Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Media: NPR doesn't trust its listeners

There is no justice in the mass media.  If there were, for example, the NETFLIX streamer JACK WHITEHALL: TRAVELS WITH MY FATHER would have long ago ended with Jack buck naked yet again but this time over Whitehall Sr.'s lap taking a long overdo spanking for episode after episode of what can only be termed elder abuse.  




And that's just the entertainment side of the equation.  NPR doesn't do justice and they really hates the listeners.  They think their listeners are stupid.  They made that clear

Thursday, Shawn Langlois (MARKETWATCH) reported:

When the New York Post first reported unconfirmed allegations of influence peddling by Hunter Biden, son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, with a Ukrainian company, Twitter and Facebook FB, +2.39% took steps to limit its spread across social media.

Now, with Biden opponents touting fresh developments and promising the release of more information, mainstream media outlets are left to grapple with how to handle what has become an explosive topic heading in to the November election.

He goes on to note NPR ombudsperson Kelly McBride's Tweet and we're going to ignore the Tweet -- it just links to the NPR newsletter -- and instead quote from the NPR newsletter she linked to where she writes:

Responding to the New York Post

Carolyn Abbott writes: Someone please explain why NPR has apparently not reported on the Joe Biden, Hunter Biden story in the last week or so that Joe did know about Hunter's business connections in Europe that Joe had previously denied having knowledge?
There are many, many red flags in that New York Post investigation. NPR Media Correspondent David Folkenflik detailed most of them here. Intelligence officials warn that Russia has been working overtime to keep the story of Hunter Biden in the spotlight. Even if Russia can’t be positively connected to this information, the story of how Trump associates Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani came into a copy of this computer hard drive has not been verified and seems suspect. And if that story could be verified, the NY Post did no forensic work to convince consumers that the emails and photos that are the basis for their report have not been altered. 

But the biggest reason you haven’t heard much on NPR about the Post story is that the assertions don’t amount to much. 

“We don't want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don't want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions,” NPR Managing Editor for News Terence Samuel told me. “And quite frankly, that's where we ended up, this was … a politically driven event and we decided to treat it that way.”

The handful of stories that NPR has produced about the NY Post investigation have been limited to how Facebook and Twitter are restricting distribution of the story or how families of those seeking treatment for addiction are impacted by the portrayal of Hunter Biden's struggle. — Kelly McBride

What a load of garbage but that is all Kelly McBride is really.  She's supposed to be about ethics.  That's why she's the ombudsperson.  But reading her nonsense about Nina Totenberg and the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it was clear that Kelly didn't get Nina's job or her own.  In the column, she repeats Nina's claim that her long friendship with RBG didn't influence her coverage.  Guess what?  That's not Nina's call.  Nina cannot both conceal the friendship in news reports and then be the one who determines that there was no conflict.  Listeners should have known, in every report in which she mentioned Ginsburg, that Nina was close friends with her.  They should have had that knowledge so they could evaluate the report.

Kelly should grasp that as public editor but it's clear that she doesn't.  It's clear not just in that report in Nina but in many reports -- reports where Kelly interjects someone from POYNTER.  Yes, Kelly discloses her relationship with that organization; however, she's there to serve NPR listeners, not to be part of a circle-jerk where she promotes the other organization she works for.  In fact, as public editor, she shouldn't be quoting anyone from POYNTER -- it doesn't come off fair and it doesn't come off impartial.  More to the point, since POYNTER is already helping the helpless Kelly by doing research for any column she writes for the listeners, they're already weighing in.  They don't also need to be quoted.


A lot of what she does is wrong -- including ignoring the gender imbalance on NPR's ALL SONGS CONSIDERED (we reported on that most recently here).  Take the way, in the newsletter we just linked to,  she refers to an interview with a guest: "But over on Twitter, many listeners were cheering Inskeep on for putting Anton in his place."  It's the purpose of NPR to put guests they invite on 'in their place'?  That's an interesting way of looking at it.  Equally wrong for the listeners' advocate is devoting a column to the concerns of 'journalist' James Fallows.  He shouldn't be taking up listener's time to begin with.  The public editor is supposed to be serving the listeners.  Does Fallows not have enough room at THE ATLANTIC to say what he wants already?  Has his time on NPR's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED WEEKEND broadcasts not given him plenty of airtime?  More to the point, shouldn't Kelly -- having just written of Nina's friendship with RBG -- be disclosing her own long friendship with Fallows?

He's not just a journalist, he's a friend.  Maybe that's why he's allowed to leap over all the serious genuine concerns NPR listeners bring to Kelly?  Why he gets to cut in line?


And why does reality get sidelined by McBride?  The report by THE NEW YORK POST and the later press announcement by Tony Bobulniki didn't result in reporting, they resulted in character assassination.  It was a replay of the Tara Reade story.  She brought her allegations of assault by Joe Biden when she worked for his Senate office to the public.  Instead of investigating her claims, the press investigated her.  They were 'helped' (fed) by Joe Biden's campaign -- a detail that they either buried in their reporting or hid outright.  The same is true of all the attack pieces that have been written -- especially by POLITICO.  It's good that Joe's friends in the press work so hard for him -- if not for the American people.  Serious charges have been made against Joe and those charges deserve to be addressed and examined.  


A real public editor might explore that.  A real ombudsperson wouldn't make some weak-ass statement about how the story wasn't corroborated.  After all, NPR reported extensively on E.J. Carroll.  She's the woman who says Donald Trump raped her.  Excuse us, rape is "sexy," she later told Anderson Cooper.  So who knows what the crazy loon is claiming.  But what is known?  NPR covered that story extensively.  Are they ashamed by that coverage?  The would explain why a search turns up this E. Jean Carroll page and lists only three stories about her.  For example, she appeared on WEEKEND EDITION June 23, 2019.  That wasn't NPR's first reporting on the story -- two days earlier, Jessica Taylor reported on the allegations.  Neither of those stories are listed on the E. Jean Carroll page.  Oh, look, here's an ALL THINGS CONSIDERED report on Carroll from June 27th that also doesn't make NPR's E. Jean Carroll page listing 'all' the stories they've done on her.  

She's treated a real -- this despite her comments on live TV about rape being "sexy."  This despite her boasting of herself on her website, "First woman to come up with a workable plan for getting rid of the male sex."  Once upon a time, crazy talk like that would have gotten you labeled crazy.  

Maybe Kelly McBride could explore that?  Or how the press always is a circle-jerk?  Not only does Kelly practice it but they all do.  That's why nutty E. Jean Carroll got coverage in the first place -- she is a journalist.  They didn't rush to rip her apart, did they?  No, they saved that for non-journalist Tara Reade.

Tara Reade is not going to go away -- nor should she.  Here's the really scary thing: The press isn't going to change either.  Should Joe Biden win the election, the press is going to continue to cover for him.  If they couldn't investigate him during a campaign for the presidency, they're not going to suddenly start after he's sworn in.  In fact, they're far less likely to -- it would require them admitting they'd made a mistake and hadn't done their jobs.  As we've seen with regards to the Iraq War, confessing to malpractice isn't in the journalist make up.

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