Friday, November 19, 2010

Standing up for NPR

Really, Eric Cantor? One of the messages voters sent in the midterm elections was that NPR should be defunded?

Other than the fact that federal funding of NPR is relatively minuscule (barely a drop in the budgetary bucket), this is clearly a partisan move. Republicans don't like NPR, which is for the most part a news organization that aims at objectivity and mature discourse (and hence which doesn't simply regurgitate Republican talking points and narratives), and, of course, they're using the Juan Williams firing as a wedge.

I didn't necessarily think Williams should have been fired over this one incident, but he had a long record of shoddy punditry -- a record he's taken with him full-time to Fox News, where he belongs -- and the idiotic comments that got him fired, comments made on Fox News to Bill O'Reilly, comments that exposed him as a vaguely self-aware but completely in denial and unrepentant bigot, were nothing if not deeply ignorant. (If you remember, he admitted that he gets "worried" and "nervous" when he gets on a plane and sees people in "Muslim garb" (as if the 9/11 terrorists wore "Muslim garb).)

By way of explanation, NPR said that the comments "were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR." That's not being partisan (in a way counter to Republicans), that's enforcing rigorous journalistic standards even for talking heads like Williams.

That puts NPR well above pretty much every other major news organization. It should be applauded, not defunded.

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  • The GOP should really make up their mind whether NPR is evil because they're socialist or because they're fascist.

    "Roger Ailes called NPR 'Nazis' and I always thought we were communists. This is such a confusing thing now for the listener....Now we've been called Nazi's, so I guess we're not socialists or communists. "

    ~ terrific opening line of this week's It's All Politics podcast on NPR.

    By Blogger lindabeth, at 11:40 PM  

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