All Things Considered
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.
Top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett is plugging a new memoir, and in 12 minutes and two interview segments on All Things Considered, NPR had just one challenging question for her: what about this touchy-Biden issue? When they turned to the wider stage of Campaign 2020, it sounded like a Democrat precinct chat, and NPR anchor Audie Cornish seemed to worry that none of the contenders would match the wondrous appeal of Obama, who was... "an idea," not just a person:
On Saturday's All Things Considered, NPR host Michel Martin dragged President Trump into a discussion of the dreadful New Zealand mosque murders -- not just Trump, but anyone who likes rhetoric like "build a wall." Her guest was Christian Picciolini, a former white supremacist. NPR and other liberal media have embraced the line that white racist terrorism is a larger global threat than Islamic jihadism.
There are times that women complain about sexism in politics where they just sound ridiculous. Take the Friday night "Week in Politics" roundup on National Public Radio. Host Mary Louise Kelly was outraged by a Huffington Post story on Sen. Amy Klobuchar, expected to announce a presidential run. See if you can believe this complaint. Kelly claimed "I don't remember a lot of Are Men Nice Enough stories" in the 2016 campaign!
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 media reporter David Folkenflik shoveled his network's usual loads of disgust for Fox News in his coverage of Megyn Kelly's show getting canceled, allegedly over a discussion of racially insensitive Halloween costumes. "She really took on a lot of fire as a figure who brought on ideological baggage, who brought Fox News baggage." But Folkenflik didn't take this approach to MSNBC host Al Sharpton.
On Friday's night's All Things Considered, the Week in Politics segment began by pushing the theme that the Republican rhetoric about "mobs" is all wrong, and will harm them in the midterms. NPR anchor Ailsa Chang brought no context about protesters mobbing the front door of the Supreme Court, or screaming Sen. Ted Cruz and his wife out of a restaurant. She said the "mob" has a lot of women in it, so the M-word is damaging. At least David Brooks said "I don't think so."
Here's a Saturday "parlor game" for political junkies. Guess which statement on NPR's "Week in Politics" segment on Friday night's so-called All Things Considered comes from the supposed liberal/Democrat pundit, and which comes from the supposed conservative/Republican pundit. This can be pretty tricky, since they sound very, very similar.
New York Times columnist David Brooks expressed public disagreement with his editorial-page bosses on Friday night's All Things Considered on NPR. He didn't directly mock their choice to publish an anonymous "senior administration official" bragging about how they keep President Trump in check from his worst impulses. He just mocked the official: "It was a stupid act. You know, if you're going to be protecting the president from himself, don't tell him. And so, you know, it's going to make him be much more erratic and much more willful in the face of White House aides."