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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 Dec. 1, 2010 / 24 Kislev, 5771

Is NPR For Sale?

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Here's the latest from that continuing show, "As the Media World Turns." It seems George Soros, sugar daddy of 1,001 leftish crusaders, personal hobbyhorses, and even some good causes, has just given NPR $1.8 million to hire a hundred new reporters.

Some commentators on the state of the American media, formerly the American press, are shocked, shocked! Others aren't. Inquiring minds want to know if this is a scandal, just philanthropy, a menacing portent for the independence of American journalism, or all of the above.

In some right-wing quarters, George Soros' imprimatur is taken as the sign of the Devil, while some on the left take it as a Good Politics Seal of Approval.

Whatever it is, this latest gift got the media mavens' attention for the usual fleeting minute. For whatever else George Soros may be, he's good copy. Money usually is. See the attention paid Warren Buffett's every comment, cough and hiccup. Nothing impresses innocents of all persuasions like the opinions of the rich -- on just about any subject. Or as Teyve sings in "Fiddler on the Roof," "when you're rich, they think you real-ly know!"

This much is certain: Its hundred new reporters better adhere to NPR's party line, explicit or implicit. Or else they'll find themselves no longer in its employ. See under Williams, Juan.

Mr. Williams is now a decidedly former commentator on NPR, having been fired for commenting. The last straw came when he said something about passengers in Muslim garb making him nervous in airports, a violation of Political Correctness Directive No. 101.

His being sacked got even a lot of NPR fans upset. For a moment the curtain was lifted on NPR's claims of objectivity, diversity and general trustworthiness. That's all just a facade. Even if NPR lets a token conservative have a say from time to time. Juan Williams isn't even a right-winger, but he had to go anyway. He dared express an independent thought, and NPR couldn't tolerate it.

None of this should have come as a surprise to anyone with half an ear. NPR's ideological proclivities may be well dressed, but they're scarcely hidden. Yet there are those who believe all that elevated hokum about its being a source of objective news. As that great political philosopher P.T. Barnum once observed, there's one born every minute.

That NPR now has accepted a small to middlin' fortune from one of George Soros' philanthropic fronts only confirms its status as a news source with much the same agenda as MSNBC. It's just a lot more subtle about it. And therefore more effective. NPR's real specialty is euphemism, especially about the source of its funds. (On NPR, advertisers are known as "underwriters.")

This I Believe, to quote one of NPR's catchwords: George Soros has every right to spend his money agitating for any damfool cause he chooses, especially after the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United. Let freedom -- and opinion -- ring. Or in NPR's case, just drone. Much like Diane Rehm.

Mr. Soros has already given millions to outfits like MoveOn.org and Media Matters, so it shouldn't surprise when he decides to bankroll NPR, too. It's his prerogative in a free country. In this country, a variety of special interests, cranks, think tanks and kibitzers in general seek to influence public opinion -- and have every right to. It's called freedom of speech.

I have no problem with George Soros' giving away his money; it's NPR's taking it that raises questions. It's said that accepting a million or two from the ubiquitous Mr. Soros (ubiquitous on the left side of the political spectrum, anyway) will erode the credibility of NPR. But it's hard to see how said credibility could be eroded any further than it already has been by that networks' managers, editors and thought-reformers in general. They deliver willingly what bribes could never buy.

In this business, money isn't nearly the source of corruption that ideology is. And it works simply enough in the mediaworld: Just hire the politically correct in the first place, take care to promote only well-trained gliberals sensitive to every nuance of bien-pensant opinion, and there's no reason to spell out the kind of opinion they'll deliver. It'll come out leftish naturally, even if the occasional Juan Williams may slip and utter an unprogrammed thought.

Remember the thrill that Chris Matthews at MSNBC felt going up his leg when he heard St. Barack on the campaign trail? That was as nothing compared to the three-day fit of ecstasy at NPR inspired by that prophet's inaugural/coronation/ascension. And it was all perfectly sincere, frighteningly sincere. True believers always are. But it's time NPR spread its message on its own dime, or at least George Soros'. He can afford it. The American taxpayer no longer can.

What's intolerable, what should inspire a taxpayer revolt all by itself, is our being propagandized with our own tax dollars. Some $93.4 million of it was budgeted for public radio in 2010. And that's not counting its tax-deductible funding. Just how much We the People are spending to be politically proselytized is the subject of considerable debate and widely varying estimates. However much it is, it needs to end. And not just for budgetary reasons.

Incidental intelligence: NPR, formerly National Public Radio, now goes only by its initials, like some character in a Russian short story. The way British Petroleum became just BP, the American Association of Retired Persons is now AARP, Philip Morris is Altria, and KFC is no longer Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Each of those enterprises doubtless has its own reasons good or bad or both for assuming a new name -- in the interests of greater accuracy or more effective dissimulation. Whatever NPR's reasons, the public shouldn't be paying for its little games with its name -- or with the news.

Paul Greenberg Archives

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. David Barham, editorial writer there, contributed to this column. Send your comments by clicking here.

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