So the latest kerfuffle on NPR is that Diane Rehm interviewed Bernie Sanders and brought some antisemtic drivel that a producer found on the internet along as the basis for a question. (Because everything on the internet is true, right?) Diane Rehm And A Bungled Interview With Senator Bernie Sanders : NPR Ombudsman : NPR.
Let’s cover the DR Show fiasco first, we will get back to NPR later.
To recap briefly what happened: During the interview Rehm said to Sanders: “Senator, you have dual citizenship with Israel.” Even when Sanders immediately corrected her, Rehm pressed on, telling him his name was on a list of lawmakers with dual citizenship.
Charges immediately flew that Rehm was engaging in anti-Semitism; Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said Rehm’s statements “play into classic anti-Semitic charges of dual loyalty.” As Politifact documented, the lists have circulated for nearly a decade.
And this crack piece of investigation? Rehm got the “information” off a Facebook comment. (So glad professional journalists are running the show over there.) And the producers “checked it” by apparently doing some internet searching.
She goes on to say, essentially, that you shouldn’t blame her for anything because she didn’t mean to be offensive. But that goes nowhere fast. Just because you didn’t mean to be offensive, doesn’t mean you weren’t offensive. (Diane Rehm is certainly old enough to remember Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder. Does she think he should have gotten a pass on his remarks, because he didn’t mean to come across as a racist?)
The non-apology: She was “glad to play a role in putting this rumor to rest.” But of course her role wasn’t to put this rumor to rest. Her role to pick up a piece of antisemitic crap from the internet and blurt it out on a national talk show. I do believe that she is sorry about 1 thing: looking like a complete idiot.
For the record, Rehm is employed by WAMU-FM, which produces her show; NPR distributes the show to stations across the country and it is clear from the mail I have received that listeners consider the program to be an NPR show.
Of course if you go to www.npr.org and you click on the “programs” menu, you find “The Diane Rehm Show” listed under “News and Conversations” lumped together with “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition.” You don’t find the DR Show under “Also heard on NPR stations.”
Of course they want to have it both ways. They claim association with everything that they can when times are good, and run like rats off a sinking ship when the fertilizer hits the fan. Just as they are doing here. As one of the comments says, if The Diane Rehm Show is NOT an NPR property, then they should remove it from their website.
But they won’t remove it. And Rehm won’t get the same treatment that Jimmy Synder got. For a host of reasons, but mostly because she is of the “correct” ideology. Liberals get the benefit of the doubt (and then some). While conservatives are roasted for things they didn’t even say.