Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

October 22, 2009

EVEN NPR.... Ken Rudin is the political editor for NPR. To see him swallow the latest Republican attack meme whole is more than a little painful. Here's his commentary on "Talk of the Nation" yesterday, complaining about the White House's criticism of Fox News.

"Well, it's not only aggressive, it's almost Nixonesque. I mean, you think of what Nixon and Agnew did with their enemies list and their attacks on the media and certainly Vice President Agnew's constant denunciation of the media. Of course, then it was a conservative president denouncing a liberal media, and of course, a lot of good liberals said, 'Oh, that's ridiculous. That's an infringement on the freedom of press.' And now you see a lot of liberals almost kind of applauding what the White House is doing to Fox News, which I think is distressing."

I'd like to think Ken Rudin knows better. I expected too much.

Now would be an excellent time for a reality break. Has the Obama White House ordered the Justice Department to spy on Fox News employees? Has the administration ordered the IRS to start digging through Fox News' books, hunting for irregularities and auditing on-air personalities? Has the president directed thugs to break into Glenn Beck's psychiatrist's office?

Of course not, that would be insane. And so is this comparison.

Nixon used the power of the presidency to harass, intimidate, and investigate those who questioned him. It was as scandalous an abuse as the nation has ever seen -- the White House used the levers of government to attack independent news outlets.

And what as the Obama team done? They've dared to point out a simple reality: an obviously-partisan propaganda outlet in not a legitimate news organization. That's it. That's the totality of the White House's efforts -- criticizing a network that operates as an arm of a political party. There's no boycott, no punishment, no vendetta. All we have here are some White House aides who've criticized a network.

And Ken Rudin, Ruth Marcus, and others are comfortable comparing this to Nixon's illegal abuses and "enemies lists."

As manufactured outrages go, this is truly ridiculous, even for a shallow Washington media establishment.

For years, Republicans have been on the attack -- against the media in general, and a handful of outlets in specific. GOP leaders and officials have boycotted news outlets they don't like; they've attacked networks they believed to biased; and they've routinely snubbed those whose coverage they disapproved of. The last White House went after NBC News, even from the briefing room's podium. Republican disgust for the media has been a staple of American politics for what seems like forever. Ken Rudin, Ruth Marcus, and others never once compared this to Nixon-era abuses.

And yet, when the White House dares to offer mild and accurate criticism, the political establishment not only throws a fit to defend a sorry excuse for a journalistic enterprise, it embraces a nonsensical comparison to a former president/criminal.

It's incomprehensible. Ken Rudin ought to be embarrassed.

Update: Rudin apologized this afternoon. Good for him.

Steve Benen 8:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (113)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Television and radio aren't the press.

Posted by: par4 on October 22, 2009 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

If Ken Rudin were capable of embarrassment, Nice Polite Republicans wouldn't be the clusterfuck that it is.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on October 22, 2009 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

We must remember that most of the "Illiterati" were in diapers when Nixon was running rough shod over the Constitution.

Remember, too, that style, not substance reigns in the media today. . .

Posted by: DAY on October 22, 2009 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

Steve LaBonne's right. NPR's been a right-trending mess for years. It's frightening how infrequently it gets noticed.

Posted by: Kevin Ray on October 22, 2009 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

typo: "an obviously-partisan propaganda outlet in not a legitimate news organization" should be "an obviously-partisan propaganda outlet is not a legitimate news organization"

Posted by: sleepy_commentator on October 22, 2009 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

I'm shocked -- shocked! -- to learn that NPR is uncritically regurgitating Republican talking points.

This year I finally decided to withhold my contributions to my local NPR stations. I know I can always tune to Morning Edition or All Things Considered to find out what the Republicans think about anything, but I'm danmned if I'm going to pay for that dubious privilege.

Posted by: Gregory on October 22, 2009 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

Urgh. The other annoying GOP meme is that any sort of criticism = oppression of their free speech rights. Seriously? These folks really don't understand much.

Sorry, fellas, but your GOP propaganda network is not a "news" organization. It might irk you that the Obama Administration is pointing that simple, plain truth out, but that doesn't make his White House abusive. I just wish all the dems would get on board and say the same damn thing.

Posted by: zoe kentucky on October 22, 2009 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

The Obama White House is going against some deep-seated cardinal rules;
1) IOKIYAR
2) Democrats must play nice, stay in lines when colouring; Re-pukes can do whatever they want.
etc... etc.. etc.. ad nauseum

Posted by: sduffys on October 22, 2009 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

Great work Steve, I hope "our" talking heads will point this out again and again! Also we should call their "Nixonian" and raise them William Randolph Hearst, re: Fox news & owner Rupert Murdoch.

Just give the folks a gentle reminder that blatant partisan demagoguery used to be unpopular for a reason: It fucks up the country and pushes us all into making bad decisions.

No surprise though that the MSM are itching to whore up for that juicy teabagger market.

Posted by: Danny on October 22, 2009 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

I have been listening to NPR for a long, long time. It deeply saddens me to see it fall so far from truly objective, fact-based reporting and analysis. There is almost no reason to listen anymore. Bush's governance changes ruined it.

So ditto what Gregory said: "This year I finally decided to withhold my contributions to my local NPR stations. I know I can always tune to Morning Edition or All Things Considered to find out what the Republicans think about anything, but I'm danmned if I'm going to pay for that dubious privilege."

Posted by: wvng on October 22, 2009 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans' criticisms of Obama should be seen as a pre-emptive cover for future misdeeds. When they're back in power, their to-do list would make the KGB look like Habitats Fou Humanity. They'll compile an enemies list that would make a Manhattan phone book like the size of Michael Cazale's filmography, and wouldn't you know it, they'll all have suspected terrorist ties & deserve constant monitoring. And when truth-seekers and the few honest souls in the media dare to point this out, the right (including NPR) will dismiss it as tit-for-tat: "Aaaah, nothing more than sour grapes, accusing President Republican of everything we told you Obama did" with no discussion of whether or not it was true then or now. IT'S JUST POLITICS! IT'S A GAME! And th only ones who ever take it seriously are the losers. God & FSM help us all.

Posted by: slappy magoo on October 22, 2009 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

NPR was taken over by Republican apparatchiks during the last administration, at least that is what I remember being reported at the time. Well apparatchiks matter. Ken Ruden is just saying what he is told to say. Remember Juan Williams other job is doing the bidding of Fox News.

Posted by: Ron Byers on October 22, 2009 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

Conflation = facts
Poutrage = humility
Condescending patronizing = wisdom

Posted by: FRP on October 22, 2009 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

Steve - You shouldn't be shocked by NPR. During the Bush years, they were so under pressure by Republicans that they have become foxified in many respects. Maura Liason, Juan Williams, Cokey Roberts, etc. It is news organization infiltrated by villagers. Villagers are distinctly neocon creatures these days. NPR used to be opinion free, or at least provide good perspective, e.g. David Brooks/EJ Dione. Now, not so much. You shouldn't have expected so much, but I understand your disappointment.

