I don’t always listen to NPR (or its local affiliate stations), but when I do, it’s because someone said it might be interesting to me. Not because of the content, of course, but because they know I’m always interested in exposing the liberal media machine, especially when the “news” is paid for by our tax dollars. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is slated to receive over $1 billion from Congress over the next two years.
This week’s topic: How “DeSantis’ ‘war on woke’ faces pushback;” and “Teachers face felony charges over classroom libraries”
We could spend hours exposing the dishonest presentation of the subject matter that aired across Florida on NPR affiliate stations this week. The program in question, The Florida Roundup, focused in part on the Florida Department of Education’s objection to an Advanced Placement (AP) pilot program about African American history that included a number of highly controversial modules that the state says are less about African American history and more about ideological indoctrination in the classroom.
But there’s plenty to talk about long before we ever get to the actual content of the program, starting with the show’s producer, Brendan Rivers, who has logged several tours of duty at left-wing “environmental justice” media organizations funded by all the usual suspects in the left-wing non-profit constellation. Rivers’ is also a fellow of Climate Matters in the Newsroom, a low-key activist group with a mission to push climate change narratives into newsrooms across the United States. In short, he’s been steeped in the progressive mindset long enough that he’s a trusted member of the club.
Then there are the program’s hosts, Matthew Peddie and Melissa Ross, with their public radio trademark, slow-talk style, offering only token representation of the substantive arguments advanced by the DeSantis Administration and Republican officials, while allowing their assembled liberal guests to tear those arguments apart like a pack of wild dogs.
The program kicked off with loaded language from famed attorney Ben Crump and one of his potential clients in a threatened potential lawsuit against the DeSantis Administration and the State Board of Education, which ate up a few minutes of airtime, but NPR’s hosts quickly moved to their assembled guests. Keep in mind that all of them represent the same ideological spectrum on the show: mostly liberal activist politicians and liberal activist journalists who are funded by liberal activist third party groups.
Not a single person represented the other side. Peddie does mention at one point that the Florida Department of Education “didn’t make a spokesperson available to talk with us,” but that’s just an excuse for why things were so one-sided. I’m willing to wager that there is no shortage of people willing to appear on the program who would have been happy to defend the state’s position. They just didn’t try.
The show’s hosts and producer did clearly go out of their way to line-up guests for the opposition. One of the program’s early guests, Will Brown, works in a local Jacksonville newsroom where part of his salary is (or was) paid through a controversial arrangement with a left-wing journalism non-profit. We’ve exposed those types of problematic arrangements before, but they work like this: a left-wing “philanthropist” gives money to left-wing non-profit foundation, which uses those dollars to identify, vet, educate, train, install, fund or otherwise support journalists sympathetic to the philanthropist’s or foundation’s political goals. And we benefit from all the free* information!
Other guests included Democrat State Senator Shevrin Jones, one of the most outspoken voices against DeSantis and state Republican lawmakers, and Larry Rivers, who is a Distinguished Professor of History at FAMU. Rivers was quick to defend The College Board, which produced some of the controversial curriculum at the center of the debate.
In the second half of the program, the topic shifted to the plight of school teachers, whom the program portrays as having to live in fear of being thrown in jail if they don’t remove (or at least cover) their personally curated collections of student reading materials in the classroom if they contain pornography or age-inappropriate material.
Oh, those poor school teachers. Over the last week, we’ve seen nothing but television images and selfies on social media of barren classrooms and empty bookshelves. Because, apparently, for some Florida educators, it has become too difficult for them to decide which pornography violates the law and which pornography might slip past the state censors, so they wisely just remove everything, then complain about it to WLRN’s resident sympathetic ear, Kate Payne.
To bolster her coverage of these censorship horrors, Payne’s own news coverage was bolstered by…drum roll please…. another liberal journalist also sympathetic to the cause. Judd Legum is a well known liberal thought-leader and the founder of ThinkProgress, a once-thriving but now-defunct left-wing news site. A few years ago, Legum ran for office as a Democrat, coming up short in a bid for a Maryland legislative seat. But today he runs his own newsletter, called Popular Information.
Listen to the full-hour long parade of liberal commentators here.
If ever there was an argument to defund public radio, this is it. They proved in a single-hour that there’s no shortage of left-wing journalists, and no shortage of left-wing funding that could easily keep NPR and its affiliates on the air, even without our tax dollars.