NPR Ombudsman

NPR Ombudsman


By Alicia C. Shepard

When Sen. John McCain won the Virginia Republican presidential primary on Feb. 12, some conservatives thought he was sending a subliminal message. It wasn't his victory speech. It was the people McCain brought on stage.

Instead of young conservatives, or even doctrinaire conservative George Allen, a former Virginia governor who was in the audience, McCain surrounded himself with moderate, liberal or aging Virginia Republicans, according to David Keene of the American Conservative Union.

"If you were a conservative Republican activist and saw that picture, a shiver went up your spine," said Keene, whose group rates members of Congress on how they vote on key conservative issues. (McCain has a rating of 65; a "true" conservative is 80 or higher, the group says.)

NPR listeners might have missed this conservative critique of McCain had they not heard Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep interview Keene during NPR's recent Conversations with Conservatives series that ran in late February.

After former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney dropped out of the Republican presidential race on Feb. 7, it seemed certain McCain would be his party's nominee. Pundits pointed out that McCain, generally described as a "maverick" Republican, would have a problem winning conservative support because of his positions on such issues as immigration and campaign finance reform. So Morning Edition (ME) decided to spend time (28 minutes total airtime over four days) with conservative stalwarts who represent different aspects of their movement.

"We wanted to look at the state of the conservative movement," said ME associate editor, Jordana Hochman, who coordinated the series. "Does McCain's candidacy show fractures in the movement since there are many reasons why conservatives wouldn't support him? His relationships with evangelicals. His position on immigration. His position on taxes."

Hochman aimed for a sample of what leading conservatives are thinking. She set up interviews for Inskeep with Keene, Richard Land, an evangelical leader with the Southern Baptist Convention, Grover Norquist, with Americans For Tax Reform, who favors cutting taxes and Glenn Beck, a controversial radio and CNN talk show host. Hochman tried to get conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh and Fox's Sean Hannity, both of whom have been highly critical of McCain, but they weren't available.

"I can't tell you how refreshing it is to hear so many reasoned, articulate -- and real -- conservative voices on NPR this week," wrote Mark Willis in an email. "I hope this move toward balance and objectivity continues well into and beyond the current John McCain crisis."

But Willis' email was one of only a few that praised the series. Judging by the anger and objections in over 60 emails and phone calls, one might have thought NPR was handing out applications for joining the Republican party rather than providing edifying conversations. One listener called it a "lovefest with the radical right-wing nuts."

"Your series of interviews with extreme right-wing ideologues was shameful," emailed another listener, Nanne Olds. "NPR should have interviews with thoughtful, truly intellectual people, not conservative talk show hosts like Glenn Beck who spew misinformation and aspersions. Nor should be you be interviewing Grover Norquist who sees everything in terms of one issue --reducing taxes for the wealthy."

"My morning drive time should not be devoted to the hate speech of the worst kind of conservatives," emailed John Wallenfeldt. "I don't want to empathize with racists and bigots and those who want to take away my civil liberties."

A California caller asked if NPR were outlining a plan to help listeners beat the Democrats in the fall.

"The most interesting aspect of your series is why anyone with any sense of history would even want to be a conservative," wrote another.

As the emails make clear, there is a swath of listeners who simply do not want to hear what people with different outlooks have to say. To truly be an active and informed participant in a democratic society, it's critical to understand all points of view, and not shut out opposing ideas.

Steve Inskeep may have said it better. He told me that after previous interviews with Muslims, foreigners or liberals, sometimes listeners will tell him to keep those voices off the air. Instead, Inskeep suggests listeners think of NPR as their personal intelligence agency.

"It's valuable when an intelligence agency brings you news and information about your friends. But it's even more important that we bring you accurate information about your enemies," said Inskeep. "And we may do the greater service when we find out about people you don't understand or never knew about before."