Posted by: Scott F. on October 22, 2009 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

I'm old enough to remember the glory days of the Nixon administration's glory days. The Obama administration's snark at FOX wouldn't be worth a popcorn fart to John Mitchell, Bob Haldemann, or John Ehrlichman.

When it comes to enemies' lists, Nixon is still the One.

Posted by: Mustang Bobby on October 22, 2009 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

the glory days of the Nixon administration's glory days.

Department of Redundancy Department here....

Posted by: Mustang Bobby on October 22, 2009 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Ken Rudin is the biggest worshiper of D.C. conventional wisdom in today's media. He doesn't do analysis; he just regurgitates what the Beltway establishment already said.

Posted by: Backbencher on October 22, 2009 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

This Nixon comparison is part of a longer-term strategy, I believe. Bushies have burrowed into all the departments, especially Defense, DHS and CIA. As leaks come out, if the administration starts trying to find the sources, especially in the Matt Cooper/Judy Miller fashion, the media is prepared to use the Nixon card.

Posted by: Danp on October 22, 2009 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

If you're surprised by him parroting the meme, then you haven't been listening to him throughout the Bush years. I actually stopped listening to that segment of Talk of the Nation a couple of years ago, because there was no balance. I listen to NPR for balance, for informed discussion of two sides. In every TOTN that Rudin appeared in, there was no balance. He's the "expert" and the moderator of that show doesn't have the wisdom to call him on it when he strays off the informed path.

Posted by: Bobbi on October 22, 2009 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

Has the Obama White House ordered the Justice Department to spy on Fox News employees? Has the administration ordered the IRS to start digging through Fox News' books, hunting for irregularities and auditing on-air personalities? Has the president directed thugs to break into Glenn Beck's psychiatrist's office?

We don't know. And that's part of the problem. The liberal media won't investigate Obama like it did with Nixon.

And to be honest, the White House's beef shouldn't be with Fox; it should be with the bloggers and indy media that are exposing stories that the White House doesn't like. The White House is mad at Fox because Fox will give airtime to a story like the ACORN scandal when the rest of the MSM will ignore it, ala Charlie Gibson.

And that's the real problem. Fox now has broken the MSM's ability to filter the news to the public. Fox will run news that the others will omit. Bah, you say. The LA Times sat on a story - and video - of Obama attending a dinner to feter Rashid Khalidi, a known anti-Semite and former PLO operative. The LAT said it wasn't "newsworthy."

Well Fox might not agree and run it. And that's what upsets the White House. Fox just didn't get the memo: no stories or scoops to embarrass Obama or the White House.

The last White House went after NBC News, even from the briefing room's podium. Republican disgust for the media has been a staple of American politics for what seems like forever.

Did the Bush White House say NBC was not a news organization?

Republicans have been disgusted with the media because the media is liberal. Now that one - just one - news organization isn't liberal, you progressives are going apeshit. Gee, now you may know why Republicans have been disgusted with the liberal MSM for years.

Posted by: Sully on October 22, 2009 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

frankly, any village magpie who has invoked the name 'nixon' in the past week has shown him/herself to be an easily manipulated tool of the gop. how odd that so many people have suddenly realized that barack obama is just like tricky dick.

Posted by: linda on October 22, 2009 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

That strikes me as a highly likely incremental policy of deflection . Pointing at the historically infamous republican thugs , while tsk tsking pointedly at normal things , normal humans , are saying and doing .

Posted by: FRP on October 22, 2009 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

you progressives are going apeshit.

As opposed to Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michele Bachmann, Michelle Malkin, Steve Doocy, and Ann Coulter, who are all the souls of tact and restraint.

Posted by: Mustang Bobby on October 22, 2009 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

The proof is in the Fox-fix

Benen: Ken Rudin is the political editor for NPR. To see him swallow the latest Fox-Republican attack meme whole is more than a little painful.

Remember yesterday's Mini-report had a pretty good video showing how Fox is driving this new republican party meme. Which of course, proves the very point the Obama Administration is making...

Posted by: koreyel on October 22, 2009 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

Well Fox might not agree and run it. Fox just didn't get the memo: no stories or scoops to embarrass Obama or the White House.-Sully

Bwahaahahaaahaa.

Sully is trying hard to be "Exhibit A" in the alternate universe that is Republicanism.

Posted by: oh my on October 22, 2009 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

Oh man... You think Beck has a psychiatrist? Pull the other one, it has bells on

Posted by: Finnigan on October 22, 2009 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

The problem with the Republican take over of NPR is that it further limits the broadcast spectrum choices for centrists, liberals and progressives. It limits the ability of the these groups to get out their message to those with limited access to the internet. It makes the neo-Thug message the only message those without internet access can hear. That makes the neo-Randethal message the only message in town. Not good for centrists, liberals and progressives.

Don't contribute, until they fix NPR.

Posted by: anomaly on October 22, 2009 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Even NPR?! Ever heard the lead-in to Rudin's show? A handful of inspiring Republican voices with their most notable quotes, followed up by the Dean Scream. Ruden is a Villager, first and foremost. And I think the reason the Village is so up in arms over this, is that they see it as a Niemoeller Moment; "First they came for Fox, and I said nothing, for I was not a helmet-haired GOP talking head...."

Posted by: biff3000 on October 22, 2009 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

That's because Ken Ruden has and all of these others who are screaming are really just outing themselves as plants. Ideological soulmates of the Fox crowd who are just playing the journalism game. They really should be a bit more circumspect.

Posted by: SW on October 22, 2009 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

NPR -- Not Pertinent Radio. Everything you don't need to know put in a boring package.

Posted by: candideinnc on October 22, 2009 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

Fox will run news that the others will omit.

Yes indeedy! Courageously promoting their own tea-bagging rallies, while other networks eschew them.

Posted by: g on October 22, 2009 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

There is no fixing NPR until the Republican apparatchiki are removed from the front office.

By the way, I don't want the Republican hacks replaced by Democratic hacks. I want my NPR back. I want a place I can go to listen to the news unfiltered by either party.

Posted by: Ron Byers on October 22, 2009 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Conflating real things with the dangerous piffle found in the ordinary dreck of right wing propaganda is an endless well of funding for professional dissemblers and liars .
The more polished of these viral pests include merely anecdotal ranting as argument . A saucy fillip of indignant concern providing nothing but apples and some dull inedible else as comparable . Hilarious , if only not so dull .

Posted by: FRP on October 22, 2009 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Do you hear baseball players constantly complain about George Steinbrenner? Why not? Because one day they may get a call from their agent telling them they have been traded to the Yankees, or that the Yankees have bid the highest for their services.

