727 Comments

This commentary is a huge swing and miss.

1. Regarding the voter registrations, Berliner never claimed that every single NPR editorial member of the DC Bureau was a registered Democrat, as this commentary suggests. The claim was that there were 87 registered Democrats and 0 registered Republicans. This, of course, leaves open that some or many were not registered to a party.

2. Regarding the Biden laptop story, it is hardly exculpatory to rely on the errors of other institutions. Indeed, it just supports the widely held notion that these institutions exist as an echo chamber. It appears that the decision to ignore the laptop was based on "doubts about the laptop's authenticity." But isn't that the job of journalists? To get to the bottom of such doubts rather than accept the doubts as outcome-determinative.

3. Relatedly, this commentary flat-out ignores the main thrust of Berliner's article, which is that NPR badly mangled - always in a consistent direction - the major news stories of the last 8 years. Russian collusion, COVID, police funding, etc. were all completely misreported. This was a result, Berliner argues (without refutation) of a homogenous newsroom.

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1) It is clearly stated that there are 87 NPR employees in DC, so Slytherin -10 points. 2) The laptop was in possession of the FBI, how was a journalist to gain access to it in order to verify its authenticity? -10 more.

3) You literally ignore every single point he agrees with Berliner for in this article and almost word for word repeat what Berliners argument to Steve was lol.

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It would help if you read both of the pieces before commenting.

On point 1, here's Berliner's claim: "Concerned by the lack of viewpoint diversity, I looked at voter registration for our newsroom. In D.C., where NPR is headquartered and many of us live, I found 87 registered Democrats working in editorial positions and zero Republicans. None." Berliner claims that he "found" an 87-0 disparity, not that 100% of DC employees (or editorial staff) were registered Democrats. Inskeep did not disprove (or really even substantively address) Berliner's claim.

On point 2, the NY Post figured out how to do it, so the information was out there for any organization to find if they could do it. In Inskeep's words, that was due to "doubts" about the laptop's authenticity. Doubts should pervade the beginnings of nearly any story. It's the journalist's job to investigate whether those doubts are well-founded or not. There's no indication NPR undertook any such investigation, and Inskeep never claims it did.

On point 3, if you can find in Inskeep's piece where he showed that NPR's coverage of the major stories has been borne out, I'd appreciate it. I can't find any discussion of it. Inskeep seems to evade the issue entirely. Generalized and conclusory hat tips to claimed viewpoint diversity in the newsroom don't answer the question.

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Apr 17·edited Apr 17

The NYP clearly also had some internal angst about publishing the story as evidenced by the weirdness that happened with the byline. The fact of the matter is this: The story was a TIMED RELEASE by a political campaign - Giuliani had the laptop for almost a year at that point - and it was designed to be difficult to verify or vet prior to the election due to Giuliani controlling who could access the source material. Which put news orgs in the position of either repeating the claims in the NYP story uncritically or declining to run the story at all until more info became available.

The primary source of anger and discontent from the conservative sphere is that the MSM did not dutifully play along with the October surprise smear as expected. I submit that it is not a media org's job to publish a story on a political party's schedule and terms. And if Giuliani thought the contents of the laptop were of critical import to the American people, he should have allowed unfettered access to the source material months prior to allow proper investigation. The fact that he didn't signals a lack of confidence in the substance of the material and that, if the source, narrative, and spin were not tightly controlled, the headline shock would quickly be replaced by "wait, that's it?".

All of this is to say that Berliner deploying the laptop story as an example of a failing and biased newsroom is dubious at best. He almost certainly is aware of all of this context and chose to press ahead with his claim anyway which really undercuts his whole argument which is that NPR is a biased news room that should work to be less biased. By invoking this particular example, he seems to be indicating that what he *really* wants is not less bias - it's that he wants his preferred brands of bias to be given equal time.

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Do you really think NPR and the rest of the MSM would have been so circumspect if a Democratic operative had released evidence of Eric Trump cavorting with prostitutes, doing drugs, and engaging in slimy, if technically legal influence peddling?

We already know the answer based on how they handled the Steele dossier. The only difference between that and Hunter’s laptop is that the latter was 100% authentic.

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Apr 18·edited Apr 18

I don't know where this narrative came from that the MSM embraced the Steele Dossier but it's patently false. Every single old media news outlet refused to run a story of the allegations from it. Buzzfeed News finally ran it when nobody else would and they ran it with the subheading "The allegations are unverified, and the report contains errors."

As for your first point, nobody at the time was alleging that Hunter's business dealings were legal and merely ethically shady. The whole point of withholding the source data was to launder salacious, yet vague, rumors into the discourse right before the election. Some people were even suggesting that maybe there were videos of sex acts with children on there!

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Good point about the way the media handled the dossier story initially. They were actually far more reticent about it than the laptop story. Only Mother Jones, which isn't part of the MSM, published about it in any substantial way before the election, even though many outlets were briefed on it long before.

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Probably. Confronted with good reasons for the “MSM” to have held back on initially reporting on a story nakedly pushed by a political campaign, you retreated into an unfalsifiable hypothetical.

Also, as others have pointed out, the MSM handled the Steele dossier appropriately — almost completely ignoring it — despite your revisionism.

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See the thing about Rudy Giuliani is that he was already known to have previously spread Russia-backed propaganda from his prior little private expeditions to Russia on behalf of Donald Trump as his personal lawyer. So not only was there absolutely no reason to trust anything coming from him that couldn't be verified, there was overwhelming evidence to suggest than anything coming from him might very well be more intentional deception from our adversaries.

And as it is, the intimation that there was evidence of criminality by Joe Biden on the laptop was completely false, so people getting outraged about how a "legitimate" story was "suppressed" before an an election are basically complaining that a precisely-timed political oppo dump wasn't allowed to deceive people to its full potential like it could have if legitimate news organizations had shown the same credulousness they did in 2016 with Jim Comey's abundance-of-caution notification to Congress on the matter of Huma Abdein laptop (which, of course, turned out to be nothing). Thankfully, they learned their lesson.

In the end, given how much the story blew up after Twitter prevented people from clicking on the NYP story for a whole twenty four hours before reversing its decision, it's questionable whether any aspect of the story was really "suppressed". But at least the mainstream media didn't treat it like an unqualified scandal, the first of a presumed Joe Biden presidential administration rather than an entirely suspect potential political hit job. Because that's absolutely what it was, regardless of the fact that the laptop was real.

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Most of the MSM treated the Russian collusion/Steele dossier story the same way it did the laptop story, reported both as allegations.

One difference was the timing and strange story, though, which naturally made people more suspicious of the laptop story. But both stories were covered with caution by the MSM.

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Your comment prompted me to Google “pee tape” where I was treated to an avalanche of cautious, sober-minded reporting over a 4 year period, including one in New York Magazine by Jonathan Chait titled “I’m a Peeliever - And You Should Be Too.” Thanks for the trip down memory lane, full of careful reporting and healthy journalistic skepticism regarding the Steele dossier.

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Hard to tell from that how it was compromised. Hunter Biden hasn't ever disputed anything published from the NYP's copy, as far as I've seen.

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Apr 17·edited Apr 17

You're acting as if the New York Post is some esteemed journalistic outlet of the highest integrity, and not a tabloid owned by a right wing media magnate who has quite intentionally used all of his platforms to benefit his openly preferred political agenda.

Oh no! But it's NPR that's so biased.

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In fairness, other news organizations had no way to verify the NYP's claims. NYP refused to share their info with other news orgs, and it wasn't available from Giuliani, who was controlling the source by then, either.

I think NPR did a bad job of explaining their decision not to cover the story on air (they did have a piece online), but I don't think they were wrong not to cover it until its foundation was established, and only in limited ways after that. There was nothing in the evidence definitely tying Joe Biden to any wrongdoing, and little that even seemed to.

To be clear, I agree with the thrust of Berliner's piece, but not all of its arguments are strong ones.

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I personally respect the "conservatism" expressed in waiting for verification of a story. Everyone knows printing a retraction three months after the fact for a story that's wrong or not true is vastly ineffectual to the weight of the story being out there in the first place.

This is a weakness of our current 24/7 news cycle mercilessly exploited by chaos agents and propagandists. It's no loss to NPR's audience not to join the bandwagon to being fast, but often wrong and deliberately used to manufacture false narratives.

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NPR is among the most conservative that way, or has been historically, especially when some kind of personal scandal is involved.

They did have a piece online about the story early on, by the way, but nothing on air.

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NYP didn't verify their story, either.

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Not sure what you have in mind, but they had the cooperation of the man who had the laptop, and its contents, and did check to see if they matched what facts they could confirm.

Where the NYP fell down was in putting a politically-motivated spin on their coverage, at the least. Whether they should have covered it at all when they did is also questionable.

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At the time NYP wrote that story the FBI had had the laptop for about ten months. NYP did **zero** to check the tale Giuliani was spinning them. They posted screenshots and may not have received any more than that from Giuliani.

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How many Green party candidates were there. Any libertarians? Who cares what political party they were registered as. The notion that party affiliation accretes bias is pretty weak. How many Democrats are in other bureaus? How many articles do these Democrats write that accurately reflect a Republican position, and report fairly and clearly on an important issue?

Personally, I think NPR is too beige and careful with its choice of language. I think they should be harder-hitting than they are about things.

I'm more interested in do they target a certain demographics in their fundraising? Groups that would that be so challenged by, say, a staunch Republican point of view, as to perhaps withdraw said funding and just keep using last year's tote bag and listen to last year's Perry Como's Greatest Hits? How can we, as a society and the American public, best ensure that level of influence on Public Journalism doesn't happen? What happened to the Office of the Ombudsman within the NPR newsroom? How can we leverage NPR to rebuild local journalism, because Rose Scott kicks some serious ass on her show. How can we encourage NPR to be more fearless in their coverage, and to stop using such banal overly-objective language when dealing with that which is so clearly NOT banal (e.g. Donald Trump and his insurrection).

