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NPR refuses Bush offer of exclusive interview

National "Public" Radio has turned down an interview with the President, Howard Kurtz reports for the Washington Post :


The White House reached out to National Public Radio over the weekend, offering analyst Juan Williams a presidential interview to mark yesterday's 50th anniversary of school desegregation in Little Rock.

But NPR turned down the interview, and Williams's talk with Bush wound up in a very different media venue: Fox News.

Williams said yesterday he was "stunned" by NPR's decision. "It makes no sense to me. President Bush has never given an interview in which he focused on race. . . . I was stunned by the decision to turn their backs on him and to turn their backs on me."

Ellen Weiss, NPR's vice president for news, said she "felt strongly" that "the White House shouldn't be selecting the person." She said NPR told Bush's press secretary, Dana Perino, that "we're grateful for the opportunity to talk to the president but we wanted to determine who did the interview." When the White House said the offer could not be transferred to one of NPR's program hosts, Weiss took a pass.


Read the entire story at the link above. I could understand the objection if Williams were some shill, but he is a liberal and no fan of the Bush Administration.


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Comments (29)

Williams is intellectually ... (Below threshold)
cliff:

Williams is intellectually honest. That simply will not do for NPR. They wouldn't let anybody short of a "9/11 was an inside job" lunatic interview Bush.

Oh, and I don't know if the... (Below threshold)
cliff:

Oh, and I don't know if they are friends exactly, but I know Juan Williams is very friendly with Clarance Thomas. Frankly, it surprises me he's even allowed to keep his job with the NPR folks.

I'm stunned Williams is stu... (Below threshold)
marc:

I'm stunned Williams is stunned.

However his surprise can be chalked up to the old saw, you can't see the forest for the trees. When you're standing in the center of a bunch of far left nutcakes it hard to discern which way reality points.

I suspect NPR's "choice of host excuse" is window dressing designed to hide the fact that Williams, a very dedicated liberal, strayed off the reservation and defended Bill O'Reilly.

Juan gave one of the softes... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Juan gave one of the softest interviews (outside of Faux) in the history of journalism to Bush before, so who really cares? Read his soft hitting questions:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7065633

Like a hush puppy.

Yep jp2 you nailed him all ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Yep jp2 you nailed him all right... here's the first question right out of the box:

MR. WILLIAMS: All right, Mr. President, the reports that 300 militants were killed, an American helicopter shot down yesterday in Najaf - that's one of the deadliest battles of the war, what can you tell us?

Sum bitch, you can almost see the sugar drip off it it's so sweet.

And how 'bout slipping in the moonbats talkin' point "civil war," yep you got'em alright.

Can ya do us a favor... head on over to Blue and commiserate with your buddies as they make a fool of themselves over O'Reilly's "racist" remarks.

You'll fit right in.

P.S. And how about this Krispy Kreme sweetness for a Williams question:

MR. WILLIAMS: Well, another question about Vice President Cheney - he said last week that - here I'm quoting - "we've encountered enormous successes and we continue to have enormous successes in Iraq." Two weeks ago you said, quote, "there hadn't been enough success in Iraq." So it sounds like there's a conflicting message there.

jp2... slowly back away from that knife, you're in the center of a gun fight.

marc, cliff is right. Its ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

marc, cliff is right. Its considered a softball interview because it didn't ask him why he caused or let 9/11 happen. Or, it didn't ask him to reveal his hidden Theocratic Plot against America. Or didn't ask him why he wired all our homes with CCTVs.

Do we still have questions ... (Below threshold)

Do we still have questions about the overall political leanings at NPR?

Better to have that snide Terri Gross, right? The same Terri Gross who fawned over Al Franken?

I listened to her briefly on the way to work the other day and came into the program late so I don't know who she was interviewing, but the gentleman was explaining the events that were going on in the Middle East that gave rise to al Qaeda. When he finished, Gross said [I'll paraphrase], "So the west played a role in allowing al Qaeda's rise?" I thought, she didn't hear a word he said. She wanted to steer the question toward blaming the west and didn't want to hear that Middles East countries had any part in it.