It is 2009 the media world is in complete free fall. News Corp. represents the only game in town. Rupert Murdoch controls much of the airwaves, the advertising you see in your grocery store, the music you listen to, etc.

Rupert Murdoch may deal in sleaze, but he has become the "Yankees" because a large segment of America loves Fox News, Walmart, American Idol and Britney Spears.

Ken Rudin was engaging in career protection -- because there is no one left to hire him other than Murdoch. Get used to it, it will be this way for a long time to come.

Posted by: Joesbrain on October 22, 2009 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

not to put too fine a point on this, but npr
got a $200 million dollar endowment from ray
kroc's widow (mcdonalds) in 2002/3.
perish the thought, but was this disguised right
wing think-tank money? it's too neat, and npr
had been trending right for years before that, but has
anybody got any info on this?

Posted by: daveminnj on October 22, 2009 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Mr. Rudin must be younger than I am, because I clearly remember how the Nixon White House went after reporters and newspapers it didn't like. And just to remind Mr. Rudin and others who don't quite remember those years, Nixon especially targeted news organizations that uncovered wrong-doing in his administration (e.g., the WaPo, back when it was a real newspaper and covered stories like Watergate). What Obama is doing with Fox is merely pointing out that the sky is blue. Obama is not even in the same universe of paranoia and venality as Nixon.

Posted by: Frankie T. on October 22, 2009 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

Remember, folks:

When a Republican is in charge during the largest attack on U.S. soil ... violates the Fourth Amendment and wiretaps every American ... orders torture in violation of federal and international law ... lies when leading us into war ... and wastes trillions in tax breaks and military spending ... he's a fiscally-responsible tough guy who's keeping us safe.

But when a Democrat wants to provide health care to everyone ... promotes volunteerism ... wants to spend money fixing our own nation ... and thinks negotiations are usually better than bombs ... then he's an Islamofascistisocialistmarxist who is just like Hitler.

So it's no surprise that when a Democrat merely points out undeniable fact about a network -- all while admitting that the President would still do interviews with that network -- that's the same as trying to destroy people's lives simply because they wrote something bad about you.

Just like it's not shock they ignore the fact that the previous guy froze out and loudly criticized a network.

Because, you know, since he was a Republican, it's totally okay.

Posted by: Mark D on October 22, 2009 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Its fall campaign time at NPR. Please all, withold your contributions if you find Rudin's rethuglican leanings distasteful.

Posted by: buddym on October 22, 2009 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

Both NPR and PBS have seen their actual government funding cut to a pittance, and now both subsist in large part on corporate donations. It's hardly surprising both now reflect a conservative business-friendly viewpoint.

I think if public broadcasting is to survive as public broadcasting, then more public and less corporate money ought to be supporting it. If we put in, say, what we spend on a day's worth Iraq and Afghanistan, we could actually have something worth watching/listening to. If we aren't willing to do that we ought to stop the pretense and cut them loose from public funding, so they can become the unabashedly private enterprises they've been morphing into for years.

Posted by: jimBOB on October 22, 2009 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

Ken Rudin made his remarks and labeled them as commentary. He needn't be "embarrassed" for expressing an opinion that differs with Steve Benen. If you listened to the actual news report from NPR on this subject, you would never guess Rudin's feelings about it.

NPR is one of the few places left where you can hear different points of view. The comments on this blog are great examples of why that is becoming so very rare.

Posted by: reader on October 22, 2009 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

"Even NPR." Why not NPR? This is exactly why it's such a bad idea for NPR to employ people like Juan Williams and Mara Liasson. Not just because those people are uninformed beltway twits, but because those people compromise NPR's independence as a news organization. And this is precisely the reason I don't give to my local NPR station anymore, even though it's otherwise a good station, and although NPR news does a good job in other areas. There's no other way for me to indicate to them that they don't do a good job of serving their membership when it comes to political news.

Posted by: Christopher on October 22, 2009 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

It's incomprehensible.

No it's not. It's SOP.

Have you forgotten Judith Miller already?

biff300 hit the nail -- rest of the SCLM is afraid of being outed as the wingnut hacks they are.

Posted by: Disputo on October 22, 2009 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

NPR is one of the few places left where you can hear different points of view. The comments on this blog are great examples of why that is becoming so very rare.

Sure, except for when it comes to American politics and domestic policy. For the last six months NPR has been running one long apologia for the insurance industry.

Posted by: Christopher on October 22, 2009 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

When they canned Bob Edwards it was clear the Republicans had taken over the management of NPR.

Not until Cokie Roberts and Juan Williams are canned will I give another dime to public radio.

Posted by: David W. on October 22, 2009 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans have a severe allergy to the truth and the reaction to it is unknown at times. The best remedy for them is a shot of Fox. Of course, if they take a little too much, the result is feeling so giddy they feel they can do and say anything, and they do, without fear of being scolded or corrected.
On another note, I remember when Nixon was in office. He was so paranoid, thinking there was a spook (spy) in every corner and everyone was out to get him, I'm surprised he could do anything besides play "I spy".
And I'm still trying to figure out why the Bush administration needed a warrantless wiretap. They always got the warrant afterwards anyway so what was the reason for it being warrantless? Do I sense a little of the Nixon paranoia there or have all republicans gotten like that?

Posted by: Schtick on October 22, 2009 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

What you may consider a "wingnut hack" is now a "journalist". You may not like, hell anyone with a brain won't like it, but that is the current model.

L.A. Times editor: “The gateway to survival is Jon and Kate, Balloon Boy and Glenn Beck."

That's the world we live in because most people are not willing to pay for newspapers, books, music or films (unless there is fake butter on the popcorn and gum under the seats).

Everyone here decries the media: well, I guess that means you are not the target audience, right?

As a journalist for over 30 years, I'm not blind to what is happening to the media. It is moving to where the money is because there is zero dollars to be made in smart, objective reporting. The $$ is made creating the next Glenn Beck, not the next David Halberstam.

Want to prove me wrong? Go out and buy a newspaper. Not a copy of a newspaper, but the paper itself. Got a few million lying around? I thought not. Murdoch does, however.

Posted by: Joesbrain on October 22, 2009 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

I feel a big loss for what has happened to PBS and NPR. Its so depressing to listen to them that I don't. I do not know whether it is possible to fix them so they no longer list so far to the right. Twenty five years ago, reporters and experts were just that. Now, they are primarily media types (can't call them stars) looking to protect their franchise\revenue streams (and that of their similarly employed spouses). Their public role -- that's protected by the constitution -- is an inconvenient afterthought.

Posted by: steve on October 22, 2009 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

The press has changed since then. Nixon hated the REAL press, actual reporters, not entertainment talking heads that pass for the press now.

Posted by: Lilybart on October 22, 2009 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Rudin is terrible. He evidences every problem the Villagers have.

My membership to my local NPR station was up 9/30 and on Tuesday, right in the middle of the on-air campaign they are running, I mailed the renewal form they sent me with a note that they would not see one more penny from me and specifically cited the whole issue with being unable to call torture torture. I am so glad I did it.

Posted by: Napoleon on October 22, 2009 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Commenters on his own blog excoriate him as well. He posted this:

Ken Rudin (kenpr) wrote:
E Smith: My comparisons of Obama to Nixon on Talk of the Nation were perhaps ill-conceived and a bit over the top. I'm going to write up a more comprehensive (and coherent) post on the White House vs. Fox controversy tomorrow.

too late now, though...

Posted by: Marty on October 22, 2009 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Joesbrain -

The decline of news organizations began well before the internet came along. Ever heard of "corporate consolidation"?


.

Posted by: spork_incident on October 22, 2009 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

I haven't seen any comment here about the guest in the Ken Rudin segment (I've forgotten his name), who made all of the same points, which Ken Rudin then dutifully repeated and agreed with.

The sound of heads getting simultaneously and mutually inserted up behinds was deafening.

Posted by: JCB on October 22, 2009 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

Rudin's always been a bootlicker for the right. When Bush went to Houston a couple of weeks after Katrina and made inappropriate remarks meant to be joke, Rudin went on the air visibly relieved that Bush had gotten his mojo back. Rudin was used to pushing the Bush as popular, folksy leader meme, and with that meme imploding he was totally bewildered.

Posted by: Steve on October 22, 2009 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

OF COURSE Ruden thinks there should be no consequences for LYING TO VIEWERS AND CALLING IT NEWS! He's the political editor of NPR, and NPR has made LYING TO VIEWERS AND CALLING IT NEWS a feature not a bug.

Ruden, like his NPR news, is callow, has become shallow, and wouldn't know it or care if he and it were overrun by Republican/corporate propaganda and became a mockery of its glory years that lasted a whole couple of years in the mid to latter 1970s.

NPR and Ruden suck, because they are corporate-dependent, and therefore locked in a repeat-history box canyon on continuous tape loop of dissembling, equivocation, and corporate obeisance. That is how Ruden was hired in the first place - BECAUSE HE IS PERFECTLY AOK WITH MILQUETOAST FALSE-EQUIVALENCE BENDING OF REALITY TO FIT THE CORPORATE VIEW OF WHAT THE NEWS SHOULD SOUND LIKE.

Congratulations, NPR. You have made yourself into an object of scorn to most of the nation. The only avoidance of and solution to that would have been/would be to give straight news to the country. But you can't because your corporate overlords, er sponsors, won't let you.

Posted by: News Nag on October 22, 2009 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Joesbrain,

I reject the premise that newspapers have to *now* go where the dollars are. They've been doing it for years. Additionally, newspapers were, like the rest of the country, confronted with two different realities--one reality that was true, the other that was fantasy. The press decided the best course of action was to give credence to both, lest some right wing nutjobs get pissed off.

No, I don't subscribe to my hometown newspaper (LA Times). I get better coverage of what I'm interested in--politics, sports, entertainment and yes, local news--from the web.

Posted by: sb on October 22, 2009 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Tell you what. Have MSNBC hire James Carville as their managing editor. If Republicans can keep their mouth shut about it for 12 months, Obama apologizes for saying bad things about Fox.

Posted by: Art Hackett on October 22, 2009 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

OF course when the Bush Administration did things that were truly Nixonesque--using private telecoms to spy on US citizens, refusing to submit to the rule of law, uwsing the Justice Dept to conduct political vendettas, etc--these same idiots rushed to its defense. Which, if you are old enough to remember Watergate, most of the press did, too, until John Dean started singing.

Plus ca change.

Posted by: Qbert on October 22, 2009 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

when the White House dares to offer mild and accurate criticism, the political establishment not only throws a fit to defend a sorry excuse for a journalistic enterprise, it embraces a nonsensical comparison to a former president/criminal.

It's incomprehensible.

Um, take a look at the people who sign their paychecks, and tell me again that it's "incomprehensible."

What exactly is it about prostitution that you find incomprehensible?

Posted by: Peter Principle on October 22, 2009 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

Thank you Al Gore. The Internet has made NPR irrelevant for progressives. I remember in the 70s my dad getting pissed off at its paper-tiger interviews, human interest stories for yuppies, and rightward lean. Not much has changed.

Posted by: angler on October 22, 2009 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

NPR = Nice Polite Republicans.

Posted by: pseudonymous in nc on October 22, 2009 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

I meant to say "NPR has made LYING TO LISTENERS AND CALLING IT NEWS a feature not a bug." instead of what I did write, "NPR has made LYING TO VIEWERS AND CALLING IT NEWS a feature not a bug."

Either way, what a commenter above said: NPR has been doing a six-months-long apologia for the insurance industry.

Has anyone heard Mara Liasson's reports on health care debate? Good God! She frames it as discussion between two opposite poles of opinion with the insurance industry on the right and the reformers on the 'wrong'. It's so blatant it's sickening.

I seriously hope she and Cokie and Juan and Ruden et al are conveniently standing over a spot where the Earth opens up and swallows them.

Posted by: News Nag on October 22, 2009 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

I heard this on TOTN yesterday. Stared in utter disbelief at the radio when "Nixon's enemies list" came out of it. Unreal.

Posted by: Pansy P on October 22, 2009 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

It occurred to me at the time that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting was taken over by Bush loyalists that part of CPB's agenda was to drive the listener support base away from public radio. I resisted withdrawing my support from my local station, even though I was furious at NPR for shunting Bob Edwards off to satellite radio and substituting political commentary by the likes of Cokie, Juan, and Mara for what had formerly been fairly astute political analysis by non-Fox News-affiliated and non-Villager reporters. I kept my public radio membership even after my local station announced it would no longer broadcast any vocal music, other than the Saturday afternoon opera, even though many listeners, including me, like vocal music a great deal. But this year, my local NPR station, without any consultation with or polling of the membership, stopped broadcasting any classical music during the day in favor of hour after hour of call-in talk radio. Diane Rehm for two hours in the middle of the day instead of Schubert or Beethoven? Yuck. After upwards of three decades as a member, I canceled my membership, even though I know, in my heart of hearts, that that is exactly what the Bushies have been trying to make me do for years. My local station wasn't responsible for the program quality deterioration at NPR, but they were responsible for their own terrible decision.

Posted by: Soprano on October 22, 2009 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

I just flushed myself down the toilet .. exactly where I belong...........