We should not let fear of appearing biased cause us to be biased, even if said bias is to a fiscal "safe space." And, as for the folks who are covering this stuff... some of whom are dead or missing in the subsequent attacks on Gaza, we all owe it to them to demand quality and incisive reporting that helps us be informed and making the best choices we can in a complex world.

Even tho I am inclined to believe that there is a decline in NPR coverage as a whole since the time they reorged and sent their ombudsman packing, I was not particularly moved by the arguments in the Berliner piece when I read it.

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It never escaped my notice when certain affiliate programs were brought to us by a generous donation from Koch Industries or one of the Koch Foundations.

In light of reporting that PBS nixed plans to air a Koch brothers documentary because of pressure from the Kochs and the weight of their financial donations, I am more inclined to believe there are important things that AREN'T getting reported based on the whims and preferences of the big money donors.

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I'm sorry but the idea that party affiliation doesn't correlate somehow to viewpoint is pretty absurd. Practically speaking, the broader question should be how many people in NPR have leanings that are libertarian or similar to Green Party if you're really going to ask that question, and I think you know the answer.

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1. How does one "look at" voter registration for one's workplace? Do you talk to HR or what

2. How many registered Republicans do you suppose are clamoring to work for NPR, which for decades has had a reputation for having a liberal bent? Isn't it at least equally possible that the lack of Republicans in the NPR newsroom is a matter of self-selection rather than viewpoint discrimination?

3. Why are only right-wing broadcasters allowed to have a partisan lean? How many registered Democrats are employed at OAN or Newsmax?

Anyway I'm happy for Uri, not only are people talking about him, but he never has to do any serious work again and can just ride the Bari Weiss grift train as long as he has a pulse.

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In DC voter registration is a public record.

Berliner's point isn't altered at all if the lack of Republicans at NPR is self-selection. It's still a problem for lack of diversity at NPR.

Obviously OAN and Newsmax are worse than NPR in by almost any standard. That doesn't change Berliner's point either. NPR, when it takes public funding, incurs a special obligation to be representative in a way it utterly fails to be.

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In my opinion, conservatives typically aren’t interested in exploring an issue but rather they are highly opinionated, and convinced in their own point of view which they want others to share.

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That's my experience with people with strong political views in general. I've seen no difference on either side that way here, for example.

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Why would any legitimate news organization go out of its way to recruit sociopathic nihilists just because that's the route one of the mainstream parties has consciously gone down

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No one remotely suggested they do that. Your implication that all Republicans and conservatives are sociopathic nihilists only shows something about you, not them.

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Are you under the impression that anyone who works in D.C. lives in D.C.?

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No, it doesn't matter to Berliner's point. He did a sample and the results were very skewed.

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1. Not sure. Good question.

2. This is the same tired argument companies use for only hiring white men. If a certain group doesn’t want work for you, you’ve proven the thesis that you are not open and inclusive of those people. Conservatives Likely don’t choose to work at NPR because it is hostile to their viewpoints. That’s the whole point.

3. Because the P in NPR stands for “public”, and NPR receives funding from the government. You are citing private companies, who, like MSNBC, are expected to be tilted. A public radio station serves the entire public, and should reflect the entire public, not the beliefs of a small segment of coastal elites.

4. The definition of “grifter” when it comes to media is “anyone who makes a living publishing information I disagree with”. You nailed it. Liberals love to dismiss anyone who disagree with them (McWhortee, Weiss, Hughes) as merely grifters because, in their liberal bubble, they can’t imagine anyone ACTUALLY disagrees with them.

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1. I know, it was, thanks.

2. Your comparison is nonsense because nobody's born a Republican or a conservative. It's not an inborn or immutable characteristic. You can decide not to believe the ridiculous paranoid things the party demands its adherents think and say. And even though there are some outward characteristics that can give one a pretty good idea they're dealing with a Republican, like a squared-off goatee or a lifted F-150, it's not quite as easy to pick one out as, say, a woman or a black person.

3. There are many, many members of the public who think and act in cruel and sociopathic manners. This does not mean that NPR owes people like them equal time in the name of ideological diversity, even if the cruelty and sociopathy increasingly mirrors the attitudes of a certain major political party.

4. Pure projection. Weiss et al are the ones who have equated being an ideological minority or being challenged on their professed beliefs with discrimination, even as they were being employed and handsomely paid to let the world know what's on their mind by their supposed oppressors. Being a conservative does not automatically make one a grifter, but lazily pandering to the segment of society who is perpetually angry and confused about the fact that the world is different than how they remember it being does, and that is those people's meal ticket.

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How many are paid by the government?

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Berliner writes that he "found" 87 registered Democrats and 0 registered Republicans. How hard did he look? Did he find any non-registered, independents, Greens, Libertarians? Did he research Washington staffers who live outside DC in Maryland or Virginia? And what of the 88 percent of NPR staffers who work outside DC? And besides, none of this matters unless you assume that journalists can't and don't, as a matter of professionalism and ethics, set aside their partisan opinions to report objectively. So it's not clear that Berlinger's "finding" here tells us anything of value.

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Doesn't really matter. Even if he did find a couple Greens or something (which would only help his case) and not look anywhere but DC (which is the only place he claimed to look), what he found is plainly very telling. 0 GOP. Many Dems. This isn't a subtle thing.

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A lot of DC reporters (our host, for example) don't register with a party or register as independent because they want sources and listeners to see them as non-partisan. A lot of DC reporters don't live there and vote in VA or MD. The vast majority of NPR reporters neither live nor work in DC. So it appears Berliner's search wasn't very thorough, and there's no reason to assume his findings are representative of the whole organization. Besides, the whole exercise assumes that partisanship is the most impactful kind of bias, or that reporters lack the professionalism and ethics to free themselves of partisan bias in their reporting. Maybe Berliner was the only staffer at NPR who could see past his own partisanship, or maybe it just suits his confirmation bias (and yours) to think so.

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None of that remotely alters the very plain significance of what Berliner found. And this isn't the first publication of evidence to similar effect about NPR.

Political ideology is the most salient factor in bias about political issues. It's closely tied with party affiliation. This isn't a subtle thing.

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These days a lot of conservatives are registered unaffiliated for obvious reasons. It matters greatly how the unaccounted for are registered, but he didn't bother.

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Even if some of them are registered independent, it doesn't get around the fact of what he did find, a huge imbalance between Dems and GOP. And it's always been that way at NPR, by all reports.

Inskeep's an independent, but he's no conservative, much less a GOP refugee. It's not the same.

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Firstly, the fact that the NYP "figured out how to do it" was because Rudy Giuliani refused to provide the laptop's contents to anyone outside the Rupert Murdoch owned news complex (Fox News, The Post, WSJ). It was almost like he was trying to make it look suspicious, and it sure as hell did. Legitimate media had nothing to go on, and were right to treat it cautiously as an unconfirmed story.

Secondly, Berliner's phrasing does not make it at all clear what he means about "finding" 87 Democrats and 0 Republicans. It sure makes it sound like he had some sort of easy access to everyone's voter registration in DC and found an 87-0 split. If that's not the case, then it's a bit hard to interpret what his comment means. Did he do a random sample? If not, how did he choose the people he investigated? Is it possible that people registered as Republican make it more difficult to determine, perhaps choosing not to specify in places where asked (DC is a pretty Democrat-leaning place after all)? He may have had a legitimate point here, but he was uninformative at best and misleading at worst.

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One doesn't address claims made without any evidence - one dismisses them.

Which is what Uri's editor should have done.

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He gave evidence, some of which anyone can verify.

But people will naturally dismiss what doesn't fit their politics.

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I have yet to see any evidence from Uri.

I've seen some lies, that claim to be evidence, but as soon as you see those, it becomes hard to credit anything else said in the same essay.

Those lies are absurdly easy to verify as lies, and steve does so in his piece.

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Inskeep's response doesn't even come close to disproving anything Berliner actually said. Instead Inskeep mischaracterizes what Berliner says and then attacks a straw man, over and over. That you missed that and swallowed whole Inskeep's ironically poor response is a useful clue about you, should you be interested in seeing beyond your politics.

But if you don't believe me, please pick a point you think Berliner lied about and I'll show you who was actually misleading you.

Deep denial at NPR, and among its core audience.

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As usual, you are glib and arrogant.

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Apr 25·edited Apr 25

Pedantic response. Doesn't weaken the argument.

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If you see a story in a competitor's outlet, (all the more so one with a checkered history of source-checking) and decide to wait to carry it yourself until you have better sourcing, that's not "burying the story", it's waiting to run it. (what's that quote about "if your mother says she loves you, get a second source"?) So saying "lots of outlets sat on the laptop story" - it's not necessarily bias but waiting till they had more to go on. That's a defensible editorial decision.

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And yet, none of them at NPR, CNN, etc. could be bothered to do that when I came to stories about Russia gate. The double standard reeks.

You don’t get to claim journalistic standards when you’ve been setting them on fire for the previous three years.

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You've swallowed whole what conservative media has fed you, and what you want to consume, apparently. Your choice, but if truth matters, your sources will only mislead you. Again, your choice.

Both Russiagate and the Hunter Biden laptop story were covered the same way by the mainstream media, generally. They reported them as unverified allegations.

NPR was an exception in not covering the laptop story on air, though they did on their website. Their coverage of Russiagate is probably open to criticism in that they let people like Schiff blow it up without sufficient challenge.

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Your comment is the result of delusion or dishonesty.

And if you had bothered to read comments above, you’d realize I have no use for conservative media either.

Great reply, otherwise! 🤡

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Again, you've swallowed whole what conservative media has fed you. The narrative you repeat isn't found anywhere else, and isn't founded in reality.

Your denial isn't any better than that at NPR. Look inward about honesty.

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Yeah, because they're responding to you.

Nice selfie, btw.

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Does your mom know that her teenage son is getting snarky with adults online?

