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Ed Driscoll

NPR’s Cokie Roberts Leads the Schorr Patrol for Obama

July 31st, 2012 - 11:32 am

“NPR’s Cokie Roberts: Romney Poland Trip Racially Motivated,” John Nolte reports at Big Journalism:

What’s important about the NPR excerpt below, which broadcast this morning, is that this is everything NPR’s Cokie Roberts has to say about Romney’s motives for going to Poland. This is the entirety of it. You can listen for yourself here, but when Roberts was asked why Poland, the sole motive Roberts came up with is a racial one.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you your tax dollars at work:

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: So today is Poland. Why is he stopping in Poland. What does he hope to accomplish with that?

Cokie Roberts: Well, I think part of it was a desire to portray President Obama as something of a wimp, and say he’s abandoned Eastern Europe. But look, you remember well the Reagan Democrats. Those ethnic white voters who had been Democrats for many years; turned out for Ronald Reagan, and have been fairly predictable Republicans since then. Now it’s a smaller percentage of the population — of the voting population — than it used to be, but white voters are still much more Republican than any other group in the electorate. They went for McCain in 2008 by 55%. And I think that getting those ethnic voters excited is really what Romney has in mind here. It’s more for the folks at home — the descendents of the people that he will be speaking to — in Poland.

As you can see, according to Roberts, Romney didn’t go to Poland to gain some foreign policy experience or to prepare himself to be president or to help differentiate between his values and those of our current president. No, it was all some dark, divisive, cynical, racial plan to suck up to us rural white bitter-clingers.

Yep,  Romney went to Poland to blow a big racial dog-whistle.

This is pure McCarthyism on Roberts’s part. Nothing more, nothing less.

Daniel Schorr was a former CBS journalist who spent his dotage at NPR; evidently he willed his playbook to the latter network upon his demise in 2010. Earlier this month, when Howard Kurtz reviewed Douglas Brinkley’s new biography, Cronkite, he mentioned a couple of Cronkite and Schorr’s most notorious moments:

But [Cronkite] was far more liberal than the public believed, and he let it show in unacceptable ways. Had Cronkite pulled such stunts today, I would probably be among those calling for him to step down.

Barry Goldwater distrusted him from the start, and with good reason. On the day of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Cronkite nodded his head in thinly veiled contempt when handed a note on air that the Arizona senator had said “no comment.” Goldwater was attending his mother-in-law’s funeral that day.

“Whether or not Senator Goldwater wins the nomination,” Cronkite told viewers another day, “he is going places, the first place being Germany.” Although Goldwater had merely accepted an invitation to visit a U.S. Army facility there, correspondent Daniel Schorr said he was launching his campaign in “the center of Germany’s right wing.”

More on that incident from Newsbusters in 2010:

Daniel Schorr’s passing on Friday, at age 93, reminded me of the kind of assaults CBS News unleashed on conservatives before there were any countervailing forums available. A 2001 Weekly Standard article (nine years in my “pending” file!) detailed a particularly vicious left-wing hit piece he narrated in 1964 which linked Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater with neo-Nazis in Germany, a CBS Evening News story notorious enough to earn a mention – if without any censure – in the New York Times and Washington Post obituaries.

In a June of 2001 Weekly Standard review of a memoir by Schorr about his years with CBS, CNN and NPR, Andrew Ferguson recited the piece which aired during the GOP’s convention:

“It looks as though Senator Goldwater, if nominated, will be starting his campaign here in Bavaria, center of Germany’s right wing” also known, Schorr added helpfully, as “Hitler’s one-time stomping ground.” Goldwater, he went on, had given an interview to Der Spiegel, “appealing to right-wing elements in Germany,” and had agreed to speak to a conclave of, yes, “right-wing Germans.” “Thus,” Schorr concluded, “there are signs that the American and German right wings are joining up.” Now back to you, Walter, and have a nice day!

If Romney’s staff sounds appropriately testy with old media — wait, is their boss a wimp or a bully this week? — it’s having to put up with smears from the Palace Guard that elected and protect Obama, such as Roberts’ pathetic attempt at blowing the raaaaacist dog whistle. On the other hand, perhaps they’ll have plenty of time to develop their skills at handling them.

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