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WordsWorth targeted for WBUR funding boycott [pro-Israel Boston store pulled $ from pro-pals NPR]
Boston Globe ^ | 12/10/02 | Mark Jurkowitz, Globe Staff

Posted on 12/11/2002 8:10:57 AM PST by Yehuda

Protesters in Harvard Square fired a fresh volley in the heated battle over media coverage of the Mideast yesterday, targeting the president of WordsWorth Books for his role in an underwriter boycott of the Boston public radio affiliate WBUR-FM (90.9).

[Go here for FR thread on this 6 weeks after 9/11...]

Gathered outside the Brattle Street bookstore, a handful of activists distributed leaflets declaring that WordsWorth president Hillel Stavis ''Sells Words but Suppresses Words.'' The campaign, slated to last all week, is in response to Stavis's decision last year to withdraw his company's financial support from WBUR because of his belief that there is anti-Israel bias in its Mideast coverage. The modest demonstration was a rare sign of an organized backlash in a year when supporters of Israel have pressured several media outlets that they view as tilted against the Jewish state.

''The overarching issue is we need to have an open dialogue on what's going on in the Middle East,'' said Eleanor Roffman, a member of Jewish Women for Justice in Israel/Palestine, which claims about 25 active members and a mailing list of roughly 100. ''I'm not trying to convince [Stavis] to change his mind on the position. But I think his attitude is one that shuts down the discussion.''

''It's nonsense,'' responded Stavis in an interview. ''To picket one of the last independent bookstores in Boston because it doesn't hew to their particular agenda is the height of suppression of free speech. We never advocated that other people withhold money from WBUR. [But] we don't believe anyone should be required, in perpetuity, to contribute to an organization they believe is biased.''

WBUR, which says it has lost as much as $2 million in revenue as a result of a boycott that now involves seven former underwriters, issued a statement lauding the protesters.

[SNIP] Stavis and Cognex CEO Robert Shillman, the first two businessmen to suspend their companies' WBUR contributions, are members of a Boston-based media watchdog group, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. CAMERA is a leading critic of public radio's coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and has called for a national funder boycott. In one sign that this message is resonating, about 80 demonstrators marched outside WBUR's studios in August carrying Israeli flags and chanting, ''Shame on NPR.''

Yesterday's WordsWorth protesters asserted that ''CAMERA's campaign is meant to stifle all voices that are critical of Israeli policy.'' CAMERA executive director Andrea Levin rejected the charge, saying, ''All we have ever done is ask for a broad presentation of perspectives. Our complaint is that NPR has failed to provide the broad perspective.''

[SNIP]

This story ran on page D2 of the Boston Globe on 12/10/2002. © Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.

(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Israel; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: freedom; shopping; terrorism; zionist
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-55 next last
I was originally alerted to this today via email:

SUBJECT: Shop a bookstore that supports America and Israel in the war against terrorism

WordsWorth, a full-service bookstore with an excellent website, is being picketed by pro-"palistinian" anti-Israel activists because the owner supports balanced news coverage of Israel.

Wordsworth has a fast, easy to use website, sells below list price, and ships nationwide. By shopping with Wordsworth instead of Amazon or Barnes & Noble, you are supporting a businessman who has stuck his neck out to defend Israel.

Book lovers who regret the replacement of independent booksellers by giant chain stores, will have the added satisfaction of knowing that they are supporting an outstanding independent bookstore when they shop online.

Authors and others who mention books on their web pages can link their websites to Wordsworth and know that every sale goes through a principled, independent bookseller who supports Israel.

I just checked the Wordsworth site and they are a "full-spectrum" bookseller; this is not a "Conservatives-only" store.

I also just spoke with a manager there and confirmed the accuracy of this article.

I know that I would prefer to make general book purchases from someone who puts his business on the line to support Israel and America in the war against terrorism!

[I do not have any financial interest in this store.]

1 posted on 12/11/2002 8:10:57 AM PST by Yehuda
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To: 2sheep; Aaron_A; agrace; Alouette; alpowolf; American Preservative; Amerigomag; america-rules; ...
Pro America / Israel alternative to Amazon and Barnes & Noble ping.
2 posted on 12/11/2002 8:12:51 AM PST by Yehuda
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To: Yehuda
Thanks, Yehuda. I checked out their prices and they're competitive.
3 posted on 12/11/2002 8:22:40 AM PST by Catspaw
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To: Yehuda
Thanks for the ping Yehuda.

They'll be getting my business from now on.
4 posted on 12/11/2002 8:24:28 AM PST by katnip
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To: Yehuda
Defund NPR ping.
5 posted on 12/11/2002 8:25:25 AM PST by Drango
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To: Yehuda
WBUR, which says it has lost as much as $2 million in revenue as a result of a boycott that now involves seven former underwriters, issued a statement lauding the protesters.

It seems to me that this comes very close to criminal extortion, to encourage the boycott of a donor company for withdrawing its voluntary support from your station. I should think other donors to WBUR should reconsider supporting an operation that uses Mafia-style tactics like this to prevent donors from quitting.

