Dear NPR ombudsman

Is there a new NPR Ombudsman any yet?

Even they acknowledged that they completely failed to investigate and challenge the assertions of the right wing in the run up to the war. If they’re going to admit it, who am I to say otherwise?

But this thread is about NPR, who has not yet acknowledged that it failed to investigate and challenge those same efforts to lead us to war. NPR, in fact, was one of the organizations who broke one of the several misleading “We’ve found the WMD” stories in the first few days of the invasion of Iraq.

Aren’t most all of Peter Overby’s pieces investigative journalism?

(Is it just me or does anyone else think of David Sedaris when hearing Peter Overby?)

I think this is 100% dead on. I find them to be incredibly balanced and in-depth almost all the time, but they get very politically self-conscious around elections. Out here, the local station simply focuses on the Libertarian, Green, and American Independent (crazy) candidates.

Incidentally, there’s nothing funnier than hearing how a Green party candidate for lieutenant governor is going to fix our criminal justice system, improve education, and try to get us out of Iraq (?) by, and I’m 100% serious here, waiting for the governor to go on a trip and then get a bunch of bills passed and signed while he’s gone. They were not joking. That was their plan.

Really? My simpler and more cynical take is that NPR is merely the latest victim of the Bush Administration’s attempts to turn everything into a right-wing mouthpiece.

Simpler, more cynical and … more accurate.

Just a digression, but I pine to think that after every word we Norwegians have stolen from English, one of the very few we have been able to give back is ombudsman. Ah well.

Quick question out of curiosity Hentor, but are the interviews you are talking about part of their “Radio Day” series? They’ve mentionted a couple of times in recent days that the White House did their traditional radio days bit where the big wigs go round a bunch of tables giving interviews. That may be why so many tighty righties have been on the dial.

And at any rate, I think you’re off your nut. I listen to NPR all the time. They are my only source for news, and they continue to be the most reliable and responsible source for news out there. In fact, there was a lovely piece this evening about how the republicans were trailing in just about every poll coming in to the election. By your standards, that would indicate a slide to the left.

Lastly, by claiming that a couple of interviews of politically important and newsworthy figures who just happen to be republicans indicates a move to the right worthy of stripping NPR of it’s funding, you are just as bad as those who claim that NPR airing any sort of story critical of the current republican administration indicates a leftist slant worthy of stripping NPR of it’s funding.

Are you kidding? I heard tyhe Cheney and Rove interviews, and in each case the Republican not only asserted that there was a liberal bias at NPR but they shouted down the interviewer as a partisan Democrat. Those interviews did more to make the Republicans look bad than any number of commercials. Rove in particular ended up looking like a chump.

NPR, moving to the right… dude, you’re nuts.

Oh yeah, well you’re… on your nut.

If you mean that I am mentally ill or stupid, go fuck yourself. NPR should be NPR. If it wants to be CNN or ABC - if it wants to concern itself with the appearance of what it says and who might be offended rather than the truth of the news, it is worse than those organizations. It is supposed to avoid commercial support so that it can maintain integrity. Featuring extensive opportunities for the Republicans to air their opinions in the last weeks before an election without facing notably challenging questions, treating the Swiftboating of Kerry as a he said/she said (and that is when I stopped providing them with monetary support), failing to investigate the run up to the war

No, dickhead. That is a fucking fact. Fucking facts should be their stock in trade, not some notable part of the day.

But you failed to note that after noting the facts about the polls, what they did feature today was an extensive story on… William Jefferson. Why? What has happened with William Jefferson that made that story any different today than it was yesterday or the day before? The answer: Nothing. There was absolutely no news of interest in William Jefferson, so why feature an extensive story about him? Answer that, Mr. Fan of Reliable and Responsible News.

Could it be that it was unacceptable to leave a factual review of the polls sitting out there without a reminder of one of the few scandals that involves a Democrat?

I never claimed that it was just “a couple of interviews” with people who “just happen to be republicans” that indicates this move. It is an unending slew of he said/she said, false equivalence and grasping for balance that has been going on for years. Interviews with Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Ken Mehlmann and now Richard Perle were simply a slap in the face that even the most blind monkey could sniff out.

(By the way, I love the attempt to describe Karl Rove as a guy “who just happens to be a republican.”)

Take it down a notch Hentor. I merely meant that I think you are entirely mistaken. I simply phrased it in a playful fashion. My apologies.

You also failed to answer the question I posed first thing in my post. I’m pretty sure that the interviews that they have been airing are simply part of the “radio day” event that recently took place, and not some massive shift to the right.

