Patterico's Pontifications


More Media Bias Pique: NPR nixes Bush Interview

Filed under: Media Bias — DRJ @ 6:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

NPR says “No, Thanks” to an interview with President Bush:

“The White House reached out to National Public Radio over the weekend, offering analyst Juan Williams a presidential interview to mark yesterday’s 50th anniversary of school desegregation in Little Rock.

But NPR turned down the interview, and Williams’s talk with Bush wound up in a very different media venue: Fox News.”

NPR didn’t like Bush’s request for a specific interviewer, Juan Williams, offering instead another NPR program host. NPR is unhappy that Williams is the only NPR interviewer Bush has talked to, despite repeated NPR requests that Bush meet with an NPR anchor.

Williams, who isn’t a Bush apologist, described himself as “stunned” by NPR’s decision because NPR had worked to position him for Bush Administration interviews:

“Williams, who is sometimes criticized by liberal groups, dismissed the notion that he was picked as a sympathetic interviewer, saying he often challenges the administration on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I had worked at NPR’s direction to develop a relationship with the White House,” he said. “I have an expertise on race relations. I thought the listeners of NPR lost a tremendous opportunity to hear the president in a rare interview on a very important subject.”


25 Responses to “More Media Bias Pique: NPR nixes Bush Interview”

  1. Interesting. Juan Williams is a principled liberal, I see him around here from time to time, he’s a graduate of Haverford College, and comes back to speak. He was just on a program with O’Reilly, about race, and he has actually written some very profound stuff, including his book “Eyes on the Prize.” If NPR won’t work with him, that speaks volumes about where they’re coming from. Time to de-fund Pravda.

    driver (faae10)

  2. Thing is, driver, he works for them. He’s already on the payroll.

    What NPR is saying is that they think he’s either dishonest or incompetent.

    Pablo (99243e)

  3. well, I didn’t want to say it, but they may think he’s off the, you know…much more likely, and a damn shame.

    driver (faae10)

  4. What I wrote didn’t look good. I think NPR thinks that JW is off their liberal plantation, and they don’t like it one bit. Sorry if that offends anyone.

    driver (faae10)

  5. Sometimes the truth is ugly, driver. No need to apologize for it.

    Pablo (99243e)

  6. According to Democratic Underground,

    NPR explained they felt the White House shouldn’t be selecting the correspondent, implying they wouldn’t have sent WIlliams, noting that “the only interview Bush has granted NPR during his tenure was also with Williams” and “that ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox have all had their anchors interview Bush and that NPR has been requesting such a session for seven years.”

    Psyberian (9a155b)

  7. The only NPR reporter who has interviewed Bush in office is Juan Williams. It was last January. The WaPo says NPR had asked many times over nearly seven years for a one-on-one with the President. It wanted to pick someone other than the part-time Fox contributor to go this time, rejecting Dana Perino’s insistence that only Williams would have access. Did she pick him because he’s black, to showcase the Little Rock school integration case anniversary? Any employer would weigh the loss of control and editorial integrity in such a circumstance.

    This is a White House that meticulously screens crowds at Bush appearances. Screening interviewers is an impulse that should be thwarted.

    steve (7fbe0a)

  8. Steve, you mean like the way that Hillary Clinton got an unfavorable story at CQ spiked … by controlling access to Bill?

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  9. Doing something to get the chance to interview Bill isn’t the same as passing on a chance to talk to W., SPQR.

    alphie (99bc18)

  10. Alphie, you don’t seem to have improved your reading comprehension.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  11. […] Crooks and Liars has THIS view of the incident. And Patterico’s Pontifications offers a different one. […]

    NRP Under Fire For Not Accepting Bush Choice Williams As Interviewer » The Moderate Voice (560c46)

  12. I think I read it right, SPQR,

    You meant to take a swing at Hillary but instead pointed out how important Bill Clinton still is, six years out of office.

    I doubt any journalists will bother trekking out to Crawford once Bush leaves office, not even from Fox.

    I read the transcript of Williams’ Bush interview. Doesn’t look like NPR missed much.