With the exception of Beck, Inskeep's guests were substantive, articulate and not argumentative. The Beck interview, unfortunately, was more about the over-the-top Beck than insight into conservatives. "Mr. Beck offered nothing more than his usual lightweight rhetorical flair, devoid of meaningful facts," emailed Dan Jamieson. "Mr Beck is an entertainer, who makes a living out of insults and misinformation. He is not a serious source."

While I found the series to be informative, (especially on how some Evangelicals and conservative Christians want to move beyond abortion and same-gender marriage), there needed to be, at the very least, a minority or female voice.

"It's a fair critique of the series and one we struggled with while assembling the series," said Inskeep."At the same time, let's be frank: if we assemble any representative gathering of prominent conservative thinkers, white men will be generously represented. I think we provided a reasonably broad sampling of what's out there."

Thomas Sowell, considered one of the most influential black conservatives, would have added far more than Beck. As would Tamar Jacoby, a leading conservative voice on immigration with the Manhattan Institute's Center for Race and Ethnicity. Or Samuel Rodriquez Jr., an evangelist with a large Hispanic and youth following. Or Shelby Steele, a conservative African American who specializes in the study of race relations. Or Janice Shaw Crouse, a conservative on women's concerns.

There are dozens of diverse conservative voices but NPR and all news organizations need to work much harder to bring them into the conversation.


DISCUSSION QUESTION: Who else should NPR have had on its Conversations with Conservatives?

tags: , , , ,

categories: Bias

3:56 - March 5, 2008



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The piece of the political spectrum that is missing is not conservatives or liberals, it's moderates! The big cable networks and the Internet have dangerously polarized debate in this country; NPR could and should be the antidote. Let's hear more from reasonable, thoughtful voices on both sides. They exist and they are most likely to hold the key to resolving our deep differences. Right off, I think of people such as Sens. Richard Lugar and Chris Dodd, to name a few.

Sent by Phil | 11:08 AM ET | 03-06-2008

Yes, NPR should run a similar series on liberals. Though some would argue otherwise, NPR is not liberal media. I want to hear hard-core liberals (that are sane) like AMY GOODMAN & her ilk. I DON'T hear that point of view on NPR, so if we're going to give that airtime to hard-core conservatives, let's do the same with hard-core liberals. We hear lots of moderates. Thanks

Sent by kasey | 12:30 PM ET | 03-06-2008

"As the emails make clear, there is a swath of listeners who simply do not want to hear what people with different outlooks have to say. To truly be an active and informed participant in a democratic society, it's critical to understand all points of view, and not shut out opposing ideas."

A good post, but I think the remark above is unfair. Active and informed participants in a democratic society should be wiling to listen to a variety of opinions, but that doesn't mean one has to tolerate those who lie in our faces.

Your criticism of the Beck segment is on-target. Mr. Inskeep was unwilling to challenge him.

Sent by Joe Moran | 12:59 PM ET | 03-06-2008

I think you overlook many of the listener???s points. (We only see a few examples; why not post all the comments)?

You do not define conservative. The conversation is obscured with the assumed term. That makes informed discussion difficult. Apparently, conservative is synonymous with the current administration? Many would disagree. The current administration invades a country, yet NPR calls the people that fight them radicals.

I do not want to hear bias presented as news. Why do we get enhanced interrogation? Who came up with that term? NPR applies free market and free trade to regulated gamed systems; why is that?

I believe you aspire to not shut out opposing ideas. Still, from the ombudswoman, we keep getting these feel-good posts about the fine job NPR does; (is that objective)? You imply that there is something extraordinary about hearing conservatives on NPR; that is not true. Further, NPR consistently limits discussion/reporting to the outlooks' and perspectives' of establishment Republicans and Democrats. You imagine staying parallel to corporate news is objectivity?

I agree, know your enemy.

Sent by andrew hennessy | 8:47 PM ET | 03-06-2008

How about Mona Charen?

Sent by Janet Wolkoff | 7:48 AM ET | 03-07-2008

The only thing wrong with the interviews with conservatives was that they were not followed the next week by similar interviews with liberals. And why interview Glenn Beck, who already has a daily national soapbox? That was similar to when Katie Couric gave air time to Rush Limbaugh, who already is on the air for hours every day. Such a series should focus on people we don't hear from every day.
I get the feeling that NPR is so afraid of being called 'liberal' it's bending way too far backward to appease conservatives.