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Just watch Fox. You'll be happier and won't be bothered by anyone else trying to tell you something you don't want to hear.

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Who said I watch Fox or think they are any better than the other outlets I named?

Try to make fewer assumptions. You’ll sound more credible.

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I never did say you watch Fox. I suggested that you would like it better. They covered Russiagate just fine.

I'm not interested in making you think I'm credible.

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Luckily for you.

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HAHAHAHAHAHA complaining about journalistic standards when you're literally barfing up talking points from Breitbart. Oh child, have several seats.

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Thank you for pointing out another fucking retard I need to block.

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What on earth are you talking about?

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Sorry if you can’t understand me, but it’s really not my fault that you’re reading comprehension is so poor.

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It is your fault that you write at a second grade level though.

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If Hunter's laptop did indeed contain information tying the Bidens to corruption then why didn't the Republican House committee that was looking into this corruption find any? They gave up on the impeachment because there wasn't anything there - especially when it became clear the their main source was a Russian asset.

Re Russian collusion: "The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion,” Mueller wrote in the 448-page document, which lays out new details about a Kremlin-backed plot that compromised Democrats’ computer networks and targeted state and local election offices. " The Senate panel that looked into this did indeed find that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/senate-panel-finds-russia-interfered-in-the-2016-us-election

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Interference and collusion are different things, of course.

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Sure, but nothing stops both from happening.

And you know, we have actual evidence of collusion between Trumps campaign and Russia.

Unless you willfully choose not to read the news, you know this already.

Why then, are you lying, again?

Do you think the evidence of actual collusion between the two isn't large enough?

What's the smallest amount of working with Russia that is allowable for a presidential campaign?

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Wow. You need to slow down and reply to what I actually said, not voices in your head.

My point remains that the quote above labeled as being about collusion isn't.

As for your response to what I didn't say or imply, we don't have any conclusive evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Look inward about lying.

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You like that voices in your head line don't you?

I notice you're not answering any of my questions, is that what the voice in your head is telling you to do?

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You're again completely lost, and evidently completely uninterested in facts, so I leave you to your chosen delusions.

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Thank you.

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These days, there are plenty of former Republicans who are registered as unaffiliated - because Trump and his henchmen have made it embarrassing to be registered as a Republican. That isn't a reflection of bias; in fact, it is an indication of character.

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NPR was this way long before Trump.

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And folks were whining about it then, too. So why is it suddenly an issue? Because no one with a brain wants to be associated with the Republican Party. Thousands of very conservative people have left the party since January 6. So it shouldn't be a surprise that no one at NPR will profess to being one, no matter what their political philosophy.

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According to Berliner, it's gotten worse recently. Trump is no doubt part of that, but the roots of the problem go back further and haven't changed. NPR has always been dominated by progressives, from the very start. Part of their mission has always been interpreted as a progressive one.

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Journalism itself will always be dominated by folks left of center. It's the nature of the beast, especially nowadays. Conservative kids have never been drawn to journalism school in large numbers. Why would they be?

Personally, I think Berliner just wants to whine. But I don't expect anyone else to see it that way.

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Why should the nature of journalism lead to its being dominated by people left of center? Obviously there are conservative journalists in the US, just not at NPR in any substantial number.

Everyone who wants to ignore the problem at NPR will be happy to see Berliner a mere whiner.

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According to Berliner, Inskeep is a democrat. According to Inskeep, and actual records, he's not.

The moment i go bast the first bald lie, it becomes very very difficult to believe anything else said in an essay.

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You obviously didn’t read the article. Berliner never said there were no independents, or that 100% of the employees were democrats. He said there were 87 Democrats and 0 Republicans. That there were also independents does not make his statement false.

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More that shows something only about you. You're very willing to be misled by people you think you agree with, Inskeep in this case. Berliner nowhere implied Inskeep is a Dem.

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Given the end results of the laptop, and how little relevence it actually has, legally, ignoring it was probably the correct move long term.

As for the rest, well, you knew it was wrong when you typed it, so I don't need to explain it to you.

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The issue is that discussion of it was shadowbanned or outright banned on social media.

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For one day. Twitter lifted its ban on the story the day after it was imposed (for being potentially hacked material). It was all over social media including Twitter by October 17th. There's a conservative myth that Twitter and other social media suppressed the story in a way that simply didn't happen.

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So the issue is a lie.

Cool.

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Thank you for responding in writing. I was taken aback by Berliner article as a trained journalist and longtime listener and supporter of NPR. I have continued to try and engage in Bari Weiss' platform to ensure that I maintain 'viewpoint diversity' as the media empire grows and social media reinforces our bubbles but at this point, the failure to understand that diversity means some folks who used to be centered have to make room for new viewpoints seems utterly lost on these critics. Whether it be called 'woke' or 'groupthink', the failure to understand what it means to include the viewpoints of many is a a missing skill. I just hope the democracy can withstand all this attack from all sides and that people return to some semblance of tolerance until we get to the other side--a true multiracial, multicultural democracy.

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"Completely misreported" - how good of you to continue to listen for eight whole years, to completely misreported news!

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I will say as to #1 you are misstating completely what Inskeep said…..read again. He said 87-0… Your comment is a huger swing and a big miss.

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Comment paragraph #3 is the huge swing and miss. There is nothing to say about it other than playground invective. "Flat-out ignored" what the entire article is about - Fascinating, Captain.

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"Completely" is hyperbolic or at least lazy usage. Other words similarly afflicted include "never," "always," "absolutely" and many more. The use of "etc." also is misleading. It encourages the reader to fill in the blank with whatever they think of. In conclusion, you comment is a "huge swing and a miss."

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My goodness. They’re out in droves today!

Thanks for your take, Mr. Inskeep. I find NPR to be the best source of neutral news coverage available today ( - a particularly challenging time for the truth!)

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It isn’t random. They swarm. They r all angry and puffed up with bs. Purpose is to exhaust decent people.

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The right wing is creating a tempest in a teapot over this. However, they have reasons for doing this: they want to do to NPR what Musk has done to xitter, for example. They want to raise doubt in people's minds and they hope that there will be an overcorrection in their direction.

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"they"? Okay, Senator McCarthy.

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NPR talks about the same 3 topics all day, everyday from the same narrow perspective. Race, gender, climate, race, gender, climate…..

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Much like Mr. Berliner, you might consider checking easily accessible facts before opining.

To whit — today’s NPR headlines:

The Nation’s Historical Markers — delightful, confounding, sometimes wrong.

Making Melatonin Safe for Kids

Gaza

Ukraine / Israel / Taiwan aid

TikTok ban

Lag of women in STEM professions

Lawn decorations (eg flamingoes) make for a more connected community

Israel Rafah bombing

Bitcoin

Bioengineering to combat climate change

US sailor convicted of attempted espionage

Trump trial

Drunk driver kills siblings

What are ‘orphan crops’?

The product of a real cesspool of ‘biased’ progressive journalists, as you can see.

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Thank you. That was the correct and dispassionate response I wanted to make!

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Sarcasm? Or polite satire?

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Peter says, They're out in droves today. They. Pesky, aren't they? Droves, swarms. Oh well, sticks and stones. We're all capable of this, and more.

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Hey Steve do you think it's appropriate for the CEO of NPR to say "America is addicted to white supremacy and that’s the real issue" in 2020?

https://twitter.com/krmaher/status/1266418852352548864

How about stating Bill Maher is a racist bigot in 2018?

https://twitter.com/krmaher/status/998958468865261568

Is this the voice of someone who should be leading National Public Radio?

Or the voice of an activist steeped in far left ideology that hates half the country?

Thanks, I'll hang up and listen to your answer

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America does have a problem with white supremacy. Bill Maher is a bigot. Those are objectively measurable things. There's right, there's left, and then there's reality. That people think there's a left and right perspective on this is ludicrous. If we want to talk about why, or who, or what form white supremacy takes or whether a particular incident is driven by white supremacy, there rare definitely left and right perspectives (and center and actual-left and far-right-nazi ones, too) .... If someone says or does bigoted things, they're by definition, a bigot. But we all know that's not what pisses us lefties off. It's being a PROUD BIGOT, an UNREPENTANT bigot, that really makes us riled up. I'd argue Maher's that, in spades, as well, and he delights in it. Winding people up is his schtick, it's how he earns a living. What we should be asking ourselves is why we want to legitimize bigotry as a way to earn a living. Now that's an interesting question to ask both right and left on, and one I suspect many of them might actually agree on the answer: we shouldn't. But instead, somehow, some folks still think there's really more to get out of a debate on what a bigot looks like in makeup, under bright lights, and streaming to our TV thru a haze of smoke. Not me.

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Her views (and yours) are 3-4 standard deviations to the left of the median American. Normal people without brainworms do not think America "has a problem with white supremacy". You are free to have your (incorrect) opinions. But I don't want to be paying the salary of someone that has politics that I find completely reprehensible.

And no, saying "America has a problem with white supremacy" is not at all "objectively measurable". You have to define what "problem" is and how you quantify it. I would say living in a country where none (zero) of the top 5 ethnic groups with highest income are of European/white background is a pretty strong indication that we don't have a "problem with white supremacy".

As for bigotry, I can make the argument that Katherine Maher is a bigot. She clearly has strong animus against white/European Americans. That much is evident from her tweets. But I have a feeling you do not consider that bigotry. I also have a feeling you don't consider jabs at Christianity in popular media to be bigotry either.

I'm not white or Christian, but just find it funny that the left's definition of bigotry only pertains to people they consider their in-group.

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"I would say living in a country where none (zero) of the top 5 ethnic groups with highest income are of European/white background is a pretty strong indication that we don't have a "problem with white supremacy"."

Source? You must rely on some tricky stats for that one.

Even if it were true, it wouldn't show there's not a problem with white supremacy. I don't think people who say what was quoted above mean what you might mean by it, in any case.

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Latest census data. I think summarized somewhere on Wikipedia.

