National Public Radio



Introduction


NPR, also known as National Public Radio, is an American media organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. Funded by private and public money, NPR programming is syndicated to more than 900 radio stations nationwide and reaches 27 million people a week.[1]

NPR’s on-air personalities often portray stories from a liberal standpoint and do not give equal attention to conservative or free-market opinions. NPR also receives funding from far-left groups that advance a liberal agenda. NPR often portrays conservative leaders, such as former president George W. Bush, in an extremely negative light. For more than 30 years, conservative leaders from Newt Gingrich to Sarah Palin have called for a halt to NPR’s federal funding.


History / Mission


NPR was incorporated in 1970 and hit the airwaves in 1971.[2] NPR started with 90 national “member stations.”[3] In 2010, more than 27 million people per week listened to NPR programming on more than 900 radio stations. NPR member stations pay dues for the right to air NPR programs. NPR stations air music, news, talk, and entertainment programs. Two NPR news shows, Morning Edition and All Things Considered, rate among the most listened-to radio shows in America.[4]


­Taxpayer Funded


American taxpayers provide millions of dollars annually to NPR. Because of this, critics heavily scrutinize NPR’s liberal message. In a statement to Congress, David Boaz of the Cato Institute explained,

We wouldn’t want the federal government to publish a national newspaper. Neither should we have a government television network and a government radio network. If anything should be kept separate from government and politics, it’s the news and public-affairs programming that informs Americans about government and its policies. When government brings us the news – with all the inevitable bias and spin – the government is putting its thumb on the scales of democracy. Journalists should not work for the government. Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize news and public-affairs programming.[5]

NPR replies to critics of its taxpayer funding that only two percent of its funds come from the federal government.[6] NPR is too clever by half. Member station dues account for 40 to 45 percent of NPR’s annual revenue.[7] These member stations are subsidized by local, state, and federal dollars. Benjamin Kerstein of Pajamas Media points out that this is basically “money laundering. Indeed, one imagines there are drug cartels that run more honest operations.”[8] So despite NPR’s false claims, it may fold without public support.


Anti-Christian Rhetoric


NPR has come under fire for anti-Christian comments made by its staff. In 1995, on a broadcast of All Things Considered, NPR commentator Andrie Codescro demeaned millions of Christians who believe in the rapture. Codescro said, “[t]he evaporation of 4 million who believe this crap would leave the world an instantly better place.”[9] In spite of his hate-filled comment and anti-Christian views, NRP did not fire Codescro. In 2010, Codescro also belittled the Tea Party movement, saying, “something called the Tea Party drank all the Kool-Aid in America.”[10]

NPR has mocked Catholicism. In one instance, an NPR affiliate mocked the Eucharist – what Bill Donahue of the Catholic league describes as “the heart and soul of the religion.”[11] NPR radio personalities have also openly wondered whether too many Catholics sit on the Supreme Court.[12]


Anti-Israel Bias


NPR reporting is often sympathetic to Palestinians and simultaneously hostile to Israelis. One NPR employee, foreign editor Loren Jenkins, constantly vilifies Israel. At a February 2009 conference in Aspen, Colorado, Jenkins blamed the stalled Middle East peace process on Israel. He said:[13]
Israel has taken total control and colonized the West Bank — the occupied territories — to such an extent it's unimaginable that you would see a two-state solution at any time in the immediate future or even longer cause they've transformed the situation on the ground with settlements, roads that only Israelis can drive on and the Palestinians are forced to take dirt roads on the side so there — what was once a unified state or territory occupied by Israel since 1967 — is now almost already become colonized by Israel, and it's very hard to imagine that can be resolved when Obama tries. I mean certainly... he's just appointed George Mitchell as a new mediator who's going to go and talk about a peace process, but I don't think there is a peace process. And what one can expect is more conflict and more war.

CAMERA (the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) reporter Andrea Levin wrote:[14]
Jenkins has depicted Israelis as imperialists and interlopers in the Middle East and even linked Jews to Nazis… he wrote, for example, that an Israeli-administered south Lebanon prison was, in the words of a nameless Red Cross official, ‘a concentration camp. There is nothing else to call it.’ PLO leaders, in contrast, were characterized admiringly as freedom-fighters, as ‘modest’ people.

