For those who don’t know, NPR is an acronym for National Public Radio. It was established in 1971 by an act of Congress. It is a publicly and privately funded non-profit, with most member stations owned by government entities, many of which are located in public universities.
Their funding does not come directly from any government agency, and they promote themselves as unbiased and open to all points of view. During their regular on-the-air fundraisers, they choose to air public comments from donors that make use of words like “unbiased,” “impartial,” and “balanced.” I’ve heard the word “balanced” more often than any other.
Any discerning listener of NPR stations will soon realize they promote liberal “voices” and programming almost exclusively. I’ve noticed conservatives do not often criticize their news and programming, while still hammering CNN and other news outlets for their liberal bias. I believe the reason is that NPR has a clever way of forwarding its agenda without attracting the attention of most on the right. Unlike conservative radio programming, which tends to attack the left loudly and on every point possible, NPR does not use those same tactics. It allows them to fly under the radar. Their use of story, narrative, and interviews, by repetition, brings about an agreement from the listener with their liberal views.
I’m not trying to convince anyone that NPR’s philosophical views are necessarily wrong. I am saying their claim of balanced, unbiased news and programming is deceptively untrue.
I may be giving the impression here that I do not like NPR nor its programming. Not so. It is actually my favorite station to listen to while driving. Every weekday morning from 10 to 11 A.M., “The Texas Standard” shares up-to-date news about what’s happening in our state. They also present interesting features about out-of-the-way towns and places. I also enjoy “Typewriter Rodeo.” A listener chooses a subject, and a poem is written impromptu on the spot, using a vintage typewriter. You hear the quick clacking of keys while the poem is spoken aloud. How cool is that?
“Think” with Krys Boyd is a topic-driven listener call-in and interview show. You may hear about space exploration, an interview with Willy Nelson, and conversations with political figures (and, oh, my, even a conservative!). Very seldom is her show less than captivating.
“All Things Considered” is the oldest show on NPR. It provides a variety of news, commentary, and interviews – a mixed bag of what is going on in our world today. It is kind of like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get. Most of the time, it’s pretty tasty.
The “BBC News” covers news from around the world from a British perspective. “Car Talk” with the “Click and Clack” brothers is fantastically funny. “A Way With Words” will let you know where the most elusive derivations come from for your favorite colloquial or slang words. I really love that show.
In my opinion, despite the false banner, NPR is a goldmine of entertainment, information, and new ways of looking at our world.