And glad to know that “white supremacy” is just a vibes based belief that doesn’t require any actual data. Fun to make up something that’s completely unfalsifiable and just assert that it’s true. Far cry from the original poster up there calling it “objectively measurable”.

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You're mixing up tiny subgroups that haven't been primary targets of social oppression for ages in the US, and one huge expansive group.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_groups_in_the_United_States_by_household_income

I didn't say anything that remotely implies what you say in the rest.

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My favorite factoid is that black and white incomes are almost identical when normalized for SAT score (black slightly higher). There is absolutely no aspect of leftism that can explain this. If group differences are due to discrimination (the absolute most holy belief in leftism), then somehow we live in a society that discriminates blacks savagely up to the minute they take the SAT, but not once second after. That's the only way you can explain it with a leftist lens. Like I said before, it's a religion.

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Your world view is identical to a religion. It's funny you can't see that. There is no piece of information that would lead you to reconsider your views. I point something out - "oh well, it's because of XYZ". We could go on like this for hours.

You are utterly and completely convinced that all differences in group outcomes are due to discrimination. Thinking otherwise would completely upend everything you believe in. So you have to cling to it with all your might.

And no, it's not "one, huge expansive group". European ancestry is also broken down. Asian Americans dominate as Asian groups do everywhere else. (Did you know Japanese Brazilians - a group that immigrated as lowly agricultural workers - are the richest ethnic group in Brazil? Or Korean Argentinians - a group that immigrated as lowly textile workers - are the richest ethnic group in Argentina? Did you know that Malaysia actively discriminates against its Chinese minority population because they are *too successful*? How does your brain explain these things?!)

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I'm not sure you're indicative of the median American either. And given that the median German citizen claimed to be unaware of Auschwitz' existence in 1945, one could argue that the median is a not a good enough goal in the first place.

Personally, I very much dislike the phrase "white supremacy" as a nationwide problem. I'm quite sure, as the opening anecdote of White Fragility points out, that almost all White Americans don't want to be racist, and think that they're not. The phrase "white supremacy" is entirely too loaded and inflammatory a term, and is far more likely to alienate people who are (or were) willing to listen to you and change than it is to foster facing uncomfortable truths.

Is America in 2024 the result of many centuries (including this one) of an unfair system that is based (both directly and indirectly) on race? Absolutely. You'll get agreement from 65% of the White people in the country on that point.

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I don’t need to hold the views of the median American because I’m not the head of a publicly funded news organization!

Comparing Americans to Nazi era Germans is disgusting and you should be ashamed.

But besides all of that, you’re wrong. America is very close to a pure meritocracy. Outcomes are closely related to intelligence and hard work. For example, when holding SAT scores constant, black incomes are the same as whites (historically slightly higher due to AA). Astonishing for a society where supposedly all the cards are stacked in favor of whites and racism is everywhere! I guess the racists forget to discriminate for that one.

Your worldview is an unfalsifiable fairytale and you’re no better than the religious people you sneer at.

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"America is very close to a pure meritocracy. Outcomes are closely related to intelligence and hard work. For example, when holding SAT scores constant, black incomes are the same as whites (historically slightly higher due to AA)."

Oh my. You must know better than to make that argument. If not, you have a great deal of work to do should you develop an interest in truth over politics.

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Here's some fun reading for you. I assume this is the type of information you have never been exposed to given your media bubble and your far left views on race.

https://randomcriticalanalysis.com/2015/11/16/racial-differences-in-homicide-rates-are-poorly-explained-by-economics/

https://www.reddit.com/r/samharris/comments/qa6dy6/many_blackwhite_disparities_in_important_life/

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Literally nothing I said is false.

American incomes are the most closely correlated to numeracy of any OECD country.

Black incomes are the same as white incomes when holding SAT scores constant.

Maybe you would know these things if you read anything other than hard-left sources like NPR. America is a meritocracy. Just because you failed at it doesn't mean we should overturn the system.

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Neither does the head of any news organization. Ever. For any reason.

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Where did I sneer at religious people? I think you might be confusing me with someone else.

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"I would say living in a country where none (zero) of the top 5 ethnic groups with highest income are of European/white background "

That's false.

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do you do kids shows? Maybe comedy clubs?

This may be some of the funniest text i've read in a while.

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The fundamental problem with your thesis (and most everyone at NPR, I suspect) is that you presume that your beliefs are objective facts, without room for disagreement. I don’t know if you’re right or wrong in your opinions, but I do know there are many very smart people (who you dismiss as ignorant) who would disagree with your takes on Bill Maher and white supremacy. The problem isn’t that you’re wrong… it’s that you can’t even imagine you MIGHT be wrong, and it leads you to dismiss, without any concern of bias, anyone who thinks differently. I assume most people at NPR are the same. Everything you said in your post is an opinion, presented as objective fact. But you, and so many at NPR, have conflated “opinion”, “belief”, “viewpoint” and “judgment” as fact.

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Apr 17·edited Apr 17

I would genuinely like to know why you think he's a bigot.

"If someone says or does bigoted things, they're by definition, a bigot." We're in agreement on this.

But I would have expected you to provide some examples, other than "winding people up". That's a bit vague, no? What has Maher said or done that you consider bigoted?

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Baron provides perfect justification to defund.

You have every right to be an extremely activist but you don’t have a right to force me to pay for it.

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I like this question — why do we want to legitimize bigotry as a way to make a living?

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You’re why the internet is dying thanks to AI. The sooner we’re rid of people’s ability to comment nonsensical sinister piffle (like saying someone is a bigot and calling it “objectively measurable” without citing one scrap of measly evidence as if it’s simply beyond the capability of the fingertips you uses to scribble this babble), the better off we’ll all be.

And yes, I know I’m making a comment, but it’s simply amusing yet depressing that people like you exist all over the place that turn any opportunity for discussion into a cesspool of pure dreck.

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“Objectively Measurable”

I don’t think you know what that means?

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The fact that someone who has never been a journalist or even worked in the industry could find herself at the top of an ostensibly journalistic enterprise is part and parcel of the entire problem that Berliner outlined.

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Why? We just recently elected a TV reality host to president.

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So do you know Bill Maher: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&opi=89978449&url=https://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D9zPxIlvNNNg&ved=2ahUKEwj17MP69eCFAxUMkYkEHYqXB4cQFnoECBsQAQ&usg=AOvVaw00gkQ4h62LfHUS1YkOdMy9

Have you rejected politicians who have insisted on providing state honors for the Confederacy? Four states currently commemorate the Confederacy on their flag (Mississippi changed theirs in 2021). Other states have laws protecting monuments to the Confederacy, sometimes treating these monuments to slavery and treason as comparable to monuments recognizing soldiers and police officers. Several states recognize “Confederate memorial day” and “Robert E. Lee day” (or similar “Confederate heroes days”. Many of these honors have been the subject of election campaigns over the past several years, and many elected officials are on record adamantly defending state honors for the Confederacy. If my conservative friend is willing to support these politicians because of agreement on some other issue, then they are admitting their own complicity in maintaining white supremacy in fact if not in name, and maintaining the cultural influence of explicit white supremacy.

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Appropriate? The truth isn't always conveniently appropriate. Or stated in a way that spares our feelings. Bill Maher probably enjoys the attention, as do the white supremacists, who have been showing up damn near everywhere since Donald Trump got elected.

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Which of those headlines do you dispute?

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Im a Bill Maher democrat.

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Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

You do know people get to have personal opinions right?

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This is completely and utterly disingenuous.

Someone gives you a basket of 1,000 apples and says there could be both green and red apples. You know that the person who gives you the basket of apples typically gives green apples, but some have been red in the past.

You take out 82 of them and all are green and none are red. You can obviously make the logical assumption that the rest are also heavily weighted towards green.

Journalism is a field that is heavily weighted towards leftists (for various reasons). The small sample we have, shows that NPR (an org that typically focuses on left-leaning stories, like race, gender, etc.) is heavily weighted towards leftists. But we should believe that the sample is not representative of the whole? Huh? Come on.

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“heavily weighted towards leftists” it’s really not. The largest news organization in America is a GOP propaganda arm, and the right-wing media ecosystem is far larger and more dynamic than anything on the left.

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That's very misleading. Fox only looks good in its ratings because it has the conservative market pretty much to itself. The MSM is far larger. The person you responded to considers it weighted toward the left. And it is by most standards.

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Sinclair Broadcasting is highly conservative and dominates local news. Talk radio is dominated by right wingers.

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Sinclair isn't remotely as large as the MSM, which is included in its TV packages anyway. It's the second largest owner of local stations. Talk radio is dominated by conservatives, probably, but still not near the reach of the MSM.

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Except reality.

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Race and Gender are not left leaning stories.

Good job making your bias clear though.

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Still listen now and then to recording of the fabulous Code Switch segment that found rationales for looting and vandalism, even as shops and houses burned in various cities.

(Oddly enough, NPR's new CEO concurs!)

Also LOVE the ever-handy NPR story warning us about possible racist emoji! Can't be too careful.

NPR is a caricature of post-liberal progressive ideology, paid for with tax dollars. Didn't need any help at all from Berliner to shred its credibility.

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The claim that any number of Democrats cannot function as journalists is as ridiculous as the claim that any number of Republicans, or unaffiliated, can't.

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Hey, can you link to either of those stories, as i suspect you are leaving out some... well, honestly i suspect you're leaving out all of the context.

