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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Does NPR Work for Fix the Debt?

Does NPR Work for Fix the Debt?

Wednesday, 18 December 2013 05:33

That's what millions of listeners must be asking after hearing its reference to the budget deal in a top of the half hour news segment on Morning Edition (sorry, no link). The segment told listeners that the deal did little to reduce the deficit.

That is perhaps true, but how did NPR decide that this was the most important piece of information to give listeners in this short piece. It could have told listeners about its impact on much more important problems. For example, due to lack of demand we are losing $1 trillion a year in potential output according to the Congressional Budget Office. We are also down more than 8 million jobs from trend levels. It might have been appropriate to tell listeners that the budget does nothing to boost the economy and address the job shortfall.

NPR could have also told readers that the budget does little to address the problem of global warming which is likely to have devastating consequences for our children and grandchildren. However NPR instead chose to highlight the fact that the budget apparently did not meet its concerns for reducing the deficit even though by every objective measure the deficit is too small, not too large.

Comments (8)Add Comment
written by Last Mover, December 18, 2013 7:41

Well yes, but haven't you heard? At NPR, the messenger has replaced the message.

Note the perfect inflection and intonation of the reporter's measured voice as it ask and answers its own questions in bot like fashion of feigned concern,
raised at just the right point to hold the listener's interest.

One would think that NPR, like other sock puppets in MSM, however subtle, would hire a "content manager" to keep the news on the straight and narrow.

Oh wait. They already did.
Good grief
written by JC, December 18, 2013 7:47
I think NPR is concerned enough about their liberal reputation than to regurgitate what is suggested here.
written by Squeezed Turnip, December 18, 2013 7:55
NPR = Non Professional Reporting

"Centrism" and "fairness" continues it's chokehold on journalism, apparently.
Name Names
written by Jeffrey Stewart, December 18, 2013 8:04
Exactly what producer and/or reporter are/is responsible for this slant on the story? What is his/her/their agenda? Why are they so focused on the debt? Let's not just blame the station, let's place blame on the people responsible and uncover their motives.
npr was supposed to be alternative to corporate America
written by djb, December 18, 2013 7:45
No more
Deficit Hawks
written by BaldySanta, December 19, 2013 11:08
I had the same feeling a couple of weeks ago when the conversation about the forth-coming budget was ONLY in terms of how much the deficit would be reduced. The conversation disregarded any other economic or societal concerns whatsoever. It is hard to believe that such an organization has a remit to even present "both sides" of the story even.
written by Terry Humphrey, December 19, 2013 4:28
npr has been drifting right for at least a decade now. They are the Clear Channel of public radio I'm sure Mrs. Kroc is spinning in her grave after dropping her McDonald's millions on a right wing fifth column to preach to the Progressives. But, if you think nor is bad—try the News Hour of PBS.
Fallout from far right attack
written by Charles Como, December 20, 2013 8:11
I think in NPR's quest to not appear "liberal", which was the attack by the far right when they threatened to defund public radio, they have tried to shift to the center.. The only problem is they are playing into the far right's hands because the "center" they have chosen happens to be the very far right. I find myself not being able to even listen to NPR anymore as the journalists seem to have lost their ability for independent thought.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.