant things, the sense of entitlement in terms of defining what is important and their inability to accept that the rest of the country does not agree.

    I think the Village not having any sense of perspective/proportion is what is going to ultimately be their downfall, because all the other issues you mention stem from that (except for the 24 hour news cycle, which I think is the main reason for the lost sense of perspective). They really are incapable of appreciating, understanding, and then articulating the big-picture perspective of events that are unfolding around them. They have no ability to say “Hey wait, this sounds a lot like something that happened a year ago. How does that relate to what’s going on today?”

    To go back to the Balloon Boy incident, I watched more cable news that day than I had probably all year–and I watched CNN for maybe 45 minutes to an hour. During that time, they had no idea if the kid was even in the balloon. Well, why would you go on air for an hour if you don’t have any knowledge of the most fundamental aspect of the BREAKING NEWS story you’re covering? How nonsensical must your entire operation be from top to bottom to arrive at such an exhibition of know-nothingness? And how in the world–if you can’t get facts straight about a kid supposedly whisked away by a homemade balloon–can you be expected to get things right about such intricate, nuanced, dense issues as health care reform, Afghanistan, financial regulation, and basic civics knowledge about how the branches and institution of government in this country are supposed to work?

    You simply can’t, and so you end up resorting to the kind of know-nothing wanking that we see from people like Jake Tapper and Ruth Marcus; you get Wolf Blitzer lily-livered questioning in The Situation Room; you get talking heads yelling gibberish at each other for 7 minute intervals day-in, day-out, without imparting any knowledge of any kind to the audience at large.

    What you get is the entire failure of the Fourth Estate at large to do its job, and the rest of the population suffers accordingly.

  137. 137
    kay says:

    @Makewi:

    The people have a right to have the administration answer tough questions. This vendetta the administration is making against Fox is designed to chill criticism. He’s dancing to his own tune, and the title isn’t ‘open government’.

    Bullshit. The assumption you’re making is that he doesn’t get “tough questions”. The assumption is implicit in your complaint.
    This will be the most thoroughly parsed administration in my lifetime. He can’t make a move without 15 questions.
    More bullshit about “chilling”.
    Conservatives are the loudest “silenced” minority in the history of the universe.
    What are we on, 9 months in? What is today’s OUTRAGE number? I’ve lost count.
    Your complaints are heard. No one can hear themselves think above this incessant din you’re creating.
    Obama has freed conservatives, apparently. You didn’t say JACK for 8 years, and now you won’t shut up.
    We’re having a debate on health care, and a debate on Afghanistan, and a debate on every goddamn other thing.
    THAT’S the atmosphere Obama created. It’s new to you, but it ain’t new to liberals. We debate within the ranks all the time.
    Nice to see you’ve “found your voice”. See if you can figure out how to say something worthwhile.

  138. 138
    Makewi says:

    @SFAW:

    Everything you don’t agree with is a lie. I’ll make a note of it.

  139. 139
    Soylent Green says:

    Makewi,
     
    Any day now the Japanese are going to produce a convincingly human-looking robot that can recite GOP talking points better than you can, at which time your services to the party will no longer be required.

  140. 140
    valdivia says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    you sir/madame have said it exactly as I would so I can only say without much wit or depth: ditto.

  141. 141
    kay says:

    @valdivia:

    It is. It’s maddening. They announced this summer that his Presidency was over, so now they have to create this false “comeback”. I was waiting for the comeback meme, because it has to be there, or the “failure” meme that preceded it was in error.

    It’s easy when you’re writing the narrative, huh?

  142. 142
    geg6 says:

    I happily contribute to my local PBS television station. WQED is one of the most historic public broadcasting stations in the nation, proud to be the home of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and the Rick Sebak Pittsburgh Historical Series. On Q Magazine is a great local pundit show with people from all bands of the political spectrum. I love PBS.

    NPR, unfortunately, is nothing but wall to wall hackery. Thankfully, we have WQED Radio here and they fill most of their time with jazz and classical music. But because of NPR’s disgraceful decision to not call torture what it is, I make sure that I write on my WQED checks that I do not want any of my contribution to go to purchasing any NPR programming. And then I follow up with a call to WQED. They allow you to designate local programming as a recipient of your donation. So I give it all to Rick Sebak:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Sebak

  143. 143
    SFAW says:

    Everything you don’t agree with is a lie. I’ll make a note of it.

