In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 31, 2011 / 26 Shevat, 5771

Games NPR Plays

By Paul Greenberg

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When it comes to bureaucracies, corporate or public, it's not just jobs that can be delegated but any sense of responsibility. This isn't just a familiar pattern, it's standard operating procedure by now. When the head of the outfit is confronted by a scandal that can no longer be ignored, and the public has grown more outraged than usual, protocol demands that the top exec submit ... somebody else's resignation.

It could almost be Washington's motto: The buck stops somewhere else. Now it's happened at NPR. Which is one of the many public-private hodgepodges that gets all kinds of funding from all kinds of sources -- and so is hard to pin down when things go embarrassingly wrong. There are more of those around than ever -- Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Government Motors, AIG, American health care in general ... you name it. Their structure tends to resemble that of a medieval chimera, only without the charm.

NPR never looked so much like the politically correct fraud it's long been than when it fired Juan Williams, one of its news commentators, for daring to comment on the news -- on FOX yet.

It took a while for the suits at national headquarters to come up with some transparent excuse. In this case, Mr. Williams was said to have been hired as an analyst, not a commentator, and so had overstepped his bounds. As if NPR standbys like Mara Liasson, Cokie Roberts and the late Daniel Schorr, who may have been the most party-lining of them all, never let an opinion escape their depoliticized lips. Even though they, too, were listed as "analysts" or "correspondents" rather than commentators.

The line between news and opinion isn't just hazy at NPR; it doesn't exist except in the official table of organization. And it's invoked only when a commentator violates not a code of ethics but NPR's unstated but always present political code.

All the usual excuses and evasions were rolled out in the not-so-mysterious case of Juan Williams. But it was clear he had to go because he'd violated NPR's political prejudices by commenting openly about how he felt when he saw someone wearing a hijab or burqa ("Muslim garb," as he put it) in an airport, though he also made it clear he wasn't proud of how nervous it made him. Mr. Williams is a candid and decent sort (a rare combination), which may be another reason he had to go.

A network that hides its political prejudices, calling subjective judgments news, makes me a lot more nervous than Muslim women going about their business, bless 'em. A friend of mine tends to turn on NPR in his car and wait till the first editorial comment is made in the guise of news. Then he changes to the classical music station. He usually doesn't have to wait long. Maybe between 10 and 30 seconds. What a blessing classical music can be at such annoying times, not to mention what it does for the mental health and heart rate. Mozart beats Michael Moore any time.

NPR had to do something after this mess broke. At last count, it had received some 23,000 e-mails protesting Juan Williams' firing. The natives were restless and NPR had little choice but to offer up one of its sacrificial vice presidents, who may be on the payroll for just such occasions. This time it was one Ellen Weiss, who went quietly, almost noncommitally. She knows the code.

The chief executive of the network is one Vivian Schiller, whose own reaction to Juan Williams' comment at the time was to suggest that he might want to consult a psychiatrist. Did she ever apologize for that crack? If not, she should have. And the sincerest form of apology remains resignation.

Besides, shrinks have more important things to do than tend to the well balanced, and if there's anything disturbing about Juan Williams, it's his eerie equanimity on air. (As a newspaper columnist, he'd be entirely too sane. The job requires a certain temperamental eccentricity for the copy to ring with the occasional Menckenesque outburst.)

Ms. Schiller remains NPR's CEO, to no one's surprise. How's that for justice? Which is one primitive concept that progressive NPR long ago outgrew. She was, however, denied her annual bonus. At NPR, the worst punishment high-ranking miscreants can expect is not to be rewarded for their bad decisions -- instead of just being fired. And this is called accountability. Which is how bureaucracies work, or rather don't. In NPR's case, public funding pretty much renders it immune to the discipline of the marketplace.

If the suits at NPR want the network to be just a classier version of MSNBC, they have every right to aim for that (lack of) distinction. But let 'em do it on their own dime, not the public's. Rather than have everybody in the country subsidize their politics, why not just cut off their water?

There'd be no better time to do that than now, when the federal budget needs to be not just trimmed but sheared. Let NPR find out what earning your keep in a free market is like. It might instill some new values, and news values, at National Political Radio -- like letting commentators comment and keeping the news the news, not opinion by another name.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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