Liberal Funding


NPR has ties to some of the most extreme liberal fringes of American society. In October 2010, George Soros gave NPR $1.8 million on the condition the network hire a new fleet of journalists.[15] Soros also bankrolls teams of employees to watch, record, and transcribe everything that is said or written by conservative commentators in the hope of smearing them. Soros’ political philosophy would require countries to adhere to international laws, rules of conduct, and international institutions. The existence of nation-states contradicts the development of international open society. Soros’ vision, according to Accuracy in Media, “would require terminating U.S. sovereignty, disposing of the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, and Bill of Rights, or at least significant amendments to make them square with open society norms, and reforming the United Nations to facilitate a world socialist governance with the new social-political institutions to enforce its principles, such as the International Criminal Court.”[16]


Liberal Reporting


There is a reason that conservatives call for the NPR’s federal funding to be stripped and liberals do not: NPR presents stories from a left-wing perspective. But it is more than that. PBS employees often display animosity towards conservatives and Republicans. In 1995, NPR commentator Nina Totenberg remarked about former Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), “[i]f there’s retributive justice he’ll get aids from a blood transfusion or one of his grandchildren will get it.”[17] NPR let Totenberg continue on the airwaves.

In the 2008 election, far-left commentator Gwen Ifill moderated a vice presidential debate between Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Sarah Palin. Ifill did not disclose that she had a financial interest, in the form of an upcoming book, in an Obama victory. NPR claimed the situation was “no big deal.” Ifill did not challenge Biden’s numerous gaffes. Two years later, Ifill used social media to mock the former Alaska governor. At a 2010 Tea Party rally, Palin told supporters “[d]on’t party like it’s 1773 yet!”[18] On Twitter Ifill wondered, “What happened in 1773?” and, “Sarah Palin: party like its 1773! ummm.”[19] Ifill, the supposed intellectual, failed to realize that Palin was referencing the 1773 Boston Tea Party, not the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Sarah Spitz, then a producer for NPR affiliate KCRW for the show “Left, Right & Center,” once wrote that if she saw conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh having a heart attack she would “[l]augh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out.”[20] NPR let Spitz keep her job.


­Juan Williams Controversy


On October 20, 2010, NPR fired commentator Juan Williams for comments he made on the Fox News Channel.[21] Appearing on The O’Reilly Factor, Williams responded to a question about terrorism saying, “[b]ut when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they’re identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”[22]

NPR CEO Vivian Schiller did not even give Williams a chance to discuss his comments – she fired him immediately. In a display of extreme pettiness and unprofessionalism, Schiller said that Williams should have kept his feelings between himself and “his psychiatrist or his publicist.”[23]


Leadership (as of August 2011)


Joyce Slocum - Interim President and CEO
Debra Delman - Senior Vice President, Strategic Operations and Finance
Kenneth Stern - Former CEO (2007 Partial Year Salary, $1,319,541)
Ellen Weiss - Former Senior Vice President for News (2007 Salary, $205,314)
Mike Starling - Vice President; Executive Director, NPR Labs (2007 Salary, $171,056)


Contact Information


NPR
635 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Telephone: 202-513-2000
Website: www.npr.org




The National Center For Public Policy Research publishes GroupSnoop. The National Center is a non-profit communications and research foundation that supports free-market and pro-Constitution approaches to today’s policy problems. The National Center is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters, receiving less than one percent of its revenue from corporate sources. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated!

For more information about the National Center For Public Policy Research, please visit our website, or read our blog. To sign up for our email list, go here.

To make suggestions, corrections or to give feedback, please email us.