    No. Just the stuff that you write. We proved your lying yesterday, remember? No, of course you don’t.

    You should make a note of that, too. Once you realize you’re full of shit, there’s a chance that you’ll start writing something true.

    About the same chance as the Mets have of winning the 2009 World Series, but still …

  144. 144
    Makewi says:

    @kay:

    Obama doesn’t allow debate, he claims to value it but in the end it’s get on board or stfu. As to my voice, these are the new rules of the game, created by you guys during the last administration. It would be unfair not to give you a chance to enjoy them.

  145. 145
    geg6 says:

    @Makewi:

    So, getting thoroughly pwned two evenings in a row like the lying, whining punk you are wasn’t enough?

    You have been shown to be a coward and a liar. That is the only thing anyone here should ever say to you. If they feel compelled to reply to your idiocy at all.

    Makewi: A proven coward and liar.

  146. 146
    Makewi says:

    @SFAW:

    You didn’t prove jack. You whined a bit that you should only have to use the numbers you want, blamed bush as per your usual and then declared victory. Meanwhile the government has spent 173.2 billion dollars, created 30,383 verified jobs while the unemployment numbers continue to grow into the millions.

    Heckuva job guys. Look, Fox News!!!!!

  147. 147
    SFAW says:

    Obama doesn’t allow debate, he claims to value it but in the end it’s get on board or stfu. As to my voice, these are the new rules of the game, created by you guys during the last administration. It would be unfair not to give you a chance to enjoy them.

    You just keep proving my point in 135. Thanks for not making me have to work for it!

    OK, time for your “I know you are but what am I?” comment.

    And don’t forget $173.2 Billion! And Poland!

  148. 148
    Makewi says:

    @geg6:

    Poor baby. Why don’t you go pout in the corner with the rest of the crowd that only wants to look at the happy Obama stamp of approval “facts”?

  149. 149
    Makewi says:

    @Soylent Green:

    Too late. There is already MSNBC.

  150. 150
    Xanthippas says:

    Yes, I listed one, to compliment the litany of other examples that are scattered throughout this thread. I didn’t know that I had to give you a complete and total rundown of all NPR transgressions over the years. The point of the post was that not everyone saying “fuck NPR” is doing so all of a sudden because of this one incident, which is what you were making it sound like.

    Yes, and I went through this thread to find that litany of which you speak, only to find a list of relatively isolated incidents (Juan Williams, a bad story about Kerry’s catholicism, NPR’s unwillingness to use the word torture, and a comment by Rudin that he has already taken back) that hardly make NPR the radio equivalent of Fox News, or CNN. And what I am saying basically to everyone in this thread (starting with DougJ) who is piling onto NPR is this: if you cannot grasp the difference between NPR’s isolated bumblings of hotly partisan topics, and the systematic and perverse failure of cable media to provide any meaningful insight even into the trivial issues that they cover on a 24-hour basis, then you are suffering from a failure of perspective.

  151. 151
    licensed to kill time says:

    I wonder why Makewi comes here at all. It is dour, humorless, dull and almost as persistent as Darrell, judging from the archival evidence (I wasn’t around then). When it is presented with facts, it almost always devolves into name-calling and pout-flounces away. It seems such a pointless endeavor, and not even amusing in a BOBish way.

  152. 152
    Makewi says:

    @SFAW:

    Please, you wouldn’t work for it because you don’t know how. You just like to ignore uncomfortable truths.

    Stick your head in the sand brave little ostrich!

  153. 153
    SFAW says:

    You didn’t prove jack. You whined a bit that you should only have to use the numbers you want, blamed bush as per your usual and then declared victory. Meanwhile the government has spent 173.2 billion dollars, created 30,383 verified jobs while the unemployment numbers continue to grow into the millions.

    Just because you’re too stupid to understand the numbers doesn’t mean they were wrong. It just means you’re stupid.

    And, gee, looks like I guessed right on the $173.2 coming from you! Damn, I’m good.

