Conservatives Commentators Stand Up for NPR; say it's "fair"

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    Mar 12, 2011 4:08 AM GMT
    I knew there was a reason I didn't listen to NPR. Way to much fairness to the conservatives...

    NPR Is "Fair": Conservatives And Media Critics Defend NPR's Reporting

    March 11, 2011 8:06 pm ET

    Media critics and conservative commentators are responding to the recent controversy over NPR by praising the network's reporting. In addition, some Tea Party activists say that NPR's coverage of their group has been "fair."
    Conservative Commentators Praise NPR

    Blankley: NPR is "fair." Media Matters interviewed Tony Blankley, a conservative syndicated columnist and former Newt Gingrich press secretary:

    "I've been on NPR regularly for a very long time," [Blankley] said. "From a personal perspective they have always given me plenty of access, I am clearly a right-wing commentator so I cannot complain. There's a conservative on and there's a liberal on, so that's all fair."

    He added, "It is what their view is on what constitutes news. They are much more concerned with what is going on in the third world. That is a news judgment. For every story they run on conditions in some third world country, it is space not used for some story that we conservatives think is relevant to a conservative audience."

    Still, Blankley stressed the ability of conservatives to appear on NPR and speak their mind: "No editor or host has ever suggested, 'Could you not be quite so conservative on this show?' I have been open and free to express my opinion." [Media Matters, 3/11/11]

    Medved: "NPR Tries Harder To Be Fair Than Just About Any Other Media Source." Media Matters interviewed conservative radio host Michael Medved:

    "I think NPR tries harder to be fair than just about any other media source. It doesn't mean they succeed. They do give evidence of trying," said Michael Medved, a syndicated conservative talk radio host. "I listen almost every day to Morning Edition and All Things Considered. I think that they do as good a job as anybody in media in reporting the news."

    Medved said he opposes federal funding for NPR and added that he might donate to the network if it gave up government funding.

    He also told Media Matters: "NPR is not like ABC or CBS or NBC. I think they make a genuine, constant attempt to try to play it up the middle. They have gotten much better. There were very, very serious complaints from the Jewish community some years back about coverage of Israel and I think the coverage of Israel is much more fair ... They have improved." [Media Matters, 3/11/11]

    Reynolds: "I Have Found Them To Be Fair ... I Think NPR Does A Good Job." Media Matters interviewed conservative blogger Glenn Reynolds:

    In comments to Media Matters, Reynolds added:

    "There is no question that NPR generally has a leftist slant and attitude, but I have certainly gone out of my way to praise them on a number of occasions. They have done some Tea Party coverage that has been good."

    Reynolds said: "I have praised their coverage on the Nidal Hasan story, and they were ahead of the curve on that. They were on top of that. I think they do a good job, they are conscientious."

    "My own interaction with them has been fine, " he added. "I have found them to be fair. I think their coverage is often quite good. I think NPR does a good job." [Media Matters, 3/11/11]

    Tea Party Activists Call NPR's Coverage Of Their Group "Fair"

    Tea Party Activist Katrina Pierson: NPR's Coverage Of Our Group Was "Fair." Media Matters interviewed Dallas Tea Party official Katrina Pierson, who said that NPR was generally biased but that its 2009 profile on her particular group was "fair":

    [Media Matters] How would you describe their interactions with DTP and what are your thoughts on the reporting they produced?

    [Pierson] I think NPR was very cordial to our group. They actually came to TX and spent a few days with us visiting our homes, and our work places. They attended meetings and asked questions. I enjoyed having them here. I think the reporting that they ended up using for All Things Considered, it was fair. It could have been more inclusive of the actual diversity of our group. Our founder married to a Columbian that speaks very little English. They speak Spanish in their home. I'm an african-american woman that does the neighborhood training and media appearances. And with race having been an important issue with regards to Tea Parties, I was shocked that they didn't much reporting on that topic.

    The story that they did, however, we believe was as fair as we would get from such a liberal organization. [Media Matters, 3/11/11]

    Tea Party Activist Lisa Davis: "We Are All Very Pleased With" NPR's Story On Dallas Tea Party. In a December 11, 2009, post, conservative blogger Glenn Reynolds published a note from "Lisa Davis of the Dallas Tea Party":

    Robert Siegel, host of NPR's "All Things Considered," was in the Dallas area last week and attended several DTP gatherings. He'd called and stated he'd like to do a story and asked if we would agree to let some of the "happenings" be recorded. "Of course" we said. "As long as you are fair." WELL...he was! The story was on Mr. Siegel's "All Things Considered" this past Wednesday (December 9). Here's the link.

