NPR ombudsman: No more live interviews with conservatives

The taxpayer-supported network National Public Radio (NPR) won’t be having interviews with conservatives live on the air anymore.  After all, it is dangerous to afford them an opportunity to express themselves fully, without the benefit of NPR “contextualizing” their views and placating its left-wing listeners.

When your opponent is smarter than you are, cut him off, supply contrary views, and control the output so your own politics look better.

Breitbart News supplies its own context for the NPR move toward control:

National Public Radio ombudsman/public editor Elizabeth Jensen has recommended that the taxpayer-funded radio news service bar future live interviews of conservatives who may have controversial views, following an interview Nov. 16 with Breitbart News’ Joel B. Pollak.

Pollak, who serves as Breitbart’s Senior Editor-at-Large and In-house Counsel, defended its Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon from false and defamatory claims of antisemitism and “white nationalism.” He also turned the tables, pointing out that NPR has “racist programming,” including a story that called the 2016 election results “nostalgia for a whiter America.”

NPR listeners were apparently outraged that anyone from Breitbart News had been given an opportunity to defend the website and its chairman.

In her response, “Listeners: Two Recent Interviews Are ‘Normalizing Hate Speech’,” Jensen concluded that the live format had allowed Pollak to get the better of host Steve Inskeep.

She suggested that future interviews be taped: “In addition, in my opinion, these interviews should not be done live. Inskeep is an excellent live interviewer, but live interviews are difficult, especially when there is limited time. A little contextualizing never hurts.”

To be sure, Jensen did not specifically state that “conservatives” are what she meant by “these interviews.”  But what possible other interpretation is there?  I would be shocked if NPR will stop doing live interviews with political figures entirely.

I am hopeful that the next president and Congress will cut off funding for NPR.  Its status as a nonprofit organization also should be questioned with an audit of its content, particularly election coverage.  The left wing has every right to its own biased media outlets, but leftists do not have the right to appropriate taxpayer money for it.

 Hat tip: Richard Baehr

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