So NPR is in full survival mode after the release of the seismic video by O’Keefe. The striking thing about the video is, if you’ve ever spent time around certain folks more common inside the Beltway than in Altoona, Sandusky or Sumter, you tend to hear the sort of nonsense we all heard at Café Milano, though usually not all in one sitting. NPR says it is “fair and open minded about the people we cover.” Really? After I was on NPR, I had regular NPR listeners tell me they couldn’t believe how I was treated. Listen for yourself. If you’ve never been to NPR’s DC studios, it is quite a treat. It is like the broadcast version of the Starship Enterprise. They have one enormous studio lined in fine wood and large enough to hold a full orchestra. No expense is spared.
But my most revealing NPR moment was on April 29, 2009. The Supreme Court had just finished arguments in a challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act which gives the Justice Department effective control over 16 state elections. I was outside the Supreme Court with Voting Section Chief Christopher Coates. A famous NPR reporter who shall remain nameless approached Coates, who was an old acquaintance. The reporter unloaded personal biases regarding the Court’s attitude detected in oral argument. It was the unabashed opinion of a cheerleader for a particular outcome. I was stunned. Then again, there was no James O’Keefe lurking in the bushes.