Posted by: Sully on October 22, 2009 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory and others, I totally agree that NPR's news organization has serious problems with "reporting" (i.e., repeating -- or letting others repeat -- canned talking points) rather than engaging in journalism. As a Michigan resident, I clearly remember yelling at the radio when Morning Edition let Hillary Clinton declare, unchallenged, in an interview segment that she had won the Michigan primary (when the other leading candidates had held to the agreement to remove their names from the ballot) and conclude that she deserved the votes. I did withhold my normal contribution to my local station last year in protest, and I felt vindicated every time I heard further drek on Morning Edition. This year, I decided to give a (smaller than normal) contribution, with a note in the comments section explaining in detail my dissatisfaction with the news organization -- I do still love me some Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, On Point, Diane Rehm, Tell Me More and Splendid Table....

Posted by: RR on October 22, 2009 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

My letter to my local station hunting for money

To Whom It May Concern:

Normally I wait to pledge for the dollar for dollar matching events to get more bang out of my buck but this year I am withholding my pledge to WNYC with regret.

Why? Because I don’t want another dollar of mine to go to NPR programming, the ever-increasing right wing meme coming from them has become unbearable. I don’t expect NPR to be a liberal POV but a critical news source and that is no longer the case.

Last nights comments by Ken Rubin equating Obama with Nixon was the LAST STRAW. http://mediamatters.org/blog/200910220009
I have found it increasingly difficult to listen to Morning Edition, All Things Considered or Weekend Edition without wincing several times a day. Juan Williams, Cokey Roberts and Maura Liason are a joke and a disgrace. This past weekends interview with the author of “Super Freakanomics” on Weekend Edition was terrible with a tease to listen at some point to the scientists who disagree with him over climate change, just plain, poor and sloppy and more importantly unacceptable.

For the most part your locally produced coverage is very good. I have some complaints, I wish that Brian Lehrer would run longer segments on important topics and feel that too often the half hour or hour given to important subjects only touches on the most superficial aspects, becoming merely talking points or sound bites when a deeper analysis, debate and reportage is necessary but for the most part I enjoy listening to Brian. Leonard Lopate, Soundcheck and Evening Music with the exceptional Terence McKnight and David Garland are outstanding.

The programming that is generated by PRI is also exceptional. Please more of it.

I demand and look for informed and intelligent discussion, debate and analysis not the same old beltway chatter or MSM deceptions and NPR’s compliance with such. For further examples of such please check this link- http://mediamatters.org/search/tag/npr

When NPR becomes a more critical and less right wing meme tool or WNYC drops NPR programming then I will reconsider my support for what is otherwise a great radio station.

Posted by: drichmond on October 22, 2009 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Spork called it. Saint Ronnie started the ball rolling on consolidation, which made mass media unaffordable to all but the largest corporations. So naturally what you hear is corporate news.

Combine that with lobbying, and you get the 21st century United States, a representative corpocracy.

Posted by: LittlePig on October 22, 2009 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Great comments here. For more about NPR's pro-corporate, right-wing bias, please visit the excellent, well-researched www.nrpcheck.blogspot.com.

Posted by: miranda on October 22, 2009 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

The Newshour once was a great program. However, over the last 10 years they increasingly have adopted a format that allows represenatives of the repub's and dem's to state political positions as if this were the equivalent of an actual substantive discussion of serious issues by non-partisan experts (who can also explain and discuss the political considerations). This change has been good for Jim L. -- who gets to host a presidential debate - but terrible for the public. PBS is Political Broadcasting not Public Broadcasting.

Posted by: steve on October 22, 2009 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Not to pile on, but as others have said above, "Incomprehensible?????" Juan, Mara, Kookie, et.al.are card carrying villagers. It is truly revolting to hear them quoted as the "left" perspective in other media outlets. They are just the other side of the Drudge/Rush/Faux News nexus.

@News Nag: Nicely put, but try not to restrain yourself. Tell us how you really feel.

Both NPR and PBS have some good programming. But their news coverage is studiously and self-consciously "centrist (i.e. whatever the village CW is, we report)." Watching Jim Lehrer throw softball "gotchas" to right-wing, war-mongering, Very Serious People is disgusting. And at the end he gives them that little smirk, reminiscent of Bush, that says, "You dance divinely. So glad you're in the club." He practically winks at them.

Incomprehensible?

Posted by: Adams on October 22, 2009 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately, Cokie Roberts, Juan Williams, and Marah Liasson are not the only right-wing wankers at NPR. The place is riddled with them. It has been for years, as others here point out.

But the rightward tilt at NPR didn't start with Bush II. It didn't even start with Reagan, although he scared the pants off NPR in 1981-83 with a proposal to eliminate all of NPR's funding.

The bitter joke is that the right-wing tilt at NPR was built into its genes at birth. It actually began a decade earlier than Reagan, when a lot of liberals were applauding the congressional advent of NPR. What most could not see was that NPR was conceived from birth to become a U.S. broadcasting empire. To grow, it had to cajole, brow-beat, and threaten a lot of terrific local college and non-profit FM stations into joining the network.

At the time, many of these local stations (mostly everywhere but in the deep South) were producing, themselves, a lot of terrific local stuff both on the news and the arts side. But, as some worried would happen, affiliation with NPR effectively killed local program production initiatives at all but the largest and best-financed local stations.

A few especially clear-eyed observers warned that the NPR empire eventually would destroy most of these local stations. It more or less has done so, first by co-opting their funding sources and then by making them mere conduits for programming out of D.C. Meanwhile, as predicted, NPR has been trending steadily ever-rightward to please its corporate sponsors and what we know today as the Village mentality.

Those clear-eyed observers back in 1969 and 1970 didn't know the names back then, but what they feared was the eventual dominance of voices like that of Cokie Roberts, Juan Williams, Marah Liasson, and Ken Rubin. And, on the flip side, what they worried over was that when NPR finally reached it destiny as an empire, most local public radio stations would have been overshadowed for so long that they no longer would have much, if any, program production capability, other than to spin records.

I do not mean to imply that the earliest critics of NPR saw all of this as a conscious plot. They didn't. It wasn't. They simply looked at history and foresaw it, much as some contemporaries of the Founding Fathers may have foreseen the eventual capitulation of Congress to K street monied interests.

This explains, among other frustrations, NPR's vigorous political opposition (and decade-long virtual news silence about) proposals to loosen low-power FM rules at the FCC so as to allow the flourishing, once again, of local programming.

I long ago quit giving to my local NPR affiliated stations. My radio money goes to un-affiliated local public radio and subscription stations. If we were allowed to have a low power station where I live, I'd give to that one, too. But thanks to NPR's lobbying, we don't.

I hope others will consider UN-affiliated public radio stations as a more suitable recipient of their charity, as I do.

Posted by: John B. on October 22, 2009 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

The sad bit is that most of these NPR people probably are not really in the tank for the Republicans. They were just brought up in the Beltway culture class system: Republicans and businessmen are deferred to, Democrats are trivialized and considerated uppity if they try to have opinions and run things.

