Saturday, March 12, 2011

I Didn't Say It, I Didn't Mean It, and Anyway It's the Truth!

I'm listening right now to Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!, NPR's light-hearted quiz show about current events, and it brings home to me all over again how worthless NPR is.

There's already evidence that James O'Keefe's latest "sting" involved dishonest and distorting editing of the source material. Given his record, no one should be surprised. The depressing thing to me, despite my distaste for NPR, is how liberals keep backing down every time they get into trouble. That applies to freshly resigned CEO Vivian Schiller, to the journalistic staff at NPR who wrote a distraught Open Letter to denounce former VP for Development Ron Schiller for doing "real damage to NPR", and to Wait, Wait host Peter Sagal, who kept assuming a defensive stance on the scandal. I suppose he has no choice if he wants to keep his job, but he's also supposed to be doing comedy.

At one point, Sagal mentioned that right-wing pundit Juan Williams was fired last year during Fund Drive. Sagal treated this as self-defeating behavior, but why didn't the supposedly left-wing Politically Correct NPR base give them more money? The same goes for Ron Schiller's alleged remarks about the Republican Party and the Tea Party, which in context went like this (bold type is Weigel's):
SCHILLER: I won't break a confidence, but a person who was an ambassador -- so, a very highly placed Republican -- another person, who was one of the top donors to the Republican party, they both told me they voted for Obama, which they never believed they could ever do in their lives. That they could ever vote for a Democrat, ever. And they did, because they think the current Republican party is not really the Republican Party. It's been hijacked by this group that...

"MUSLIM": The radical, racist, Islamophobic, Tea Party people?

SCHILLER: Exactly. And not just Islamophobic, but really xenophobic. Basically, they believe in white, middle America, gun-toting -- I mean, it's pretty scary. They're seriously racist, racist people.
Leave aside what others have already pointed out -- that Schiller is not a journalist; that (unlike Williams) he didn't make these remarks on the air but in a private meeting with potential donors who could be supposed not to be rabid Republicans; and that, as this fuller quotation shows, he was at least hiding behind the views of certain Republicans who don't like the turn their party has taken. (Hardly a secret, let alone scandalous, given the number of such people who endorsed Obama in 2008 for just those reasons.) Even if Schiller stated his personal views, aren't they totally in agreement with the stereotypical NPR listener's worldview? Why isn't NPR being deluged with calls from angry liberals who want Ron Schiller given a regular spot on All Things Considered?