    Gee, with enough stupidity on your part (I know, I know, how can one quantify the infinite?), we can get this thread up to at least 400 comments.

    Go for it, girlfriend!

  154. 154
    geg6 says:

    @Makewi:

    As I said, a coward and a liar.

  155. 155
    SFAW says:

    Please, you wouldn’t work for it because you don’t know how. You just like to ignore uncomfortable truths.

    Stick your head in the sand brave little ostrich!

    Keep projecting, honey. It’s what makes you so endearing.

  156. 156
    Makewi says:

    @SFAW:
    @geg6:

    Brave little Balloon Juice commenters dealing valiantly with dissent. I dub thee the ostrich brigade.

  157. 157
    Tom says:

    Midnight Marauder & colleeniem,

    As far as specific examples of what you base your criticism on, I guess I’d have to hear them. I listen to NPR everyday and have never had anything strike me being out of balance.

    Colleeniem,

    Your example of them citing Glen Beck as a “conservative commentator” without “mention of his other ridiculous opinions that should, in sane world, preclude him from being mentioned in a generalized political report.”

    Well, you know, we aren’t really in a sane world. And, in context of a czar story, Beck is the one who put the issue out there. I’m guessing what followed was a pretty even-handed look at the czar issue? I don’t have a problem with NPR citing Beck as a conservative commentator because he IS a conservative commentator. Beck is in the news a lot and by asking NPR to not speak of him or any issues surrounding him with the caveat that he’s a loon and should not be listened to is asking NPR to think for their audience instead of letting the audience think for themselves. Czars was a hot topic a month or two back. Beck was the trigger of all the talk about them. If the actual story on Czars was not a good piece, following Beck’s line of thinking, then yeah, criticize NPR. But simply mentioning him with an appropriate description is nothing to get upset about in my opinion.

    And I’ll Midnight Marauder, check out McClatchy.

  158. 158
    SFAW says:

    Brave little Balloon Juice commenters dealing valiantly with dissent. I dub thee the ostrich brigade.

    Shorter Makewi:
    “Mommy! Mommy! SFAW and geg6 are being mean to me! Waaah! They’re big meanies! Make them stop, Mommy!”

  159. 159
    geg6 says:

    @Xanthippas:

    if you cannot grasp the difference between NPR’s isolated bumblings of hotly partisan topics, and the systematic and perverse failure of cable media to provide any meaningful insight even into the trivial issues that they cover on a 24-hour basis, then you are suffering from a failure of perspective.

    And if you can’t grasp the difference between the level of truth and professionalism a for-profit cable network owes its viewers and those who purchase its advertising time and the one a public television station owes its donors who are its viewers, then it just might be you who is suffering from a failure of perspective.

  160. 160
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @The Moar You Know: Here, here!

  161. 161
    Makewi says:

    @SFAW:

    Oh, it’d be the easiest thing in the world to make you stop. I’d just have to agree that Obama was the bestest POTUS ever and that those mean old republicans/conservatives deserve to die.

  162. 162
    colleeniem says:

    @Tom: I understand your defense of the organization (and I’m talking about NPR, specifically), and I agree that they even though don’t do some things well they add some rarely found value to the discourse.
    However, even Fox does that (very little, but still).
    What I am saying that I don’t have to support them financially, and I’m telling you why–they elevate the same ridiculous people to a status that shouldn’t be afforded to them. I’m not going to pay them to do so. Political commentary is so toxic that if they are truly a public service, they would take great pains to use credible sources, and call torture, torture.
    That is my own humble opinion, and everyone gets to have one.

  163. 163
    Gregory says:

    @joshers:

    Rudin has issued a lengthy apology for the comparison

    …which, right at the top and throughout, repeats the right-wing framing of Obama’s so-called “war on Fox.”

    Regarding donations to local NPR affiliates: They, in turn, turn around and give a big hunk of that money to NPR. My own local affiliate, in fact (WFYI in Indianapolis), makes a big deal during pledge drives of how expensive ME and ATC are, and how they’re expected to fork over the big bucks to deliver such “quality” programming.

