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Does NPR have a liberal bias?

I listened to "On The Media" this weekend. This radio show, produced by WNYC in New York, is played on NPR local stations once a week. I listen every week to get a quick update on the conventional wisdom of the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This weekend the show was a series of segments on the trouble NPR is getting into lately, including the resignations of NPR CEO Vivian Schiller, and fund-raiser-in-chief Ron Schiller.

The most over-the-top segment was called "The Bias Bias". You can listen at the link, or get the whole show as a podcast on iTunes. On this segment, Ira Glass, the producer of "This American Life", makes the case that NPR's liberal bias is a myth. In his world, NPR is the mainstream media. He's right is a way. There is nothing more left wing in a typical "Morning Edition" broadcast than you get in any issue of the New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, the AP, Reuters, or the Guardian. 

But I guess that's the whole problem, isn't it?


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Comments (30)

Bias directions always depe... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Bias directions always depend on where you look from.

(Kind of like reading an old-style multimeter with an analog gauge. Look at it from the far left, and it'll read high. Look at it from the far right, and it'll read low. Look at it from the center, and you'll get an accurate idea of what you're measuring. But when you redefine the center to be where YOU are, you're looking for no end of trouble...)

This American Life is fanta... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

This American Life is fantastic. And, I wouldn't say that it is biased.

Their news coverage, though, would be considered 'left-of-centre' in the United States; or, 'moderate'/apolitical in the UK or Canada. It's hardly The Guardian.

JLawson,...which e... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

JLawson,

...which explains why, to the average Democrat/leftist/NPR listener, Fox News and the TEA Parties appear to be extreme right wing...

For any of you who might be... (Below threshold)
Rance:

For any of you who might be interested, The Blaze had an analysis of the (mostly) full length version of the James O’Keefe video.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/does-raw-video-of-npr-expose-reveal-questionable-editing-tactics/

A few bits form the blaze: ... (Below threshold)
warchild:

A few bits form the blaze:

Schiller’s negative comments about Republicans and conservatives have gotten a great deal of attention.

He clearly says some offensive things, while being very direct that he is giving his own opinion and not that of NPR. Still — a wildly stupid move!

But you may be surprised to learn, that in the raw video, Schiller also speaks positively about the GOP. He expresses pride in his own Republican heritage and his belief in fiscal conservatism.

4. The “seriously racist” Tea Party

NPR exec Ron Schiller does describe Tea Party members as “xenophobic…seriously racist people.”

This is one of the reasons why he no longer has a job!

But the clip in the edited video implies Schiller is giving simply his own analysis of the Tea Party. He does do that in part, but the raw video reveals that he is largely recounting the views expressed to him by two top Republicans, one a former ambassador, who admitted to him that they voted for Obama.

At the end, he signals his agreement. The larger context does not excuse his comments, or his judgment in sharing the account, but would a full context edit have been more fair? See what you think:

This is damning alright... for O'Keefe.


At least O’Keefe releases h... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

At least O’Keefe releases his full videos unlike most of the MSM which do plenty of “creative” editing.

"This is damning alright...... (Below threshold)
Hank:

"This is damning alright... for O'Keefe."

Yup. Any more editing and ABC News will be offering a job.

"NPR is the mainstream medi... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"NPR is the mainstream media"

Yep, in all their elite, bigoted, "intellectual" and hypocritical glory.

Rance/warchild,You... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Rance/warchild,

You are so right. Let's compare that along side the full, unedited Palin/Couric interview. Oh, wait...

Hey folks, we all know bear... (Below threshold)
epador:

Hey folks, we all know bears don't sh*t in the woods, of course NPR isn't liberally liberal-biased, Jeeze.

I've heard Ira make these apologies before. He's no Goebbels. I think he's more in line with Baghdad Bob.

The trolls sure get touchy ... (Below threshold)
914:

The trolls sure get touchy when a thread hits home. National consequences, like skyrocketing fuel/food prices, not so much.

Have you ever listened to T... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Have you ever listened to This American Life, epador?

My girlfriend is nuts about it (and also Radio Lab, another excellent NPR podcast), and I've listened to about a half-dozen episodes or so over the past couple of months. It's all riveting stuff, thoughtfully presented, and generally apolitical.

You're a smart fellow, you'd probably enjoy it.

Paterrico has a few ... (Below threshold)
Actual:
Does NPR have a liberal ... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

Does NPR have a liberal bias?

Does the earth orbit the sun?

Does NPR have a liberal bia... (Below threshold)
914:

Does NPR have a liberal bias?


