Truthout: Just a Couple More Things About NPR

March 25, 2011- Like Jake LaMotta and his brother Joey in the bloody boxing classic "Raging Bull," we are gluttons for punishment. So, here we are again, third week in a row, defending NPR against the bare-knuckled assault of its critics.

Our earlier pieces on the funding threat to NPR have generated plenty of punches, both pro and con. And although most of the comments were welcome, and encouraged further thinking about the value of public media in a democratic society, a few reminded us of the words of the poet and scholar James Merrick: "So high at last the contest rose/From words they almost came to blows!"

Nonetheless, reading those comments and criticisms made us realize there are a couple of points that these two wizened veterans of public broadcasting - with the multiple tote bags and coffee mugs to prove it - would like to clarify.

Salon: What the right means when it calls NPR "liberal"

Bill Moyers and Michael Winship debunk the claim that NPR is the left-wing opposite of the right-wing media machine

March 25, 2011- Like Jake LaMotta and his brother Joey in the bloody boxing classic "Raging Bull," we are gluttons for punishment. So here we are again, third week in a row, defending NPR against the bare-knuckled assault of its critics.

Our earlier pieces on the funding threat to NPR have generated plenty of punches, both pro and con. And although most of the comments were welcome, and encouraged further thinking about the value of public media in a democratic society, a few reminded us of the words of the poet and scholar James Merrick: "So high at last the contest rose/From words they almost came to blows!"

Buzzflash: Right Wing Hit Media 400: "Disabling Journalism to Destroy Progressive Thought"

March 22, 2011- Case study: James O'Keefe's "Project Veritas"

Goal: Defund National Public Radio

Tactics:

1) Set up phony Muslim Organization to offer $5 million donation to NPR;

2) Secretly videotape meeting between NPR fundraiser and phony Muslim donors;

3) Cut out all ethical statements by NPR; edit video to mislead viewers about bias by NPR reporters and staff;

4) Farm video out to all major news organizations; get media critic Howard Kurtz to do softball TV interview ignoring the deception; specifically get FOX news to promote the deception as fact.

5) Leverage publicity so the GOP can introduce an emergency House bill to defund NPR.

Talking Points Memo: O'Keefe Says He Racked Up 'Major Credit Card Debt,' Needs To Raise $50K

March 23, 2011- Conservative provocateur James O'Keefe, fresh off his sting operation aimed at NPR, "must raise $50,000 quickly to keep moving forward" he said in an e-mail to supporters.

"Up 'til now, my friends and I have financed all of our work on our own -- running up major credit card debt," O'Keefe writes. "We made a lot of sacrifices -- personally and financially -- because we fight for what we believe in."

"But, now we've hit a wall. This has gotten a lot bigger than we ever imagined. The multi-billion dollar major media Goliath is embarrassed by their failure to make a meaningful impact like we have -- that's why they're attacking us," he writes.

Washington Post: Huffington Post will stand by Andrew Breitbart, despite criticsm

March 23, 2011- The Huffington Post is coming under mounting pressure from some on the left to stop giving Andrew Breitbart a front-page platform, with some wondering whether the granting of prime real estate to Breitbart signals that HuffPo is trying to broaden its ideological appeal.

But according to a statement sent my way, HuffPo will stand by Breitbart and continue publishing him. HuffPo spokesperson Mario Ruiz emails:

Huffington Post: James O'Keefe Asks Supporters For $50,000 To Pay Off 'Major Credit Card Debt'

March 23, 2011- For undercover sting savant James O'Keefe, the task of self-funding his missions to bust groups such as ACORN and NPR is apparently causing a strain on his pocketbook.

In a recent fundraising email to supporters, O'Keefe, who recently filed to have his group, Project Veritas, listed as a nonprofit, claims he's in deep credit card debt, and that he needs $50,000 to pay it off.

"Up 'til now, my friends and I have financed all of our work on our own -- running up major credit card debt," O'Keefe writes in the email, according to Talking Points Memo. "We made a lot of sacrifices -- personally and financially -- because we fight for what we believe in."

Salon: The Planned Parenthood government shutdown

The Senate's refusal to accept culture war budget cuts brings us one big step closer to budget gridlock

March 23, 2011- Could a successful defense of Planned Parenthood force a government shutdown?

The news that a handful of moderate Republican senators -- Massachusetts' Scott Brown, Alaska's Lisa Murkowski and Maine's Susan Collins -- oppose cutting federal funding for the family planning nonprofit has defenders of the high-profile organization breathing a huge sigh of relief. With Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., declaring outright last week that he would not accept a budget deal that included cuts to the program, it seems clear that the votes to defund Planned Parenthood simply aren't there in the Senate.

AlterNet: Moyers and Winship: We Can't Let an Amateur Right-Wing Smear Campaign Destroy NPR

Public media is essential to American life -- without public radio, the reactionaries among us will hold a monopoly on the airwaves.

March 18, 2011- There’s no more scrupulous or versatile broadcast journalist than NPR’s Daniel Zwerdling. He is one of those reporters who keeps his eye on the sparrow – that is, on small details from individual lives that add up to significant issues of public policy. As he described in a special report this week how the United States Army is clarifying guidelines "that should make it easier for soldiers with traumatic brain injuries from explosions to receive the Purple Heart," it was mind-boggling to think that right wingers in Congress were at that very moment voting to eliminate the modest federal funds that make such essential and authoritative reporting available to anyone in America who cares to tune in.

Talking Points Memo: James O'Keefe Doesn't Want To Be Videotaped: 'He's Got Lawsuits Up The Gazoo'

March 18, 2011- James O'Keefe, the conservative activist who made his name with a string of undercover video sting operations, doesn't like it so much when the camera is turned on him.

Speaking to around 100 members of the Bayshore Tea Party in New Jersey Thursday night, O'Keefe reportedly had members of the group ask a photographer from the Asbury Park Press to leave the event.

"You can take still pictures. If you want to ask him to film an interview afterwards, you can ask him for that, but you cannot film or record during the event, that's what he requested," Bayshore Tea Party member Charles Measley tells the photographer in a video posted on the newspaper's website.

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Mark Crispin Miller
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