Media bias? What ... (Below threshold)
JohnMc:

Media bias?

What media bias?

Nothing to see here...move along now.

Unlike private news organiz... (Below threshold)
John E.:

Unlike private news organizations, National Public Radio has public obligations. One of CPB's goals (http://tinyurl.com/2jc3ec) is: "programming that creates better informed citizens on the national and local level in an objective and balanced manner." What could be more important to that informational goal on a national level than an interview with the President of the USA?

To the extent that V.P. Weiss is indicating that as a matter of policy they will refuse interviews with presidents and presidential candidates whenever they request a particular interviewer, they are setting up a petty roadblock to fulfilling their public obligation.

Ms. Weiss asks us to assume that Hillary Clinton would have also been casually turned away had she insisted on talking with the health correspondent. We must assume NPR would have treated President Bill Clinton similarly in the 1990s. If all this can be proven true it is not the effect of bias. But it is failure to fulfill the obligation to the public, all of us, that NPR has assumed through the CPB. And for arguably petty or egotistical reasons.

CPB should investigate the validity of V.P. Weiss's assertions and if this is NPR policy, it ought to demand a change.

"CPB should investigate the... (Below threshold)
yo:

"CPB should investigate the validity of V.P. Weiss's assertions "

... that's the funniest thing I've seen, today.

You're right, of course, but, it'll never happen.

I could give plenty of reasons why this would never happen, but I need to break away from my scheduled commenting to go beg people for money and/or lay big guilt trips on them for reading my comments for free.

I was surprised when NPR ra... (Below threshold)

I was surprised when NPR ran an interview with Pat Buchanan during a book release and a call in they held after that. Okay, I'm surprised they won't interview President Bush. A little objective credit with Buchanan disappears with this story about Bush.

Of course were talking abou... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Of course were talking about the infamous NPR that NATIONAL PEOPLES(REDS)RADIO

NPR who?... (Below threshold)
moseby:

NPR who?

Juan Williams is merely Fox... (Below threshold)
FreedomFries:

Juan Williams is merely Fox Noise's representation of a liberal, not unlike the ennuch Colmes who plays Clarabelle to Howdy.

There's a term for the kind of Fox Noise perspective that Williams reflects; in more polite terms, House Slave.

I just love Left-wing racis... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:

I just love Left-wing racism. FreedomFries is revealing one of the Left's most closely held beliefs; i.e. people of certain races may only hold certain views.

I'm black FF! I need your help! Tell me what to think O liberal master!

FreedomFries forgot that Ju... (Below threshold)

FreedomFries forgot that Juan Williams is a commenter who already works for NPR. As he is already in the NPR club there is no good reason to exclude his interview other than partisanship. Yet NPR claims to be non-partisan.

Bottom line: NPR lied again.

1) Juan Williams is a liber... (Below threshold)
jim:

1) Juan Williams is a liberal, the same way Colmes is - guaranteed 100% Fox-safe.

2) NPR didn't feel like being a stenographer for the White House.

3) What kind of a man is Bush, that he has to choose who interviews him. or he doesn't feel safe enough to even be interviewed?

Bush is supposed to be some kind of tough, no-nonsense guy, a decisive leader - but he can't handle a tough interviewer he doesn't predict and clear ahead of time?

That doesn't sound strong to me.

And the donkeys are afraid ... (Below threshold)
Steve of Norway:

And the donkeys are afraid of Fox News...

The liberal left is the mod... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

The liberal left is the modern home of racism and anti-semitism. The left has no respect for freedom of speech and diversity of viewpoints. Even a long time liberal like Juan will be ridiculed when he doesn't toe the liberal line.

That 's why liberals want to use the power of the gov to shut down conservative talk radio for example. Freedom of speech is simply a propaganda tool for the left. As soon as they get power they will take it away from everyone but themselves.