Sent by Bob Laurence | 4:01 PM ET | 03-07-2008

What's funny is that if NPR had a Conversation with Liberals, most liberal Democratic politicians would appear because they won't admit they are liberals.

My gosh, NPR's liberal listeners are delicate flowers. The network regularly runs supposedly objective reports from open liberals like Daniel Schorr and Juan Williams, but has no equivalent in people on the right (and what I mean is that those two are on staff and are presented as commentators or observers; NPR has nothing similar from the right).

Sent by Lord Carr | 4:28 PM ET | 03-07-2008

The series was less than illuminating. Beck and Norquist? Beck is plain silly. Norquist is tainted by the K Street Project and his tie to Jack Abramoff, information not offered in the piece as context. Neither were the best choices to present the conservative point of view. Or was that the goal?

Sent by joe ditzler | 4:33 PM ET | 03-07-2008

Aside from legitimizing Glen Beck, my issue with the series was its framing; it suggested that NPR doesn't give equal time or treatment to conservatives, and thus, served to lend further credence to the myth of liberal media bias.

Does NPR plan a series on the various Liberal leaders/voices? How about Moderates? Progressives? Third Way Centrists? Libertarians? Greens? Anarchists?

Sent by Owen Perry | 4:52 PM ET | 03-07-2008

The point is not to "know your enemy", since that is subjective. The major objection is that this type of piece is not balanced. If you are going give air time to hard-right, you should give the hard-left their due as well, or have a show that gives both equal and respectful time. We don't need more moderates in this case.

When you air a piece like that that gives any group a free soapbox it makes NPR look biased. With all the talk-radio and TV stations that are right-leaning, this type of show is just infuriating to those who believe in a fair hearing for all.

Sent by The Other Phil | 5:10 PM ET | 03-07-2008

While it's nice that NPR has offered conservatives a seat on the NPR bus, the seat was at the back of the bus. Very sweet of you. We'll overlook the tone of the articles that subliminally suggested that NPR was examining a subculture akin to circus freaks.

Meanwhile, can you name a single, full time, on air, NPR "talent" that comes from the right of the ideology spectrum? Who indeed provides the balance to Schorr, Rehm, Totenberg, etc?

What's that? No one? Sorry, we decline your bus ride. And how about returning our tax funds if you are not going to balance your programming?

Sent by Drango | 7:39 PM ET | 03-07-2008

The thing is, I listen to NPR to get AWAY from people who spout racism, want to "drown the government in a bathtub", and whose religion is so far from Christianity to be a perversion of it.

If you'd like to talk to conservatives who would genuinely work with people of all stripes to make this country better, then have them on.

Not to split hairs, but Fresh Air's conversation with Lincoln Chafee last year was fantastic. Your recent appeasing and giving aid and comfort to those who would take our civil liberties away is the complete opposite.

If you want my pledge money so badly, kindly keep the hatemongers off the soap box. They have far too many forums as it is.

Sent by John, from Las Vegas, NV | 9:55 PM ET | 03-07-2008

Thank God NPR provided Americans with an opportunity -- in addition to his daily radio and television programs -- to hear the deep thoughts of Glen Beck.

The voice of middle-aged, white, male conservatives is too often shut out in today's media.


Sent by so-called "Austin Mayor" | 11:20 PM ET | 03-07-2008

Tamar Jacoby? A leading conservative on IMMIGRATION ? What did you say? For Gods sake , she is a Open Border One worlder and not anywhere near the mainstream conservative on IMMIGRATION. She wants the entire world to move here and get on the dole.

Sent by mrbill | 12:06 PM ET | 03-08-2008

I don't find "over 60 emails and phone calls" all that significant, given the number of NPR's listeners. The people that respond to stories are self-selected; not the best sample to determine how most people actually feel about the series.

