NPR … National Public Radio or Nazi Public Radio?

The other morning when I listened to Fox News as I was channel surfing for the day’s events it was disclosed that President Bush had granted an interview to Juan Williams a senior NPR correspondent and Fox News contributor to fall in line with the anniversary of the Little Rock public school desegregation action taken by President Eisenhower back in the 50’s.

No biggie one might say but when it was disclosed that National Public Radio had balked and would not air the interview this left me wondering … what is going on here?

Ellen Weiss, NPR’s vice president for news, said she “felt strongly” that “the White House shouldn’t be selecting the person.” She said NPR told Bush’s press secretary, Dana Perino that “we’re grateful for the opportunity to talk to the president but we wanted to determine who did the interview.” When the White House said the offer could not be transferred to one of NPR’s program hosts, Weiss took a pass.

Let me touch upon why I think NPR was wrong in this situation. First it is not a practice for any news organization to be able to dictate what reporter gets to ask the President a question when they are allowed access to the President during a White House news conference. Questions are fielded from parties present at the discretion and selection of the President. Anyone he does not want to allow to ask a question is passed by and there are no qualms. It is a matter of routine practice and has been for years.

Second, NPR is publicly funded. As a servant of the public trust it behoves NPR to utilize all opportunities to give the public access to the President on issues of interest and concern. An interview with President Bush on race relations in this country does not qualify as a matter of interest with the Jenna 6 and assault on Megan Williams in West Virginia such hot topics?

Last, Juan Williams until now has been a respected journalist. NPR by this action has shown that it does not respect Mr. Williams to be fair and honest in his efforts to deliver news. This in my opinion is nothing but censorship. This goes to the point that I have advocated for a long time, “A free people’s measure of freedom is dictated not only by their ability to read but by what they can read. ”

I recall from my history education that in Nazi Germany one of the first rights to disappear was the right to have access to written material especially material that was in opposition to those in control.

We are living in dangerous times. It is now more important than ever to at least be able to hear our elected leaders respond to questions about issues of our time. NPR has coverage on Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech at Columbia. If you can defend your coverage of that as an effort to provide news that is of interest to the public then why are African American journalists denied publication of interviews with the President?

Maybe it’s a “Black” thing?


One thought on “NPR … National Public Radio or Nazi Public Radio?

  1. Sir,
    I don’t believe this to a “Black thing” at all. While most of our country has done a shift to the liberal left, politics remains on the Far Right on both sides of the political machine. Freedom as we knew it is all but gone; those who ask questions that are not popular with the main stream liberal press are hard pressed to get answers. If it were a Caucasian who asked a question concerning the Jena 6 or the outrageous act committed in Virginia, I don’t believe it would be answered either.
    These are embarrassing questions to our government,not just to the President, as we, as citizens ask why Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s was allow into our country, let alone to address the student body at Columbia U., why the white supremacy movement, militia movement, Black Separatist, and the Church of Jesus Christ Christian, a known white supremacy church that preaches that they are the true “chosen people of G-d” and not the Jewish people, whom are coincided as “Mud Peoples” along with Blacks, Hispanics, Native Peoples and others, are allowed to do and say what they please.
    While I agree with your article, I believe the question should be why does our government allow the above groups to exist, let alone continue to grow. The web site has many answers to questions like yours and other question that should be asked but aren’t in the main stream media.
    Folks like you, who ask these hard questions were once called Patriots, now this sacred name Patriot brings to mind the right wing nut jobs of the white supremacy movement and their ilk whenever it is used to describe a person who asks the hard question that need to be addressed.
    We American’s are one people, from diverse backgrounds, religions, race, creed and color, but we ALL have one thing in common-“We Are Americans” and as such are guaranteed certain rights, given to us by our Forefathers, who bought them for us with blood, treasure and their very lives. The American Revolution gave us our independence, the American Civil War gave equal rights to all but the native peoples, even though it took another 100 years to achieve that equality and remains an ongoing fight not for just Black Americans but for all Americans.
    This is the time for our country to come together and with one voice let it be known that we do not welcome terrorist in whatever form they come in, whether they be foreign or domestic.
    I thank you for your fine article and sharing it with other Americans. It might be that NPR being middle of the road, hits too close to home for our government to be comfortable with.
    Respectfully Submitted

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