That doesn't sound strong t... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

That doesn't sound strong to me.
-----------------------------------
And that 's why the liberals continue to support people like Clinton who is willing to intimidate nonfavorable articles (eg GQ). Probably liberals like the strong "Clinton" style at Waco.

I guess liberals will defend any shameless actions of the left.

The first thing the commies... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

The first thing the commies do is to appeal to the down trodden workers why else is the WORKERS WORLD PARTY a commie organization

FF's comment is completely ... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

FF's comment is completely inappropriate. jim just again shows that all of his commentary is cheap name calling with varying levels of effort at disguise.

It infuriates me that taxpa... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

It infuriates me that taxpayer's money supports this abomination of NPR.

This organization(NPR) is headquartered in Washington, which is known as one of the largest bastion's of liberal insanity operating in a the cesspool of government-funded programs.

Their appeal is to the nancy-boy males and constantly on-the-rag female liberals of this country. Their news programs and productions usually have a political motive behind them.

When the dean of your political news commentary is Bill Moyers, you in a heap of shit. This man, I have not seen on any other news outlets. Wise decision, I can't think of any commercial news organization that are willing to lose ad revenue and viewer ship by posting up a liberal fool.

Yo:I could giv... (Below threshold)
marc:

Yo:

I could give plenty of reasons why this would never happen, but I need to break away from my scheduled commenting to go beg people for money and/or lay big guilt trips on them for reading my comments for free.

I'd give you a sheckle or two but you failed to include a PayPal button on your comment. They say luck is opportunity that meets preparation.

Guess you failed on both counts. :-)

freedomFRIED:J... (Below threshold)
marc:

freedomFRIED:

Juan Williams is merely Fox Noise's representation of a liberal, not unlike the ennuch Colmes who plays Clarabelle to Howdy.

There's a term for the kind of Fox Noise perspective that Williams reflects; in more polite terms, House Slave.

"Good job" FRIED, you're toeing Lee Wards line in perfect harmony.

Not to mention your "house slave" remark only goes to prove irony never sleeps with you. By all means FRIED, use a racist remark "discussing" a racial issue.

DickWeed!

Wolf Pangloss:em>F... (Below threshold)
marc:

Wolf Pangloss:

em>FreedomFries forgot that Juan Williams is a commenter who already works for NPR. As he is already in the NPR club there is no good reason to exclude his interview other than partisanship. Yet NPR claims to be non-partisan.

I disagree. The attack on Williams is based on they have nothing else.

Even in their demented state they realized when reading the entire O'Rielly/Williams interview there is no there, there. There is nothing that can come close to being racist remarks by either party.

Of course it goes without saying a large percentage that have attacked Willaims have never read the interview, they get their info from media matters.

And they have the nerve to call Repubs "sheeple!"

Jim:1) Juan Wi... (Below threshold)
marc:

Jim:

1) Juan Williams is a liberal, the same way Colmes is - guaranteed 100% Fox-safe.

Interesting comment Jim. Can we assume you feel the same about Hillary, that she's "100% Fox safe?"

After all she just appeared on Fox News Sunday this past weekend with Chris Wallace.

You know the same Chris Wallace that was accused by Hillary Hubby of orchestrating a "conservative hit job" on him?

The reason my immigrant wif... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

The reason my immigrant wife isn't a Dimocrap is because they are as lame and stupid on the left here as they are in Nicaragua (they're the same the world over).

There is a huge gulf between what they say and what they do:

We only care about the poor--not really

We support the workers--no, you really don't

We care about gays--no, you use homosexuality as a weapon against others

We care about blacks--no, you've done amazing harm to blacks, throwing dollars at them, pandering to them, to buy votes, and they are still in bad straits, as a group

We want a fair economy--no, you don't even understand how the economy works; how could you, few of you have actually run a business

And the beat goes on. That's the same hypocritical and/or delusional crap the Left flogs the world over. And it's just as meaningless and empty as it was 100 years ago when Marx started working on his little intellectual project.

I just think it's funny tha... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

I just think it's funny that people are saying Juan "DNC Talking points" Williams toes the Fox line. That's just too funny.




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