Except the viewers, that is.
Politico reported yesterday that National Public Radio, that bastion of open-mindedness, put pressure on their political correspondent Mara Liasson to discontinue her regular appearances as a FoxNews contributor, due to “concerns that Fox’s programming had grown more partisan”. This was way back in October, during the “FoxNews vs. White House” skirmish (which FoxNews won handily).
According to Politico, Liasson was asked to watch the cable channel for 30 days and render an opinion. After having done so, Ms. Liasson reported back that she saw “no significant change” at the network.
According to a source, Liasson was summoned in early October by NPR’s executive editor for news, Dick Meyer, and the network’s supervising senior Washington editor, Ron Elving. The NPR executives said they had concerns that Fox’s programming had grown more partisan, and they asked Liasson to spend 30 days watching the network.
At a follow-up meeting last month, Liasson reported that she’d seen no significant change in Fox’s programming and planned to continue appearing on the network, the source said.
NPR’s focus on Liasson’s work as a commentator on Fox’s “Special Report” and “Fox News Sunday” came at about the same time as a White House campaign launched in September to delegitimize the network by painting it as an extension of the Republican Party…
Huh, imagine that! And while denying that the White House had attempted to influence the NPR journalist, Anita Dunn, former White House Communications Director did state in an interview with NPR:
“We see Fox right now as the source and the outlet for Republican Party talking points.”
So take that denial for what it’s worth.
And NPR mouthpiece Dana Rehr chimed in:
“There’s no relationship between the White House’s criticism of Fox and any discussions about Fox that we’re having.”
Sure. And since NPR is funded partially by the government, you can imagine that they realize which side their bread is buttered on.
And it wasn’t just the White House bringing pressure to bear. Jacob Weisberg of Slate chimed in with the following:
“By appearing on Fox, reporters validate its propaganda values and help to undermine the role of legitimate news organizations,” Weisberg wrote in an Oct. 17 Newsweek column, “Why Fox News Is Un-American.” “Respectable journalists — I’m talking to you, Mara Liasson — should stop appearing on its programs.”
So Brit Hume, Brett Baier, Major Garret, Neil Cavuto, and the late Tony Snow aren’t “respectable journalists”? Some may beg to differ with that opinion.
And according to Dunn, the problem was that those unrespectable FoxNews journalists were chasing stories that the White House just didn’t want covered:
“What was important was the idea that just because something gets aired on them didn’t mean that they — that everybody else needed to go chasing it. And I think that if you looked at some of the fake stories that were created that the mainstream media felt they needed to go chase — because, you know, for whatever reason, they were getting pressure to, quote, ‘Why aren’t you being balanced?’” she said at a conference sponsored by Bloomberg News. “I think it did — it did help people get a sense of perspective again … to the extent that, you know, people took a step back and said, ‘Hmm, am I really wanting to go chase those stories?’”
“I kept saying to people, ‘You know, if you’re going to go chase those stories, get a second source,’” Dunn said.
Great idea. Now if only Fow would just stop covering embarrassing stories about unvetted people crashing White House events, climate science being discovered to be a massive fraud, presidential dithering about war plans, government take-overs of, well, pretty much everything, why then I’m sure the White House — and NPR — would be extremely satisfied.