Some of the people who object to hearing opposing or noxious views appear to believe that NPR listeners are simpletons who will accept whatever they hear. To the contrary, interviewing conservatives who McCain is now associating with may be the best promotion tool the Democrats can get. On the other hand, news organizations present a filter on facts and ideas; the frequent discussion of certain (misleading) facts or ideas can serve to create an impression of public acceptability.

Finally, it seems like the more important question---that this post by Alicia does not address---is whether "conservative" voices are actually over- or under-represented on NPR in comparison to the ideological make-up of the Nation (or World).

Sent by Mark Meyer | 2:12 PM ET | 03-08-2008

It's a tough job to remain politically balanced and NPR does a fair job. Inskeep's show at the eerily early hour allows them to air conservative views without being hammered, even more.
Move it to a more listenable hour-as counterpoint to the revered and sonorous Daniel Schorr- clearly an anti-Republican.

Sent by Peter Sour | 10:12 AM ET | 03-09-2008

Point One: Conservatives already have so many hours of air time all over the spectrum that to give them even more is simply unnecessay. Point Two: You never really challenge the Conservatives with the basic fallicies of their philosophies. You simply let them have their say. Point Three: I don't want a dime of my money going to give Glen Beck any air time. Do Conservatives support NPR financially? Does Beck pay for his air time? I sure don't want to!

Sent by Rich Hartz | 4:08 PM ET | 03-09-2008

Its interesting to hear listeners complain about a conservative program when most people would agree your format and shows are heavily tilted to a liberal point of view. I have a vision of some of your listeners holding out a cross when a conservative comes on to chase them away. I would hope you continue improving the imbalance in your stories since when your affiliates have fund raisers they don't say liberals only donate please. If those on the left are so sure of their arguments why are they afraid to listen to other points of view or to provide a forum and instead of promoting free speech and a free exchange of views they want to keep opposing ideas from being expressed. It seems we are not to far from a policy of political censorship worthy of Hugo Chavez in our main stream medias. Neither side is right all the time but when you see college students adverse to hear from dissenters it makes one wonder where we are headed.

Sent by Bill Hill | 10:13 PM ET | 03-09-2008

There are many other women and minority conservatives who would have interesting things to say: Laura Ingraham, Tammy Bruce, Walter Williams, Christina Hoff Sommers, John McWhorter, Deroy Murdock, Ward Connerly, Myrna Blyth, Heather McDonald, Michelle Malkin, etc.

One of the reasons that NPR listeners might get in a tizzy over hearing conservatives is that NPR presents liberals such as Daniel Schorr as middle of-the-road-commenters. I see that, according to the Politics and Prose newsletter (bookstore in Wash, DC) when Schorr appeared there recently he told the listeners that he was having a hard time choosing between Hillary and Barack. Now that's playing it down the middle!

Sent by dak | 10:28 PM ET | 03-09-2008

"But it's even more important that we bring you accurate information about your enemies"

It's unfortunate that NPR feels transcribing neoconservative propaganda is somehow equatable to bringing the listeners information. These sophists flood the majority of talk radio with their talking points. It's pretty condescending for NPR to tell us that they are somehow enlightening us. Could you at least get a genuine conservative? You know, someone whos views don't change depending on what nominee he's getting payed to shill for.

Sent by MHG | 12:05 AM ET | 03-10-2008

Shelby Steele would have been just as ignorant as Glenn Beck for what it's worth.

Sent by The other, other Phil | 7:50 AM ET | 03-10-2008

I think its fair to say that nearly every American wants the same thing. A fair, just, and safe society. Conservatives in general have ideas, albeit dumb ideas, about how the world works. Rational debate is the only way we'll reach consensus, and to do that we need to draw people into the process.

I applaud NPR for interviewing conservatives. This takes the wind out of the sails of many critics who say NPR is a biased liberal media source.