    He attended our neighborhood Tea Party, Sarah Palin's book signing, a Tea Party coordinator meeting, and interviewed the founders and steering personnel. It turns out he understood that we are not only protesting and rallying, we are also educating our community. Considering that NPR has a history of being liberal organization, word is that we are all very pleased with the representation! [Instapundit.com, 12/11/09]

    Medved: NPR's Tea Party Coverage "Is More Fair Than What You Tended To Get On Network News." Asked about NPR's Tea Party coverage, conservative radio host Michael Medved told Media Matters: "It is more fair than what you tended to get on network news." [Media Matters, 3/11/11]
    Media Critics Praise NPR: "The Best Radio News In America."

    Auletta: NPR tries to "present the news with real fairness and balance." Media Matters interviewed New Yorker media writer Ken Auletta:

    Ken Auletta, the top media writer for The New Yorker, said, "I think NPR has the best radio news in America."

    "They do a very good news job. I don't believe they have a conscious political bias. My sense is that when I listen to NPR, I feel that they try to be fair," Auletta added. "They try to present the news with real fairness and balance. Fox News, too often, is not fair and balanced. Private radio rarely fills the void that NPR fills, which is serious news."

    Asked about the undercover tapes, Auletta urged people to listen to NPR's actual coverage.

    "If you ignore that idiot's comments and can listen to NPR, you would be much harder pressed to find a bias." [Media Matters, 3/11/11]

    Rainey: "NPR generally represents both sides of an issue." Media Matters interviewed Los Angeles Time media writer James Rainey:

    "NPR generally represents both sides of an issue and tends to high journalistic standards," said James Rainey, media writer for the Los Angeles Times. "When lawmakers on Capitol Hill, from both parties, are being candid they will tell you that they listen to NPR to get good, thorough coverage of the big issues facing the nation." [Media Matters, 3/11/11]

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 12, 2011 4:20 AM GMT
    And let them continue to provide such high quality news... without government assistance.

    Since taxpayer support for NPR and PBS is only a mere 6%, surely they can adapt for this shortfall by appealing to some advertisers or other ways of sourcing revenue.
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    Mar 12, 2011 4:41 AM GMT
    alphatrigger saidAnd let them continue to provide such high quality news... without government assistance.

    Since taxpayer support for NPR and PBS is only a mere 6%, surely they can adapt for this shortfall by appealing to some advertisers or other ways of sourcing revenue.



    Right AFTER we raise taxes on the richest 1-2% of Americans.
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    Mar 12, 2011 5:24 AM GMT
    rickrick91 said
    alphatrigger saidAnd let them continue to provide such high quality news... without government assistance.

    Since taxpayer support for NPR and PBS is only a mere 6%, surely they can adapt for this shortfall by appealing to some advertisers or other ways of sourcing revenue.



    Right AFTER we raise taxes on the richest 1-2% of Americans.


    Now now... leave the rich alone. They should be able to keep every dime of their taxpayer-funded bonuses.
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    Mar 12, 2011 5:33 AM GMT
    Brandon112586 said
    rickrick91 said
    alphatrigger saidAnd let them continue to provide such high quality news... without government assistance.

    Since taxpayer support for NPR and PBS is only a mere 6%, surely they can adapt for this shortfall by appealing to some advertisers or other ways of sourcing revenue.



    Right AFTER we raise taxes on the richest 1-2% of Americans.


    Now now... leave the rich alone. They should be able to keep every dime of their taxpayer-funded bonuses.


    Yes, let's continue to let the right-wing conservatives bastardize social welfare and glorify corporate welfare. icon_wink.gif
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    Mar 12, 2011 5:39 AM GMT
    dsmith123 said
    Brandon112586 said
    rickrick91 said
    alphatrigger saidAnd let them continue to provide such high quality news... without government assistance.

    Since taxpayer support for NPR and PBS is only a mere 6%, surely they can adapt for this shortfall by appealing to some advertisers or other ways of sourcing revenue.



    Right AFTER we raise taxes on the richest 1-2% of Americans.


    Now now... leave the rich alone. They should be able to keep every dime of their taxpayer-funded bonuses.


