Home > Beltway bulls**t, Truthiness > NPR succumbs to Beltway bulls**t

NPR succumbs to Beltway bulls**t

I’m not a fan of NPR News. Much of the time, their reporting betrays the same blind spots you find on network and cable TV and in the big national newspapers. Warmed-over conventional “wisdom,” reliance on the “he said/she said” approach that rarely illuminates anything, talking to pols who give them the same sound bites they give everyone else. I should donate money for this?

Take a March 15 piece on Social Security that aired on All Things Considered, for example. Take it, please!

As Trudy Lieberman points out at Columbia Journalism Review, the NPR report “pretty much stacked the deck against those who believe that Social Security is fine for the moment, and that benefits should not be cut or privatized.”

Worse yet, it just re-played what people said and made no effort to determine whether there was any basis in fact for those statements. We can find out what Republicans and Democrats say lots of places; shouldn’t NPR be one place where we learn if those statements are just hot air?

The first three voices in the piece were all Republican opponents of Social Security: Senators Rand Paul (!), Richard Shelby and Tom Coburn. Then they heard from Mitch McConnell. By Lieberman’s count, the piece featured five Republicans, two Democrats and one independent — and no effort to sort through the validity of anyone’s claims.

Bill Sez: I’m not necessarily in favor of the Tea Party-led campaign to take away all NPR’s federal funding. But too often, NPR News and the PBS Newshour are just as full of crap as anything CBS or even Fox might crank out. If “public broadcasting” doles out the same gruel as everyone else, do they really deserve federal funds at all?


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