Media Matters on NPR

There was an interesting piece on the Media Matters blog that related some conservatives’ take on the so-called “liberal” bent of NPR, an article called “Conservatives Praise NPR’s News Coverage”:

“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 and others, in fact, see NPR as more centrist than the major networks:

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.”…

Asked about NPR’s Tea Party coverage, Medved said: “It is more fair than what you tended to get on network news.”

Tony Blankley, a conservative syndicated columnist and former Newt Gingrich press secretary, says he has always been treated fairly on NPR.

“I’ve been on NPR regularly for a very long time,” he 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.”

Tea Party activists have also said they have been treated fairly by NPR.

The comments section once again contains some of the better one-liners:

imbecile: You’ve got to give credit where credit is due. There are honest conservatives out there in the media.

However, you’ll notice that they have very little, if any, influence on narrative of the Republican media, which is overwhelmingly saturated by the whims of behemoths like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity.

If conservatives really do “want their country back,” the first thing they need to do is take the narrative back from the psychos they gave it to in the first place. It’s much easier to govern when the other side is willing to compromise for the betterment of the nation, but not if all they do is dig their heels into the sand for the votes of the fringe.

If you operate a freak show and invite all the freaks to attend, you can’t expect the normal people to stick around for long. Eventually, the normal people leave and all you have left are freaks.

sluggo: I am glad MMFA is highlighting these comments. NPR, in my opinion, tends to take too many shortcuts in their news coverage and try the “he said/she said” trick too often, but they tend to be fairly independent. I am heartened to see “conservatives” (whatever that means) defending NPR.

Having an independent press is not just nice but can, in some circumstances, mean the difference between life and death. The recent nuclear reactor explosion in Japan is a good example. I am sure that in the same situation a news outlet like FOX would happily cover up the event if the company that owned the reactor purchased enough advertising time on their station. As the local population slowly died of radiation poisoning I can just hear Fox and Friends blame Michell Obama’s healthy eating policies…


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