Monday, September 26, 2005

NPR Parodies Journalism

I don't have the exact quote on this one, because I was being an uber-liberal and driving into New York City to see a foreign film at the NY Film Festival, but an NPR report on Saturday morning nearly caused me to swerve off the road.

NPR was reporting on the demonstrations in Washington that were about to start. One demonstration was the movement inspired by Cindy Sheehan, which was attended by at least 100,000 people and perhaps a quarter million, making it one of the largest demonstrations yet against the Iraq war. The other demonstration was a counter-demonstration with about 400 people.

Astoundingly, the NPR piece was almost entirely about the counter-demonstrators, with a brief mention that many people were also in DC to join Cindy Sheehan's protest. It was as though they had covered an Apollo launch and focused on the kids launching model rockets in Daytona, and then mentioned that, coincidentally, NASA had also launched a rocket from nearby that was successfully sending men toward the moon.

I'm sure the administration's overlords at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting were delighted.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the pro-war demonstration was on Sunday, NPR would have been hard-pressed to report on its attendance on Saturday. My recollection is that NPR reported on the anti-war demonstration & turn-out on Saturday, mentioning that there would be a counter-demonstration the next day, & reported the pro-war demonstration on Sunday, mentioning there had been an anti-war demonstration the previous day. This is exactly the kind of even-handed reporting I expect from NPR & that conservatives label "liberal bias."

7:27 PM  
Blogger Pen Ultimate said...

In response to anonymous, the NPR report in question was most on Saturday, during the 1:00 pm (EDT) news segment. The reporter interviewed the counter-demonstrators who made a point of saying that Cindy Sheehan didn't speak for them. The fact that the counter-demonstrators who were the focus of the report weren't part of the "official" pro-war demonstration the next day, but rather were simply anti-anti-war hecklers, makes focusing the day-of-rally story on them a particularly odd decision by NPR. Tens and tens of thousands of people who have been systematically silenced by the media since the war began come to Washington to demonstrate against the war, and the story on the NPR news cycle only reports about the people who came to support the ruling regime?

10:41 PM  
Blogger Howling Latina said...

I didn't hear the NPR report but after reading a few stories about the event I went and blogged about the contorted reporting.

I love your analogy. That is sooo true.

Who gives a flying war ass about 200 people when measured against the 150,000 committed protesters who drove from hell and back?

Did NPR cover them on Sunday with their breathtaking numbers of 400...?

I hate to sound like every idiot who visits my Web site but...if you like to surf, visit my site. I try to write something fresh every other day or so.

And no I'm not going to tell you how I'm going to bookmark you.

Who cares? I always say if you like the site, come back and post something on topic.


4:10 AM  
Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, NPR is slipping. Michael Krasny is very good, but he's a shrinking violet when it comes to hard issues. I and others like me have been trying to get him to acknowledge the grotesque corruption of the California Prison Guard's Union for sometime, but he just points to his having had Christian Parenti on "Forum" when "Lockdown Nation" was published as somehow proving his bona fides.

Frankly I think he's scared, and I wouldn't blame him. Prisons are becoming fiefdoms. Very recently a Federal Court order was sent to San Quentin, stating that one of its inmates was innocent of the crime for which he was incarcerated. Believe it or not, the warden refused to release the man. There was a back-and-forth for a few months, until finally the Feds stated that they would send in Federal Marshals to "extract" the man if release was not forthcoming. He was released the next day.

4:21 PM  

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