    It’s really a clever marketing ploy by NPR, I must admit: Local stations do produce quality programming and do deserve support, but NPR’s continuing mediocrity just piggybacks on top of it all, and takes the lion’s share of local contribtuions to boot. No, thanks.

  164. 164
    kay says:

    @Makewi:

    You have to decide.
    Obama is either weak and bumbling or he is a strict authoritarian figure who is silencing dissenters.

    He’s terrified of Fox so Fox will stop questioning his administration?
    That doesn’t even make sense.

    Fox news ran ads for the tea parties. I saw the ads, and there is no other name for what those were. They were run on breaks during news division programming.

    You let me know when NBC news runs a series of ads promoting the next liberal march on DC, okay?

    Fox jumped the shark with the tea parties. I saw it, and so did every other sentient being. Media are protecting their own on this.

  165. 165
    Gregory says:

    @Reason60:

    The idea that the President</strike a Democrat should be a crash test dummy who passively suffers the attacks from the opposite party is a bit of madness conventional wisdom shared by conservatives and the media, a convenient mythology whopped up in just the last few weeks over decades (and, sadly, with the complicity of the Democrats themselves).

    Fixed.

  166. 166
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Xanthippas:

    if you cannot grasp the difference between NPR’s isolated bumblings of hotly partisan topics, and the systematic and perverse failure of cable media to provide any meaningful insight even into the trivial issues that they cover on a 24-hour basis, then you are suffering from a failure of perspective.

    The italicized part is where I think the divergence in perspective is coming from. People like myself are arguing that NPR’s “bumblings” (as you call them) are not, in fact, isolated at all. The torture example that you seemingly dismiss is the prime example of that. That’s not some kind of one-off thing. That’s a distinct editorial decision that directly influences their content and programming on a daily basis, and leads to the kind of mealy-mouthed reporting you would get from a Jake Tapper or a Wolf Blitzer.

  167. 167
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Makewi:

    Oh, it’d be the easiest thing in the world to make you stop. I’d just have to agree that Obama was the bestest POTUS ever and that those mean old republicans/conservatives deserve to die.

    I can’t think of a better example of your posting that crystalizes not only just how little you understand the point of the numerous discussions you find yourself drowning in on a daily basis; but of how you completely and utterly fail to grasp the enormous variety and healthy disagreement articulated by the individuals here on the steps taken by the Obama Administration thus far.

  168. 168
    Tom says:

    The torture example that you seemingly dismiss is the prime example of that.

    The thing with the torture debate is — and like it or not, there is a sizable portion of the country that doesn’t think “enhanced interrogation techniques” are torture, so it IS a debate — that for NPR to refer to the techniques “torture” would be for them to be answer the question they are reporting on. Again, it would be them thinking for the audience instead of presenting both sides of the story and letting the audience think for itself.

    I heard quite a few stories by NPR on the torture debate, and often they would refer to them as “enhanced interrogation techniques” then say something like “which many people believe constitute torture” before going into an in depth look at whether they constitute torture or not.

    Again, it seems like you want NPR to validate your opinions rather than report on issues.

  169. 169
    licensed to kill time says:

    This is pretty funny:

    Twitter has shut down 33 fake accounts created by Connecticut Republicans meant to impersonate Democratic state representatives. According to the Hartford Advocate, the GOP scheme was designed “to send out posts under the Democrats’ names mocking the liberal tax-and-spend bastards.” Twitter strictly forbids impersonation “intended to mislead, confuse or deceive others” on its site. However, the state GOP chairman is now complaining that Republicans’ “free speech” rights are being violated:
    “That’s unfortunate,” was state Republican Chairman Chris Healy’s response when told of Twitter, Inc.’s decision. “I’m not quite sure what the issue is, other than that the Democrats were successful in stopping free speech.”

    linky

  170. 170
    Tom says:

    I should also note that the NPR reporting I heard on the torture debate always left me with the impression that “enhanced interrogation techniques” did constitute torture.

  171. 171
    licensed to kill time says:

    @licensed to kill time: dang, messed up the blockquote. and it won’t let me edit it.

  172. 172
    SFAW says:

    Oh, it’d be the easiest thing in the world to make you stop. I’d just have to agree that Obama was the bestest POTUS ever and that those mean old republicans/conservatives deserve to die.

