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Nov 25th
Home Columns View from Denver Why I will never give a penny to NPR

Why I will never give a penny to NPR

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IF you think I am upset with National Public Radio because of the way it covers Israel, you are wrong.

Because the way it covers Israel, it covers the rest of the world.

It’s not just that Palestinian violence is mischaracterized, underplayed, or ignored altogether. That’s how NPR treats the other jihadists who have nothing to do with Israel.

NPR relativizes the whole world, not just the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

NPR denies the truth everywhere.

Last week, the day after the murders at Ft. Hood, an NPR reporter offered this nugget, after informing the listeners that the murderer was a “devout Muslim” and had increased his devotion to Islam over the years:

“Not that that, of course, can be relevant to this case.”

Exactly how did NPR know that? The day after the shooting, details were still very sketchy. Doesn’t matter. NPR knew that being a “devout Muslim” was irrelevant to the shooting.

Had NPR investigated this? Had NPR examined the writings, journals, web postings, conversations with friends and imams, of the murderer?

Doesn’t matter.

NPR knew. “That isn’t relevant to the case.”

In apologizing for radical Islam, NPR does not acknowledge religion as a potent force in human life. NPR is reductionist. If Major Hasan killed 13 people, the place to look for an explanation is his counseling people who suffered from PTSD.

Look at the psychology, not the religion.

An objective news organization will look at psychology and religion, as well as the politics, the profession and the tastes of the murderer. An objective news organizatin will look at everything.

But not NPR. It will respond to religious facts only as superficially as necessary so as not to appear derelict in journalistic duty. It will tell us that Hasan was a “devout Muslim.” That is, it will tell us that the sun is shining, when the sun is shining. It will tell us what is impossible to deny without looking foolish.

Then, in the very next sentence, it will tell us:

“Not that that, of course, can be relevant to this case.”

For this, I am not giving a penny.

BESIDES its bad reporting by refusing to consider religion as a cause of evil, NPR has other tics, other solecisms, other runnings-of-the-mouth, that reveal a lot.

In the process of reporting on the murders at Ft. Hood, in the same newscast, another NPR reporter referred to the “alleged” shooter. Fine. Appropriate. Innocent until proven guilty.

But the reporter also referred to the “alleged shooting.”

Excuse me? Thirteen people are dead. There was no “alleged” shooting.

If you reply that reporters under the pressure of a confusing and enormous breaking story will let things slip, then I respond: Precisely. What people say when they are not in full control, not in the comfort of their study, not operating under normal calm and deliberation, is the most revealing. When a reporter tells us of the “alleged shooting,” a mindset shoots forth. That mindset says: Cast doubt on the black-and-white obvious.

This is the mindset that says, without investigation, that being a “devout Muslim” is “not relevant” to a murderer’s rampage.

I’m not done.

NPR had this to say a couple of weeks ago — again, nothing to do with Israel. In a certain country, which I don’t remember, a “militant” fired a rocket into a hotel. Blessedly, no one was hurt.

A militant?

If one who fires a rocket into a hotel is not a terrorist, who is?

By selecting militant over terrorist, NPR is trying to avoid partisanship, an admirable journalistic ethic. But by avoiding terrorist altogether, NPR becomes partisan, not only for many aggressors, but against victims everywhere.

Since, to NPR, there is no terrorist, then victims of a rockets fired into a civilian location or the 13 people murdered on an army base are merely accidents or collateral damage — deeds for which no one can be held morally responsible.

NPR’s attempt to transcend partishanship eliminates any possibility of any side in any war being right or wrong. I wonder how NPR would have covered Nazism.

SINCE, to NPR, there is no terrorist, all the more there is no Islamic terrorist. And since there is no such thing as a terrorist, then, yes, just exactly how do you think NPR will cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Exactly as it does.

There are two equal sides. There is moral equivalence. Jews burn down olive trees. Palestinians burn down people. And it’s all the same.

And if there’s an exception, it’s not an exception. If a true Jewish terrorist does show up — and, disgracefully, this happens on rare occasion — then that’s taken as proof positive of the validity of the entire NPR moral-equivalence and fact-equivalence approach. There’s one Jewish terrorist, and countless Palestinian terrorists.They’re equal. To NPR, it’s all the same.

Except, please remember, they’re not terrorists.

They’re “militants,” right there in league with the people who fire rockets into hotels.

Enough? You got it?

This is why I’m never sending a penny to NPR.

NPR relativizes evil

In Israel. Out of Israel.


I’m not supporting that.


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