I just happened to have WKSU on the radio when I left work. I’ve been trying to avoid NPR news of late; the overarching message seems to be “We’re all poor, and only Obama can save us.” But there was Melissa interviewing Judd Gregg about the Obama “budget” (scare quotes because a real budget is about allocating a relatively fixed amount of money)
“The budget is reasonably honest, and in fact, I give them credit for having brought on line and made clear the costs of the war,” Gregg told NPR’s Melissa Block. “But the budget itself has some real serious problems, in my opinion, because it is a massive expansion in spending and a massive expansion in taxes. And the real problem is that in the out years, not only does it increase spending in taxes, but it passes on to our children a government that can’t be afforded, and that’s a big problem.”
So Missy asked/told the Senator that Obama was elected on a specific platform, and doesn’t he have a mandate to do that?
“I don’t think he was elected to bankrupt the country”
So then Missy came up with another question/statement asking for validation of her worldview. It wasn’t quite “You do believe in the Communist Manifesto, don’t you?” It was something more like, “Isn’t it reasonable that the wealthiest among us should pay more to help create a more equitable society?”
And Gregg said, “Well, I know that’s the NPR position, but it’s not my position.” Melissa was left sputtering. Sen. Gregg felt sorry for her and helpfully backtracked, “It’s certainly your question’s position.” And right then I shut off the radio, because nothing could be better than that, and I had to stop the laughter somehow.
The NPR page is interesting in what it leaves out of the exchange, like the news of their ace reporter being left speechless. There’s the video, which I’ll watch at work tomorrow to get the exact quotes. And there’s the comments, including one who mentioned the “cheap shot”.
It wasn’t a cheap shot; it was the truth, and if this had been a Democratic senator, it would have been defined as “speaking truth to power.” What’s a “cheap shot” is the constant assumption by the press of a Marxist worldview. It’s so natural and reflexive that they don’t even notice they’re doing it, and when called on it, the callout seems totally alien. Actually, NPR is generally better about this than they were tonight: being a quasi-governmental organ, they have to at least pretend to be objective in order to be taken seriously at all. But since the bias is so ingrained and unnoticed, it still escapes.
UPDATE: Listening to the recording to get the exact quotes (installed above), she seemed less inarticulate than when I heard her. Did anyone else catch this? Did NPR doctor the tape to make Missy sound less flat-footed?