June 7, 2005

IS "UNFAIR AND UNBALANCED" REALLY THE SALES PITCH YOU WANT TO GO WITH? (via Matt Murphy):

Leave NPR alone (Anthony S. Brandon, June 6, 2005, Baltimore Sun)

It is important to note that a recent survey of the American public commissioned by the CPB, undertaken jointly by a Republican and a Democratic polling firm, found that "the majority of the U.S. adult population does not believe that the news and information programming on public broadcasting is biased." Specifically, 78 percent of the general respondents indicated that NPR did not have a liberal bias.

In another study, the NPR listening audience identified itself as one-third conservative, one-third independent and one-third liberal. And congressional support for public broadcasting is and always has been bipartisan in nature.

Now The New York Times reports, "An association of news ombudsmen has rejected an attempt by two ombudsmen from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to join their organization as full-fledged members, questioning their independence."

Ironically, the CPB's scrutiny of public radio has a minimal effect on NPR, as CPB funding to NPR is minimal. Rather, it's the individual stations across America that will suffer if the CPB withholds grants to them as a way of protesting perceived NPR biases. [...]

Government tampering with independent journalism is a very bad idea reserved for tyrannical governments. Attempting to inject balance into public broadcasting is an imprudent, and quite possibly dangerous, idea.


Anthony S. Brandon is president and general manager of WYPR-FM, a public radio station serving Maryland.


Because, after all, if the media were balanced conservatives would win.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 7, 2005 12:01 AM
Comments

For Republicans and those who've found themselves veering toward the right of center over the past several years, I don't really see the problem.

Such obstinate lunacy on the part of the MSM---and their continued pride in this lack of sanity---will likely ensure GOP successes for years to come.

That is, until the GOP starts, perhaps inevitably, power being what power is, becoming as unhinged as the Democrats now are.

On the other hand, for those who believe (as all decent Americans must) that a strong opposition is, ultimatley, good for America---and that, conversely, an insane one is very, very bad---these are indeed trying times.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at June 7, 2005 8:35 AM

OJ:

Thanks for posting!

Wow, what a "gotcha," huh? He writes a closing line like that and then wonders why people don't trust public broadcasting? He can't even keep the bias out of his exculpatory pieces!

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 7, 2005 9:33 AM

I seriously doubt that a majority of Americans could even name their local NPR station.

Posted by: Rick T. at June 7, 2005 10:57 AM

Rick -

You're probably right, but that's where our "opinion leaders" get their opinions.

Posted by: ghostcat at June 7, 2005 1:40 PM

Rick: You're probably right. Ours is having a pledge drive -- so, presently, I can even tell you the phone numbers because they're repeated so often.

An unscientific and somewhat biased observation that I wish somebody would officially research: When it comes time to beg for money, the kinds of shows on OPB TV (Oregon Public Broadcasting) veer sharply to the "middle". Am I completely delusional, or has anybody else observed this in his/her city/state?

Posted by: John Resnick at June 7, 2005 1:41 PM

John:

It's mendicant week for the Washington DC PBS station. Last night they ran a program on the life of Pope John Paul II, "Witness to Hope." I assume they decided Paris was worth the Mass. Regular programming will resume after the checks clear. BTW, the hosts for the pitch periods punctuating the broadcast looked terribly awkward proclaiming the program as an example of the fine programming made possible by your contributions, and especially robotic when they pitched Pope things as a reward for a donation. It was a scream.

Posted by: Luciferous at June 7, 2005 2:21 PM

so....it's not just me. I think they've trotted out the Blenko Glass documentary 4 years in a row here.

Posted by: John Resnick at June 7, 2005 2:31 PM
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