NPR's longtime loathing of Fox News approached Maximum Shamelessness on Friday night when NPR anchor Ari Shapiro suggested that Shepard Smith abruptly leaving Fox looked like "a purge based on purity." As if NPR has a pile of conservatives on staff for balance? In 2010, NPR fired Juan Williams for an appearance on Fox where he admitted he gets nervous when people wear Muslim garb on airplanes.
Rush Limbaugh and conservative Twitter made a big deal on Thursday out of Rep. Adam Schiff wildly mischaracterizing President Trump's phone call with the president of Ukraine: "And I’m going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good. I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand? Lots of dirt, on this and on that." On NPR's All Things Considered, anchor Ari Shapiro interviewed Schiff for almost seven minutes, and never brought it up. Once again, so much for considering All Things. The PBS NewsHour was even worse.
National Public Radio has been rotating pundits for its Week In Politics roundup in recent months on its evening newscast All Things Considered. Sitting in the "David Brooks chair" on Friday was writer Bethany Mandel (@Bethanyshondark on Twitter). It's encouraging when the conservative half of a public-broadcasting panel actually sounds like a conservative.
National Public Radio hailed science-fiction author N.K. Jemisin, who has now won the Hugo Award for three straight years from the World Science Fiction Convention. NPR anchor Ari Shapiro explained her "Broken Earth" books "take place in a world where natural disasters are more common and more destructive. And the people with powers to mitigate those disasters are feared and oppressed."
But it turns out this is science fiction "ripped from the headlines" -- and somehow, in Jemisin's mind, the Ferguson riots of 2014 were an "unarmed, peaceful protest."
NPR's Friday night broadcast of All Things Considered offered two younger pundits in their Week in Review segment -- on the left, Vox editor and co-founder Matthew Yglesias and on the right, Rachael Larimore of The Weekly Standard. Both were critical of Trump and professed some shock and fatigue at how Trump dominates the news. But when anchor Ari Shapiro asked about overlooked stories of 2017, even the lefty admitted that the media probably under-emphasized the crushing of ISIS in Trump's first year:
When liberal journalists lecture us about how much more they revere quality reporting than we do, just observe how they treat disgraced Dan Rather. On Friday night's All Things Considered, NPR anchor Ari Shapiro treated Rather as the closest thing we have to the Cronkite Myth, the national anchor of our patriotism.
Tuesday's All Things Considered on NPR aired two segments that took shots at President Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz's handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Both reports featured talking heads from liberal organizations, but didn't explicitly mention their ideological stance. By contast, the segments clearly identified specific individual and groups as "conservative."
Here's why people hate the liberal tilt of public broadcasting. Both PBS and NPR buried the Scalise shooting in their "week in review" segments. When the PBS NewsHour arrived there, anchor Judy Woodruff couldn't even mention the shooter was a Bernie Sanders campaign volunteer, couldn't mention his favorite TV shows, and couldn't ponder if anyone on the Left could have provoked him with their outrageous statements. Instead, liberal analyst Mark Shields blamed it on Newt Gingrich, and his "clone" Donald Trump:
It was a high-drama week of big, anonymously-sourced anti-Trump scoops, and taxpayer-funded National Public Radio was ready to built momentum for impeachment. Its "Week in Review" panelists presented Trump as a crappy criminal, his team a "crew of vipers," and the American people by a "vast majority" wanting to end Trump's days in the White House. All this unanimity about Trump's extreme awfulness came on Friday's All Things Considered [Fakest Title Ever].
On their Friday Week in Politics segment on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered newscast, they discussed just how “ultraconservative” the early Trump cabinet picks are. No one eight years ago discussed how “ultraliberal” Barack Obama’s administration would get. But New York Times columnist David Brooks at least made this discussion of extremism amusing by suggesting Trumpians were “headbanger Guns N' Roses conservatives.” This is amusing in part because GNR lead singer Axl Rose rants against Trump on Twitter.
NPR brought on two women to replace David Brooks and E.J. Dionne for their “Week in Politics” segment on Friday’s All Things Considered. As usual, NPR’s idea of “balance” is two experts who think Ted Cruz is a far-right disaster.
Former MSNBC host Joy Reid drew quite the softball from openly gay NPR anchor Ari Shapiro, who cited “some observers” who said that Chris Christie and Ted Cruz offered nasty criticisms of President Obama at the latest GOP debate that they wouldn’t make about a “white president.” One problem? Shapiro mistakenly put a Christie statement in Cruz's mouth.
A "week in politics" like Hillary's latest Benghazi hearing really proves the usefulness of "conservative" public-broadcasting pundit David Brooks. What better way to prove Hillary completely trounced her opponents on the public stage than your completely cooperative "conservative" expert declare the whole thing a rout for Hillary? Brooks denounced a conservative anti-Clinton "psychosis" on both his Friday appearances on the PBS NewsHour and NPR's All Things Considered.
In theory, a public-broadcasting system that provides fairness and balance -- insert cynical laughter here about theories vs. statist reality -- the conservative pundit on these shows would display more deference to the conservative notion that the Obama administration has utterly failed in Libya, and the idea of Hillary taking a "victory lap" on Libya is preposterously partisan.