    Wrong. Again. What a surprise.

    You crossed the Mendoza line a long time ago. Now you’re in the zero-for-eleventy-bazillion range.

    It’s neck-and-neck between you and Billy Kristol. Maybe you should “write” for The Weekly Standard? Nah, Kristol couldn’t handle the competition.

  173. 173
    kay says:

    @Makewi:

    Saying Obama is avoiding “tough questions” on Fox is a “tell”, Makewi.

    It presupposes a lot of things that the conservative base believe, but that are not true.

    There is no liberal media. The media are as rigidly conventional as members of the local Rotary Club. They’re backed, primarily, by advertising. They don’t rock the paymaster’s boat.

    Fox is not “fair and balanced”. If you have to advertise “fair and balanced” you’re probably in trouble. They don’t even ask “hard questions”. They ask stupid, politically motivated “gotcha” questions.

  174. 174
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Tom:

    The thing with the torture debate is—and like it or not, there is a sizable portion of the country that doesn’t think “enhanced interrogation techniques” are torture, so it IS a debate—that for NPR to refer to the techniques “torture” would be for them to be answer the question they are reporting on. Again, it would be them thinking for the audience instead of presenting both sides of the story and letting the audience think for itself.

    First of all, there’s a “sizeable” portion of the country who thinks the president is a secret Kenyan muslim. There’s a sizeable part of this country that thinks Jesus rode around on dinosaurs. There’s a sizeable part of this country that thinks evolution is crazy talk. I’m just saying.

    And no, there is no debate with torture. It’s actually somewhat sad that you seem to have bought in to the Cheney line of argument, and not only that, you sound exactly like the NPR ombudsman in her laughable justification of their “reporting”:

    That seems clear enough, but the problem is that the word torture is loaded with political and social implications for several reasons, including the fact that torture is illegal under U.S. law and international treaties the United States has signed.

    Yeah, that’s a real “political implication” you’ve got there, Lou.

    Torture is an explicitly and clearly legally defined term, and has been for quite some time in this country. The tragedies that news orgs like NPR report on as “enhanced interrogation techniques,” are atrocities that have been referred to and acknowledged as torture for centuries. They’re the same things the Nazis did; that the Soviets did; that Pol Pot did; that the Vietcong did. And the fact that NPR bought into that nonsense is entirely disheartening and the reason so many people view the organization in a negative light these days.

    If they called torture what it actually is, that would not be NPR “answering the question they are reporting on.” It would be reporting on what the International Red Cross–the organization who, for all intents and purposes, is the international body that designates torture and crimes of that ilk–deemed to be torture years ago. It’s not them “thinking for the audience.” It’s presenting the facts as they are and acknowledging reality. A reality that you yourself seem to get:

    I should also note that the NPR reporting I heard on the torture debate always left me with the impression that “enhanced interrogation techniques” did constitute torture.

    Then why the fucking semantics, man? Why can’t they just call it what it is? And that’s how it all comes together. In that regard, on the major issue of the day–WAR CRIMES–NPR is no better than the NYT, no better than CNN, no better than Fox News, and no better than any other traditional media outlet.

    Again, it seems like you want NPR to validate your opinions rather than report on issues.

    No. I want them to call a spade a spade and stop dancing around like puppets. It’s torture; not “enhanced interrogation techniques.” More importantly, it’s an affront to intelligent, sensible individuals in their audience.

  175. 175
    Makewi says:

    @kay:

    That is a false dichotomy. Obama is both weak and authoritarian. Interestingly enough, this was not considered a problem when the object of discussion was the last administration.

    I do appreciate your old saw about their being no liberal media due to not rocking the pay masters boats. It’s a ridiculous assertion, but it never gets old reading it.

    In any case, I don’t really care if fox is “fair and balanced” or, for that matter, if you think you have some secret knowledge to “tells”. The simple truths are that Obama wants them silenced, and he wants the other news organizations to be complicit in this. The other news organizations, apart from MSNBC, not being retarded, understand the larger implications of this.

    You think it’s fine.

