NPR Even Tilts Segment on Its Own Liberal Media Bias to Liberal and Leftist Experts (NB, MRC Get Brief Mentions)

March 27th, 2011 9:00 PM

Even when they tackle the question of NPR's liberal bias, NPR can't help themselves. The NPR show On The Media on Saturday aired a segment on the question of bias lasting 18 minutes. NPR offered the largest chunk of time (eight minutes) to Tom Rosenstiel of the Pew Research Center, who asserted that data on story selection and tone do not demonstrate a liberal bias at NPR. 

Another almost three minutes were granted to Steve Rendall of the radical-left group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. He wouldn't say NPR was conservative, but complained "we've had four decades of formal campaigning by the right, by groups like Accuracy in Media, the Media Research Center, the Heritage Foundation to portray our media, corporate and public broadcasting, as being to the left of center. It's paid off. And I think the fact that we're having this discussion here [in which Rendall was allowed to speak, and MRC and AIM and Heritage were not], the fact that there's a debate in Congress shows how much it's paid off." 

By contrast, NPR host Brooke Gladstone devoted 90 seconds to the findings of professors Tim Groseclose and Jeff Milyo, who found, she said, that NPR was "much less liberal than the New York Times." Conservatives were represented not by experts, but by two average NPR listeners, who were granted five minutes. That's about 35 percent of the time.

The two conservatives argued for a liberal-bias thesis, but were limited to current anecdotes. There were no questions about Schiller & Schiller or the Juan Williams firing or anything about the big picture of NPR. Both their examples were also noted by NewsBusters, which Gladstone acknowleged on one: "The question that Kevin Putt objected to was also cited by the conservative media criticism site NewsBusters, which called it a liberal question that demonstrated liberal skepticism."

That dealt with Michele Norris asking the CEO of Intel if the country could "afford" a corporate tax holiday. The other example was the one-sided pro-amnesty report from Utah by Mara Liasson.