On Monday’s Morning Edition, NPR media reporter David Folkenflik traveled to an old and faithful geyser of Donald Trump mockery: the late Spy magazine, the lefty satire rag run by Graydon Carter (now running Vanity Fair magazine) and Kurt Andersen (now hosting the pretentious arts program Studio 60 on NPR stations on the weekends). The magazine debuted in 1986 and died in 1998.
It is true that Spy had a special appetite for mocking Trump to the hilt….but it’s also true that Spy did some rather unforgettable mocking of the other frontrunner in the presidential race, Hillary Clinton. NPR never went there in a seven-minute Trump-bashing segment.
It's not every day that your hear a leader of the liberal media declare that they oppose "loaded language" in news stories, especially in The New York Times. On Wednesday's All Things Considered, NPR media reporter David Folkenflik explored how lefty sites like Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post openly declare Donald Trump is a liar, racist, and xenophobe. Former Times executive editor Jill Abramson claimed: "I am not one, especially in news stories, to advocate using loaded language."
When it came to assessing Rupert Murdoch’s decision to cede more control of his empire to his sons James and Lachlan, PBS and NPR turned to David Folkenflik, who as NPR’s media reporter is a Murdoch obsessive and author of the book Murdoch’s World.
On Thursday’s PBS NewsHour, Folkenflik floated the idea that eventually Fox News would move to the center and be “a little more measured” in its point of view. He also suggested Fox News made Murdoch look “pugilistic and mean-spirited."
On Sunday, ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos discussed the fallout from the Brian Williams controversy with two prominent media critics, both of whom agreed that NBC News had badly handled Williams’ false claim that his helicopter came under enemy fire while he was reporting from Iraq in 2003. Liz Spayd, editor and publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review, insisted that NBC’s internal investigation won’t provide “enough credibility that gets attached to that kind of an investigation when the people doing it no doubt have personal connections, personal relationships with Brian Williams.”
On Wednesday night, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams apologized on air for falsely claiming that while reporting from Iraq in 2003, the helicopter he was on was hit by enemy fire. Despite Williams’ attempt to walk back his past statements, numerous media critics have called out the NBC News anchor for failing to uphold the standards expected of a network news anchor. Howard Kurtz, Fox News media analyst and host of Media Buzz, condemned Williams during an appearance on the Fox News program America’s Newsroom, and argued that “it’s very hard to fathom how a anchor of Brian Williams's stature and experience could tell the false story. And it’s created a credibility crisis for NBC News.”
It seems as though National Public Radio has joined the ranks of the liberal media championing illegal immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas following his arrest on Tuesday, July 15 for attempting to board a plane without proper documentation.
That evening, NPR’s All Things Considered did its best to promote Vargas, with co-host Audie Cornish and media correspondent David Folkenflik engaging in a cheerleading session for the illegal immigrant. Cornish began the segment by lamenting how Vargas is “a Filipino without legal status in the U.S., though he has lived in this country for more than 20 years.” [Click here to listen to the MP3 audio.]
NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik arrived late to the story of former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson on Monday’s Morning Edition. He found former NBC reporter Lisa Myers to agree with Attkisson’s point about TV news in the Obama years: “Overall, the mainstream media has been less eager to hold this administration accountable than it was to hold the Bush administration accountable.”
But Folkenflik also turned to how "Detractors say she sees conspiracies too readily." Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple lashed out at Attkisson’s “act” of leaving CBS News:
Despite the fact that National Public Radio is a publicly supported network, its long-term financial struggles claimed another casualty on Tuesday: Tell Me More, a program “expressly designed to have a primary appeal for African-American listeners and other people of color” will air its last episode on Friday, August 1.
The move will leave 28 people unemployed, and program host Michel Martin admitted to having “scar tissue” before releasing a statement in which she asserted: “I hoped we could have found a way to save the show, but NPR news management has assured me that the mission that we’ve undertaken will continue in new ways, and I’m sticking around be a part of making that happen.”
NPR named a new CEO on Friday. His name is Jarl Mohn (pronounced “Yarl Moan”), who was a founder of the cable channel E and an executive at MTV and VH-1.
Leftists might worry with these corporate connections, but Mohn has been a major donor to Pasadena NPR station KPCC – as well as a major donor to Barack Obama and the DNC. For 15 years, from 1994 to 2009, he chaired the board of the ACLU of Southern California. His Mohn Family Foundation has continued to support the group.
Leftist author Joe McGinniss drew several more warm obituaries from the national media. In Wednesday’s Washington Post, on the front of the Style section Gene Weingarten began with a gush: “Joe McGinniss, author of one of the best nonfiction books ever written, died yesterday.”
NPR media reporter David Folkenflik filed an entire story on McGinniss (and it was no Harold Simmons hatchet job on political attack ads). Folkenflik went easy on the last slimy McGinniss book, his full-throttle, fact-challenged attack on Sarah Palin:
NPR media reporter David Folkenflik was given the chance to promote his book “Murdoch’s World” in an interview for the latest edition of The Quill, the magazine of the Society of Professional Journalists. He tried the usual line that Rupert Murdoch deserved a whole book on his scandals because he’s so “unique.” (Read: somewhat conservative tycoon in a liberal media.)
Folkenflik said he was on a Fox News “blacklist,” and not for the first time. Then he made sure he said he had “a lot of respect” for the Wall Street Journal, unlike Fox:
On Monday’s All Things Considered, NPR media reporter David Folkenflik drew this unintentionally hilarious sentence out of NBC executive Alexandra Wallace: “Our job is to report on what's going on in the world. We're not activists. We're observers and analysts.”
Folkenflik’s story pressed on NBC News from the left, that they must campaign against Russian repression before, during, and after the Olympics. NBC protested they'd been interviewing gay athletes like Billie Jean King and Brian Boitano and letting them express their joy at being picked by Obama to represent the U.S. delegation. Russian gay lobbyist Konstantin Yablotskiy represented the Russian leftists: