Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Quote of Note and a Talk Back on NPR

From an article by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, What the right means when it calls NPR "liberal" - War Room - Salon.com
"So what do conservatives really mean when they accuse NPR of being 'liberal'? They mean it's not accountable to their worldview as conservatives and partisans. They mean it reflects too great a regard for evidence and is too open to reporting different points of views of the same event or idea or issue. Reporting that by its very fact-driven nature often fails to confirm their ideological underpinnings, their way of seeing things (which is why some liberals and Democrats also become irate with NPR)."
There is much to agree with here and I think Moyers and Winship point concisely to what the Right means when it calls NPR liberal.  Now I am not so sure what they mean by the last clause in parenthesis, not being a Democrat, and not being "some liberals".  However, as a "Leftist" to the left of the mainstream of the Democratic party, and critical listener to NPR, I find many examples of what I call an "establishment bias".  I find NPR reporters and programs often don't question deeply what can be considered the mainstream establishment consensus of American society.  Furthermore, NPR often does its best to appease and accommodate the Right.

1 comment:

Dale said...

Very true. The far right has made a cottage industry out of shouting 'liberal bias' at the news media, and because the news media basically suffers no consequences from caving in to this critique, they do. It's a ratchet that turns in the favor of monied interests -- faster here, slower there, but the point is, it's a ratchet that turns only one way.

Money speaks and speaks loudly, even for NPR. The only countervailing forces are people power and truth. Truth has a limited appeal in the best of circumstances, and people power is very hit-or-miss. In many cases, people are at least as likely to agitate for the reactionary side of things, even when it's directly contrary to their own interests -- witness the Tea Party.