Yesterday, an interviewer spoke with Michelle's contact person on the campaign to get kids to eat better and consume less sugar. She sternly quoted to her the CEO of Coca-Cola's comments that the government should not be telling kids what to eat and her actions might reduce his company's profits.

Got it? Per NPR and Coca-Cola, American kids should eat unhealthy foods to keep up corporate profits. After all, we exist to serve corporations, they don't exist to serve us.

Posted by: Midland on October 22, 2009 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

In 2000, the NPR audience was well-educated, left-of-center, and and represented a ready-made audience of tens of millions of well-informed listeners nationwide. For the Bush propagandists this was a target too juicy to ignore, and slowly, subtly, but noticeably the coverage went from intelligent to definitely right-wing. The NPR audience isn't interested in screamers, or blowhards, so a softer approach was applied. By whatever measure - the guests, topics, repetition of talking points, lack of balance, and commentary - the slant became more and more pro-Bush, anti liberal, anti Democrats, and generally conservative.

I used to listen many hours a day as i was working. No longer. I don't give them a penny, and I have frequently written to the Diane Reim show chastising them for their slanted programming. I used to get defensive replys. No longer. In any case they get not a penny. I refuse to pay for my propaganda, and I have turned the Nice Polite Republicans off. Just like Maureen Dowd is a kinder, gentler Anne Coulter, so NPR is by stealth rapidly becoming a better-mannered Fox 'News'.

Posted by: rich on October 22, 2009 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans have been disgusted with the media because the media is liberal. Now that one - just one - news organization isn't liberal, you progressives are going apeshit. Gee, now you may know why Republicans have been disgusted with the liberal MSM for years.

Thank you, Sully, for proving that computers are now so user-friendly that even Homo Sap, the biped that lacks frontal lobes and opposable thumbs, can use them.

Please go back to your alternative reality and stick your head back up your ass where you normally keep it, moron.

Posted by: TCinLA on October 22, 2009 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

So TC, you automatically call anyone that has a hint of conservatism a neanderthal.. WOW, that's a new one! Lemme guess, I'm a racist, sexist, biggot, homophobe too? Dbag..

It's just amazing that Obama is attacking the only news organization that doesn't just tow the line and read the daily Whitehouse talking points verbatim..

The administration is using this as a warning shot to all the rest of the media. If you "F" with us, this will happen to you.

Posted by: Adam on October 22, 2009 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

I gave NPR my money because I rarely miss Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, This American Life, and Garrison Keillor. It was a tough decision, as I'm well aware of the creeping corporatism which is distorting their news and opinion segments - Cokie Roberts? Steve Inskeep? Mara Liasson? - puh-leeze. But I swallowed hard and paid up for the sake of the programs I love.

Now I'm pretty sure I should have thumbed my nose at them as my husband did. Dang.

Posted by: cmac on October 22, 2009 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

cmac -- don't give up hope! Email your member station's director, as I did this morning, and make your voice heard! I was surprised to receive in short order a personalized reply which indicated our programming director has been hearing similar comments from many listeners and is pushing the comments to NPR.

p.s. My comments specifically called out Steve Inskeep with examples of unchallenged lies that gave me conniptions, as well as Cokie Roberts, Mara Liasson and Juan Williams. Long live Wait Wait Don't Tell Me!

Posted by: RR on October 22, 2009 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Add me to the chorus pointing out that this behavior is no departure for Nap-time Propaganda Radio, which has been trending to the right since the presidency of Bush the Smarter. If I'm not mistaken, that was the time at which the management of NPR started drawing significantly on alumni of Voice of America, i.e. veteran propagandists, thus confirming with barefaced obviousness the Chomskian claim that today's NPR and its allegedly highbrow media ilk are "elite propaganda"--propaganda directed at the American elite.

Posted by: 1st Paradox on October 22, 2009 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK
It's just amazing that Obama is attacking the only news organization that doesn't just tow the line and read the daily Whitehouse talking points verbatim.

Not a single news station reads any talking points verbatim.

Well, except Fox. But they're not a news station, so no biggie.

The administration is using this as a warning shot to all the rest of the media. If you "F" with us, this will happen to you.

What will happen -- they'll be called out for being a full-of-shit, willfully-lying propaganda station?

**GASP**

OH NOESSSSSSSssSSS!11!!111eleven!!!

Yeah ... um ... what a horrific experience that must be -- being labeled accurately. The horror.

Any chance of getting better trolls? These ones are defective.

Posted by: Mark D on October 22, 2009 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Heh. TC, you rock. I hope I'm not overstepping the boundaries by suggesting to Adam that he reread your post to Sully, and apply it to himself.

Posted by: cmac on October 22, 2009 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

On his Political Junkie blog site he wrote that Columbus "discovered America". That's typical NPR mind-set, everything south of Canadian border to Colombian border is in fact AMERICA!!! And that is a dangerous frame to be working within. I accused him of having more in common with Sarah Palin than with me. He has not responded to me but he has his defenders that say I should "lighten up". I say they are being propagandized by NPR and paying twice for the privelege, once with their tax dollars and again with thei contributions.

I don't think NPR has been anything but right of center since at least the mid-'80's.

Posted by: ed kriner on October 22, 2009 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and THANK GOD we have KKFI here in KC. Awesome programming free of corporate influence, including great news, music, etc.

Give if you can.

Posted by: Mark D on October 22, 2009 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

For NPR skeptics/critics, see NPRCheck Blog: http://nprcheck.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Juan Ensalada on October 22, 2009 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

I find it interesting that so many here feel that NPR is a tool of the Republican Party. I do not donate to NPR because, outside of MSNBC, it is the most left-wing broadcast outlet I can think of. Even the quiz shows are still bashing Bush. Geez. Yes Fox commentators are partisan and the other networks are too.
PS I am not a Republican.
PPS Way to take the high road, TCinLA.

Posted by: Myob on October 22, 2009 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, RR. I'm a regular correspondent with my local station. I fear I may have achieved 'crank-lady' status with them, but they do still reply.

Posted by: cmac on October 22, 2009 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Talk of the Nation???

Why on earth would anyone ever listen to "Talk of teh Nation" except as penance for a particularly nasty bit of sinning? ToTN is banal on the best of days. It technically qualifies as dialogue, but never attains the status of actual coversation as it never progresses, never digs into the topic being discussed. It's two hours long and an inch deep (- unless Juan Williams is hosting in which case it's even worse!)

Posted by: Chesire11 on October 22, 2009 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

"Democrats are an opinionated bunch. You know, the other side, they just kinda sometimes do what they're told. Democrats, y'all thinkin' for yourselves." -- Obama

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day

Posted by: John Q Public on October 22, 2009 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

For me the last straw was the intentional and defended refusal of NPR to call "waterboarding" torture if performed by a member of the Bush administration on a Muslim. Of course, they acknowledged that waterboarding was torture when performed by the Japanese on American prisoners. Obviously the only distinction between the two situations is that Liz Cheney's dad doesn't want to spend his remaining years in a Belgium prison as a war criminal.