    I believe chats like that are known as “tongue baths.”

    alphie (99bc18)

  13. Then quick complaining the Pres doesn’t talk to the public…he attempted and NPR closed the door …i could care less what the reason…at the end of the day they “thwarted” an opportunity to hear a message the public feels they are not getting enough of…what good is the P in NPR? chickens.

    navymom (c05885)

  14. You meant to take a swing at Hillary but instead pointed out how important Bill Clinton still is, six years out of office.

    Yeah, when the media loves you despite the mistake you made, always reports on you positively, never asks you hard questions, then it seems like your “important”. He is important to the media and the democrats – not to anyone else. History will not be kind to Clinton – he will be seen as a middle of the pack president at best. Name one thing he did that will stanad the test of time to be a “great” or even better-than-average president?

    I’m not claiming that Bush will be one either, but this adoration of Bill as if he was anything other than a caretaker president is ridiculous. Indeed, Clinton will ultimately be remembered more for missed oportunities than for any actual accomplishments.

    Great Banana (aa0c92)

  15. I don’t know what to make of Williams. Most of the time he comes across as a reasonable liberal Democrat. He defends the lefts positions but is sane about it and occasionally he takes them to task. But then occasionally, and not particularly on race matters, he gets very agitated and spouts hard left drivel while looking wild eyed at Hume or Kristol. I don’t know it that is the true him bubbling up or if it is an act to maintain leftist cred or what, but it is odd.

    CAL (c9c676)

  16. Mr Williams understands how to speak respectfully, even to people with whom he disagrees; the management at NPR probably don’t approve of that.

    Dana (3e4784)

  17. “Screening interviewers is an impulse that should be thwarted.”


    Most of the potential interviewers are leftoid liars who will weasel with topics, questions and phrases to make Bush, republicans and conservatives look bad. “Have you stopped beating your wife yet” is not a joke when it becomes “Have you stopped lying about WMD in Iraq”. Yes you can fight that that kind of MSM dishonesty, but why bother?

    If you sup with the devil, you need a long spoon. Much better to eat with a good man.

    BlacquesJacquesShellacques (93278f)

  18. Alphie gushes
    “You meant to take a swing at Hillary but instead pointed out how important Bill Clinton still is, six years out of office.”

    Republican presidents realize when to exit the stage unlike Carter, Gore and Clinton who can’t seem to grasp the idea that they had their chances and failed. But instead of moving quietly into retirement with dignity, they hang on like buzzards undermining their successors.

    Carter even conducted a bogus treaty with the North Koreans behind Clintons back. Enough already.

    LogicalSC (09bfe1)

  19. I’m learning so much from the left these past few years. Juan Williams is a happy negro according to Boyce Watkins on CNN yesterday. Barack Obama is a magic negro according to David Ehrenstein. Condi Rice is a house negro. I’m sure I’m leaving a bunch of labels out.

    I guess NPR doesn’t want any happy negroes interviewing President Bush because that would be like, you know, not authentic or something.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  20. LogicalSC, Alphie’s comment was a non sequitur like all of his comments. My point was in response to Steve’s assertion that controlling access should be thwarted – a silly comment because there is no way to require any politician to talk to whoever requests an interview.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  21. Maybe NPR was planning to ask Randall Robinson. Then, in memory of Katrina, they could have served some barbecue or something. A few thighs and arms and feet and hands perhaps. Randall could even have pressed Bush for some reparations. That would have made a lot better theater than sitting through a bunch of bland platitudes and administation propaganda.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  22. The NPR is liberal left-wing propeganda and maybe we should just tune it off

    krazy kagu (5b69ac)

  23. Why are we subsidizing NPR?

    Ken Hahn (7742d5)

  24. Did she pick him because he’s black, to showcase the Little Rock school integration case anniversary?

    More likely because he’s written books and stuff on civil rights. They were asking for an informed interviewer.

    It’s odd how offering to speak to a reporter is being spun as something wrong.

    Rob Crawford (240cf9)

  25. I agree, Rob.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

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