NPR Check

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

to stop yelling at my
radio and do something
about it. Every day I’d
hear NPR’s Morning Edition
and All Things Considered
tell me that the US
was bringing democracy to Iraq, that Hugo
Chavez was a paranoid dictator in
Venezuela, and that the Bush administration
was working for peace in the Middle
East. There are great web sites such as FAIR
and Media Matters that keep tabs on the
rightward drift of the media in general.
There is News Hounds which regularly critiques
Fox News under their wry slogan
“We Listen So You Don’t Have To.” So I figured
there had to be a web site devoted to
keeping an eye on NPR and its slide toward
the right. As it turned out there was no
such website, so I started one: a blog I
named NPR Check.
Okay, I can hear some of you saying,
“NPR – slide to the right! Give me a break.
They may not be perfect, but they’re better
than any of the other general news outlets.
And if anything don’t they tilt a bit liberal?”
If you believe that NPR is a substantive
news source or that they slant liberal, I
challenge you to listen carefully to NPR
news for a week and then consider: How
often are their guests or sources active or
retired Pentagon, State Department, CIA,
or military spokespeople? How often are
guests affiliated with a government-sponsored
or right-wing think tank like the
American Enterprise Institute? Then ask
yourself how often a guest dissents from
supporting overall US military or economic
policy, or how often someone is from a
progressive think tank. Actually, you can
listen to NPR news for years and never hear
a peace activist, a critic of predatory globalization,
or anti-imperial intellectuals such
as Chalmers Johnson, Naomi Klein, or
Noam Chomsky.
To be honest, it’s been a difficult three
years. I’ve thought many times of giving
up the blog; it’s a lot of work. When I dispute
NPR reports, I try to create short,
engaging and sometimes humorous posts
embedded with links that document the
inaccuracies of the original stories; it’s a
time consuming challenge. However, one
aspect of blogging has been a lot of fun –
creating graphics to accompany many of
my posts. Photoshop and images from
the Internet have allowed me to offer
visual commentary and poke fun at NPR’s
pretensions. Another joy of the blog has
been the interaction with readers. A lively
little community of regular readers has
developed, and they frequently post comments
and insights. Additionally, by
checking referrals to my blog, I find that
staffers at NPR’s Washington DC office
read my blog regularly—oh to be a fly on
that office wall.
Where from here? If it were a perfect
world, I’d love to see NPR news completely
overhauled so that all their news would fulfill
the basic function of journalism in a
democracy—challenging power and holding
it accountable. In the meantime I hope
that my blog will encourage more and more
people to listen to NPR news with a sharper
critical ear, and to contact NPR with complaints.
I also encourage people who are
members of NPR stations such as our local
WILL to request that their donations not be
used to fund the NPR News shows—they’re
a huge drain on local resources. Finally, my
hope is that you too will drop by, see what
you think, maybe leave a comment, or
email me if you’d rather

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.