Posted by: Ron Byers on October 22, 2009 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

The only thing more entertaining than watching the left eat their young as more and more of them realize that commander zero is an empty suit full of rhetoric is reading these comments. NPR right wing? Only if you consider Marx a centrist, come to think of it, apparently many of you do. I'm laughing my arse off here.

Posted by: Flyfish on October 22, 2009 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Please update this post to note Rudin's (rather sincere) apology:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/politicaljunkie/2009/10/weighing_in_on_white_house_vs.html

Posted by: joshers on October 22, 2009 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Honestly, I listen to Talk of the Nation A LOT and Ken's "reporting" is more of the republican said, the Democrats said stuff. He doesn't seem to want to report news, but stay involved in "engaging" discussions by bringing up republican talking points. If this is NPR's attempt to balance the liberal leanings, I'll take it because most NPR listeners know b.s. when they hear it. Keep it up Ken!!

Posted by: Annon on October 22, 2009 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

NPR has some great programming, no question, but when push comes to shove, politically, they are painfully weak-kneed.

Posted by: e henry thripshaw on October 22, 2009 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

All is not lost! Take heart!

While you're going crackers at your "loss" of a once liberal NPR, you can always get yourselves a megadose of kool-aid at...NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post.

Posted by: marybel on October 22, 2009 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK
...tow the line

Yep, you are an idiot. He was right.

Posted by: Keith M Ellis on October 22, 2009 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

NPR has some great programming, no question, but when push comes to shove, politically, they are painfully weak-kneed.

But..but...but they don't air Rush Limbaugh every day for 5 hours. Therefore they *must* be left-wing!!!

Posted by: FlyfishDittohead on October 22, 2009 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

For what it's worth, Rudin has apologized on his blog. (I'm not sure if the link will work below or not.)

http://www.npr.org/blogs/politicaljunkie/2009/10/weighing_in_on_white_house_vs.html#commentBlock

The sad part is that he sounds like a nice guy and I really don't think he's just an idiot, just badly cloistured and too respectful of a lot of his colleagues. It's not like reporters are immune too groupthink.

I used to reject the "Nice Polite Republicans" meme, but lately, I really have to wonder. Not a single Republican president has skipped the "criticize the press" step, but let one Democrat try it -- very , very correctly -- and it's immediately a mistake. Just on a political level, they don't realize how little respect the public as a whole has for the mainstream press. They might watch "The Daily Show," but they don't appear to under it.

Sadly, however, there really is no large scale alternative and few truly independent station. Certainly not Pacifica, which at least in Los Angeles and Northern California has become a bad, bad juoke. Unless it's changed a lot, and I don't think it has, Pacifica has, outside a few programs, become Fox News for the tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of this country that really is extreme left. (Not the "extremes of left and right of the Democratic party" that NPR folks talk about, which is for the most utterly absurd, the actual extreme left and conspiracy fringers -- radical purists, Truthers and some Maoists.)

I think their needs to be pressure mounted to undo some of the damage done over the years to restore some actual balance to NPR.

Posted by: Bob Westal on October 22, 2009 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

It's just amazing that Obama is attacking the only news organization that doesn't just tow the line and read the daily Whitehouse talking points verbatim..

Oh, bullshit. For eight long years of the Bush presidency, that's all Faux News did.

Posted by: Gregory on October 22, 2009 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Flyfish@12:57, Laugh your arse off at this:

"And the number of Americans calling themselves Republicans has fallen to 20 percent -- 20, the lowest since 1983. A closer look shows that number has fallen from 25 percent just since mid-August. That's not a five percent loss for Republicans. Dropping from 25 percent to 20 percent is a loss of a fifth. Meaning since the height of town hall, Palin, Beck, death panel palooza, one out of five Republicans has stopped being Republican."

Regurgitating right-wing, Faux News talking points just isn't as popular as it used to be. Lucky day! You get to be a despised, discriminated-against minority. Just like Rush.

BTW, (notKarl) Marx apparently was a Republican centrist: He would never be a member of any (political party) which would accept him as a member.

Troll much?

Posted by: Adams on October 22, 2009 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Has the Obama White House ordered the Justice Department to spy on Fox News employees? Has the administration ordered the IRS to start digging through Fox News' books, hunting for irregularities and auditing on-air personalities?

Utterly specious argument.

How do you think it starts? In Nixon's case, it started with Agnew's speech and an attempt to rally "the silent majority" against the news media. In Obama's case it started with the (admittedly clueless) Anita Dunn. You really think he's going to stop there?

Do you really think using the IRS to punish enemies is beyond Obama's imagining? Beyond Emanuel's? Beyond Axelrod's? You really haven't been paying attention. The lightkeeper is no more. This president wants his critics to STFU. And you enable it with columns like this.

Remember, power corrupts. Even Nobel Peace Prize winners with superior souls like our leader. Be more wary as a general rule. Unfortunately, the days when Democrats were reliable civil libertarians have been over for awhile.

Posted by: Vail Beach on October 22, 2009 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Do you hear baseball players constantly complain about George Steinbrenner? Why not? Because one day they may get a call from their agent telling them they have been traded to the Yankees, or that the Yankees have bid the highest for their services.

It is 2009 the media world is in complete free fall. News Corp. represents the only game in town.

This, however, is very insightful. Fox is hiring, the others are firing. Obama might not have figured on that when starting his anti-Fox campaign by asking the other media to shun them. Those reporters who lack the principles and balls to stand up for a news organization when a president they like starts attacking it at least have a survival instinct. Someday they might want to be Brit Hume, or Bill Hammer, or Chris Wallace or Greta Van Sustern.

Posted by: Vail Beach on October 22, 2009 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Its worse than that. They considered assassinating reporter jack Anderson.

Here is what Wikipedia says about Nixon's plans for Jack Anderson:

In 1972, in an overlooked nadir of American political history, Anderson was the target of an aborted assassination plot in the White House. Two Nixon administration conspirators admitted under oath they plotted to poison Anderson on orders from White House aide Jeb Magruder.[6] White House "plumbers" G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt met with a CIA operative to discuss the possibilities, including drugging Anderson with LSD, poisoning his aspirin bottle, or staging a fatal mugging.[7] The conspirators were never ordered to proceed, and the plot aborted, when the plotters were arrested as a result of the Watergate break-in. Nixon had long been angry with Anderson, blaming the columnist for his loss of the 1960 presidential election, because of an election-eve story about a secret loan from Howard Hughes to Nixon's brother.[8] Anderson remained a target of FBI investigation even after his death. In February 2006, the FBI contacted Anderson's family to obtain his files and search for classified documents.[9] The FBI agents claimed to be looking for documents pertaining to American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as part of an espionage investigation. In November 2006, the FBI quietly gave up its pursuit of the archive. The archive, as revealed in The Chronicle of Higher Education, contains Anderson's CIA file, along with information about prominent public figures such as Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Thomas Dodd, and J. Edgar Hoover.[10]

Posted by: The Fool on October 22, 2009 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Quite the echo chamber. Bill Moyers is no doubt a Bush stooge.

