Is NPR Pro-Gun?

Oh yes it's ladies night . . . (courtesy media.npr.org)

Yesterday’s Daily Digest included a link to National Public Radio‘s Armed ‘Good Guys’ And The Realities Of Facing A Gunman, a fair and balanced report on a defensive gun use. Earlier today, Morning Edition aired TTAG’s contributor rabbi’s defence of Sheriff David Clark’s call for armed citizens. Today, NPR ran a piece called Are Shooting Ranges The New Bowling Alleys? that only gave a nod to VPC civilian disarmament agitator Josh Sugarman (“Bowling alleys pose no lethal threat to participants; shooting ranges pose a risk to users”). And now TTAG reader Rossi reports on another even-handed look at firearms in “Gun Stories.” (Make the jump for his description of the piece.) It’s almost enough to make a right-thinking conservative reconsider his or her opposition to the network’s taxpayer subsidies. Almost . . .

It looks like NPR is trying very hard to maintain the appearance of balance.  I was listening to their show “The Story” today, and the episode was named “Gun Stories.” (You can find the web page for that episode here  and the complete audio file here.) The first 21 minutes of the show were narration about, and an interview with, Joel Myrick, who was the assistant principal (and first responder) at the 1997 Pearl High School shooting.

At the end of the interview, they gave him eight and a half minutes to talk about his view on guns, society, and armed guards in schools.  There were no combative interruptions, and no cutting him into out of context soundbites.  He honestly got to say his piece.  Not everything he says is TTAG (i.e. there’s a a bit of Jeanne Assam‘s “I’m exceptional” attitude), but the intervew is REALLY worth listening to….it’s golden, IMHO.

He covered a lot of good points:

  • “guns are not bad”
  • this society is violent, and removing guns would not change that
  • the cases we hear about in the news are not representative;  in 99% of cases (his statistic) the situation is averted because of a gun
  • we already protect the things we care about with guns
  • having an armed School Defense Officer would be no more discomforting than having an armed officer at a mall or stadium
  • He even discusses Cooper’s 4th law (although not referencing it) when he talks about not taking a shot because the background was not safe.

They did follow his story with two minutes of someone who had decided to give up guns, but 21 min vs. two is an AMAZING balance.

Whether you use it or not, you really ought to take the time to listen to this.  Like I said before, the interview piece is at the front of the episode, and the last 8.5 minutes of it is the best part.

There were a lot of mildly positive to neutral things embedded into today’s episode of Morning Edition, – enough that I probably would have written about them – but nothing as good as the stuff linked to above.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

90 Responses to Is NPR Pro-Gun?

  1. avatarJake says:

    Hell and no

  2. avatarLinebackerU says:

    If you have an open mind, and you don’t predispose yourself to hating NPR for no reason, you’ll find that they have the best news coverage in the business. Much more thoughtful and balanced than anything you’ll find on TV.

    NPR’s “Weekends on All Things Considered” podcast had a special edition episode called “Tragedy in Newtown” which was released on December 16th. Even in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, they presented a balanced (fairly equal time to both sides) discussion of gun control. This included an interview with someone arguing that bans on specific weapons are pointless in preventing mass killings. You can download the podcast on iTunes.

    • avatartron says:

      I agree, except for the Diane reem show.

      • avatarDutchinDC says:

        +1 on Diane Reem

        But it is amazing how much close you can get to actual news when they don’t have to chase ratings to make money.

        • avatartron says:

          I find some of their investigative reporting intriguing. I constantly listen for unbiased reporting, and really only find it on Reem. Kojo is left, but I really like his tech Tuesdays.

        • avatarBarstow Cowboy says:

          I have given money to public radio. Sometimes you get tired of listening to Sean Hannity shilling for whatever trash the GOP wants to run out. NPR, despite their biases, goes deeper into stories than just about any other news outlet operating today.

        • avatar16V says:

          When John Lott’s ‘More Guns, Less Crime” was released in 1998 the first interview I heard with him was on, wait for it, NPR.

          Don’t recall if it was Fresh Air or TOTN, but it was logical, rational, and sane. Nobody blew a gasket, no Morgan/Hannity shout down idiocy. Quality data was distributed to an audience that is generally smart and/or educated, by someone with a decent degree, who had science on their side. From a trusted news source.

          Still the most in-depth, comprehensive, and objective reporting on the radio, bar none. Do they lean left? Of course. But it doesn’t generally stop them from actually airing John Lott (several times) and they never go Piers Morgan on him.

