Friday, March 11, 2011

NPR, ACORN and the American Left

The redoubtable James O'Keefe has struck again.  This time, the exposé is National Public Radio (NPR), the government funded home to respectable left-wing opinion in the US.  Conservatives would love to defund it and let those who appreciate its liberal tilt pick up the tab for the cost of propagandizing the populace.  The left counters that NPR is actually too right wing, and then claims that with protests on both sides of the spectrum, it's a draw;  NPR must be in the middle, and deserves continued funding.  If this sounds a bit like the story of Solomon and the two women claiming the baby, it strikes Noman the same way.  In that story, Solomon knew the impostor because she was willing to have the baby cut in half.  In the NPR story, you can tell the impostor because they're the ones fighting to maintain public funding.  Just today, President Obama's new press secretary, Jay Carney, called the proposed 2011 budget appropriation of $451 million for NPR's parent, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), an Administration priority.  Republicans are trying to trim the proposed trillion dollar budget deficit by eliminating funding for CPB.  Which wing do you think NPR flies on?

In any event, NPR executive, Ron Schiller, was caught on video making disparaging remarks about tea party attendees.  Unbeknownst to Noman, these people are "really xenophobic... they believe in sort of white, middle-America, gun toting... They're seriously racist people."  (n.b. Schiller and President Obama must be reading the from the same talking points.)  After being exposed, Schiller said: "I made statements during the course of the meeting that are counter to NPR's values and also not reflective of my own beliefs."  (This reminded Noman of Clinton Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen's chief of staff, Josh Steiner, who in 1994 during Senate Whitewater hearings confessed to lying to his diary: "It's more a Monet than a Manet.")  NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller (no relation) added: "Ron Schiller's remarks are contrary to what NPR stands for and are deeply distressing to reporters, editors and others who bring fairness, civility and respect for a wide variety of viewpoints to their work everyday."  While Noman likes the classical music on NPR, the sedated voices of its announcers, and some of its features, he marvels at media's delusions regarding its own objectivity and ability to cabin personal biases, when it so relishes exposing the  inescapable subjectivity and biases in others.  Both Schillers resigned from NPR because of the flap.

Who can forget O'Keefe and Hannah Giles' 2009 parading into ACORN offices as a pimp and his prostitute seeking advice on how to structure a bordello featuring underage sex-slaves from El Salvador so as to avoid taxes.  In video after video, ACORN workers discussed strategy with the pair; one even going so far as to suggest that he had contacts on the Mexican border that might be able to help smuggle in the teenage girls.  This group, in which President Obama cut his community organizing teeth, had just received $5 billion of stimulus money from their former lawyer.

Noman doesn't know what drives this young man, or how he came upon such titanic guts, but he'd love to see O'Keefe given a big media budget, and a weekly show of the Candid Camera variety.  Were he a left-wing sting artist, he'd already have an Emmy.

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