Monday, March 14, 2011

About NPR

Please run, don't walk, over to Alternet and read the very excellent opinion piece co-authored by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship entitled In Defense of NPR.

Here's the subtitle: "Consider an America without public media. Consider a society where the distortions and dissembling would go unchallenged, where fact-based reporting is eliminated." And here's a bit more:

Richard Nixon was the first to try to shut down public broadcasting, strangling and diverting funding, attacking alleged bias and even placing public broadcasters Sander Vanocur and Robert MacNeil on his legendary enemies list. Nixon didn't succeed, and, ironically, his downfall was brought about in part by public television's nighttime rebroadcasts of the Senate Watergate hearings, exposing his crimes and misdemeanors to a wider, primetime audience.

Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich tried to gut public broadcasting, too, and the George W. Bush White House planted partisan operatives at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in an attempt to challenge journalists who didn't hew to the party line.

Now, regarding the NPR fundraiser who stupidly was trapped into stating that the Tea Party is racist:

Then reverse the situation and contemplate how, say, Fox News would handle a similar incident if it were the target of a sting. Would its coverage be as "fair and balanced" as NPR's? Would Fox apologize or punish an outspoken employee if he or she demeaned liberals? Don't kid yourself. A raise and promotion would be more likely. Think of the fortune Glenn Beck has made on Fox spewing bile and lies about progressives and their "conspiracies."

And oh yes, something else: remember what Fox News chief Roger Ailes said about NPR executives after they fired Fox contributor Juan Williams? "They are, of course, Nazis," Ailes told an interviewer. "They have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism. These guys don't want any other point of view." When the Anti-Defamation League objected to the characterization, Ailes apologized but then described NPR as "nasty, inflexible" bigots.

Double standard? You bet.

Of course, I've seen the standard of public media really go downhill since the W. Bush administration came into office. It's become more and more conservative.

It's still the best we've got.

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