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I value NPR, donor to my local station, and am rooting for it. Still, I am so disappointed with how badly they are handling this situation. They need to grasp that Berliner is a whistleblower. He tried to go through channels and got nowhere. It is unbelievably chilling for NPR to say that you need to “secure approval” in advance to be a whistleblower. It is like the military saying you had to go through the chain of command to report sexual harassment which every journalist could see was wrong. If someone at NPR had complained that LBGTQ+ people were not being treated fairly – however flimsy the evidence they provided – everyone would have said how “brave” they were to speak out and how we “can and must do better” and so on. The urge to shoot the messenger and ignore the message which has been the overwhelming NPR response to Berliner is so disappointing. I have witnessed numerous examples of what Berliner is referring to just as a listener. For instance, when Roe vs. Wade was overturned NPR reporting referred standardly to the side that would call themselves pro-life as “anti-abortion rights activists.” I get how hard finding appropriate nomenclature for all this is. Yet in the immediate days before that decision NPR had been covering efforts at gun control legislation. Never once did they refer to its proponents as “anti-gun rights activists.” This is just one example of the kind of thing that is baked into their reporting.

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"For instance, when Roe vs. Wade was overturned NPR reporting referred standardly to the side that would call themselves pro-life as “anti-abortion rights activists.” I get how hard finding appropriate nomenclature for all this is. Yet in the immediate days before that decision NPR had been covering efforts at gun control legislation. Never once did they refer to its proponents as “anti-gun rights activists.”

I don't think these are the best examples of NPR's ideological thumbs on the scales. It is definitely more accurate to call the political and cultural movement that is focused entirely around banning and limiting abortions and abortion access as "anti-abortion" rather than "pro life", which was a nice PR marketing term that movement invented for itself decades ago, but "pro life" in a general sense has a lot more meaning than simply being opposed to abortion access and promoting a carry-to-term pregnancy mandate (that in its most "pure" and extreme ends does not even allow for the health and life of the mother), but very noticeably less focused on "quality of life" enhancements and goals outside of carrying a child to term under any circumstance. I get not every movement can be all things at any one point, but the "pro life" movement is 100% focused around abortion access and very few other aspects of promoting "life" to any agreed upon standard of quality, hence "anti-abortion" is a much more accurate moniker for this movement.

"Gun rights", by the same token, is a more or less accurate moniker for the movement that seeks to maximize gun access and ownership. "Anti-gun rights" however, is not so much as the goals of most gun control advocates (ah.. "pro gun control", now there's a much better moniker) is not to eliminate gun rights completely (at least as a mainstream and politically/Constitutionally viable agenda that most credible groups have to organize around versus fantasy outcomes feverishly posted on comments boards) but to impose "controls" on the manufacturing, distribution and ownership of guns, gun types and ammunition, while not so much engaging in the right, or not, to own guns in the abstract sense, it's about modernizing the intent of the 2nd Amendment in a world where guns are not single action musket rifles, and the usage of guns for nefarious means versus "forming a well regulated militia" is much more prevalent and the modern landscape does not seem to much match the Founder's intentions as written - but I digress - the point of the gun control movement is to control the "what and how much" within the confines of the rights versus litigating the rights themselves, hence "pro gun control" is a better description of the movement then "anti-gun rights" since most of these groups are not trying to repeal the 2nd Amendment.

So I think NPR is more or less using better agenda focused language than the "PR" language used by various Groups to describe themselves. A better example of "woke ideology" (sigh, I am growing to hate the term "woke" but we all know what it means at this point, so using it here) in play in various NPR/public radio programming is Mike Pesca's example he used in his podcast to illustrate: a program devoted to "slow train tourism" (a classicly truly niche and nerdy public radio offering if there ever was one - and a complete raison d'etre for public radio in the first place!), basically a guided tour of taking long and slow train rides across various US landscapes and taking the time to enjoy the travel and sightseeing from the train's view that we normally do not get driving or flying - was "reviewed" by a public radio produced show in which the hosts decided the "right take" on this was to completely destroy the nice and nerdy take about the various scenescapes that could be appreciated BECAUSE GENOCIDE HAPPENED HERE OK, the US is built on stolen land so any US citizen merely appreciating the "scenery" is appropriating "stolen views" COLONIALISM, also RACIST because only white people (ostensibly) would be able to afford and want to take "slow trains" for this purpose so it was automatically coded as "white" and therefore "problematic" and needing of "unpacking", etc. It was a nutty and nihilistic take on something that's so on its face inoffensive and completely divorced from culture war topics that they had to work hard to make it one, and very much reflective of the current progressive-left ethos - nothing can be righteously enjoyed or appreciated without the constant either self lashing of the white progressive for the sins of colonization/racism in order to be an "anti-racist white", or the revving up of grievances of non-whites in all topics (few of which of those non-whites seem to be eagerly tuning into public radio to be told that they should find a racial/ethnic grievance in "slow train rides", for example, based on NPR's own demographic audience numbers, let alone - which seems to indicate that not only are the producers of shows like this missing their super liberal/middle/upper middle class white professional audience with this repetitive and intrusive insistence on washing every. friggin. topic. through a now familiar "here's why puppy dogs and ice cream are racist white supremacy colonizing and problematic" "lens", but they are also not really meeting their targeted minority audiences because simply, few to no "regular" persons of any background spend their lives and free time, mental and emotional spaces like this, viewing everything under the sun through an "intersectional"/"anti-racist" "lens" (ugh, more terminology that I've increasingly eye rolled through but here again, we know what it means!), nor desires to have to carry around omipresent guilt/grievance around to "unpack" when they would... rather enjoy the scenery on a slow train ride?

That would have been a much better sample of the way that progressive activist ideological "lenses" have infected various public radio programming than the above examples - and I would add Berliner's cheap shots at the "Russiagate" and "Hunter Biden Laptop Story" that many other posters have provided very well argued defenses of "liberal media's sins" regarding - honestly those asides made me wonder who his audience was, or rather, if The Free Press was imposing some sort of editorial stamp on including those topics as "evidence" of NPR's "wokeness" and unreliability based on TFP's own biases and editorial narratives regarding.

At any rate, Berliner failed to do "actual journalism" in depicting what exactly NPR (the press in general) got "wrong" about these stories given the known facts at the time of those stories, versus Monday morning quarterbacking on revealed facts months/years after the stories, let alone a pretty big handwaving over the circumstances of both stories to where the right wing narrative about both is very much inaccurate and disputable.. Berliner would have been able to make a much better case for a seeped in ideological twist to everything had he not included those very debatable items, which does kind of make me wonder about his own biases...So, he's not wrong, but some of the manner and outlet that he chose are probably seem less conducive to the outcome he claims to desire?

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Apr 19·edited Apr 19

NPR long had a policy of referring to groups by their preferred names, which is a respectful policy, and resulted in the use of the terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice." Both terms are problematic, but so are terms like conservative, liberal, progressive, etc etc that are still used. NPR and many other outlets abandoned the use of the preferred names in response to pressure. The general leftward tilt of the media was a factor.

The current MSM/NPR style treats abortion rights as the issue instead of right to life of the fetus. That's a clearly biased approach, assumes something that's at issue.

I agree that some of Berliner's arguments are weak, but I think he is sensitive to what was known at the time in his remarks about media stories, and does explain what exactly NPR did wrong.

In regard to the laptop story, he claims to have heard top NPR personnel say they shouldn't cover it because it would help Trump. That would be problematic. In any case, NPR did a very poor job explaining their decision, which Berliner quoted from. NPR needed to explain more, because in some ways the story wasn't merely a distraction, as Berliner points out. (NPR didn't suggest the laptop wasn't real, so Berliner's remarks about that based on later knowledge don't undercut NPR's response.)

On the Russiagate story, Berliner mainly criticizes the lack of mea culpa from NPR over allowing people like Schiff to imply there was good evidence of something there wasn't.

Publishing his views with the cooperation of Weiss in the place he did was a mistake, I think.

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Apr 20·edited Apr 20

I was sorely disappointed, no angry, to see Berliner sign up for this in his otherwise seemingly well intentioned effort to yank NPR's leadership and staff from its bubble while it's bleeding audience and donors. It's not necessary to have to concede "Russiagate" and "Hunter Biden's Laptop" to the Right to be able to acknowledge and state that a lot of NPR's programming and reporting slant is heavy left biased and sometimes absurdly "woke". There's got to be a lot more and less debatable examples if the problem is so prevalent without having to concede these topics on shaky grounds that discredits him with the very audience he needs to persuade, which.. is not the prototypical Right Wing Uncle on the Free Press comments board who was already convinced that NPR was filled with "communists" to begin with since the 1990s and who got a massive dopamine red meat hit with Berliner's piece confirming his priors ;P

The laptop story, look others have taken to this in this thread, and this is already getting too long, but my main beef with this take is that the NY Post reporting was about the Rudy Giuliani hard drive copy, which he refused to provide to any independent sources for verification at the time of the reporting. Leaving aside that supposed NPR reporter's comment about not wanting to help Trump's re-election (not great, but under what context was it said - a casual meeting comment or a decisive comment to kill the story? that matters I think! But I don't think that was what made or broke this story at the time), the circumstances of the story still lean towards most major news orgs (INCLUDING FOX NEWS AT THE TIME, let alone the actual NY Post that ran the story refused to let their own reporters headline the article, it was instead headlined by a Sean Hannity show staffer I believe as a "guest journalist" to protect them instead, now if the sourcing and veracity of the story was so solid why are we not criticizing the actual venue of the report to have taken such precautions that made it so easy to discredit??) making the right decision - to report skeptically, at best, about the findings because no one was able to verify or confirm the sourcing of the data, and it is irrelevant whether Hunter Biden at the time confirmed or denied the data was his (and not exactly "shady" of him not to do so either way, again if we're operating under the truthiness that he dropped his laptop off for repairs with a nearly blind Mac repairman who (perhaps unethically?) viewed and copied the drive's data to disseminate to highly partisan (and super convenient that he had such access to Giuliani!!), then Hunter Biden is actually a victim of a pretty big privacy invasion at the least?), the burden was on Giuliani to prove he had "real data" and that the data was not illegally or unethically sourced. He refused and news media outlets treated it accordingly, and you have to ask yourself why if Giuliani had the legitimate goods why he would have refused to open them up for scrutiny that would have certified his story rather than discredit it.

