Thursday, January 12, 2006

NPR going to hell

Mara Liasson must like getting the big check to fill a pseudo-liberal slot at Brit Hume's table on Fox News. How much does she like it? Well, let's just say the party supported by her network overlords just won in the coverage game with a score of 5-0.

In her story about corruption today, she uncritically presented the words of five Republicans and no Democrats. The list:
  • Brian Nick, NRSC communications director

  • Warren Tompkins, Republican strategist from South Carolina

  • Vin Weber, former Republican congressman from Minnesota

  • Rep. Jeff Flake, (R-AZ)

  • Jan Baron (ph), Republican campaign finance attorney
A few days ago, I and others noticed that the Republicans have been going around acting shocked--shocked!--that their members would be corrupt. Newt Gingrich, in a commentary on NPR no less, said that the Republicans were the "party of reform."

It's an idea that's been spreading. The blogosphere's slow class met at the RNC the other day and, as always, parroted the new talking points. Michelle Malkin: "I'm not gonna endorse specific legislation...we, as the party of reform, we oughtta be for that."

Malkin and other wingnut bloggers you expect this shit from and, hey, I'm fine with that. That's what blogs are about, after all: Unfiltered points of view.

But on NPR, a supposedly liberal bastion in the supposedly liberal media, this isn't just shocking but disgusting. You see, there are ways that this story could be told without getting the opposition party's point of view and still unbiased, but Liasson doesn't even try. She simply lets Republicans toss out whatever talking points they want.

Vin Weber said, "The conservative party of this country, the party that does not bill itself as the party of government has to always have a reform element to it or there's not a real reason for it to be the majority...They've lost sight of the fact that the natural conservative majority in this country can't become simply the party in power, it has to be the party of reforming government and we gotta get back to that."

I don't remember when we Democrats agreed that, on the playbill of American politics, we would be playing the "party of government," but that's an easy one. For an added "Fuck you" to fairness and disclosure, note that Liasson failed to mention in her story on lobbying and corruption in Congress that former Congressman Weber is, you guessed it, a fucking lobbyist! Think that might cause some doubts about his ability to judge this situation fairly?

Warren Tompkins, Republican strategist from South Carolina, was allowed to say without challenge "We (Republicans) get elected because we're not supposed to do these kinds of things." This, of course, explains why we lost in Ohio's Second Congressional District a while back. I will say, however, that Nitpicker warned Maj. Hackett at the time he shouldn't run on the "I Do Corruption Right" ticket.

Mara Liasson even lets Brian Nick, mouthpiece, say this is a "bipartisan congressional issue." Liasson does mention that Republicans vastly outnumber Democrats involved in the issue, but her few words of balance do nothing, ultimately, to tip the scales away from the mounds of crap she allows Republicans to drop upon her listeners.

You know what's really sad? She's not even close to being alone.


Blogger David Flores said...

You're absolutely right, and unfortunately, this has been going on for some time. Networks that would never dream of putting on a Democrat without offering a counterbalancing Republican, seem to have little problem running Republican-only segments that are basically nothing more than extended spin-sessions. This woulnd't be so much of a problem if the journalists conducting the interviews approached their subjects with the same attack-dog mentality that Fox News anchors bring to the table every day, but the mainstream anchors are generally laughably incapable of challenging even the most absurd claims by Republican apologists. This is largely because the new breed of network anchor was given the job solely because he/she looks good on camera.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Sean Braisted said...

Wow, I'm glad I read this blog because when I heard this piece on NPR I didn't for a second think it was skewed towards Republicans. It was a piece about the Republican reaction towards the scandals, and featured many Republicans saying they were dissappointed with their party. If it were a Foxnews piece it would have been more like "So a few Republicans took a bit of money from this guy, so what? Byron Dorgan used Abramoff's skybox...surely that is worse than anything the noble Republicans had done."

12:03 PM  
Blogger jmcq said...

This evening during the weekly meet-up with E.J. Dionne, the indignant Brooks declared that the Democrats on the judiciary committee had tried to destroy Alito. Normally Brooks doesn't stray into O'Reilly territory on NPR, but -- well, that's the word he used, destroy. And Dionne and Robert Siegel and Nina Totenberg let it pass without comment (though to her credit, she later pointed out that, contrary to his contention that the hearings were just about abortion, executive power was also a major issue).

And I've got a brother-in-law who thinks that NPR is the left's counterpart to Limbaugh.

11:01 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Wow, I had no idea Mara was on Fox! Maybe we should "out her" with the following information:

Mara began her career with Pacifica Radio's KPFK (Berkeley, CA), where I served as a news intern (around 1982-83). You may know that the station & the network were pretty far to the left of the political and media spectrum. I, of course, know little about what her politics were then (but with her on Fox we certainly know what they are now). She seemed like a nice person. Shortly thereafter I heard her on NPR & realized she'd moved on up in the journalism profession. I was happy for her.

Gee, I wonder whether her stint at KPFK was on her resume when Fox hired her? Weren't they afraid she might turn out to be a double agent for the far-Left media elite?

2:12 AM  

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