NPR Needs To Clean Up Their House

What happens when the news media stops covering news objectively - and instead becomes a source of very specific opinions that serve a very narrow agenda?

For example - in the case of the democratic primary - consider the news coverage of the mere possibility of Vice President Joe Biden challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party's nomination for president.

Biden, of course, would be the sixth candidate in that race - one of whom who's beating Hillary in New Hampshire - and is within 7 points of her in Iowa.

That candidate, of course, is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

But if you've been listening to National Public Radio - or you've been reading the New York Times - you might not realize that Bernie Sanders isn't just a 'longshot socialist hopeful with unkempt white hair'.

And you might not realize that he's filled up and overflowed nearly every venue that he's spoken in since he announced - or that as his crowds are growing - so is his standing in the polls.

Which raises the question: why are two of the nation's most trusted news outlets largely ignoring - or marginalizing - Bernie's candidacy?

In the case of commercial media like the New York Times or the big TV networks, it could be that they're simply hostile to Bernie's message - that he wants to weaken corporate control over American democracy - and the corporate media really doesn't want voters to know about that.

But that doesn't explain how NPR - supposedly "public" radio - has managed to mischaracterize or ignore the biggest challenger to Hillary Clinton.

When President Lyndon Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 and created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting - the law required that Corporation to operate with a "strict adherence to objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature."

Tragically, NPR appears to have forgotten that part of their charter.

Take a listen to this short clip of Rachel Martin interviewing NPR's national political correspondent - and Fox so-called News contributor - Mara Liasson.

Did you catch that?

In her analysis of Joe Biden potentially challenging Hillary Clinton for the democratic nomination, Fox News Contributor and NPR National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson completely ignored Bernie Sanders. During the entire 4 and a half minute interview - she didn't mention Bernie Sanders a single time.

In fact, just listening to the interview, an NPR listener might not even know that Bernie Sanders is running in the primary at all.

It's worth noting that back in October, Fox and NPR's Liasson went on the air and spread mistruths and/or half-truths to help out Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner in Colorado with his problem with women voters.

Gardner won that election - despite the fact that his "pro-woman" positions are virtually non-existent: Gardner co-sponsored a federal personhood bill that would de facto ban abortions by recognizing personhood at conception.

And even though Liasson said that Gardner and Planned Parenthood shared a position on making birth control pills available over the counter - she failed to point out that Planned Parenthood called his position on birth control both "insulting" and an "empty gesture." It was essentially a scam, which was pushed by both Fox and Liasson on NPR.

Increasingly, NPR listeners are wondering why Liasson is allowed to use National Public Radio to push an objectively false message about a candidate that she and Fox News want to win.

The simple fact is that NPR's code of ethics clearly says that NPR reporters and commentators are to "avoid speaking to groups where the appearance itself might put in question our impartiality."

Which is why - for the same reason that Juan Williams was terminated by NPR for giving his opinions on Fox on the side - NPR should seriously review their relationship with Liasson so long as she continues to comment on Fox.

But it shouldn't stop there.

National Public Radio needs to make a serious effort to clean house and to make sure that their reporters and commentators are actually reporting - accurately - fairly - completely - honestly - and impartially.

National Public Radio - started under the Corporation for Public Broadcasting - is supposed to maintain a "strict adherence to objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature".

And the fact is - elections are inherently controversial - and we need our Public Media to be covering them objectively.

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