Sent by Joshua | 11:12 AM ET | 03-10-2008

My question is why are you having a "conversation" with conservatives and not also having a "conversation" with liberals? If you're gonna devote a whole episodic program to conservatives, then you should do the same with liberals. I think the conservatives, with their clap trap media noise machine, ersatz Astroturf "Institutes" and organizations really have the schneide in on the mainstream media, including NPR. You rarely see a true liberal on Meet the Press, for instance, and conservatives are treated with kid gloves, while liberals are bashed, lest the media be accused of a "liberal" bias. We get enough conservative schlock on commercial AM radio, which is all that they ever carry.

Sent by Ed Szewczyk | 1:48 PM ET | 03-10-2008

What? Conservatives--finally--have to confront what the rest of us face every election--someone who won't simply parrot dogma? Good.

While this may be "man bites dog" news, giving Glen Beck more air time than he already gets with his own show, or dragging Grover Norquist's crazy ideas out again as if they're rational seems to call for a bit of balance.

What about all the issues that progressives care about that aren't being addressed by the candidates on the "supposed" left? Single-payer health care? A maximum wage? Or how no candidate will question the logic of spending more on the military than the rest of the world COMBINED?

These ideas ARE out of the political mainstream, but no more than the
idea that government should be "small enough to be drown in a bathtub"...and maybe they're only out of the mainstream because Glen Beck, Richard Land, and Grover Norquist get even more time to talk about their crazy ideas, while ideas that aren't crazy are disregarded as too insane to even bring up.

Maybe it's not a problem with those ideas, but with the mainstream. Good journalism should fix that, not compound it.

Sent by Nick Ardinger | 2:11 PM ET | 03-10-2008

The problem with NPR and its relatives in the mainstream media is it's inability to recognize that it is not representative of the american mainstream and its inability to recognize variation to its right.
NPR continues to believe that it is reasonable and unbiased, when it is neither. Almost all media outlets in Europe are consciously biased and, in that regard, more intellectually honest when compared to the American mainstream media.

Sent by joe silva | 8:13 PM ET | 03-10-2008

It's amusing.

MHG wants genuine conservatives, someone whos (sic) views don't change depending on what nominee he's getting payed (sic) to shill for.

Nick says conservatives are finally confronting what the "rest of us" face every election, someone who "won't simply parrot dogma."

Sounds like Nick and MHG need to put their heads together and get their stories straight on what the liberal dogma will be on what conservative dogma is. Only then NPR resolve this issue of what kind of conservatives to interview.

Sent by dak | 1:00 AM ET | 03-11-2008

1. NPR???s C Roberts said of the military, ???when they say stuff, I tend to believe it.???
2. The White House handpicked J Williams to conduct an interview with President Bush.
3. Pick any day; I will give examples of how D Rehm Show excludes the left.
4. I only have 200 words.
5. Kevin Phillips is a conservative NPR correspondent.
6. The only conspiracy theory that the liberal media is willing to perpetuate is that the media is liberal. They must be talking about sitcoms?
7. If a politician is not willing to admit that they are liberal, maybe they are not? Conservatives do not get to name the liberals.
8. Government ballooned under Reagan, but the opposite is asserted on NPR.
9. FISA: What about retroactive immunity? NPR does not ask the logical: does the president now believe he broke the law?
10. Studies show that a majority of sources for NPR stories come from conservatives; look it up.
11. I hear assertions and name calling about a liberal NPR; how about examples?
12. On NPR we get official story; reiteration of the status quo is a lean to the right.
13. I want more voices not less.

Sent by andrew hennessy | 7:07 PM ET | 03-11-2008

I picked up this article from the Sunday March 9th WASHINGTON TIMES front page. I came close to throwing up my breakfast!

I've been a resident of the Greater Washington area since 1975, and have been a WAMU listener since then. I was an avid bluegrass fan and contributed regularly to WAMU and NPR - that is until NPR's radical left turn. I don't listen anymore - can't stand the endless left wing drivel. I oppose public funding of "public radio" at every opportunity for this reason. Why should my taxes pay for broadcasting little I agree with?

I find NPR's allowing mere minutes of conservative broadcast comical at best.

