Column on A Blatant Lie at The New York Times

A Blatant Lie at The New York Times

Tibor R. Machan

Nearly every day I check out The New York Times
on line and there is no doubt in my mind that the paper is firmly
partisan in favor of egalitarian and other mostly Leftist causes, as
well as, of course, the politicians who promote them.  The paper just
the other day editorialized about how fair and balanced are NPR and PBS.
 Poppycock!

I
do not follow NPR–National Public Radio–except when I am on the road
driving a rented car, which happens to be quite often.  (I call these my
masochistic hours because, well, NPR irritates me to no end.) First of
all, the fact that it gets money from the government, money extorted
from me and millions of other citizens, is an unforgivable vice of the
outfit (as it is of any other that takes part in such a policy, such as
PPS, various corporations and individuals on the dole, etc.). I would
have no interest in any broadcasters using “public” funds to support
what they do even if their reporting and other programming were
impeccable other then for purposes of keeping my fingers on the pulse of
the nation.  (Some of the music on NPR stations is, actually,
excellent!) But in addition to using extorted funds to support its
programming, NPR’s various news and reportorial programs are about as
partisan as
The New York Times if not more so–say like what is found in The Nation.

Take
their “Fresh Air” segment in which one of their highly polished
interviewers finds a favored author or other public intellectual to toss
softballs to–reminding me of the saying “throwing Christians to
Christians” or something. Hardly any scrutiny is shown of those who
champion yet another government program promoting some Left of Center or
Left Wing program.  The books “reviewed” are always friends to statism
and on the few occasions that a book is examined with a free market
theme, it is confronted with searching questions mostly about how awful
it is that freedom makes it possible to neglect the poor and needy and
noble causes like the greening of the globe.  

NPR’s
staff has absolutely no concern about the heavy hand of government
except in cases where it is deployed against terrorist suspects or their
defenders.  NPR’s minimum support for individual liberty focuses mainly
on the press, although given its own reliance on government subsidies
it understandably doesn’t address the matter in great depth.  

Now
my exposure to NPR is not continuous, so I am not able to swear to it
that the outfit is uniformly partisan in favor of more government, of
statism.  But my sample is a pretty good one, especially when you add to
my exposure to NPR during my preiPod years–when, as I have already
noted, I liked the classical music, jazz, and blues many of the stations
offered, especially when their home was some university or college
campus.  This, by the way, is another insidious aspect of NPR, its
intimate relationship with university and college radio programming
where it is beaming propaganda to young people as if it were
scientifically established truth.

In
America’s mixed political economy NPR is no big surprise and if it were
not a matter of corrupting news reporting and commentary, it would not
amount to something especially hazardous to the country.  After all, so
many other institutions–think of virtually all public education, from
elementary to post graduate varieties–are infected with the statist
point of view!  (Arguably the first item on the agenda to turn the
country toward greater loyalty to its initial classical liberal politics
and culture would be to eliminate its virtually fully socialized
educational system.)

Yet contrary to the recent editorial lie in The New York Times,
NPR is really quite a corrosive feature of the country.  Not only is
its nearly one-sided viewpoint statist to the core–more so that Fox TV
news is right wing but which notably has plenty of competitors out
there; there is also its annoying snootiness.  Has anyone ever
encountered someone with a Southern accent on an NPR station (apart from
some special guest, a novelist or poet from a place such as New
Orleans)? I certainly haven’t.

If
I am not mistaken much of European journalism is unabashedly partisan
and this futile effort to uphold the standard of neutrality in America’s
media just makes little sense.  People are always involved in taking
sides on various topics and to attempt to purge the news medial of this
is hopeless.  

The
one sound way to address the matter of balance is via competition and
that is just what NPR opposes from its ideological stance but also has
no way of practicing, what with its special advantage of receiving
extorted funds from the government!

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