- Like other major media sources, NPR serves corporate
and imperial interests. It's called public to conceal its real agenda.
Critics ridicule it as National Pentagon or Petroleum Radio for good reason.
- It features managed, not real, news and information.
In its May/June 2004 issue of Extra!, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
(FAIR) headlined, "How Public Is Public Radio?" saying:
- From inception, "it promised to be an alternative
to commercial media that would 'promote personal growth rather than corporate
gain (and) speak with many voices, many dialects.' "
- Not according to FAIR on "every on-air source quoted
in June 2003 on four of (NPR's) news shows: All Things Considered, Morning
Edition, Weekend Edition Saturday and Weekend Edition Sunday."
- Each guest was classified "by occupation, gender,
nationality, and partisan affiliation." Combined, 2,334 sources from
804 stories were quoted.
- FAIR found NPR relies on familiar dominant sources. They
include government officials, professional experts, and corporate representatives
nearly two-thirds of the time.
- Spokespeople for public interest groups accounted for
7% of total sources, and ordinary people appeared mostly in "one-sentence
- Male guests outnumbered women about 4 - 1, and those
quoted most often came from elite categories like men.
- Overall, NPR represents dominant state and monied interests
like commercial media. Voices aired are conservative, pro-business, pro-war,
pro-Israel, and anti-populist.
- Despite its mandate, NPR never represented public interests
fairly. Today, it's worse than ever, cheerleading America's wars and interests
serving monied elitists. Its state and corporate funders get what they
pay for. Otherwise perhaps they'd withdraw support enough to pull NPR off
- Founded in 1970 as an independent, private, non-profit
member organization of US public radio stations, it promised more than
- From inception, it abandoned the public trust. It relies
heavily on substantial corporate and government funding. As a result, it's
indistinguishable from other corporate media sources. It's corrupted like
the rest. Consider its former head, Kevin Klose, its current president
- He was hands-on president from December 1998 - September
2008, then CEO from 1998 - January 2009. Earlier he was US propaganda director
as head of Voice of America (VOA), Radio Liberty, Radio Free Europe, Radio
Free Asia, Worldnet Television, and the anti-Castro Radio/TV Marti. As
a result, he fit seamlessly in his new role.
- On January 5, 2009, Vivian Schiller succeeded him as
president and CEO. Her official bio says she was previously with "The
New York Times Company where she served as Senior Vice President and General
Manager of NYTimes.com."
- Until resigning in March 2011 amid controversy surrounding
a former NPR fundraising executive's comments about Tea Party backers "hijacking
the Republican party," she oversaw all NPR operations and initiatives.
- Joyce Slocum served temporarily as interim president
and CEO. Previously she was HIT Entertainment's executive vice president
in charge of global legal and business affairs as well as general counsel.
Earlier, she was a staff attorney for Southland Corp.
- On October 2, NPR named Gary Knell new president and
CEO. He's a Heidrick & Struggles board member, the global executive
search firm. He also served as managing director of Manager Media International,
a print and multimedia publishing company.
- In addition, he was senior vice president and general
counsel for WNET/Channel 13 in New York, and counsel to the US Senate Judicial
and Governmental Affairs Committees. Earlier, he worked in the California
State Legislature and Governor's office.
- NPR affiliates include over 800 member stations, serving
around 34 million listeners weekly. They get the usual corporate media
diet - a combination of managed and "junk food news."
- Created by the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, the Corporation
for Public Broadcasting (CPB) calls itself "a private, nonprofit corporation
created by Congress...and is the steward of the federal government's investment
in public broadcasting."
- "It helps support the operations of more than 1,100
locally-owned and-operated public television and radio stations nationwide,
and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and
program development for public radio, television and related online services."
- Like NPR, it's heavily corporate and government funded
and provides similar services for them. Under George Bush, former Voice
of America director Kenneth Tomlinson was chairman of CPB's Board of Governors
until an internal 2005 investigation forced him out for malfeasance.
