NPR's historic issue with its lack of diversity isn't likely to be fixed by their new boss.
NPR's bumbling attempts at diversity
Extra! October 2012 Volume 25, Number 10
Deep Throat Not What He Used to Be The Washington Post’s Dan Balz (8/14/12) somehow convinced a “senior Romney advisor” to reveal a stunning secret that could only be disclosed “on the condition of anonymity”—that Mitt Romney felt good about his vice presidential pick: “He was very confident in himself, in Paul Ryan, in the campaign and in the direction of the campaign he wanted to take.” Believe it or not, the Post’s Felicia Sonmez (8/17/12) topped this scoop by talking to “a senior Republican adviser”—no doubt in a deserted parking garage—who admitted anonymously that Ryan likes Romney too: “He […]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The firing of Juan Williams from NPR might seem like an inside media story; it's become more as Williams, who was let go after saying people in "Muslim garb" on planes make him nervous, has become something of a cause celebre for the right. We'll talk about what it all says about the present moment with Clarence Lusane, professor at American University and author of the forthcoming The Black History of the White House. Also on CounterSpin today: The U.S. war in Afghanistan is nearly a decade old. But U.S. military actions in neighboring […]
Cites 'Flood of Emails'
NPR ombud Alicia Shepard responded to the over 1,500 activists who wrote to NPR regarding the Howard Zinn obituary that aired on "All Things Considered." Her response is below. Thanks to all of those on the list who wrote to NPR. http://www.npr.org/ombudsman/2010/02/howard_zinns_obit.html Activist Historian Howard Zinn's Obit Causes a Firestorm There's a taboo not to speak ill of the dead. Or if you are going to, then at least be nuanced and even-handed about it. And that's what hundreds said about a Jan. 28 remembrance of Howard Zinn, the activist historian who died Jan. 27. Zinn was decidedly left of […]
David Horowitz in ATC obituary with substance-free attack
When progressive historian Howard Zinn died on January 27, NPR's All Things Considered (1/28/10) marked his passing with something you don't often see in an obituary: a rebuttal. After quoting Noam Chomsky and Julian Bond, NPR's Allison Keyes turned to far-right activist David Horowitz to symbolically spit on Zinn's grave. "There is absolutely nothing in Howard Zinn's intellectual output that is worthy of any kind of respect," Horowitz declared. "Zinn represents a fringe mentality which has unfortunately seduced millions of people at this point in time. So he did certainly alter the consciousness of millions of younger people for the […]
In a segment looking back on five years of the Iraq War, NPR anchor Scott Simon reported (3/15/08), “Estimates on the number of Iraqis killed range from 47,000 to 151,000, depending on the source.” But what sources are those? The New England Journal of Medicine (1/31/08) had a write-up of a survey, conducted by the Iraqi government for the World Health Organization, that estimated that 151,000 Iraqis had died by violence between the invasion and June 2006—so there’s NPR’s top figure. The NEJM write-up began: “Estimates of the death toll in Iraq from the time of the U.S.-led invasion in […]
There is no more important question about the Iraq War than the question of how many Iraqis have died. It is impossible to truly evaluate the war or discuss where to go from here without knowing the human cost of the war, and that cost has overwhelmingly been borne by Iraqis. That's why it's so disappointing that NPR, looking back on the 5th anniversary of the war, treated this issue with either extreme sloppiness or deliberate dishonesty. Here's how NPR anchor Scott Simon introduced a segment on March 15 in which senators James Webb and Jon Kyl talked about "what […]
Correspondent mocked Iraqi colleague who asked about immunity
A recent NPR news segment (Weekend Edition, 2/23/08) that dismissed an Iraqi journalist's question about the pressing issue of U.S. immunity from prosecution suggests that critical journalism may be a foreign language to the public radio broadcaster. On its website, NPR summarized the segment as a look at U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey's Baghdad news conference, which featured questions from "enthusiastic and sometimes incomprehensible Iraqi reporters." The lead example NPR cited of such an "incomprehensible" question was actually a perfectly sensible one--posed, through a translator, by a journalist for Radio Sawa, a U.S. government-funded radio station in Iraq: "A question […]