And as for the news media's credulity of the former intelligence officer's signed letter advising about this data, It's not like Giuliani wasn't out in public for the last couple years in Ukraine specifically meeting with actual Russian agents attempting to purchase such data (hell, he got Trump Impeached for the first time over his activities over there!), so the notion that when a set of former intelligence agents marked this as a probable disinformation attempt, was that really out of left field or "biased" to handle the reporting accordingly? It wasn't for almost a full year after the NY Post story ran that the FBI (under Biden's DOJ btw, it was Trump's DOJ that refused to confirm or deny Rudy's statements in October 2020, make of that as you will!) released public information that it did in fact possess the actual Hunter Biden laptop (and not a copy of a copy that had been second-third-etc hand modified after their possession of the actual laptop) - so a lot of the "mea culpa" and lashing of the media about its handling of the story *as the facts were known in October 2020* with the NY Post story sourced entirely from Rudy just sounds like a lot of Monday morning quater-backing based on facts that weren't known for a year or two after.

And after all that is said and done - not even the most dedicated Republicans to the Impeach Biden cause, now having access to the actual FBI investigation and verified sourced material, have been able to come up with any Impeachable crimes of Joe Biden in relation to. So the other notion that this was somehow some election deciding information *as was reported in October 2020 in the NY Post* also seems like the Right trying to justify the massive disappointment that all the build up about Hunter Biden and his Laptop produced little other than evidence of an already sort of known louche lifestyle of a politician's son, embarrassing for him, but who was not himself serving in his father's White House at any point in time... AHEM AHEM "Jarvanka"... and not this massive Biden Crime Family Conspiracy that somehow managed to operate covertly for the last, what, 40-50 years that Biden has served in public elected office, and has for all that time more or less maintained an image of a boring yet earnest dude. It's almost as if the right wanted Hunter Biden Laptop to be the "Trump-Russia Conspiracy" of the left, overshot the moon by a few clicks, and ended up with the actual "Russiagate" egg on their faces for real. A fuckton of projection, IMO. It's the Trump Administration with the most direct and egregious examples of nepotism and profiting from Office at the end of the day, of which I could write another 20000 words depicting lol, but I'll spare you that ;P

And yes - I do agree Berliner probably limited his audience and credibility by going to The Free Press rather than maybe NY Times or CJR or some other more "mainstream" outlet - but which begs the question whether he would have gotten the story and distribution (for all the slagging of the NY Times, I think they would have published his essay, and probably a much better one that didn't concede on some very debatable points in the offering). Again, I'm a subscriber to TFP, they do put out good stuff for the most part, but there is also an increasingly disturbing "audience capture" thing going on, their editorial slant is very biased towards their heavily right wing audience (and vocal commentariat) - which makes them a very odd place to be in to be calling out other organizations for editorial bias!

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Berliner used the examples he did in part because of what he sees as their historical significance in the change he sees at NPR. The coverage of Russiagate and the laptop story aren't merely examples of bias, but part of a history and explanation of what happened to NPR in response to Trump. It moved NPR more to the left, in his view. I think he's right about that. In addition to natural bias of the personnel, there was enormous pressure from NPR's audience to move more left and be less neutral in response to Trump.

I don't know how much of what you say about the laptop story Berliner might agree with, but it's beyond his point, which was that NPR blew it in not covering the story, that their reasons are suspect, and that it was part of a shift in the wrong direction.

That NPR is losing audience is in part what moved him to come forward now. He's exposing what he sees as the reasons for that, and trying to wake up NPR and its supporters. I have no hope he'll succeed, but I admire the effort.

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I disagree that Berliner explained exactly what NPR did wrong with its reporting via Russiagate or Hunter Biden's Laptop. For one, is he stating that the media shouldn't have been reporting about an active special counsel's investigation of a sitting US POTUS at the time? Let alone that particular POTUS kept the story almost daily in the news cycle because it was his Tweets and public statements attacking the investigation that provided almost all of the daily news cycle fodder on this story than anything coming from Mueller's team, which was decidedly tight lipped during. Second, it's not clear that Schiff's alluded to evidence doesn't exist, - after all there has yet to be a House led investigation into "Russiagate" - but the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation revealed even more than Mueller's Report did, and actually did connect more dots directly to Trump than Mueller did, so perhaps that's what Schiff was alluding to if he had access to the same intel, which is not unreasonable to assume he did given his position.

Regardless, the "real failure" (IMO) was the media's apparent unanimous lack of curiosity to actually parse the details of the Mueller Report beyond the summary conclusion and suggested indictment count on anything "Russia related" (we keep "forgetting" the Obstruction of Justice charge recommendations made though!) - notably with the inability to discern "lack of evidence of a criminal conspiracy (which Mueller clearly stated was at least partially due to witness lying, tampering and destruction of evidence") as "total exoneration" against the colloquial and non-legal term of "collusion", of which Mueller's Report detailed quite a bit of, but which the media had lazily conflated the two terms for the year long investigation leading up to, and continued that lazy conflation with the actual report findings - and maybe it's my "bias", but my biggest frustration of the post-Mueller media reporting bent was of the former being predominantly reported as the conclusion, and not the latter, as in "No criminal conspiracy = No collusion" - sorry, that just wasn't the actual findings which is more accurately summed up as "not enough evidence to prove a criminal conspiracy, which btw was not in a small way due to witnesses lying and destroying evidence, but plenty of evidence of plain ole' collusion, and maybe we should consider non-criminal routes to assess a sitting POTUS who engaged in such collusion and lied about it repeatedly to the public and hid it from national security authorities". I guess that doesn't fit on a headline or in the 5 minute nightly news round up of the story though.

IMO, the post-Mueller reporting was super favorable to Trump's propaganda that he was a victim of a "rigged prosecution" etc because a large segment of the media lost interest in the details of the report when there wasn't a big headliner about criminal charges and salacious dealings to report on instead of having to dig through hundreds of pages of reporting and summarize what still remains to be *at best* pretty questionable practices of the Trump Campaign - *at best*, the Trump Campaign was aware of Russian attempts to interfere in our election and they lied about it to the public. Recall Trump's "supposition" that the DNC was hacked by a "400 pound fat guy in a basement" or "Chy-nuh" - the Senate Intelligence Committee report as well as the Roger Stone trial revealed Trump was very much involved in Stone's activities with Wikileaks and the timing and coordination, "collusion", shall we say, of the hacked data with his campaigning - and declined to report what they did know to authorities at the time (that the DNC was hacked by Russian operatives and distributed to Wikileaks to "launder the sources" and the Trump Campaign was aware of it all at every step). It's hard to look at any of that and conclude that Trump was unfairly set up by "The Media", much less any other agency - and while I am a Free Press subscriber, this default to coddle a right wing preferred view of these matters as part of their "jihad" against the mainstream media is getting very, very annoying and stale - but more seriously than my annoyance is the fact that supposed "centrist" outlets, like, say, "The Free Press", which is operated by "heterodox liberals", who however are coded as "liberals" entirely to their right leaning audience, are also laundering Trump's dirty drawers with this capitulation on these stories and disinterest in parsing the details with more nuance and critique towards Trump as should be warranted. It's giving him a free pass on yet another total lie and deception to his supporters, and it gets his lies and deceptions even more validated because now it's coming from supposed "liberals" who are "telling the truth about liberal media" and not just from right wing pro-Trump outlets.

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Berliner wasn't suggesting there shouldn't have been reporting of the Russia collusion investigation, of course. He was saying what he actually said: NPR repeatedly let Schiff claim without challenge that there was evidence of collusion that, it turned out, didn't exist. And when that emerged, NPR didn't proportionately publicize that and apologize as it should have, in his view.

It's clear Schiff's evidence doesn't exist in the sense that he didn't have any evidence himself for what he said. He changed his tune after the Mueller Report came out. No one including the Senate has found clear evidence of collusion.

The rest of what you say about the coverage of the Mueller Report doesn't affect Berliner's arguments. He might well agree that it wasn't as well covered as it should have been in other ways. His references to Trump aren't in any way to defend Trump or portray him as a victim of media but to explain how the response to him changed NPR.

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Apr 20·edited Apr 20

I think there's a place to refer to various groups by their preferred names and terms, such as when reporting on a specific group or action, interviewing a specific group's members as representatives of that group, etc, versus reporting and discussing the broader paradigm/ideology/movement/debate/agenda of those groups. So yes, when interviewing the head of the "Right To Life" organization, refer to as such. But I just don't think it's "liberal bias" to not refer to the broader movement to ban/restrict abortion as "pro-life" when reporting on the debate itself simply because many of those groups and supporters describe and name themselves accordingly, versus what their actual agenda is, which is narrow-casted onto abortion rights and access, making them at their essence simply "anti-abortion". Again, a movement/agenda that is "pro life" has a lot of bigger connotations outside of this context about what that movement might support beyond a forced carry-to-term pregnancy mandate.

Conversely, "pro choice" is more accurate to describe the opposition- because most organizations and supporters of abortion rights are not advocating for every pregnancy to be aborted (of which a "pro-abortion" moniker might stick if that was the case), but for the availability of a *choice* to do so, and mostly on a sliding restriction based on term length to be mostly adjudicated by the medical establishment vs politicians- but TBH, the majority of "pro choice" groups are also narrow-casted on abortion access and not so much on alternatives "choices" to abortion, so even here "pro choice" seems like a bigger descriptor than what the majority of "pro choice" groups are actually advocating for and focused on, which is "pro abortion access".

So to be fair, if NPR wanted to be more balanced while being more accurate in how they describe the sides of this specific debate *which is absolutely about abortion access and rights and not about vague "life affirming" or "choice affirming" preferences* in a general sense, they could use "pro abortion access" to describe "pro choice" as the counter to "anti-abortion" and both terms would, IMO, better capture the issue that is being debated versus self selected PR terms. If NPR is only choosing to identify one side by its core agenda while letting the other side "self define", yes I would agree that's some bias and not good for straight non-opinion reporting, even though, as I said, I can allow for "pro choice" as more descriptive than "pro life" so that's why I don't view this as big of a "bias violation" on NPR's behalf.