I’m a bit puzzled as to how you fail to see how ridiculous this whole situation is. It’s been such a long time that NPR has been some great bastion of the liberal media on this board by the conservatives, and now you think it’s the radio arm of Fox News because they interviewed a couple of right wing schills.

I found a snippet of the Karl Rove interview. Kinda funny how this right leaning blog seems to think it shows a left bias and you think it shows a right bias.

Here’s a cite for the whole of the Rove interview. The text also mentions the radio day event that I indicated as the cause of the increase of republican hot air on the airwaves.

And I apologize in return for getting so irritated with you.

Just because the White House opens its doors to reporters does not mean that NPR has to go running and has to air the results. This is part of my point. NPR should be identifying what is newsworthy and using their airtime with it, not just responding to the desires of the White House.

Or do you feel that because the White House wanted to get some messages out, NPR was compelled to comply?

This morning, I did note that they apparently spoke to Howard Dean. I was just getting in the car right at the end of it, so I didn’t actually hear it. The only other interesting bit was Mara Liasson’s snippet on poll numbers. She was not content with just reporting that the polls were bad news for the Republicans. She had to insert an editorial comment that (paraphrasing) “Despite the strong economy…” people were not responding to economic polling questions in a way favoring Bush.

Here’s Media Matters collection of items on Mara Liasson, who is also a Fox News personality.

Now, I don’t present this as the most damning thing ever, just another small bit of rightward bias on NPR.

Sure these interviews are newsworthy. It’s an election cycle. And from what I’ve heard of them, it’s not as if the interviewers are just rolling over and giving the hacks a microphone unless referring to Karl Rove as being on the optimistic side of reality is some form of compliment that I’m not aware of.

And these examples of a small right wing bias are just as comical as those the right see as examples of left wing bias.

I saw that as the mildest effort to respond to Rove’s assertion that he has secret polling that shows the Republicans will win. What Siegel and the others on NPR do is essentially innoculate; they provide just enough of the mildest forms of questioning so that people like yourself can claim that Rove, Cheney, Mehlmann went on NPR (that liberal station, for chrissake’s) and dealt with the questions that they faced there.

Come up with anything yet to help explain what was newsworthy about William Jefferson yesterday? I’d sure like to see how comical that was, from your perspective.

I suppose my comparison with the New York Times was overly subtle - so to clarify it: one can do stories focusing on one of the major political parties in which the facts are damning enough, without having to drag in an opposite number from the other party for equal column space to hammer home the message (particularly when succeeding stories are likely to show an “imbalance” in the other direction).

Based on the impression Airman (not your typical cheerleader of the Left) got, Cheney and the rest of his Media Day cronies came off rather badly on NPR, so the Right Wing Takeover Strategy apparently backfired.

It’d be nice to see solid research backing this claim. The Left has classically responded to right-wing allegations of media bias by accusing the Right of cherry-picking isolated and misleading items. It should be then be embarassing for members of the Left to ape this strategy.
*“Grasping for balance”? God forbid a news organization should strive for balance or fairness, when, like, the Truth is self-evident and all.

Well, the economy is strong. It’s not an editorial when you state a fact.

Mara Liasson commited the cardinal sin of being a FoxNews Contributor so agenda-driven organizations like MediaMatters are going parse every word she says and “prove” how biased to the right she is.

If the economy were strong, wouldn’t it have generated a GDP of greater than 1.3% for the 3rd quarter? Seems kind of “soft” or “weak.” So, her statement was not only an opinion, but was at odds with actual data released later the same day.

:confused: Wow, I must listen to some kind of parallel universe NPR. I can’t imagine how anyone could listen to their news content and detect a partisan slant one way or the other.

Their commentary/opinion programming has a detectable liberal streak IMO, but they’re pretty good about indicating when you’re listening to “hard news” vs. an opinion piece.

I don’t see how merely interviewing Karl Rove indicates conservative bias. I listened to that interview and it was hardly fawning-- the reporter asked pointed questions and challenged Rove’s answers. I guess for some listeners, anything short of “Karl Rove = the devil!!!” sounds like rightwing propaganda.

So “grasp” equates to “strive” in your opinion? By grasping for balance, I mean not being satisifed to report actual news, but feeling it necessary to try and dig up some kind of story for the other side so that you feel balanced.

Grasping for balance: Following a story about current poll numbers with a non-story about “This Just In: William Jefferson is still a crook.” Has anybody been able to discern what happened with William Jefferson on Wednesday that suggested a chunk of newstime should be given up to talking about him?