All Things Considered
On Sunday, The Washington Post editorial page led with a dramatic and rarely uttered fact check. The headline was “There are no ‘centrists’ – the Democratic primary race is not a choice between change and the status quo.” The Post insisted “every major Democratic candidate is running on an agenda to the left of Mr. Obama’s.” NPR also arrived at this candid and accurate assessment.
NPR's badly named evening newscast All Things Considered recently devoted two eight-minute segments to anchor Audie Cornish soliciting the radical thoughts of Muslim activists in Dearborn, Michigan. In the first, a man named Iltefat Hamzavi fried up this hate nugget: "I've been at many dinner tables where somebody voted for Trump. And you're like, that's like chickens voting for Chick-fil-A." In the second, they lamented "the media" being unfair to Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.
One of the most annoying long-term trends in media labeling is using the words "conservative" or "right-wing" to describe not only American conservatives, but the worst tyrants abroad, from Soviet communists to now Iranian terrorists. NPR anchor Mary Louise Kelly interviewed a spokesman for a "right-wing news agency with close ties to Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard force, or IRGC."
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.
Earlier, we noted NPR Public Editor Elizabeth Jensen slammed Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) for allegedly misleading NPR listeners by noting Adam Schiff wrongly claimed "we" (he and his staff) had no contact with the "whistleblower" at the center of the Democrat impeachment inquiry. Shelby Talcott at the Daily Caller reports that on Thursday, Banks formally protested this accusation in a letter to NPR News Executive Editor Edith Chapin.
The anchors on PBS and NPR share the robotic talking point that there's "no evidence" that Joe or Hunter Biden "did anything wrong" in Ukraine. On Wednesday night, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo patiently answered fairly pointed questions from PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff, but he couldn't abide the Biden talking point, telling Woodruff she sounded like the Democratic National Committee.
Lyndsey Fifield of Heritage pointed out on Sunday that NPR Public Editor (or Ombudsman) Elizabeth Jensen proclaimed on Friday night that NPR allowed misinformation on their airwaves. The culprit was Rep. Jim Banks (R-Indiana), who said Adam Schiff lied about he and his staff's contacts with the vaunted "whistleblower" that's central to the Democrat impeachment effort. But wait, The Washington Post gave Schiff "Four Pinocchios" for that claim, which would suggest Schiff....lied.
Is NPR saying the Washington Post pushed misinformation?
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.
On Friday night's week in review on the PBS NewsHour, the taxpayer-funded network's dynamic duo of pundits upset the hardcore left by agreeing "the steam went out" of impeachment. But when it came to Joe Biden mangling the facts of a medal ceremony honoring a military hero, New York Times columnist David Brooks came rushing to Biden's defense, that unlike the president, he's not "mendacious" or "irresponsible" with the facts.
On Tuesday morning, syndicated talk-radio host Chris Plante mocked "National Panhandler Radio" for having some seriously high salaries for a taxpayer-subsidized network that begs for listener donations in pledge drives. Plante cited tweets by Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi from the latest IRS 990 form for nonprofits revealing the high salaries of NPR stars. Plante marveled first at Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon, who is a one-day-a-week anchor and yet made $479,578 -- a 16 percent pay hike.
National Public Radio has rotated some other pundits to sit in the "conservative" chair of David Brooks on their Week in Politics review on Fridays, often leading to a better, stronger representation of the conservative viewpoint. Sadly, on Friday, Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review was very Brooks-ish, throwing scorn on the declassification of intelligence that might explain the Russian collusion narrative. It's like he doesn't read Andrew McCarthy at NRO, who argues "Russiagate has always been a political narrative masquerading as a federal investigation."
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.