Sent by Lawrence Harmon | 12:45 PM ET | 03-12-2008

If NPR wants to interview thoughtful conservatives, I don't have a problem. But Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are media personalities who make money by their right-wing screeds and their public humiliation of those who are foolish enough to go on their shows and try to express different opinions. When the public tires of it, they will all do something else to make money. If NPR thinks having the loudest and shrillest voice qualifies a person as a "conservative," heaven help us.

Sent by Edith | 5:41 PM ET | 03-12-2008

I think the best way for NPR to determine how to divide up programming so it best reflects the political philosophies of its listeners is quite simple. When you have fund drives, allow the donors to indicate what point on the political spectrum is closest to their own (1=very conservative/fascist thru 10=socialist/communist.) Their vote should count as much as they give in dollars, so if someone thinks of themselves as a #6 left-leaning moderate, and gives $100, then that would be a 100 votes for #6.

My suspicion is that most donors to NPR are about a #7 on that political scale. Why should the majority of your donors have to pay for the privelege of listening to commentators like Krautheimer or Novak,(#2's) when we'd enjoy Paul Krugman or Bob Herbert (#7's) much more?

Sent by Susan Epstein | 7:57 PM ET | 03-12-2008

If you want a thought-provoking guest on this topic, you ought to invite on the playwright David Mamet, who just penned a piece for the Village Voice called, "why I Am No Longer a Brain-Dead Liberal.",374064,374064,1.html

Sent by Dak | 9:57 PM ET | 03-12-2008

I don't have a problem with conservative voices, or any voices for that matter. But someone like Glenn Beck, who has made racist comments about Muslims and Hispanics, must be quantified as such. Inskeep had a conversation that was fawning towards Beck, and made presented him as a legitimate voice. There are plenty of conservative voices that do not adhere to the vitriol that Beck spews. I was very disappointed in hearing that interview.

Sent by Mincho | 12:31 PM ET | 03-13-2008

I enjoy NPR - regardless of the program. I am educated enough to search out facts myself and form my own opinions. It is my responsibility, not NPR's, to educate myself of the issues.

Don't over-analyze this post.

Sent by Levi | 3:21 PM ET | 03-14-2008

The voices missing from NPR are not Conservatives. In reality, empirical studies by the media watchdog FAIR have shown that Republicans and right wing think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, A.E.I. and the Cato Institute are by far better represented on NPR than any equivalent groups from the left. Who is missing? When and where is any commentary from the left on NPR. How about an interview with Noam Chomsky , Howard Zinn, Amy Goodman or any non-establishment voice from the left?

"There are dozens of diverse conservative voices but NPR and all news organizations need to work much harder to bring them into the conversation."

This is an absurd comment that flies in the face of reality. Our Corporate Media system is wholly owned by Conservatives and Republicans. Many studies have conclusively demonstrated that Conservative guests and hosts dominate our media landscape. There is no "Liberal Media" only corporations with vested financial interests in the political fortunes of the Republican party and Conservative movement.

Ask yourselves why there is no coverage in the media of the deregulation of media ownership restrictions that the Republican head of the FCC has been pushing through over public opposition? The answer: the media is corporate with a financial stake in keeping Republicans in control of the regulatory agency that oversees their industry.

Sent by Ian Brewer | 4:43 PM ET | 03-15-2008

Dear Ms. Shepard, thank you for supporting "Conversations with Conservatives." After being a contributor for many years, it has been a while since I sent a contribution to my local NPR station because my blood pressure suffered when the bias became just too much to bear. Please show the way to genuine "fair and balanced" coverage of issues.

Sent by David Holtkamp | 9:44 AM ET | 03-17-2008

I've been begging NPR to include more authentic, articulate and passionate conservative voices to their PUBLIC programming. I'm very pleased to see that a first, tentative step has been taken add more balance to NPR. The next step is to add authentic, articulate and passionate conservative staff members to the NPR employee roster and give them powerful, decision-making positions within NPR.