    Yes, let's continue to let the right-wing conservatives bastardize social welfare and glorify corporate welfare. icon_wink.gif




    It has been helping the economy, hasn't it?
    If you conveniently edit out all those Republican recessions.
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    Mar 12, 2011 5:40 AM GMT
    I guess conservatives don't care that now we're going to have to sit through even more Irish Tenors and Riverdance fundraisers. I don't wanna buy anymore Ken Burns DVD sets.
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    Mar 12, 2011 5:48 AM GMT
    HeartRobb saidI guess conservatives don't care that now we're going to have to sit through even more Irish Tenors and Riverdance fundraisers. I don't wanna buy anymore Ken Burns DVD sets.


    The wheels are in motion.
    jcon2665l.jpg
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    Mar 12, 2011 6:38 AM GMT
    And let them continue to provide such high quality news... without government assistance.

    Since taxpayer support for NPR and PBS is only a mere 6%, surely they can adapt for this shortfall by appealing to some advertisers or other ways of sourcing revenue.


    And why shouldn't the government fund them? And NPR doesn't use advertising or commercials as a source of revenue. There's nothing right or wrong about the government supporting or not supporting public radio/pbs or any other public media -- it is information and media for the public benefit

    Philosophically you may or may not support the government funding or not funding public media, but that's a philosophical opinion on whatever side of political belief you fall, and not an issue of any moral bearing.

    But again, why shouldn't the government support fair unbiased media? There's no reason it shouldn't support such media, just as there's nothing right about it supporting such media. On the positive it's a government investment in communal values and -- at it's best -- fair, unbiased media; on the negative it's subject to undue government interference in it's point of view/slant and what news does or does not get presented -- ie. a vehicle for government propoganda.

    Whether you like NPR/PBS they do do a good job of straddling the the contentious ridge or American views and values better than many media organizations, and that's something that benefits all of us.
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    Mar 12, 2011 6:51 AM GMT
    wrerick saidAnd let them continue to provide such high quality news... without government assistance.

    Since taxpayer support for NPR and PBS is only a mere 6%, surely they can adapt for this shortfall by appealing to some advertisers or other ways of sourcing revenue.


    And why shouldn't the government fund them? And NPR doesn't use advertising or commercials as a source of revenue. There's nothing right or wrong about the government supporting or not supporting public radio/pbs or any other public media -- it is information and media for the public benefit

    Philosophically you may or may not support the government funding or not funding public media, but that's a philosophical opinion on whatever side of political belief you fall, and not an issue of any moral bearing.

    But again, why shouldn't the government support fair unbiased media? There's no reason it shouldn't support such media, just as there's nothing right about it supporting such media. On the positive it's a government investment in communal values and -- at it's best -- fair, unbiased media; on the negative it's subject to undue government interference in it's point of view/slant and what news does or does not get presented -- ie. a vehicle for government propoganda.

    Whether you like NPR/PBS they do do a good job of straddling the the contentious ridge or American views and values better than many media organizations, and that's something that benefits all of us.

    That is all.
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    Mar 12, 2011 6:52 AM GMT
    I think Talk of the Nation, All Things Considered, and Morning Edition are worth some government support if we weren't in such debt. I don't think Fresh Air should get government support though because I think it is geared towards liberal baby boomers.

  • premed

    Posts: 18

    Mar 12, 2011 7:01 AM GMT
    I love NPR and think that the government should continue to fund it. Forcing it to cede to advertisers could cause it to lose some of its fairness. I don't understand why so many believe that we shouldn't provide funding to public news services. Look at BBC, it's owned by the British government and its a fantastic news source. Shouldn't the United States have something equally great?
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    Mar 12, 2011 7:33 AM GMT
    To those of you who want us to increase taxes or borrow more from the Chinese to fund NPR, do you subscribe and contribute to your local station? If you want everyone to fund what you listen to, you should be paying even more, right?
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    Mar 12, 2011 12:23 PM GMT
    socalfitness saidTo those of you who want us to increase taxes or borrow more from the Chinese to fund NPR, do you subscribe and contribute to your local station? If you want everyone to fund what you listen to, you should be paying even more, right?


    That's a straw man argument. The pittance we spend no NPR or PBS has nothing to do with the debt or deficit. The debt and deficit have three main causes:

    Two unpaid wars begun by the previous administration

    Two tax cuts for the wealthy started by previous administration and continued by the present one

    Both parties engaging in stealing from the mandated social welfare programs to pay for wars, tax breaks, and payoffs to special interests (mostly corporations).
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    Mar 12, 2011 2:39 PM GMT
    I love listening to NPR! I hear stories on there that I don't' hear on MSNBC, Fox, CNN, CNBC, and so on. In my opinion, I find that they tend to give both sides time to state their views. That's not to say that some programs don't lean more right or more left.

