Another NPR puff-piece on McCain

Their “news stories” sound like campaign radio spots.

Is NPR in the tank for John McCain?

It’s hard to find another explanation for this Mara Liasson puff-piece, which contrasts McCain-as-maverick with Clinton and Obama as rigid adherents to the Democratic party line. Liasson has audio clips from no fewer than four active McCain supporters: Newt Gingrich, Lindsay Graham, Gov. Pawlenty (who’s trying out for the Veep spot) and Michael Gerson. The one “sceptic” is Bill Galston, who isn’t quite sure that McCain is really the second coming of TR, but thinks he’d like to be. (Is the whole Clinton camp so consumed with Obama-hatred that they’re unwilling to say anything mean about the Republican nominee?)

No mention of: flip-flop on taxes, flip-flop on “agents of intolerance,” flip-flop on torture (as long as the CIA is doing it instead of hte military), flip-flop-flip on the Confederate flag, breaking the campaign finance laws he brags about writing, letting a lobbyist who lobbies the Senate Commerce Committee do business out of the Straight Talk Express bus.

And of course no reflection that the last time we heard about a Republican who wanted to work across partisan lines to solve problems his name was George W. Bush.

If this were a one-off, I wouldn’t be so steamed. But this is the third NPR piece on McCain I’ve heard, and they’re all alike: barely distinguishable from campaign radio spots.

Time to start working the refs, I think. The story ran on “All Things Considered.” You can send a forceful but polite note of protest here.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com