  176. 176
    Makewi says:

    Ya’ll have a nice weekend.

  177. 177
    geg6 says:

    @Tom:

    You don’t seem to understand. The ONLY reason there is any sort of debate on torture is because FUCKING ASSHOLES LIKE NPR REFUSE TO CALL IT WHAT IT IS. READ THE FUCKING DEFINITION OF TORTURE IN THE GODDAM GENEVA CONVENTION!

    Now you may be just fine with the idea of torturing people. That is your right to hold that opinion. But our country has signed a treaty with the force of international law swearing that we will not do such a thing and that we will prosecute those we find doing it.

    NPR refuses to face reality. Apparently, so do you. I won’t support, with my hard-earned dollars, a media operation that systematically lies and distorts reality.

    And what the so-called sizable portion of the population isn’t really the point. The definition of torture and the laws and treaties that outlaw it and provide the response to instances of it aren’t part of a popularity contest. Facts are facts. Reality is reality. This isn’t fucking American Idol.

  178. 178
    geg6 says:

    Damn the edit function…

    This:

    And what the so-called sizable portion of the population isn’t really the point.

    should be:

    And what the so-called sizable portion of the population wants or thinks isn’t really the point.

  179. 179
    licensed to kill time says:

    And awaaaaay it flounces!

  180. 180
    Tom says:

    Now you may be just fine with the idea of torturing people. That is your right to hold that opinion.

    geg6, don’t be an idiot.

    The reason there is a debate about whether enhanced interrogation techniques is not because NPR doesn’t come out and call them torture, it’s because the last president and his administration made the case that they do not constitute torture. That is why, period.

    Like it or not, Bush was our president, Cheney was VP and Addington was writing what amounted to legislation. The White House carries a weight to it. And they and their supporters strongly argued what they were doing was not torture. Others strongly argued it was (I’m one of them).

    But it’s not NPR’s job to voice its opinion on the matter. It’s NPR’s job to report and analyze that debate. And I assume you know something about legal matters. They aren’t always cut and dry. Yes, the enhanced interrogation techniques under the Geneva Conventions are torture. But then there’s the question about whether al Qaeda members are covered by the Geneva Conventions. And there’s the question of does it matter if they are. There are also people who argued that the Geneva Conventions should not be seen as the ultimate authority on what constitutes torture.

    Now, on all these issues, you and I probably agree. Most if not all the people at NPR probably agree with you as well. But in terms of reporting on an issue that’s being debated by the country, they want to stay as impartial as possible. Not explicitly calling the techniques torture — not referring to them as torture as their default noun in newscasts — was a good way to do that. Because if you do, you’re taking one side of the debate right out of the gate.

    Their reporting on the debate of whether these techniques were torture or not strongly suggests they are, because the facts strongly suggest they are. But to keep impartiality, which is a crucial thing in news reporting, referring to them as enhanced interrogation techniques was the right thing to do. And the decision made me more likely to donate to them in the future.

  181. 181
    kay says:

    @Makewi:

    No, Makewi, he can’t be both weak and authoritarian. Your premise is silly.

    Fox news anchors tell me daily that Obama is a blithering elitist.

    The next day they claim someone, somewhere is silencing them.

    Who, pray tell, is silencing conservatives? You speak and speak and speak. You never shut up. The Vice President and his talentless and otherwise unemployable daughter believe they’re running US foreign policy.

    Go back and read the Gibbs quote that I posted. I spend a lot of time in court. That statement would make me pick my head up, and focus, fast, because I’d know I was in for a fight. It made me smile. I’m okay with a fight.

    Bang. Robert Gibbs is no punching bag. He fights back. They’re not afraid of conservative hacks in the Obama White House. Get used to it.

  182. 182
    geg6 says:

    Tom: You can dance around it all you want. There is no REAL argument about what constitutes torture. None. If you wish to take the fantastic stylings of Cheney, Addington, and Yoo as legal authority, that’s fine. But none of that matters because the treaty makes no differentiation between anyone as to who is is being tortured. Do a little research and it’s clear as day. My 8 year old niece can read the Conventions, the treaty on torture, and American legal precedents and figure that out. There is no instance anywhere that says it’s okay to waterboard anyone whether military, civilian, or something in between. None. Torture is torture and it’s illegal in all cases. And no prettying up what words you use to call it changes that. And it is deeply dishonest and immoral to call it anything else. But feel free to keep your beautiful mind clear of such distasteful thoughts as the fact that your country tortured hundreds of people, both guilty and innocent, and that your national public radio and you, yourself, are fine with living a lie.