  1. ^ “Overview and History,” NPR, available at http://www.npr.org/about/aboutnpr/history.html as of August 5, 2011.
  2. ^ “Overview and History,” NPR, available at http://www.npr.org/about/aboutnpr/history.htmlas of August 5, 2011.
  3. ^ “Overview and History,” NPR, available at http://www.npr.org/about/aboutnpr/history.html as of August 5, 2011.
  4. ^ “Overview and History,” NPR, available at http://www.npr.org/about/aboutnpr/history.html as of August 5, 2011.
  5. ^ David Boaz, “Ending Taxpayer Funding for Public Broadcasting,” ­Cato Institute, July 11, 2005, available at http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=12278 as of August 5, 2011. (Note these come from remarks to the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies United States Senate Appropriations Committee).
  6. ^ For example, in its defense of its October 2010 firing of commentator Juan Williams, an NPR blog stated, “NPR, Inc. has received no direct operating support from the federal government since 1983, though about 2% of our annual budget typically comes from competitive grants that are federally funded.” Sana Davis Rehm, “Follow Up on Recent Events,” NPR Blog, October 28, 2010, available at http://www.npr.org/blogs/thisisnpr/2010/10/28/130898645/follow-up-on-recent-eventsas of August 5, 2011.
  7. ^ Benjamin Kerstein, “NPR and the Liberal Subculture that Worships It,” Pajamas Media, October 30, 2010, available at http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/npr-and-the-liberal-subculture-that-worships-it/as of August 5, 2011.
  8. ^ Benjamin Kerstein, “NPR and the Liberal Subculture that Worships It,” Pajamas Media, October 30, 2010, available at http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/npr-and-the-liberal-subculture-that-worships-it/ as of August 5, 2011.
  9. ^ L.D. Breen, “NPR Keeps Commentator Who Offended Christians,” Newsmax, October 22, 2010, available at http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/Andrei-Codrescu-juan-williams/2010/10/22/id/374538 as of August 5, 2011.
  10. ^ L.D. Breen, “NPR Keeps Commentator Who Offended Christians,” Newsmax, October 22, 2010, available at http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/Andrei-Codrescu-juan-williams/2010/10/22/id/374538 as of August 5, 2011.
  11. ^ “Catholic League President Spars With NPR Over Religious Double Standard Charge,” Catholic News Agency, October 29, 2010, available at http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/catholic-league-president-spars-with-npr-over-religious-double-standard-charge/as of August 5, 2011.
  12. ^ “Catholic League President Spars With NPR Over Religious Double Standard Charge,” Catholic News Agency, October 29, 2010, available at http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/catholic-league-president-spars-with-npr-over-religious-double-standard-charge/ as of August 5, 2011.
  13. ^ Andrea Levin, “NPR Editor Jenkins Blames Israel for ME Deadlock,” Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, March 31, 2009, available at http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=4&x_outlet=28&x_article=1650 as August 5, 2011.
  14. ^ Andrea Levin, “NPR Editor Jenkins Blames Israel for ME Deadlock,” Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, March 31, 2009, available at http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=4&x_outlet=28&x_article=1650 as August 5, 2011.
  15. ^ James Hyde, “Is NPR Partnering With Soros in His War on Fox News?,” The Washington Examiner, October 29, 2010, available at https://www.examiner.com/political-buzz-in-national/is-npr-partnering-with-soros-his-war-on-fox-newsas of August 5, 2011.
  16. ^ Robert Chandler, “How Obama Revolution Came to America,” Accuracy in Media, April 6, 2009, available at http://www.aim.org/aim-report/how-obama-revolution-came-to-america/ as of August 5, 2011.
  17. ^ James Hyde, “Is NPR Partnering With Soros in His War on Fox News?,” The Washington Examiner, October 29, 2010, available at https://www.examiner.com/political-buzz-in-national/is-npr-partnering-with-soros-his-war-on-fox-news as of August 5, 2011.
  18. ^ Armstrong Williams, “Liberals: Open Mouth, Insert Foot,” The Hill, October 26, 2010, available at http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/national-party-news/125813-liberals-open-mouth-insert-footas of August 5, 2011.
  19. ^ Armstrong Williams, “Liberals: Open Mouth, Insert Foot,” The Hill, October 26, 2010, available at http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/national-party-news/125813-liberals-open-mouth-insert-foot as of August 5, 2011.
  20. ^ Jonathan Strong, “Liberal Journalists Suggest Government Censor Fox News,” The Daily Caller, July 21, 2010, available at http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/21/liberal-journalists-suggest-government-shut-down-fox-news/#ixzz0uLwrfUQH as of August 5, 2011.
  21. ^ Paul Fahri, “Juan Williams at Odds With NPR Over Dismissal,” The Washington Post, October 22, 2010, available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/21/AR2010102101474.html as of August 5, 2011.
  22. ^ Paul Fahri, “Juan Williams at Odds With NPR Over Dismissal,” The Washington Post, October 22, 2010, available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/21/AR2010102101474.html as of August 5, 2011.
  23. ^ Paul Fahri, “Juan Williams at Odds With NPR Over Dismissal,” The Washington Post, October 22, 2010, available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/21/AR2010102101474.html as of August 5, 2011.