Good Luck With That

Mike Lester

The left has been attacking media mogul Rupert Murdoch for his contribution to Republicans. Now we learn that on the day NPR fired Juan Williams, the tax-supported, leftist broadcast outfit accepted a 1.8 million “grant” from billionaire, liberal bankroller of Moveon.org, George Soros.

Howard Kurtz comments on the amazingly stupid Williams fiasco:

His firing has backfired, handing Fox a victory and making Williams a symbol of liberal intolerance—on the very day NPR announced a grant from George Soros that it never should have accepted.

After watching Bill O’Reilly lead an hour of NPR-bashing on Fox News Thursday night, it’s tempting to say that the right’s reaction to the Juan Williams firing is just a tad overblown.

But it’s not. This was a blunder of enormous proportions. Even many liberals—Donna Brazile, Joan Walsh, Whoopi Goldberg—are castigating National Public Radio for throwing Williams overboard.

NPR Chief Executive Vivian Schiller—dubbed a “pinhead” by O’Reilly—made matters worse by suggesting that Williams needs psychiatric attention. She later apologized.

John Boehner, who may well be the next House Speaker, told National Review that it’s “reasonable to ask why Congress is spending taxpayers’ money to support a left-wing radio network.”

And in a triumph of awful timing, yesterday was the day that NPR announced a new grant—$1.8 million from liberal philanthropist George Soros to hire 100 new reporters. No news organization should accept that kind of check from a committed ideologue of any stripe. Even if every journalist hired with the cash from Soros’ foundation is fair and balanced, to coin a phrase, the perception is terrible. (This New York Times story didn’t even mention Soros’ liberal views. The guy just gave a million bucks to Media Matters. Hello?) Oh, and NPR is in the midst of a fundraising drive. Good luck with that…

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