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Apr 20·edited Apr 20

You have the same bias NPR does about abortion. It's very hard for people on either side of the abortion issue to see beyond their own side.

There's no anti-abortion movement that isn't based on belief in the right to life of the fetus. For the pro-life side, that's the fundamental issue. And that's logical: if the fetus has a right to life, then obviously abortion is a problematic thing, intentionally killing an innocent person.

The label pro-life in this context refers to the right to life of the fetus in particular. It can have a broader meaning, but it always has at least that particular meaning in this context. It's well established, and well understood as to what it means in the context of abortion.

For pro-choice, the fundamental issue is the right of the person who's pregnant to choose abortion.

Pro-choice is in no way a more accurate or clear term than pro-life. Like pro-life, it can have a broader meaning, of course, as we have all kinds of rights to all kinds of choices. A particular complaint of pro-lifers is that the label ignores all right to choice on behalf of the fetus, which as a person in their view has the right to have life chosen on its behalf, same as with a born child, even if the parents want to kill it. That's a sensible view, if there's a right to life for the fetus.

But the label is well established and well understood, just like pro-life.

The current MSM/NPR style is to refer to the issue in terms that fit the pro-choice view that what's primary is the right to abortion, not the right to life of the fetus.

This is a blatant taking of sides, but the blindness on this issue is so profound people don't notice. And find it hard to see even if it's pointed out.

The current style also puts one side in a positive light, favoring a right, and the other side in a negative light, opposing a right. Anyone who has studied rhetoric can explain why that favors the pro-choice side as well.

But all of this falls on deaf ears to those unable to see beyond their own side. And so it is at NPR.

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very fair point ... when the pro-life mvmt finds someonemore clever & honest than Ben Shapiro to represent their rhetoric about/ignoring legally sound definitions of "person", "baby", etc , i will immediately strain to curb my partisan anti-fetal-right-to-life, anti-blastocystal-right-to-life, etc. rhetoric. (not because i do journalism but because i almost always prefer as much objective framing as possible when discussing philosophy, politics, economics, et al.)

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I'm not sure I follow. Are you saying they need to come up with a legally sound definition? Some would be happy to define all fertilized eggs and what follows as people, some have other ideas about heartbeats or whatever, but none of that changes my point about labels.

Shapiro is no more the leading spokesperson for the pro-life side than Keith Olbermann is for the pro-choice, by the way.

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indeed — normalizing (or at least uncritically parroting) "pro-life" based on folk usage + idpol is perhaps as or more problematic than rabbit-holing "Christian" vs. "true Christian" vs. "self-professed Christian" vs. "anthropologically categorized as Christian" ...

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Many thanks for this thoughtful reply. I was not saying that they should have used the term "pro-life". I was pointing out that it is a tell of what you are for by when you frame an issue as opposing a "right". The logic of your argument seems to lead to suggesting the term "pro-abortion control". Some years back NPR's morning news reported on the March for Life by referring to it throughout as "the so-called March for Life." I wrote to them and asked why they don't speak of "the so-called Pride Parade." To their great credit, they wrote back acknowledging my point and saying they had put out an internal directive not to use "so-called". That is the NPR I love and long for. I'm not that worried that its employees overwhelmingly have a liberal bias. I am worried that they have gone so far into a mutually reinforcing silo of the likeminded that they can no longer even see an instance of it when it is pointed out.

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Apr 20·edited Apr 20

I agree with your points about injecting "so-called" into any sort of labeling like what you describe, that's pretty on-its-face journalistic bias and should stay out of straight news reporting. I'm glad you got the response you did from NPR though - which IMO, does still demonstrate that NPR is at its core still an organization that cares about its integrity and perception (imagine notifying Fox News that its broad based characterizations of say, Black Lives Matter as "thugs" was "biased" and expecting a sincere response lol).

And I am inclined to agree with your last sentence - it's a mutually reinforcing silo that creates this bias, not some central plot so much. But it's also reinforced by the siloing of its audience, if NPR's audience is less diverse (in multiple ways) they are that much less likely to get the sort of feedback you provided in that example to even be aware that inserting "so-called" before the actual title of the demonstration itself did not belong in non-opinion reporting.

In a sense, the self-selection of the audience away from NPR is pushing it to be more ideologically out of step with a broader audience as a result. And for all the words spent dissecting the bias of NPR's staff, perhaps some attention should be pointed at the fact that to a large degree, conservative leaning audiences are self-selecting themselves from *any* media sources that are not fully displaying an obvert bias towards conservative viewpoints, ideology and politicians. Any news organization that doesn't report unquestionably favorable views and coverage of Trump, for example (or, conversely, focuses its reporting/opinion almost exclusively about the sins of the "left" and pretty much ignores the Right and Trump and/or publishes the sort of Berliner/The Free Press apologia about "Russiagate" - Matt Taibibi and The Free Press have gained quite the right wing following with this offering - that does nothing to challenge any perception that Saint Innocent Trump has been maliciously maligned rather than that there was a hell of lot a truth to "Russiagate" in the details), is considered by a large segment of Republican audiences to be "liberal media" and hopelessly biased against them.

There isn't a realistic outcome here where NPR starts hiring more conservative journalists and staff, and produces less "woke excess" programming (like the absurd "slow train" review that I mentioned) that ends up with large swaths of conservatives migrating back to NPR for news coverage. More likely, those conservatives will be viewed as "establishment", "RINOs", etc that are not at all representative of actual "movement conservatives" (and they will probably be right, the notion that NPR will hire Steve Bannon types is less than 0, let alone that Steve Bannon types would "sully" their right wing bonafides by working for NPR to begin with, so the hiring pool of "conservatives" will likely be a lot more of "Bulwark" types of Republicans, who will largely be in agreement with staff liberals when it comes to Trump and Trumpism,) so it's hard to see how this really can be changed outside of *conservatives themselves* being willing to consume media sources that allow any sort of critical reporting about the Right.

TLDR: it will take a movement on both the producers and journalists of NPR to modify their programming to appeal to a broader audience, but it also requires a broader audience being willing to listen to reporting (at the least) that does not simply promote their priors.

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Come on, man, nobody "gasped" when you revealed you're not registered with a party.

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I cannot imagine a more insufferably liberal response. NPR does not resonate with nor speak to the experiences of most Americans. I think the public used to regard NPR like adult Sesame Street. Now it’s virtue signaling media for those who want to identify as both liberal and intellectual, with people like Steve screaming from the top of his tower to us groundlings that sorry, your perceptions are wrong. Whatever the issues with Uri’s article, he was accurate in assessing how the public views this obviously biased organization that receives public funds.

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Conservatives started talking about virtue signaling instead of virtue after Trump made it ludicrous to talk about virtue anymore.

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I remember finding it vaguely bizarre that an aspect of Bush the Younger's POTUS candidacy which somehow merited broadcasting was how relatable and drink-a-beer-with-able he supposedly was.

salad days . . .

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Ha, yeah, something political consultants were talking about back then. I think most MAGA folk feel Trump is very relatable that way. (Don't think he actually drinks, though. Neither does Biden.)

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FBI had the laptop in 2019. Good research and reporting would have made mention of that, as Redsteeze/Stephen L Miller pointed out. Instead of knee jerk “we don’t publish disinfo” perhaps NPR could have investigated and not suppressed.

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This was the moment I stopped trusting NPR and The Intercept.

I can handle the incessant race baiting, the hours of droning on about inane and asinine culture war nonsense. I can handle LatinX. I can handle the holier-than-thou attitude, and severe lack of multiracial class conscienceness.

But burying a true story right before an election for political reasons was too much. I hated Trump and reviewed the laptop materials in October, and still voted for Biden. But the insane censorship changed how I viewed many publications. I even subscribed to the New York Post for the first time in the aftermath. You might tip the scales of a single election, NPR, but to sacrifice the trust of some segment of your audience to do so is a high price, indeed.

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The FBI wasn't sharing their info with news orgs, and neither was NYP. They had no way to know the story was well founded until later.

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Wrong. They asked Hunter Biden if it was his. He didn't deny it. But instead, every untrustworthy media institution claimed in unison that the story had "all the hallmarks of Russian disinformation."

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Hunter Biden didn't affirm or deny it, he didn't address it at all early on.

But that's not the point. The other outlets didn't have access to the contents of the laptop, to verify and put in context the NYP's stories. The NYP isn't the gold standard of reliability, and even some of their own journalists refused to have their byline on the stories, which were full of spin.

You show your own untrustworthiness when you claim all the media said the laptop story had the hallmarks of disinfo. They mostly didn't claim that. They reported that some experts believed that. Quite plausibly, given the timing.

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You are so dishonest. "Neither confirm now deny" is a spook tactic. If it wasn't his then he would have denied it. He never did, because he knew it was his. This was enough evidence for me to comb through what was published in 2020. I saw those pictures of Hunter Biden smoking crack in October 2020. And you know what? I still voted for Joe. But mainstream journalists performed an act of partisanship and buried the story until after the election, forever tarnishing their reputations.

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Ha, look inward about honesty. You don't say anything that remotely implies any on my part. And now read what I actually said, which you don't reply to.

No, the mainstream media didn't bury the story. It was widely covered in the US press before the election, as you implied yourself in your earlier post. NPR didn't cover it except online, though.

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Then you're literally insane. :)

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I still listen to NPR and read The Intercept. I just don't trust them like I used to, is all.

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Investigate what? The only people with knowledge of the facts weren't willing to share them with any but sources friendly to Trump. That included the NYP. The FBI wasn't making it public either.

Naturally Miller ignored all that.

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What did they suppress? Seriously? Try again.

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“We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just distractions.” Terrence Samuels, NPR’s Managing Editor for News on the NY Post Hunter Biden story. 10/22/2020

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I wouldn’t read the comments. The MAGAs and trolls are swarming. They won’t be happy until NPR is repeating whatever nonsense Fox News and One America are shoveling out. God help us all.