Is Barry a genius at losing jobs?

Paterrico has a few prob... (Below threshold)
john:

Paterrico has a few problems with The Blaze's analysis:

No, he really doesn't. All he's saying is that if you look at Schiller's body language, and put it in different context, and maybe squint your eyes a certain way, then you can tell that he was really thinking mean things that he wasn't saying!

No thanks. I'll stick with the actual video.

By the way, does everyone know who runs The Blaze site? You know you really screwed up when even Glenn Beck thinks you're a liar!

Does NPR have a liberal ... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Does NPR have a liberal bias?

Next up: a hard-hitting story on the hygienic practices of bears.

Another example of "Nixon w... (Below threshold)
Roy:

Another example of "Nixon won? But, I don't know anyone who voted for him."

Reflect, for a moment, on h... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Reflect, for a moment, on how the Reds must hate the Internet.

They targeted the media, patiently working over time placing apparatchiks in all of the gatekeeping functions to keep us in the dark and feed us their leftist bullshit.

Things were going great, what with Duranty, Cronkite, Rather & Co. working their magic. Then, along comes Al "Second Chakra" Gore, invents the Internet, and poof! Gatekeeper function gone. No way to marinate everyone in anti-American viewpoints, or to suppress independent (i.e., non-communist) journalism. Some punk college kid with a camcorder can catch the comrades in moments of candor, post the video on YouTube, and stick up the Party's ass. And there's nothing the gatekeepers can do about it.

Gotta love it. If you listen carefully, you can almost hear God chuckling.

"And theres nothing the gat... (Below threshold)
914:

"And theres nothing the gatekeepers can do about it."


I hear Barry has a finger on the switch and is contemplating shutting down the internet whenever he deems it 'necessary' for national security. Don't know when or if? But reelection time would be a prime security threat..

Me: Patterico has a few ... (Below threshold)
Actual:

Me: Patterico has a few problems with The Blaze's analysis:

John: No, he really doesn't.

Yes, John, he really does:

Pattrico: "The next time someone cites that Blaze post, point them here. Ask them how, in light of the full context, they could possibly argue that Schiller doesn’t agree with every word of what he said about Tea Partiers."

In other news, the Pope is ... (Below threshold)
Robert:

In other news, the Pope is Catholic, and bears sh*t in the woods.

I hear Barry has a finge... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

I hear Barry has a finger on the switch and is contemplating shutting down the internet whenever he deems it 'necessary' for national security. Don't know when or if? But reelection time would be a prime security threat..

He could try, but the beauty of the internet is that there are enough nodes outside the US to bypass blockage...

He could try, but the be... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

He could try, but the beauty of the internet is that there are enough nodes outside the US to bypass blockage...

DARPANet, the forerunner to the Internet, was intended to vitiate the effectiveness of a communist attack. And so it did, and is still doing.

Just in unexpected ways.

Yes, John, he really doe... (Below threshold)
john:

Yes, John, he really does:
Pattrico:

No, he really doesn't. And I'm not sure why you thought that making the same argument I did -- that Patterico had nothing besides saying you just know that Schiller was thinking something other than what he was saying! -- would suggest otherwise. If anything, you bolster my argument.

A measure both of the banal... (Below threshold)

A measure both of the banality of the Left's inherent evil and of the Fascissocialist Psychosis suffering Lefties' derangement, that the Truth so easily shakes their shrubs.

Reading comprehension much,... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

Reading comprehension much, John?

Pattrico: "The next time someone cites that Blaze post, point them here. Ask them how, in light of the full context, they could possibly argue that Schiller doesn’t agree with every word of what he said about Tea Partiers."

Since you seem to have ignored it the first time.

TAL would be better conside... (Below threshold)
epador:

TAL would be better considered a TIA. How to attempt to hide bias in intellectualism and art but missing a few pieces. He's an apologist.

Reading comprehension mu... (Below threshold)
john:

Reading comprehension much, John?

I read quite well, thank you. Which is why I can see that Patterico says nothing to refute Glenn Beck's Blaze report. All he claims is that you just know that Schiller was thinking agreement. And then he declares by fiat that no one could possibly argue with him.

I'm not sure why you guys keep insisting on repeating the Patterico quote that supports my point, but feel free to keep doing so.

In any case, Schiller was dumb for saying what he said, and he's now gone. None of that changes the fact that O’Keefe's report was a fraud.

Whatever helps you sleep at... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

Whatever helps you sleep at night.




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