    I think that many people have a bad view of government-funded radio and TV because it's something we aren't used to. Go to just about any European or Asian country and you'll find that they have at least one major TV and/or radio station that is government owned, i.e. RAI (Italy), France 2 (France), RTVE (Spain), and the BBC (United Kingdom) among others. Not only that, but many of these state-owned TV stations face serious competition from private TV stations such as TF1 (France) and Mediaset (Italy; owned by Berlusconi nonetheless). Lastly, I'm sure many people think of government-owned TV and radio as being prone to propaganda.
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    Mar 12, 2011 2:41 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    socalfitness saidTo those of you who want us to increase taxes or borrow more from the Chinese to fund NPR, do you subscribe and contribute to your local station? If you want everyone to fund what you listen to, you should be paying even more, right?


    That's a straw man argument. The pittance we spend no NPR or PBS has nothing to do with the debt or deficit. The debt and deficit have three main causes:

    Two unpaid wars begun by the previous administration

    Two tax cuts for the wealthy started by previous administration and continued by the present one

    Both parties engaging in stealing from the mandated social welfare programs to pay for wars, tax breaks, and payoffs to special interests (mostly corporations).

    Ah, but pittances add up. If you are on a budget but just spend a pittance here, a pittance there, you can end up with a big credit card bill. If you should be watching your waistline and just eat a pittance very often, you may end up with a big waistline. To curb govt spending, we need to go after not only the big items, but all the pittances as well, if they are not necessary.
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    Mar 12, 2011 2:58 PM GMT
    socalfitness said
    Christian73 said
    socalfitness saidTo those of you who want us to increase taxes or borrow more from the Chinese to fund NPR, do you subscribe and contribute to your local station? If you want everyone to fund what you listen to, you should be paying even more, right?


    That's a straw man argument. The pittance we spend no NPR or PBS has nothing to do with the debt or deficit. The debt and deficit have three main causes:

    Two unpaid wars begun by the previous administration

    Two tax cuts for the wealthy started by previous administration and continued by the present one

    Both parties engaging in stealing from the mandated social welfare programs to pay for wars, tax breaks, and payoffs to special interests (mostly corporations).

    Ah, but pittances add up. If you are on a budget but just spend a pittance here, a pittance there, you can end up with a big credit card bill. If you should be watching your waistline and just eat a pittance very often, you may end up with a big waistline. To curb govt spending, we need to go after not only the big items, but all the pittances as well, if they are not necessary.


    I'd be fine with that if this wasn't politically motivated. But the more people are distracted by arguing over the 12% that is discretionary (and teeny-tiny amount of that which is NPR or NEA or what have you), the less likely we are to effectively deal with the big pieces that are actually driving the deficit and the debt.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 12, 2011 3:00 PM GMT
    I listen to NPR all the time, especially when I'm on one of my road trips to Kansas City, Oklahoma City or another venue with clients.

    I've always thought they were excellent, very professional people.
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    Mar 12, 2011 3:42 PM GMT
    Christian73 said ... I'd be fine with that if this wasn't politically motivated. But the more people are distracted by arguing over the 12% that is discretionary (and teeny-tiny amount of that which is NPR or NEA or what have you), the less likely we are to effectively deal with the big pieces that are actually driving the deficit and the debt.

    I agree. We should not let feeling good about small cuts distract us from the larger ones. Based on the discussion and discord in Washington, I don't think that is happening. As far as NPR being biased, I think the opinion or sensitivity to that reflects one's own position. I used to listen to them in the morning prior to them firing Juan Williams. Generally I thought they were very professional. I found liberal tilts to be subtle often by the choice of stories and people interviewed. Regardless, I think they should go on without federal funding. Years back the justification was to provide media to markets that might not justify quality broadcasting. Obviously, the times are different. National media is available everywhere, and local media, even broadcasting on the internet and public access via cable TV, is low enough cost.
  • vintovka

    Posts: 588

    Mar 12, 2011 4:05 PM GMT
    Of course no one ever mentions that the use of the public airways has been given away in exclusive franchises to the commercial broadcast stations for years through the FCC and they have never paid a dime for the ownership of this public resource (just one of many examples where the government provides direct or indirect subsidies to private industries).

    The Republican campaign against NPR would be more credible to me if they wanted to make private companies pay their fair share or live without government subsidies. Why should we cut funding to PBS and continue funding Monsanto?