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I am actually concerned that NPR, rather than adhering to objectivity, is simply becoming a blue version of Fox News and OAN. You're either objective, or you're partisan. NPR is choosing to be partisan, which means they can't be objective (just like those right wing media outlets). The problem is that, since their audience are partisan, and partisans think their side is objective, they'll never get the feedback required to course-correct. This is why you must smear critics who seek objectivity as simply being partisans of the other side. That's not necessarily true though.

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I disagree. Fundamentally, conservatives don’t want journalism. They want their “news” to reflect what they already believe to be true. There isn’t any real push by conservatives for better journalism at NPR. It’s just “playing the refs”, trying to steer coverage in a favorable way for their political goals.

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I agree with you. Partisans want partisan news, because they think that's what's objective. There's a reason why they only watch Fox and OAN. But this cuts both ways. LIberals were eager to believe that Donald Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin to win the 2016 election, even though there was no evidence to support that belief. Even after the Mueller report!

Look, I'm an independent. I don't care much for either party. But I want fewer partisan news sources and more objective news sources. I'll still listen to NPR and watch Fox News (am I the only person on earth that does both?) But I can't take what they say at face value, because their objectives are narrative building to bolster their political preferences, not straight reporting of neutral facts.

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Are you really concerned about that?

What’s your evidence showing NPR is being partisan (let alone choosing to be so)?

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Best not to read views one disagrees with! NPR has a serious problem, and it and its core audience prefer to remain in denial about it.

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And that problem is what?

I mean, so far as i know, the only person working at NPR that i have absolute confirmation of them lying to public just quit.

That seems like a good thing. Doesn't it?

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What lie did he tell? Because if you mention the 87 Democrats, you’ve proven you did not read his article. He never said everyone was a Democrat. Just that, out of everyone, there included 87 Dems and 0 Republicans.

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There is an entire article above you to read that specifically explains his lies, and provides evidence about them being lies point by point.

Scroll up. Read it.

Also, at no point did uri present evidence that there were 0 republicans, only that he *found* 0 republicans, but the statement he made was that there were 0 republicans.

"When I suggested we had a diversity problem with a score of 87 Democrats and zero Republicans"-Uri

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Way to take what he said out of context. The context is plenty clear that he wasn't claiming there were no Republicans, only that he didn't find any.

Your own honesty is what you need to focus on first. You have a lot of work to do if you really care about honesty at all.

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my cute little troll is still following me, and still doesn't know how to read. :)

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Sure don't read the comments, turn off the news that upsets you, and stay in your bubble. Do we even need journalism? You can be blissfully ignorant of the evil in the world, even when it is perpetrated by your servants in government.

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Yup. This post was a flystrip for delusional deplorables.

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Judging from this response and others I've seen from NPR staff, Berliner's goal is hopeless. The denial is so deep, they can't even understand the most basic points against them.

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Everyone understands that conservatives will always try to move all levers in society toward their political ends - the courts, the media, the law, public opinion, the executive, etc. Conservatives don’t believe in journalism or diverse viewpoints. It’s all a sham to push for more favorable coverage of their ideology.

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How would that distinguish them from progressives?

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Mr Inskeep, did you receive permission to post this regarding NPR internal dealings, given it's on 'another platform' from NPR?

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Steve, you say: "Is there a “larger point” that too many elite journalists share similar backgrounds, and think the same way in assigning and shaping stories? Yes, I think so, but it’s a subtle issue that has more to do with people’s educations, experiences and associations than with partisan registration."

But the partisan registration matters precisely because it reflects their educations, experiences, and associations, and that's why Uri is right to bring the registrations up. It shapes how the stories themselves are told. This isn't subtle in the least.

I listen extensively to NPR and the local station in my area that carries its shows, and I can tell you that programs like All Things Considered, and Morning Edition, and Here and Now, and On Point consistently frame the news through the lens of:

- Are progressive values being upheld or attacked?

- How will Biden withstand the attacks of Republicans?

- Can Democrats pass the bills they favor or will obstructionist Republicans stop them?

- Look at all the infighting among Republicans. How unhealthy that is.

EVERYTHING is framed through this lens. You don't see it because it's normative to you. No one interviewing a Democrat thinks to challenge them about an issue -- it's taken as a given that their position in the right one, and the only story is the horse race between them and the evil Republican antagonist. It's a rare occurance for a conservative to be given equal air time or treated as if their ideas are just as valid as those of their Democrat colleagues.

Just recently, I listened as Mary Louise Kelly sounded like she was in PAIN learning from a correspondent that Trump's wealth increased through Truth Social's IPO. You have Robin Young on Here and Now affirming that January 6 was an attempted coup as she breathily emotes with interviewees she favors.

When people like Nina Totenberg report on the Supreme Court, it's in the context of the "conservative court," and the used in a way to invalidate it. NPR would NEVER describe a majority liberal court in the same way. Because that would just be normal to you and your listeners.

Your stories frame the abortion issue entirely from the point of view of progressives and not at all through anyone who thinks children are being saved. I'm listening to a teaser right now for a story about guns -- can you guess what the perspective is? Do you think it's interviewing people who believe in gun ownership as a valid right? Not a chance. IT'S ABOUT FRAMING.

And I can't understand what argument you think you're making by contending to a.) be NPA, and b.) that Uri somehow misrepresents the aggregate because of this.

Your "no party" political affiliation hardly proves you to be some open-minded moderate. And even if it did, that would be but one instance in a sea of progressives.

But we can see clearly that the dominance of registered Democrats affects the choice of what stories to cover and how to cover them.

You talk about poor NPR being put-upon by other outlets telling their audiences not to trust you. Steve, NPR does a good job of that all by itself.

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I used to defend my listening to and support of my NPR station by saying certain reporters, like Totenberg who admitted it, are clearly biased, but most of them are not. And most of the short newscasts are factual accounts of what's happening. Like you say, it's all about what is covered, how it's covered, and framing. I stopped listening and donating about ten years ago because NPR just didn't even try to tell both or several sides of stories in longer pieces, two-ways, and analysis. Many reporters routinely decide what viewpoint to promote in a piece BEFORE even starting to gather facts and do interviews. They choose interviewees not based on getting the facts but rather based on getting sound bites to reflect their preconceived ideas about the subject. I appreciate your comment very much!

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I agree that NPR does its best work in the brief news updates between shows and during breaks -- I think that's what you're referencing with regard to the short newscasts. It's the closest to "just the facts" we're going to get.

But as you said, the longer form coverage has the bias baked into it. They know the ideas and people they want to promote and will find the sources that agree with them. It's why the story was chosen for coverage -- to advance a viewpoint. And you won't hear a conflicting POV given equal time.

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The longer form coverage, which NPR doesn't produce?

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I was thinking of the generally 4-5 minute stories broadcast during Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Those are reported and produced by NPR and sometimes by reporters from member stations.

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Yes, and it’s all part of the CPB/NPR space. When listening to 1A, I think of NPR as issues and topics are so often national and global. When listening to The Politics Hour on Friday at Noon, I think of WAMU as issues are very localized to D.C., NoVa and the like.

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Your point about the “conservative court” is perfect. It’s so insidious that people don’t even see it for what it is. When the court was mostly liberal, it was just “the court” , not “the liberal court” to NPR and other MSM, because liberals see liberal news as “normal”. Roe v Wade was never the a political “liberal decision” - it was just a decision. But Dobbs is a “conservative decision”.

There are many other examples… word choices (“anti-abortion rights activists”, presuming that extreme gender ideology is the accepted norm, referring to race in stories only when the victim is a POC or the perpetrator is white, the promotion of lived experience (AKA bias, for God’s sake) in journalism), the elevation of identity over pure facts and objectivity). These choices are not objective… yet they aren’t picked up by typical NPR listeners because, to them, it’s normal. The author of this critique probably doesn’t see the logical errors of bias and subjectivity that others see, because he thinks his subjective choices are objective facts because he lives in the very bubble Mr Berliner criticizes.

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It was a long time ago that the court could be described as liberal, and it was indeed described that way at the time.

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Spot on observation, Butch -- no one in MSM refers to Roe v. Wade as a liberal decision. It's just "the correct decision."

And your observations about how NPR covers race tie into substantive critiques of what "woke" means -- to sacralize those considered to be "marginalized." And this is used over and over by NPR as a means of elevating certain viewpoints: type in "NPR" and "lived experience" in Google and see how often the term makes its way into its news coverage.

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Not true. It has often been described as a decision by a liberal court, but it stood the test of time over many courts and so was accepted as unlikely to change.

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To whatever extent it's acknowledged as a liberal decision, it's done so as a way of affirming its correctness. That it is normative, and thus deserving of credit.

When NPR describes the court as "conservative" it's not doing so in a neutral viewpoint way. It's signaling that the court's decisions are, on that basis, wrong. I've never heard NPR use "liberal court" in the same way it applies "conservative court." The former is used as shorthand for "This was the correct decision," the latter as "This was wrong and based on specious reasoning."

While it isn't a news report, Terri Gross's interview with Adam Cohen on his book "Supreme Inequality" is instructive. Cohen makes reference to the "great liberal court" and "great liberal justice," while his thesis is that the Court is "right wing" and that is, in and of itself, a problem.

He's entitled to feel that way, but NPR platforms him in a way it would never do for someone who thought a left-wing court was a problem. In her "interview," Gross challenges him on nothing. He's on precisely because NPR as an institution agrees with him. That's a problem with an organization that aspires to be a prestige news outlet. It would be fine if we occasionally got a different POV. But that never happens.

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It's telling that NPR used to use the terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice," because those were the labels preferred by each side. That was in keeping with the general policy of using preferred labels. There were endless complaints from NPR listeners about "pro-life" as a label, though not about the equally problematic "pro-choice. (This was back when