The Trouble with NPR

As everyone knows by now, independent journalist James O’Keefe has done another of his jaw-dropping gonzo videos, this one nailing National Public Radio executives courting actors pretending to be potential donors from a Muslim Brotherhood front group.  The execs are caught spewing pompous, elitist slander against Tea Party America and seemingly agreeing with the “donors” that Jews have undue influence in some sectors of American journalism.  In full damage control mode, NPR and its cronies in the Mainstream Media are claiming NPR repeatedly turned down an offer of 5 mil from the group, but our friends John Nolte and Larry O’Connor over at Breitbart’s Big Journalism are taking that claim apart with some NPR emails as evidence.

But even leaving aside NPR’s possibly immoral actions, what is so sad and appalling here is the elitist, left-wing prejudice these scurvy little people exude. That, at least, they can’t possibly deny. I mean, is there anyone on the left or right who thinks NPR ISN’T prejudiced against conservatives? Please.

And the reason I find this so sad and appalling is because in theory I’m the perfect NPR listener. I’m a major culture vulture. I want to hear in-depth stories about social problems and jazz musicians and foreign countries and so on. I’ve read all the books they’ve read. I’ve read a lot of the books they only pretend to have read. I even drink Chardonnay and eat Brie. Well, they’re good!

But I’m also a staunch conservative and a religious person (or as we now like to be called religo-American) and I don’t particularly like being insulted and trashed and looked down upon by people who have been wrong so often in the past and are wrong again now. I’m not a masochist, after all (except in the limited sense involving leather-clad women with whips) – why would I want to get my news and culture from an outlet that despises and rejects everything I am? Why would I want my government to fund it? With my money? (Yes, NPR, that’s where that money comes from. Wait till you find out how they make babies!)

The trouble with NPR is the same trouble as the trouble with Hollywood and the rest of mainstream journalism and the academy. Their isolation from dissenting ideas has left them in an atmosphere of self-deception bordering on corruption. They’re conformists who think they’re rebels. They’re leftists who think they’re moderates. They’re middle-brows who think they’re elites. And all it would take for them to right themselves and make their programs universally relevant and appealing would be to hire some people who know what they know yet who disagree with them.

Why not?  Peter Robinson is a far better interviewer than Charlie Rose. Nolte knows as much about movies as anyone in America. Mark Steyn is as good a cultural commentator as walks the planet.

But to NPR, these aren’t potential employees – they’re enemies.  They don’t know they need them.  They may not even know they exist.

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  • Edski

    Pretty much, yep.

  • Christian Toto

    Enemies sounds like a very strong word, but after seeing how too many liberals view their ideological opposites I fear it’s not strong at all in some cases, and that’s very sad.

  • Thorien

    “except in the limited sense involving leather-clad women with whips”

    Woah, dude. TMI.

    You remain my favorite bald bard, but really. Awkward.

  • Joe Allen

    Best commentary I have seen on this topic.

  • Skip Engle

    Andrew! You are as delightfully clever and entertaining as your Dad.(We die at dawn; Turn that damn thing off!) Between you and Senor Steyn my cup runneth over with intelligent commentary and clear vision. God bless you sir!

  • maxim

    Better than Charlie Rose? Really? He’s pretty damn good. Thanks though, I’m certainly gonna check out that there Robinson feller.

  • maxim

    Uh never mind.. I’ve at least one Peter Robinson interviews before but didn’t know his name. Sorry Andrew I respectfully beg to differ – he’s a partisan piker compared to Charlie. A-list non-hollywood types pay attention to that sort of thing.

  • Anonymous

    The problem here isn’t that NPR should be de-funded. It should be de-licensed as well – why in the world should these people get to enjoy a public broadcast license if they support one party over another? And NPR does support Democrats over Republicans – in their choice of programming, how they broadcast, what other stations – member stations broadcast – it’s all to the left, which means pro-Democrat. Remember when NPR ‘journolists’ would face off against conservative columnists? Did they think that we wouldn’t notice that?

    And, of course, there’s Pacifica – what’s the excuse for funding that? It’s views used to be fringe, but now it is 100% congruent with the Democrat Party. No one mentions funding Pacifica.

    If Republicans don’t wake up, and stop talking to mainstream media – can you believe Boehner going on ’60 Minutes’ then they are going to find themselves back in the minority in 2012. I am getting as tired of being abused by the Republicans as the Democrats. And it really pains me to say this since I loathe Democrats, hate is more the word actually. The answer – to everyone out there is to join the Republican Party and change it from the inside – since there is no other way. And AVOID leftwing media and support conservative media.!

    And PLEASE pass these thoughts along – I am only one person and need help doing so….

  • The Hairy Beast

    One night earlier in the winter I was having a beer with a New York Actor-buddy who was earnestly working the lefty “Anti-Intellectual Right Wing” angle. He demanded I give him ONE example of a Conservative pundit even close to the brain power of William F. Buckley Jr.

    I thought for a moment, and then said “Victor Davis Hanson”. He blinked, then said “Victor Davis WHO?”

    “You wouldn’t know him.” I said. “He doesn’t write for KOS.”

    Later, I wondered why my lefty buddy would know of WFB but not VDH. The difference, I think, is that Buckley was given access to the MSM (who loved to hate him) whereas Hanson and others are frozen out. Buckley even had his own PBS show. Does anybody think that would happen today? Fat chance. In the 60′s and 70′s the liberals were culturally ascendant and they could afford to spread out a bit and tolerate the occasional opposition voice. Nowadays they’re backed up into the bunker and there’s only room for true believers in a place like that.

  • snowball

    Why does NPR TAKEANY MONEY from federal taxes. It doesn’t matter how much they take, they do take it. Are we to suppose it is forced on them ? In addition WHO decides to provide tax money to this propaganda instrument?

    IF it is a privately funded organisation HOW can it be called and be recognised as NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO? Implicit in the name, and surely the comedians displayed on these videos understand they have cachet as if they are the “official” information organ of the government . They appear, having heard their volunteered comments , to be entrenched smug Anti-democratic, Anti-American Left. As upper echelon officers in the organisation, it is safe to assume anti-democratic, anti-American as their public propaganda position and intent.

    But America is NOT a Monarchy NOR has an established church. So why have the NPR NPB, and PBS cloned from the BBC, unashamedly government supported in its entirety. Tax paid by the viewers under penalty of law.

    More de haut en bas of the “superior intellectualoid” officials of NPR represented on this video? Flying unfalse colours, not entirely unexpected among the Anit-Democratic/American Left.

  • Jefcostello

    Brillant Andrew!