Sent by matthew lince | 4:56 PM ET | 03-18-2008

conservative or liberal, why not hear more from the winter soldiers. A scant 3 minutes was given to the issue (maybe a minute of the returning vets voices themselves) as opposed to 8 minutes on "easter pie". The public NEEDS to hear them to better understand what's going on over there, and be informed citizens.

Sent by Mike Sauber | 8:29 PM ET | 03-19-2008

The main stream media underestimates the many thoughtful intellegent people in the US in favor of frankly, a not very informed population. Aka: look at the simplistic content that gets dished up all the time on all the chanels. I pretty much only watch 'Charley Rose' these days in the event that someone is expressing a different or more indepth point of view. Unfortunately PBS is increasingly being used as a propaganda tool to promote the misinformation of the right.

Sent by julie sperber | 1:32 PM ET | 03-24-2008

When will you be featuring liberals all week long on Morning Edition? And can you imagine the uproar if you did? I know you are nervous about funding, but that series was one of the worst pieces of propaganda I have ever heard on NPR. Add that to your newscasters who seem unable to say the word recession and I think I see where this is headed. Excuse me while I change the dial to a real news program.

Sent by jeff | 9:03 PM ET | 03-25-2008

NPR's interviewing of conservatives was a bit of a curiosity. It only confirmed for me the near-total absence of conservative voices on NPR outside of any "special interiew series" and "invited guests."
Meanwhile, the home-grown liberal voices are all over NPR as Senior News Analysts and program hosts.
I think liberal Susan Epstein summed it up best when she asserted that NPR's listenership and donor base is mostly liberal. No wonder, given the news programming. The problem is, a public broadcasting network doesn't get the option of pandering to its base since, unlike Rush Limbaugh's program, NPR doesn't pay for itself.

Sent by Charles Brown | 5:13 PM ET | 03-31-2008

If NPR were a jet aircraft the plane would have a right wing, a fuselage and stop. There is no left wing on NPR's news programming. An easy example is that despite the fact that the majority of americans want the US out of Iraq you will NEVER hear an unabashed anti-war voice on NPR.

To further this kind of conservative bias by allowing hard-right conservative media voices airtime with no balancing liberal response is just nails in the coffin. NPR is now no more than america's Pravda.

Sent by John Yaya | 12:13 AM ET | 04-10-2008

NPR was accurately known as moderately pro-Democratic in the 1980s and 1990s.
NPR is accurately known in the 2000s as moderately pro-Republican.
Sadly, NPR has lost the appropriate reporter skepticism it had before 2000.

In the last few years, NPR has simply parroted Republican talking points, sometimes without even basic fact-checking.

Sent by RS | 6:55 PM ET | 04-30-2008

Today I scanned through these comments, and had to LOL when one call Juan Williams a liberal. The lapel flag wearing Fox New Sunday commentator liberal? !?!? I have to agree with RS and John Yaya, NPR has D-evolved, corrections can not undo the misinformation that is aired.

Sent by JL | 9:58 PM ET | 05-05-2008

Rather than pander once in a blue moon to the conservatives in this country in the spirit of "objectivity", it would behoove NPR to actually employ conservatives on their airwaves just to make it listenable once in a while and worth the taxpayer dollars it costs to fund NPR's liberal ideological bend. Not everyone who listens to NPR is an effete elitist snob. Snobs and anti-American liberals should learn to tolerate an opposing viewpoint more than once in a great while.

Sent by Stacey Hanrahan | 10:09 AM ET | 06-28-2008

NPR continues its downward spiral with Looking at the Future of 'E-Politics' on Weekend Edition Sunday. Obama's campaign significant use of the Internet was ignored in favor of a discussion of how the "bitter gate" report came to be, while McCain's campaign advisor was not only extensively interviewed but NPR offered a link to the McCain website.

NPR's covergae of the 2004 campaign has an anti-Kerry bias. It seems that more of the same is in store for 2008.

Sent by Naomi Smith | 10:10 AM ET | 06-29-2008


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