  183. 183
    SFAW says:

    Who, pray tell, is silencing conservatives? You speak and speak and speak. You never shut up.

    kay –

    Not quite true. They were pretty f’ing quiet as Bush kept destroying the country. Now that Obama and his Administration are doing their best to bail out conservatives’ sorry asses, suddenly they’re complaining.

    They’re as un-American a bunch of assholes as there exist anywhere.

    Well, maybe not the worst, but certainly the worst in this country, and the worst of those who don’t openly talk about destroying the US or the West.

  184. 184
    Arclite says:

    A little late to be piling on, maybe, but yesterday’s Morning Edition had the following story on their website.

    “Public Option Short On Democrat Votes In Senate”

    Check it out here:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/s.....=113990953

    Shouldn’t that read “Democratic Votes?” Is NPR buying into the Republican “Democrat Party” framing?

  185. 185
    Flugelhorn says:

    I have never seen a more insular echo chamber as I do on this blog. You guys are entertaining. As if you are the mainstream and thus the majority of the press is centrist and mainstream leaving Fox all alone in a corner of conservatisim. You should all really get out more.

    Have a nice night.

  186. 186
    SFAW says:

    I have never seen a more insular echo chamber as I do on this blog.

    Don’t get out much, do you.

    You should all really get out more.

    Ah, projection rears its ugly head, yet again.

  187. 187
    Will says:

    Just to add my two cents…

    I’ve been listening to NPR since the early 90s. In the last few years, the number of WTF moments in their news programs has been increasing steadily. I haven’t kept a tally or log of specific examples.

    Like a lot of people here, it’s more a growing reaction to a gradual change than any singular moment. If I had to point to one moment that I think signaled the beginning of the change, it was the firing of Bob Edwards. It’s been a slow and gradual deevolution since, but it is striking for a long-time listener.

    The way they cover things has changed. In the dull old days, political commentary tended to feature more professors, authors and working journalists than TV pundits and think tank hacks. There was a lot more historical context and a lot less trite conventional wisdom and right wing platitudes from the like of Juan Williams, David Brooks and Cokie Roberts.

    It’s like Coke and New Coke. You may not be able to describe the difference in a 500 word essay, but you know it’s not the same and you know you don’t like it.

  188. 188
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    Oh Christ, another thread hijacked by that mean-spirited nitwit?

    Pass.

  189. 189
    Xanthippas says:

    And if you can’t grasp the difference between the level of truth and professionalism a for-profit cable network owes its viewers and those who purchase its advertising time and the one a public television station owes its donors who are its viewers, then it just might be you who is suffering from a failure of perspective.

    So because NPR fails to meet this higher standard that you hold it to, they are now the equivalent of Fox and CNN? That’s neither fair nor sensible.

    Really, it’s the tone of these complaints that irritate me more than anything. In short DougJ is basically saying “NPR is no better than Fox, CNN et al because of one comment of their political editor, and you’re an idiot if you give them money” with some commentators then piling on with “oh and don’t forget that torture thing, or that John Kerry story from 2004!” Well, I’m not a “stooge”, DougJ is wrong and so are you. I’m sorry that NPR trips your left-wing outrage alarm when they fail to use the word “torture” or dare to defend Fox, but I dare you to listen to NPR for one day then watch CNN for an entire day and try to tell me they are the same.

  190. 190
    Don Doumakes says:

    From my note to the NPR ombudsman:

    I’ve been listening to NPR since Nixon, the real Nixon, was in the White House. The comparison is shallow, to put it mildly. Nixon was a criminal, for starters, and he was complaining about stories about his criminal behavior that turned out to be truthful.

  191. 191

    […] I listened to this today, which John Cole discussed here. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] I listened to this today, which John Cole discussed here. […]

Comments are closed.