- Bush appointee Patricia Harrison now serves as president
and CEO. An insider like other PBS and NPR officials, she earlier co-chaired
the Republican National Committee. In 2001, she served as Assistant Secretary
of State for Education and Cultural Affairs under Colin Powell.
- On October 25, FAIR headlined, "NPR vs. Free Speech,"
- On October 21, NPR cancelled distribution for its opera
program "because of the political activism of the program's host -
who does not work for NPR." On October 20, North Carolina station
WDAV, World of Opera producer, said it would keep Lisa Simeone as host.
- Her political views don't relate to opera hosting. Nonetheless,
NPR cut ties, saying:
- "We are not her employer, but she is a host for
a show that we distribute....She's a public person who represents NPR and
- NPR spokesperson Dana Davis Rehm added:
- "Our view is it's a potential conflict of interest
for any journalist or any individual who plays a public role on behalf
of NPR to take an active part in a political movement or advocacy campaign....Doing
so has the potential to compromise our reputation as an organization that
strives to be impartial and unbiased."
- Surprisingly, Rehm didn't choke on her words. Besides
representing state and corporate interests, NPR is notoriously biased for
- From 1990 - 2009, Linda Gradstein was NPR's Israel correspondent.
At the same time, she accepted pro-Israeli organization honoraria, a clear
conflict of interest.
- Nonetheless, she was inexplicably exempt from NPR code.
She never observed it. Nor do other NPR correspondents, covering foreign
or domestic affairs. They, like other major media reporters, are paid liars.
They answer to NPR's code only when supporting the "wrong side."
- Calling its decision "appalling," FAIR said
freelance host Simeone joined Occupy Washington protesters. As a result,
NPR affiliate WAMU fired her as host of Soundprint, citing ethics guidelines.
- NPR officials said they played no part in the decision.
Whether or not true, it began investigating her occasional role as an Occupy
Wall Street Washington spokesperson.
- Simeone said NPR's code of ethics was cited for her firing.
They say in part:
- "NPR (and WAMU) journalists may not engage in public
relations work, paid or unpaid....exceptions may be made for certain volunteer
nonprofit, nonpartisan activities, such as participating in the work of
a church, synagogue or other institution or worship, or a charitable organization,
so long as this would not conflict with the interests of NPR (and WAMU)
in reporting on activities related to that institution or organization."
- However, NPR's code has exceptions, including for "freelancer(s)
who primarily (do) arts coverage." It also states, "There may
be instances in which the type of programming may not demand the application
of a particular principle in this code."
- FAIR asked if NPR monitors all hosts, including for arts
and culture programs. "If the hosts of Car Talk took part in a Tea
Party protest, would they be fired?"
- Moreover, its code isn't clear. NPR news host Scott Simon
expressed views on Washington's Afghan and Iraq wars. Reporter Mara Liasson
appears regularly on Fox News. She denounces Democrat party members.
- On October 3, 2002, she said:
- "These guys are a disgrace....You don't go to an
adversary country, an enemy country, and badmouth the United States....(T)these
guys ought to, I don't know, resign."
- New analyst Cokie Roberts notoriously expresses bias.
She wrote a May 2007 column saying, "Democratic leaders cannot afford
to listen to the labor movement as the country approaches a major debate
over trade policy."
- She co-authored a December 2010 article on attacking
"liberals in fantasyland."
- New president Knell wants to "calm the waters (and)
depoliticize" debate over Republican desires to cut public broadcasting's
- Perhaps he believes throwing Simeone overboard may help
placate critics. Others think these incidents highlight NPR's longtime
- She responded, saying:
- "I find it puzzling that NPR objects to my exercising
my rights as an American citizen - the right to free speech, the right
to peaceable assembly - on my own time in my own life."
- NPR only respects free assembly and speech when they
address the right things.
- In other words, the usual imperial and monied interests
featured regularly on its broadcasts.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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