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Am I The Only One?

Monday, August 16, 2004

Spin The Dial

I have always enjoyed listening to National Public Radio (NPR). While other stations have 10 to 15 second news stories followed by minutes of commercials, NPR has thoughtful and colorful 8 minute news stories that truly give the listener a greater understanding of the issues.

However, NPR's left-wing bias is heavy, permeating, and rather obvious. It's the price we centrists have to pay for good news coverage, and generally I find it an acceptable trade-off. And it wouldn't be so hard to stomach if NPR didn't look the other way when the subject turns to bias.

Case in point: Jeffrey Dvorkin, the ombudsman for NPR's listeners, who writes a column for NPR.com addressing NPR's journalistic bias. You might want to grab some popcorn before reading his articles because it's quite a show.

In Internal Contradictions at NPR?, Dvorkin agrees with a letter-writer who objects to NPR's use of the term "transfer of sovereignty" in Iraq, because Iraq was technically sovereign before last June and therefore "the [Bush] Administration has used this terminology, even though its lawyers know it is wrong, to make ... us look good by doing a favor for Iraq."

Dvorkin is probably revealing his truest feelings in Is FAIR Being Fair About NPR?, gently challenging a study by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), a left-wing action group accusing NPR of, yes, a conservative bias:
FAIR is concerned whether the pendulum has swung too far [to the right]. That's my concern as well. I think it may have and NPR needs to do a better job in general and especially in an election year -- to make sure that the range is both wide and deep.

Sorry. I should have warned you not to take a sip of coffee before reading that quote.

I could go on, but instead I am going to try a small experiment. I will take a random sample from NPR (taken most likely from my morning drive in to work) and post it on this blog, and over time we will see if a bias emerges. Of course, this experiment itself is biased since it relies on my interpretation, but what the heck. It's my blog.


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