NPR's Motto: 'We Really Span The Spectrum Here From Sort of Left to Very Left'

June 8th, 2007 2:10 PM

National Public Radio’s weekend show "On The Media" is often a liberal oasis inside of a liberal oasis. Last weekend, NPR host Brooke Gladstone invited on Paul Waldman of that Hillary Clinton-cloned media pressure group, who wrote a study claiming the religious left was underrepresented on TV. (It might be because you often can’t really tell the difference between the "religious" left and the secular left. Both want socialism, abortion on demand, forced gay acceptance, the banning of the SUV, and the restoration of the 90-percent top tax bracket. But just one half says Jesus wouldn't drive an SUV.)

Gladstone’s other guest was Jeff Sharlet, a leftist blogger at a media-and-religion site called The Revealer. (It's the counterpoint to Get Religion, in other words.) At the segment’s end, Gladstone uncorked a new motto jokingly: "We really span the spectrum here from sort of left to very left."

Here’s how the transcript of the segment ended when Waldman claimed more religious liberals on the air would lead to more a "nuanced and complex picture" in news coverage, and Sharlet tuned up his mean-spirited vibe (all notations of laughter are theirs):

JEFF SHARLET: It's going to give us a false impression of fair and balanced. I would propose instead an unrealistic solution, a modest proposal – [LAUGHTER] -- a moratorium on all 20. [LAUGHS]

BROOKE GLADSTONE: All 20 of Media Matters' talking heads, 10 on one side, 10 on the other?

SHARLET: Let's stop talking to these people. And I think Media Matters would love this, because then we would have to break this open and really go and talk to other people. You know, Jerry Falwell, as everyone within the Christian Right [LAUGHS] knows, should not have been speaking for the Christian Right for years and years. I think I saw a study – and correct me if I'm wrong – that Bill Clinton actually rated higher in popularity amongst evangelicals [BROOKE LAUGHS] - conservative evangelicals than Jerry Falwell. I mean, everybody knows a jerk when they see one – not to speak ill of the dead.

GLADSTONE: Well, it's good. We really span the spectrum here from sort of left to very left. [The biggest laugh was here.]

PS: That sharpie Nathan Burchfiel downstairs at very quickly noted how the "study" in question looks very incomplete upon closer inspection. It claims to count religious-political talking heads and the dearth of progressive Christian voices, but excluded the famous "newsmaker" figures. What?

Falwell and Dobson, along with Pat Robertson and liberal religious figures Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, were not included in the study's data, because they are "newsmakers," the report says.