NPR and the McCain Kool-Aid

John McCain is not a moderate, and not a straight talker. But he plays on on NPR.

I’ve taken to listening to NPR radio in my car, and it’s driving me crazy. Two nonsensical ideas about John McCain are relentlessly presented as fact:

1. That he’s a moderate who now needs to reach out for conservative support.

– In fact, in terms of voting record, he’s about as conservative as John Kerry was liberal: not the most extreme, but solidly on the right. (It also implies that people such as, e.g., Bay Buchanan, are “conservatives,” which is a little bit like calling Angela Davis and Abbie Hoffman “liberals.”)

2. That he’s a “straight talker” who tells audiences what they don’t want to hear. In particular, that he’s stood firm on immigration.

– [No comment.]

Any idea why the NPR news team has swallowed this Kool-Aid? I’m puzzled. After all, they’re not actually stupid. Robert Siegel seems to be the most consistent offender.

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