Posted by: bandit on October 22, 2009 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

The NFL decides who becomes an owner not the other way around.

All this blowhard (Rush Hudson Limbaugh A.KA. Jeff Christie) has to offer is his money and his opinions, (which in my opinion are on the fringes of racism, one mans opinion). There are many more groups biding for the Rams, not just his group. Lets face it there are more men with money (Marshall Faulk) that will gladly fill the slot and the Rams will win or lose depending on how well they work as a team and not on whether or not Rush is an owner.

As for Vick, well he is a player (he has talent not like you, Rush or I, unless you are a NFL player?) and he served his time and the NFL decided we live in the land of second chances, so why not (I personally dont like it but, oh well). Life has never been fair (NEWS FLASH!)

Now as to the Free Speech argument, I guess many of you like myself heard Rush on Thursday Almost in tears, priceless. But the last couple of days he now is in his normal ranting and will continue until someone surpasses him, Free Speech continues, so what is being stifled, it simply is not true, of course, you may not have a radio, so you might want to get one.

http://www.chasingevil.org/2009/10/rush-limbaugh-in-his-own-words.html

PS I am sure someone is working to put the tapes together maybe all you subscribers can help, since you are all about getting to the truth?

PPS- Beauty Pageant Judge Now I understand why he lost the weight, to find a new wife, creepy.

Posted by: Paul on October 22, 2009 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Ken Rudin's remarks during the teabag rallies showed me he is a Village tool. He praised them, and no one on the show has really addressed the oranization of teabaggers from the likes of Fox, the disgraced ceo from an insurance company, etc. Like Midland at 11:18am,
I was shocked at Michelle's concern for junk food companies loosing money if schools won't let them peddle the stuff to kids.

Posted by: Anne on October 22, 2009 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

This is only the beginning. Give this administration time, I'm sure they will far surpass what Nixon could only imagine. Power corrupts, it's as simple as that. And we should all be appalled at their attempt to silence their critics no matter what party you are a member of. But some people are just too partisan to see that. And that's the problem. It's always okay if you are the one in power. Obama was supposed to be different. I never believed it, but a lot of people did, and voted for him. They didn't vote for this.

Posted by: bellagrazi on October 22, 2009 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

Um, I know I'm late to this party and that everyone here is hyped up on the same hyper-ideological line that FOX is Hitler News Re-incarnate. But, I have to address the fact that the original post says that the Obama Administration has not denied access to FOX. Well, actually they did. Today. They invited all the major news outlets to interview the "Pay Czar" and told FOX not to bother to show up. But, all the news-outlets got together and decided they didn't want any president to shut-out them in the future and said if FOX doesn't dance, then we don't either. Seriously. How You can you accept the existence of MSNBC and not FOX? Don't you remember that CORPORATE Baddie G.E. runs MSNBC? That they stand to make BILLIONS with Obama in their pocket? How soon we forget?

Posted by: xyz on October 22, 2009 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

Oh NO!

Obama didn't invite the FOX REPUBLICAN PROPAGANDA outlet to his dinner table!

What will happen when FOX REPUBLICANS can't define the Democratic agenda?!!

/snark

Please, that Rudin and Marcus and Tapper can't discern reality discredits more then just them as political analysts, it seriously damages the credibility of the institutions that employ them: NPR, the WashingtonPost, PBS, and Disney/ABC.

FOX Republican Propaganda is an infection, it is NOT a legitimate news outlet.

Tell you what, when Republicans start submitting to questions controlled directly by the Democratic Party, then there might by some "balance".

Comparing FOX to Republican Scarborough dominated MSNBC is somewhere between delusional and deliberately deceitful.

The only way the two channels could be comparable is if FOX decided to give three hours of airtime to Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich, he's the only person on the left that could balance the far right Republican Scarborough's three hours on MSNBC.

And let's be doubly clear:

THE MAN THAT RUPERT MURDOCH HAS RUNNING FOX, ROGER AILES, WAS LITERALLY REPUBLICAN NIXON'S MEDIA STRATEGIST.

Posted by: Independent on October 23, 2009 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

Benen and others need to take a deep breath and stop making themselves dizzy from spinning. What Rudin and so many others are saying is Nixonesque is the spectacle of a powerful White House attacking its opponents in the media, which is what Nixon and Agnew were doing long before the so-called "Plumbers" existed. Maybe Benen isn't old enough to have experienced it but I am, and it was not pretty to watch. In one way, Obama has already outdone Nixon by declaring Fox "not a news organization" and trying to knock it out of the White House TV press pool -- something Nixon would not have dared try.

For decades, I've scoffed at right-wing complaints about the NYT, the WaPo and others. My attitude always was, if they don't like the Sulzberger's paper or Katherine Graham's paper, let them get their own. Well, that's what some conservatives have done; that's why the Washington Times is a competitor and it's the central rationale for Fox News. Of course they pretend to be fair and balanced; Newsweek also pretends it's still a mass circulation weekly news review, when everyone knows it's become a journal of liberal opinion like The New Republic or Washington Monthly.

Obama is showing he has a very thin skin, which ought to trouble liberals more than conservatives. The raw power of the federal executive is not something to toy with just because you've got it for your team. Liberals should know that better than most -- if they really remember the lessons of Nixon's serial transgressions.

Posted by: John Burke on October 23, 2009 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

OH NOES! Let's be Triply clear:

THE MAN THAT ABC NEWS HAS RUNNING THE SUNDAY MORNING POLITICAL SHOW: "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" WAS LITERALLY DEMOCRATIC CLINTON'S MEDIA STRATEGIST.

Posted by: xyz on October 23, 2009 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

Wow. Since lefties are so incensed about NPR's purported lean to the right, maybe it's time that they join conservatives to cut NPR federal funding. That's right. No more public dollars for public radio.

Posted by: stunned on October 23, 2009 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

Let me get this straight...so you are saying that NPR is not a legitimate news organization?

I know that this blog isn't, but NPR?

Posted by: dude on October 23, 2009 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

none

Posted by: HsvsRsvsesv on March 5, 2010 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Hands down, debt settlement is the best debt relief approach. Shortest programs, lowest amount paid overall, no interest, least damage on the credit worthiness.

Posted by: Credit Debt on November 1, 2010 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly