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A History of Bias - Why the Public Funding of NPR Must End

By William Upton | 3/8/11 

National Public Radio (NPR), the taxpayer-funded government-radio outfit, has a serious credibility problem.  Despite claiming to deliver even-keeled news and commentary, NPR has a long history of using billions in taxpayer dollars to promote an obviously political agenda.   

Any organization like government-news outlet NPR that sets out to promote a specific political agenda, silence debate or blatantly push one side of a controversial story should not receive any taxpayer funding.    

Here are a few historical examples to put NPR’s blatant bias into perspective:

During a December 1995 broadcast of the NPR program All Things Considered, Romanian-born poet and political radical, Andrei Codrescu, derided the Christian faith and the belief among many evangelical Christians in the “rapture” event.  Codrescu read from an evangelical pamphlet stating that 4 million Christians would instantaneously ascend to heaven while the rest of the world would suffer.  Refering to the pamphlet, Codrescu replied, “The evaporation of 4 million who believe this crap would leave the world an instantly better place.”

In a matter of days, NPR was flooded with 40,000 complaints about Codrescu’s intolerant comments.  NPR executives issued an official apology three days after Codrescu’s comments were aired, but refused to allow Ralph Reed of the Christian Coalition to air a two minute response to Codrescu on NPR.   

Codrescu, a paid NPR employee, was not disciplined in any way by NPR for the comments he made on air.   

Another example of bias comes from a January 5, 2002 airing of the show On The Media.  Responding to listener criticism of NPR following media reports of NPR’s anti-Israeli bias the show’s hosts read aloud several letters of complaint and dismissed them sarcastically using Yiddish phrases – insinuating that the listeners’ opinions did not matter because they were probably Jewish.   

The controversy was further fanned when On The Media’s producer responded to a new letter of complaint regarding the use of Yiddish to negate criticism with the following: “We did not intend any offense during our letters segment of a few weeks ago when Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield used Yiddish slang after reading a listener letter…Our hosts were using the expressions to display humorously their dismay at a letter, not yours incidentally, that referred to NPR as "National Palestinian Radio."”

Jeffrey Dvorkin, NPR’s Ombudsman, responded with a non-apology for the controversy, saying, “While NPR programs should always take risks, there is always a chance that what sounds funny inside a studio isn't quite so amusing on the other end of the microphone. This time, the jokes landed with a clunk. But that doesn't mean that NPR should model itself on political correctness and earnestness, a la SNL.” 

In 2005, NPR was forced to apologize to conservative writer and talk radio host, Mark Levin, after an airing of Day to Day in which the show accused Levin and his book on the judiciary, Men in Black, of advocating violence against judges.  The accusation by Day to Day, of course, turned out to be a trumped-up falsehood.   

Most recently, you have the manner in which NPR dealt with the public comments by Juan Williams.   After insinuating that he, like many Americans, is a little more hesitant when boarding a plane alongside Islamic passengers, Williams was promptly dismissed from NPR.  Yet, in the past, NPR has sheltered its employees who have made anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, and anti-conservative comments.   

In stark contrast with the treatment of Juan Williams, NPR went out of its way to shelter and protect their chief legal reporter Nina Totenberg.  On a 1995 broadcast of PBS’s Inside Washington, Totenberg unleashed a vitriolic rant targeting the late-Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC).   During her diatribe, Totenberg declared she hoped Senator Helms, “gets AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it.” 

Why would a government-news outlet like NPR protect certain reporters and promote a Leftist ideology when it is supposed to be a fair and balanced news agency?  Just follow the money.  

Last year, NPR received $1.8 million dollars from George Soros’s Open Society Foundation for the purpose of hiring 100 new reporters – it doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to wonder where the loyalties of those reporters and NPR lie.   

NPR has a long history of bias and partisan political promotion, and all of it has been made possible by generous funding received from leftist billionaires like George Soros, and the billions of dollars Congress has rained on the organization from taxpayers like you.   

It’s time for that funding to end.

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