National Public Radio's "Diane Rehm Show" is created at American University NPR station WAMU (88.5 FM), but is nationally syndicated to about 100 stations. Today's first hour tilted to the left. On one side was retired Air Force officer Randall Larsen, a founder of the Institute for Homeland Security, calmly arguing that the DPW deal is not a grave threat. On the other side was a pile of Democrats arguing against soft-on-defense President Bush: Sen. Chris Dodd, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, and P.J. Crowley of the liberal Center for American Progress, a former staffer on Bill Clinton's National Security Council. That's 3-to-1 liberal (unless you count the host and make if 4 to 1).
On Monday, Rehm's first hour focused on presidential secrecy, with an unopposed liberal duo of "historians," the former Washington Post reporter and columnist Haynes Johnson and Tim Russert's favorite pop-historian, former LBJ aide and Hillary pal Doris Kearns Goodwin. (At least Tuesday's show on voting rights featured conservative expert Roger Clegg.)
It's hours like these that explain why former CPB chief Kenneth Tomlinson asked for a content analysis of the Rehm show and other pub-casting programs. They naturally tilt to the left. (A personal note: the one time I appeared on Diane's show in 2000 to discuss campaign coverage, she covered her desk with clips from the Washington Post, and only the Post, with articles like a column by Molly Ivins. I wonder if they even get a copy of the Washington Times over there at the WAMU studios.)
PS: Finally, one pet peeve: now when you click to listen to a RealAudio snippet, you're forced to listen to a commercial demanding you donate to WAMU (become a "member") if you're going to enjoy the program. It needs a rebuttal: we're all already involuntary "members," okay?