    • avatarRokurota says:

      As a faithful NPR listener and a PR/media specialist, I disagree. Why do we wet ourselves with excitement when we hear someone — anyone — suggest guns are not evil? Because it’s the exception, not the norm. Listen to the verbs NPR and other media outlets use. Which side closes the story? Most importantly, which stories do they feature and which do they not?

      NPR, and just about every major news outlet except for FoxNews and the WSJ’s op-ed page, is liberally slanted. At the top of the hour, you will hear Gabby Giffords’ impassioned pleas. You will not hear Ted Cruz’s articulate rebuttal. You will never hear about a CCW holder stopping a shooting, unless it’s in a snarky op-ed (as the NYT ran) called “The Myth of the Hero Gunslinger.” Everything they report is true, just not complete. Go into it with open ears and read Bernard Goldberg’s “Bias.”

    • avatarAnonymous says:

      > they have the best news coverage in the business.
      > Much more thoughtful and balanced than anything you’ll find on TV.

      In spite of their liberal bias, which does exist, I agree.

    • avatarRokurota says:

      As a regular NPR listener, I disagree. We wet ourselves when they are fair to us because it’s the exception, not the rule. Do Gabby Giffords’ passionate sound bites lead off the hour? Yes. Have they aired Ted Cruz’s articulate rebuttal? No.

      Listen to the verbs they use. Observe which side closes the story. And most importantly, pay attention to the stories they run and don’t run. When was the last time they ran a DGU story? Did they report on the CCW-aborted San Antonio shooting? Clackamas Mall? Was Hillary Clinton a screechy bitch defending her incompetence surrounding Benghazi or a tough manager righteously fending off witch-hunting Republicans? Are the economic reports evidence of Obama’s cluelessness or do experts agree other factors are at work?

      Celebrate the occasional balance, but don’t get used to it. NPR is liberal. Period.

    • avatarCA_Chris says:

      I think that for the most part the folks at NPR are trying to stick to journalistic objectivism.

      However, they still end up giving biased reports because they clearly are completely uninformed about real gun ownership and use in the US. They don’t seem to even know what questions to ask in their interviews, they don’t know when the interviewee is feeding them a line of garbage, and they don’t even know the basic facts and statistics that are publicly available.

      The gun-related news reports from NPR have been horribly disappointing. They are currently unqualified to conduct the interviews and write the reports that they have been attempting.

    • avatarSixpack70 says:

      I was skeptical of NPR until I started listening two years ago. I actually think they do a good job of presenting the facts as compared to any TV outlet. They also seem to find good representatives for the sides they portray in many different shows.

      • avatarDisThunder says:

        Same here. I realize it’s not saying much, but their news is definitely an improvement over most the MSM.
        …which makes them “C” students, but in a room full of assholes and morons…

    • avatarGriff says:

      I am a hard line constitutionalist libertarian, and I was a listener for many years. I tune in less now than I did a couple of years ago; things have changed somewhat since they took on their new leader, Knell, and the bias is more apparent than it once was. Too much of their coverage is soft and unimportant, and they let all politicians off too easy. Where’s The Fast and Furious exposé? Still, NPR does have less bombastic rhetoric and more analysis than other sources- that good vocabulary makes for a siren’s song, though.
      I heard an interview on the Fiscal Cliff with an economist at the end of December that had some great points, but played the tired old, ‘but the republicans won’t compromise’ schtick a little too much. At the end, unprompted, the economist blurted out, ‘but we have much more serious problems to deal with, like getting a handle on gun control.’ It’s hard to call that an unbiased source, for sure, and some of their willfully uninformed representations have been downright irresponsible- ‘gun violence,’ ‘assault weapon,’ and similar phrases have no place in responsible journalism.

    • avatarTominator says:

      “If you have an open mind, and you don’t predispose yourself to hating NPR for no reason, you’ll find that they have the best news coverage in the business. Much more thoughtful and balanced than anything you’ll find on TV.”

      Then DEFUND THEM and let them stand on their own two feet!

      They are, and have always been far left leaning in their reporting of politics and 2nd Amendment issues. ONE time they walk down the middle and you want to promote them a fair and balanced. Bullsheet!

  3. avatarBlinkyPete says:

    Given the fact that 60% (or so) of journalists describe themselves as liberal or moderate, and less than 10% describe themselves as conservative I don’t think NPR does a bad job, most of the time. That said I’m a little biased.

    Also, while I don’t believe in publicly funding much any corporations, I tend to start with the tens of billions being funneled to Wall Street and the hundreds of billions to the military industrial complex before I start trying to put big bird out of work.

    • avatarAnonymous says:

      > Also, while I don’t believe in publicly funding much any corporations

      How about the NPRA? National Public Rifle Association.

    • avatarCA_Chris says:

      NPR itself receives minimal Federal funding, however it is part of a larger media network that includes many rural and conservative radio and tv stations. For the most part, they’re trying to keep their reporting neutral, but their reporters and editorial staff lean so much in the same direction that they are unable to achieve objectivity. They simply don’t know enough about the topic of firearms, or they are working from a foundation of misinformation, such that they don’t know what questions to ask or what statements to challenge.

      At least thats how I see it.

  4. avatarIanmcall says:

    Well, they most likely aren’t “Pro-Gun”. They are certainly Pro-Fact. The facts are on our side.

  5. avatarmountocean says:

    They sure aren’t anti-gun. I listen to them in my car when I don’t take the bus to work, and I’ve stopped being suprised when they report fairly on guns or host strong pro-civil rights (gun) interviewees. They don’t sound like Gun Rights Radio Network, but considering their listening market, they’re probably as pro-gun as possible without having their audiance tune it out, and that’s the perfect balance.

  6. avatarNathanredbeard says:

    Bowling alleys pose no threat to your health? Ok great, I’m Mr. Sugarman won’t mind if I lob a 15 pound sphere at his head while playing a friendly game.

    • avatarJB says:

      To be fair, a local shooting range (Agoura Hills, CA) that closed down a few years back had a number of customers using it as a place to commit suicide. Something like 6 suicides over the last 10 years it was open. Sad fact, but they must have had some pretty lax range marshals.

      • avatarJames says:

        No range officer can possibly affect a suicidal. There are other factors obviously in play.

        I briefly jumped at a dropzone where two skydivers offed themselves. Same thing.

      • avatarMark says:

        I absolutely do not want to watch someone convert their brain to pink mist, but if they’re determined, what better choice could they make than to harm no one else and to do it somewhere with a good backstop?

        • avatarSlow Rider says:

          The problem is they usually don’t turn and face the backstop. They face down range and then either eat the gun or point it at their temple. This endangers any one close to them and makes a mess the range staff have to deal with. ( And yes I speak with factual knowledge, I worked at a gun range where we had a suicide. )
          It also gives the range a bad reputation and can have a severe impact on the staff. The person who worked with this individual and got them set up to shoot had a rough time dealing with the incident.
          So they are doing no one a favor, least of all themselves.

          Frank

  7. avataradamt says:

    NPR really is the best thing going on radio. i find myself feeling guilty for not supporting NPR and PBS. the whole goal of both is just to provide information. yes sometimes its can by a smidge left but not so much so that it turns me off. Hell my kids watch PBS all the time.

  8. avatarMike S says:

    I’ve been noting this, also. Glad to hear it isn’t just me. I was starting to wonder if I’d lost my mind.

  9. avatarpk in AZ says:

    NPR should have NO tax payer money given to them…

    • avatarTex74 says:

      Agreed. Most people don’t realize or fail to acknowledge that they have plenty of “sponsors” who advertise before each show.

    • avatarDon says:

      If your bread and butter requires bipartisan support in congress and the public you have pretty good incentive to be fair and balanced.

      If you’re funded by right wingers (Fox News) you have incentive to tell them what they want to hear and be a right wing propaganda machine.

      If you’re funded by left wingers (MSNBC, CNN) then you have incentive to tell them what they want to hear and be a left wing propaganda machine.

      Sometimes public resources are good for the public. NPR walks a fine line with consequences on either side. That’s a good thing for journalism.

    • avatarBeninMA says:

      A lot of NPR hosts take it personally when people say that (And I definitely agree with you — what part of the Constitution authorizes NPR funding?). But the dirty little secret is that they’d do just fine without public funding.

      • avatarlt_inNC says:

        You’re right that NPR doesn’t need public funds. They don’t actually get much at all. The vast majority of the money your thinking about goes to supporting public radio (different from NPR, which is one content producer) in rural areas that wouldn’t otherwise have enough donations to support a public radio station. There’s a lot more to public radio than NPR.

        Public Television works the same way. Some of our tax dollars go to public television stations in rural communities so that even kids in the sticks can watch Sesame Street without being bombarded by ads for junk food and toys.

        Supporting Public Broadcasting is one of the few things that government is consistently doing right.

      • avatarLinebackerU says:

        The part of the Constitution which authorizes NPR funding is Article I, Section 8, Clause 1, which gives Congress the power to tax and spend for the general welfare of the United States.

        • avatarLarry says:

          Which has been twisted to mean the gubt can tax and spend as much as they want on absolutely anything they want. How silly.

  10. avatarGyufygy says:

    Apparently, Josh Sugarman has never slid and fallen on his ass at a bowling alley, or dropped a bowling ball on his foot. Stupid statement. If you’re afraid of getting hurt, don’t get out of bed. Then you’ll just suffer from bedsores and starvation.

    Dick Gordon and “The Story” are especially good at devoting as much time as possible to the person being interviewed, not filling it up with the interviewer’s babble and interspersing sound bites here and there.

    • avatarmountocean says:

      You’re telling me! Bowling has given me, a strained wrist, sore elbow, pulled finger and stinky feet, I’ve bowled five times total.

      I’ve been shooting my whole life. One bloodied forehead from a brisk 9mm case ejection and one black-nailed Garand-thumb; but that was in my dorm room so it doesn’t count as “range time”.

  11. avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    My experience listening to NPR is that they do a passable job on human interest stories, politics, finance and so forth… but as soon as they start wading into science, engineering, technology, etc… the quality of their coverage goes down. But in fairness to them, absolutely no one in the mainstream press does a good job in these areas.

    At times, it is so infuriating, that I have to turn off the radio before I burst an aneurysm.

    • avatarGyufygy says:

      The problem with reporting science and tech is they take more than 30 secs to explain. Science Friday does as well as any live reporting of science and tech, but they dedicate 2 or 3 hours to it.

    • avatarTR says:

      That’s because a large portion of their general audience probably couldn’t pass a middle-school algebra, chemistry, or biology class. In Utah KSL usually does a decent job, until they start reporting science. Then all of a sudden it’s “Seratonin, the brain chemical that makes you feel happy”. The worst part of a journalist’s job has got to be trying to write dumb enough for their audience.

      • avatardin says:

        KSL, decent job. LOL. it isn’t just the audience that’s dumb, it’s the journalists. even after editing their articles are generally full of mistakes.

  12. avatarMike in NC says:

    I can’t comment on NPR as I am not a listener (I couldn’t even tell you where they are on the radio dial). I will say that local media has been much closer to neutral than I ever expected. There may be hope for the press outside of DC and NYC.

  13. avatarshawmutt says:

    Long time listener and supporter of NPR. It’s where the liberal in me comes out, well worth the tax funds.

  14. avatarPNG says:

    I actually find it more informative and objective than most sources, at least much of the time. Last year, Fresh Air aired a story on the history of Glock and its “plastic” guns. It was very good. Fun, even.

    I posted it on Facebook, where one of my gun friends attacked it and its “bias”. He clearly didn’t listen to it. He’s also a “brony.”

    I need to pick better friends.

    • avatartron says:

      A fucking brony, dude? Ugh.

    • avatarIng says:

      Hey, my 14-year-old son is a brony! Never thought I’d hear that term on this website… He goes out shooting with me every week, and he’s smart and responsible when it comes to guns so I think he’ll turn out okay anyway. :)

  15. avatarNew York Stagehand says:

    I’m pleasantly surprised by this story, and what is starting to look like a trend. The farther people dig into the “whole question of guns” meme, the clearer picture they are gaining. We’ve been talking about Gun Culture 2.0 for a while but I think we are in Gun Culture 2.2. Since the the Connecticut shootings, our side has worked very hard to present solid fact and united front against what is really an ideological polemic of limited appeal.

    The Antis tried to build steam with AZ: “Killer mag (good), politician shot and lived! (great! ), Shooter lived (damn.) Then CO: “Families! (good) EBR!!! (great!!!), Drum Mag (Yes!), Shooter lived…(Damn.) finally with CT we have Kids in an affluent NE town (OH! YEAH!!!) EBR!!!! ( yes, YES!!!) Lotsa mags!!! (oh! hand me a towel!) Shooter dead!!! (finally! We can work with this!) You see, as long as the shooter is alive people WILL blame the shooter. But with one more body, the shooter becomes another victim and we can get back to blaming objects for our political agenda. Our side has been watching this and listening for the pitter patter of anti’s feet in the halls of .gov. We never fell for the “I don’t want your guns” line and a whole lot of us have been brooding since 1994. We have been slowly changing national culture and it scares the daylights out of the progressives. That we do understand their message and outright reject it is unthinkable to them. They think there is something wrong because if we “really understood” we wouldn’t resist them. The President has made several statements to this effect: “I failed to get my point across, if I had they would agree with me…” Many will just say we’re stupid. We aren’t. History and facts are on our side and it gets more apparent the more we talk. Gun Culture 2.2 is doing a good job and we will send these anti civil rights views to the dust bin of history along side Segregation where it belongs. Hopefully their careers go too.

    The price of Freedom is Vigilance.

    • avatarDisThunder says:

      Well damn, that never occurred to me about the shooters. I know that sounds stupid, but I honestly hadn’t ever recognized that correlation, and it makes total sense. Thanks for that!

    • avatarMamba says:

      Interesting…hadn’t considered it from that angle…tx.

  16. avatarchris says:

    I must disagree with Mr. Sugarman. I have yet to suffer an injury of any sort at the range. I have however, hurt my toe when a house 8 pounder was dropped on it, suffered blisters from those rediculous clown shoes, and hurt my pride realizing I can’t bowl for shit.
    Now…shooting bowling pins at the range, now you’re talking…..

  17. avatarDon says:

    I have an ear for propaganda. NPR is really the only trustworthy major news outlet we have. They have extremely strict editorial standards and do a lot of old school journalism in the realm of “this is the nuts and bolts of what’s happening and our opinion doesn’t matter”. They are non-profit so they do not stand to benefit from the typical sensationalism. Since their funding depends on bipartisan support in congress and bipartisan support among listeners they have great incentive to be fair. I’ve listened to them for a long time and they are very fact based and will not conjecture beyond what is known. They let people represent themselves. They’ve been quite unbiased in the past regarding gun topics, even giving good coverage and on topic interviews with the author of that Glock book that came out a while ago.

  18. avatarstormchaser says:

    I grew up listening to NPR, more recently I used to listen to them any time I was driving and always had the radio on their station at the house. I had even participated in the fund drives.

    Many of their shows give more detailed information about news stories which I appreciate but I do feel that they still have a liberal slant. After Sandy Hook I caught a few bits and it seemed that they were full on the disarmament bandwagon. I caught a segment of Diane Reem which was terrible. She actually stated that the had contacted several pro-gun people to take part in the show and none would come on. I doubt she tried hard if at all.

    I have been meaning to write them and let them know how I feel about their journalism, although it is better than a lot that is out there.

    As for funding, these days NPR does not need much, its the stations that need money to operate and the organization has been moving to make the programming available over the net.

  19. avatarRopingdown says:

    I’m fiscally conservative and pro-Constitution, yet I listen to NPR (National Pink Radio) regularly when driving. They are the only game in town for talk radio with a brain, no more biased than the networks but better than them at research. I was elated to hear them give Myrick a fair hearing. Now that Rahm’s Dominion has recaptured the gun-crime reports, a skeptical nation asks Rahm (and the President) “What the hell do you know about controlling crime or understanding the purpose of the 2nd Amendment?”

  20. avatarWilliam says:

    It isn’t nicknamed “National Petroleum Radio” for nuthin’!

    • avatarHerb says:

      I had always heard that NPR stands for either “Northeastern Peoples’ Radio” or, “Never Praise Republicans”.

      I started listening to All Things Considered & Morning Edition in 1975. Never had any doubts that Nina Totenberg, Mara Liason (sp) or Susan Stamberg were skewed well to the left. I quit listening in the 1980′s when NPR became Radio PLO. I am rather nonplussed at all the praise of NPR’s objectivity & fairness on this website. Maybe they are no longer dominated by the politics of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting & the Ford Foundation, but I doubt it. Second Amendment defenders simply are not the kind of people that Nina or Mara would care to associate with.

  21. avatarMatt in FL says:

    When I had a job that put me in the car for most of afternoon rush hour, All Things Considered was what I had on 90% of the time. I find myself listening to stories that I’d never read on the internet, and most of the time they turn out to be pretty interesting.

    Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! is a bunch of fun when you’re on a road trip.

    And Car Talk is… well, I can’t explain it. You have to experience it.

  22. avatarAaronW says:

    NPRs Kurt Anderson and author Joel Stein went to the Westside range some months back:

  23. avatarMatt says:

    +1000000

    I listen to NPR daily so you can’t call me an NPR hater, but they are anything BUT pro-gun. Look at how they conduct their stories:
    1. They rarely EVER interview anyone pro-gun
    2. When they interview a gun grabber the interviewer plays the devils advocate instead of an actual advocate
    3. You can hear it in the NPR interviewers voice that he/she agrees with the gun grabber

  24. avatarwaif says:

    Sorry guys, I listen to NPR also, I even enjoy it sometimes, and none of you have convinced me that it is non-biased. Where to start…well to hear National Palestinian Radio’s narrative, everything that big bad Israel does is just to persecute Arabs. I trust Al-Jazeera more than NR when it comes to Middle East news–and that’s not hyperbole; AJ actually has run stories critical of Hamas, for the effects its policies have on Palestinian Arabs.

    Guns…maybe they’re turning over a new leaf now, but in the past, whenever they have tried to give the veneer of even-handedness, it always is a poised gun-hater up against an inarticulate gun-rights advocate. Weird.

    And then there are Garrison Keillor, Diiiiaaannnnee Reeehhhhmmmm and the stories she chooses, Car Talk, and stories about how hip-hop is giving the youth of Mongolia a voice….tune in to Not Particularly Relevant.

    • avatarHerb says:

      “Not Particularily Relevant”, “National Palestinian Radio”

      Heh, heh! Well said, NPR is not the friend of gun rights even if they do manage to not sound like Radio Havana. Their friends & supporters regard AR-15 owners as dangerous ignorant Bible thumping hicks and don’t think they don’t.

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        Obama blew it with the “clinging to their gun and bible” bit. When Henry Ward Beecher sent Abolitionists to Kansas, he gave them a bible and a Sharps Rifle. “He (Henry W. Beecher) believed that the Sharps Rifle was a truly moral agency, and that there was more moral power in one of those instruments, so far as the slaveholders of Kansas were concerned, than in a hundred Bibles.” Today it would be an AR and a bible. Someone should tell the President the story.

  25. avatarJordan says:

    They also had a reasonable report that focused on some South Central LA residents’ belief that additional regulations will not make a difference because gangbangers don’t buy their guns from FFLs. Hopefully some of the grabbers will see that and recognize the logical fallacies they are making.
    http://www.npr.org/2013/01/31/170759103/south-l-a-teens-doubt-new-laws-will-change-gun-culture

  26. avatarBeninMA says:

    Well, I’m another NPR fan — I get most of my daily, mainstream news from them. They definitely have a leftwing bent (especially the syndicated shows, like Fresh Air, Diane Rehm, On Point, etc.), but for 24 hr. news coverage, it’s the only thing that won’t rot my brain. Some of their local coverage is also very good. In general, their reporting is top notch, the programming is stimulating and everything is presented in a way that’s pleasurable to listen to.

    Damn, I feel like we’re running a pledge drive here!

    • avatarBeninMA says:

      To be fair, the folks who are saying that NPR is biased are undeniably correct. Apparently, when Juan Williams worked for them, he was considered the one archconservative of the organization. Any group that considers Juan Williams to be even moderately conservative, is sooo far to the left, that they’re inevitably going to have some serious blind spots in their coverage. In spite of that, they’re still one of the best media outlets out there.

      What we really need is more libertarian perspective in the news, which is almost completely absent everywhere outside of blogs like this. John Stossel and Ben Swann are the only libertarian voices on TV, for example.

      • avatar16V says:

        Juan Williams wasn’t competent to MC a kid’s birthday party when Klose gave him the TOTN gig after Suarez. The first few shows you kept listening for the same reason you stare at a car crash.

        He was a stuttering, stumbling deer in the headlights who couldn’t formulate a cogent question to save anyone’s life – or his own career on TOTN. I’ve seen more engaged highschool reporters. That’s why NPR essentially dropped him.

        A decade later, producers finally polished him up a bit, but he’s still always the least able person on any talk panel he appears on. FOX or PBS.

  27. avatarSilent says:

    I have a very close relation who, until recently, worked the news desk for a regional NPR station. This individual is an avid handgun and rifle shooter (ak, m4gery, and once an mp5). Once, when out in the woods to get The Christmas Tree the saw was forgotten. No worries. A horizontal spread of 4 shots brought the tree down.

    So, my point is to go slow in making judgements about all reporters just because some might work for a particular network that we might find objectionable.

    • avatarBeninMA says:

      What part of the country, may I ask? NPR was established, in part, to provide news to people in sparsely populated areas who otherwise had no access to it. Needless to say, many of these areas are going to be pro-gun by default.

  28. avatarJames says:

    NPR is most definitely statist. They are NOT impartial on constitutional matters.

    That said, I enjoy much of NPR’s programming, mostly for the arts.

  29. avatarRalph says:

    Is NPR pro-gun? Sure. All inside-the-beltway insiders are pro-gun. And closet Republicans. And ride unicorns to work.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      Riding a unicorn is the perfect way to beat the beltway traffic jams. And they are all pro-gun, as in “Lots of guns for us. No gun for YOU!”

  30. avatarGreg Camp says:

    I’ve been a listener to NPR my whole life. Their bias is towards an educated audience, and they tend to be the journalistic opposition to whoever is in power at the moment. Remember that NPR is a parent organization. There are many programs produced under that umbrella. Some have particular leanings, while others are news and analysis. Of their commentators, David Brooks is a calm conservative. Stephen Hunter was interviewed on Talk of the Nation a while ago. People on the right get their say during most political segments.

    Journalism is an essential element of a democracy, and NPR fills that role better than any other organization I know. It’s not perfect, but perfection is a rare quality, and NPR does good work.

  31. avatarPatrick says:

    I once heard quoted on NPR: “Don’t make any new laws you aren’t willing to kill to enforce” (paraphrased) I was surprised to hear such a good argument against the state on NPR, not surprised the topic was derailed without follow up.

  32. avatarDaleS says:

    Thank you for providing the link to the Joel Myrick interview. Although I agree that he might have rung the, “military and/or police training” bell a bit, overall, I thought it was an excellent interview. His points were clear and intelligent and he spoke from a position of experience rather than emotion.

    As an extra benefit, his accent and articulate speaking reminded me of Shelby Foote, the late Civil War historian and author prevalently featured in Ken Burns’ Civil War series. There was a time when I couldn’t have cared less about the Civil War, but Mr. Foote’s books fundamentally changed me.

  33. avatarg says:

    I listen to NPR quite often and yeah, they don’t get everything right, but I find it’s more intelligent than most news programs these days, broadcast TV and cable included. I live in WA state, so I feel extra spoiled because of the local programming (KPLU) that produces gems like “Record Bin Roulette”:

    http://www.kplu.org/term/record-bin-roulette

    Good fun.

  34. avatarrossi says:

    “Hopefully some of the grabbers will see that and recognize the logical fallacies they are making.”

    agreed. This is the type of coverage that might make that happen. There are liberals who won’t listen to an argument from their GOP colleagues, but if the same argument is put forward by NPR it is given consideration.

    I think the NPR reporters are making an effort to be fair. I just wish they were starting from a more informed position on firearms so they knew when someone was trying to feed them a load of rubbish.

    [...and I miss Juan Williams. He provided some nice balance to the coverage.]

  35. avatarsupton says:

    I’ve been tempted to break my “no bumper stickers” mantra on my car (like they sway anyone’s opinion) and put on both an NRA sticker and an NPR sticker. I listen to NPR because, unlike conservative talk radio, no one is shouting at me. NRA, well, duh.

    • avatarAaronW says:

      I once had the temerity to suggest on the WABC discussion forum that maybe, just maybe, the guys they listened (Rush, Sean, Levin) to were just opinion-givers and not interested in really discussing the issues.
      Wow, the hate spewed in reply was unbelievable. Not a single reasonable response to what I said, only crude fratboy-esque language.

  36. avatarPG says:

    NPR is propaganda/misinformation with an accent to make the those on the receiving end feel like they are getting something outside of the mainstream social engineering. Someone here labeled it National Propaganda Radio, right on.

    • avatarfanfare ends says:

      I always called it “National Palestinian Radio” myself…

      First TTAG uses Media Matters to slam Ted Nugent, now NPR is the cat’s meow.

      What happened, did someone at TTAG get a call from the IRS, or are we just seeing TTAG’s true colors now?

  37. avatarJoe says:

    I don’t think that NPR is either pro or anti gun. They are one of the last media outlets that maintain high journalistic standards and don’t cater to any one POV or ideology. the only radio station that will keep me in my car for a bit when i get home, because i want to hear the rest of the story.

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