NPR Promotes Government-Subsidized Yoga for Combat Vets

Despite growing into a massive network, National Public Radio still demonstrates signs of being the same countercultural liberal listening post that came of age in the Vietnam era. On Thursday’s Morning Edition, NPR covered war and post-traumatic stress disorder in a trendy liberal way: as an opportunity to sell combat veterans on the mystical healing power of yoga.

Government-subsidized yoga for veterans? NPR reporter Allan Coukell (sounded like "Cockle") suggested it’s the government-funded wave of the future: "So far, most of the veterans have been paying for the sessions themselves, but [Tom] Boyle hopes the Veterans Affairs system will start to offer yoga nationwide. He already sees PTSD and other symptoms of battle stress in troops back from Iraq — and he knows thousands more are still to come."

Scroll down on the NPR webpage and you see NPR also promoted it last July on Morning Edition, at least in a brief and light fashion, as John Ydstie (not a typo) related: "You think you need a dose of energy and tranquility? Well imagine if you were headed to war. That may be why more soldiers are turning to the ancient Hindu practice of yoga. The magazine Fit Yoga's August issue features aviators in full combat gear doing yoga poses on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Drop and give me a downward dog, soldier -- now breathe and exhale."

It’s interesting that NPR never stopped to consider that since yoga is inspired by the Hindu religion, that perhaps government-funded yoga might be considered taking a brick out of that "wall of separation" between church and state.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis