Who will keep NPR on the air?

I admit that I’m feeling a little bad about the hit that NPR is going to take, as the Republican Congress almost certainly slashes funding for public broadcasting. Keep in mind that while NPR itself only receives a small amount of money directly from the government, the local stations that buy their programming get a lot. And it’s all likely to get cut.

I’m not the average consumer of news. I don’t have a cable connection and I don’t watch TV, ever. I read real paper newspapers and various Internet sites, and I listen to the radio. Radio has always had a special place in my life, from my childhood before there even was TV, through my job at a radio station that paid my way through college, to my compulsive listening today.

And I have to admit that most of what I hear on the radio is absolute crap. The music (OK, maybe that’s a generational thing), the ‘news’ and the talk. Except public radio stations and NPR, which — both in production values and content — try to do better. I’ll miss the classical music on my local station if it doesn’t make it.

But there is a big problem with NPR, and the fact that it is generally biased in the liberal direction is not it. One compensates. There are plenty of stations broadcasting very aggressively conservative programming. That’s fine, too. I listen to all of them, from the local Limbaugh/Hannity/Beck outlet to the extreme-left KPFA Berkeley.

It’s that NPR’s approach to issues concerning Israel has always been a systematic, highly sophisticated and effective campaign to influence Americans to stop supporting the Jewish state. It’s much more than a naive left-wing slant (or even obvious propagandizing like KPFA). NPR is an information war enemy of Israel.

In particular, they use the ’emotive bias technique’ which I described here (2007) as a ‘psychological warfare technique’:

…psychologists have demonstrated that experiences with emotional content are much more likely to be remembered and more capable of affecting belief than simple recitations of fact without such content. And what NPR does — expertly, and so often that it must be deliberate — is to present the Israeli side as a recitation of facts, this many killed, that many injured. Then they present the Arab or Palestinian side in an interview with crying children, grieving relatives, and angry young men. The Palestinian story is always told in an emotional first-person voice, thus making it much more powerful than the dry, factual Israeli story.

They also selectively omit important context and allow clearly false statements to be made by interviewees without note or challenge. Virtually all of their reporting about the Israeli-Arab conflict has these characteristics.

They present a consistent picture: Israel is powerful, Israel is oppressive, Israel is cruel. The conflict is about Israel’s ‘treatment’ of the Palestinian Arabs. Hizballah’s missiles and the Iranian nuclear program are not connected to it.

This isn’t accidental. I wouldn’t even say that it’s because their reporters all happen to have the same anti-Israel bias. It’s just too systematic. It can only be the result of a deliberate policy.

As I wrote yesterday in my post about the exposure of the ugly prejudices of a top NPR executive, the identities of NPR’s donors are a closely-guarded secret. But consider that executive Ron Schiller was prepared to accept a $5 million donation from someone who clearly represented himself as an agent of a Muslim Brotherhood-linked group, one whose website (created for the purpose of the sting) indicated that its goal was “to spread acceptance of Sharia around the world.”

Do you doubt that NPR has already accepted donations from real organizations and individuals with similar agendas? I don’t.

Do you doubt that NPR is influenced by its big donors? I don’t. How can it not be?

Do you doubt that when Congress stops providing funds for public radio — and thereby reduces NPR’s income significantly — that the same crowd that funds J Street will step up to keep them on the air? I don’t.

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