6 posted on 12/11/2002 8:27:18 AM PST by Cicero
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To: Cicero
NPR seems to have a sense of entitlement w/ regards to its donors.
All the more reason to not support them.
Much of their funding is from universities and like entities. They claim only a minimal amount of gov't funding, but most of their funding is from gov't entities, indirectly.
7 posted on 12/11/2002 8:30:21 AM PST by MrB
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To: Yehuda
WBUR, which says it has lost as much as $2 million in revenue as a result of a boycott that now involves seven former underwriters, issued a statement lauding the protesters.

Now that's sure to get Stavis to give money again!

8 posted on 12/11/2002 8:32:00 AM PST by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig
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To: Cicero
Interesting, because an off-line acquaintance said the reverse - that this might put the chill in future supporters of "balanced" news.

Of course that is what the pro-terr morons want, to intimidate this store and others... like us!
9 posted on 12/11/2002 8:32:04 AM PST by Yehuda
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To: Cicero
As with other liberals, it is not your money, it is THEIR money.
10 posted on 12/11/2002 8:32:22 AM PST by Andyman
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To: Yehuda
Just ordered a Franklin biography to read over the holidays. Thank, Yehuda.
11 posted on 12/11/2002 8:34:04 AM PST by Bahbah
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To: Yehuda
Thanks for the post and ping, Yehuda. We'll buy what we can from this store.
12 posted on 12/11/2002 8:39:55 AM PST by toddst
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To: MrB
Much of their funding is from universities and like entities. They claim only a minimal amount of gov't funding, but most of their funding is from gov't entities, indirectly.

As per the table below, about 40% is from taxes. (For all of public brodacasting)

Dollar figures in thousands

FY82

FY86

FY90

FY93

FY94

FY97

FY99
TOTAL INCOME $845,214 $1,134,009 $1,581,447 $1,790,095 $1,794,631 $1,932,260 $2,146,798

FEDERAL INCOME SUBTOTAL

197,625 (23.4%) 185,694 (16.4%) 267,369 (16.9%) 369,527 (20.6%) 329,975 (18.4%) 322,271
(16.7%)
300,960
(14%)
CPB 172,000 (20.3%) 159,500 (14.1%) 229,391 (14.5%) 253,309 (14.2%) 275,000 (15.3%) 260,000
(13.5%)
250,000
(11.6%)
Satellite system replacement 0 0 0 65,327*
(3.6%)
0 0 0
Other federal funds 25,625
(3%)
26,194
(2.3%)
37,978
(2.4%)
50,891
(6.5%)
54,975
(3.1%)
62,271
(3.2%)
50,960
(2.4%)

NONFEDERAL INCOME SUBTOTAL

647,589 (76.6%) 948,315 (83.6%) 1,314,078 (83.1%) 1,420,568 (79.4%) 1,464,656 (81.6%) 1,609,989
(83.3%)
$1,845,838
(86%)

State & local tax-based sources

301,038 (35.6%) 378,828 (33.4%) 473,837
(30%)
475,176 (26.5%) 509,528 (28.4%) 542,872
(28.1%)
544,279
(25.4%)
Local governments 42,353
(5%)
50,879
(4.5%)
59,810
(3.8%)
56,230
(3.1%)
55,927
(3.1%)
66,087
(3.4%)
57,159
(2.7%)
State governments 166,515
(19.7%)
213,069
(18.8%)
262,219
(16.6%)
254,715
(14.2%)
272,018
(15.2%)
298,834
(15.5%)
297,816
(13.9%)
Public colleges & universities 92,170
(10.9%)
114,881
(10.1%)
151,808
(9.6%)
164,232
(9.2%)
181,584
(10.2%)
177,951
(9.3%)
189,304
(8.8%)

Private sources subtotal

346,551 (41%) 569,487 (50.2%) 840,241 (53.1%) 945,392
(52.8%)
955,128 (53.2%) 1,067,117
(55.2%)
1,301,559
(60.6%)
Private colleges & universities 12,870
(1.5%)
26,335
(2.3%)
31.204
(2%)
23,244
(1.3%)
26,049
(1.5%)
35,206
(1.8%)
31,359
(1.5%)
Foundations 22,108
(2.6%)
38,343
(3.4%)
71,070
(4.5%)
99,585
(5.6%)
96,927
(5.4%)
111,570
(5.8%)
123,150
(5.7%)
Business 100,486
(11.9%)
170,828
(15.1%)
262,448
(16.6%)
285,380
(15.9%)
301,322
(16.8%)
277,576
(14.4%)
314,890
(14.7%)
Subscribers 142,076
(16.8%)
245,614
(21.7%)
340.944
(21.6%)
390,570
(21.8%)
399,225
(22.2%)
472,040
(24.4%)
550,427
(25.6%)
Auctions 20,392
(2.4%)
22,915
(2%)
22,760
(1.4%)
21,207
(1.2%)
20,590
(1.1%)
21,180
(1.1%)
17,217
(0.8%)
Other private sources 48,619
(5.8%)
65,451
(5.8%)
111,815
(7.1%)
125,407
(7%)
111,014
(6.2%)
149,545
(7.7%)
264,516
(12.3%)
*Over three years, fiscal years 1991-93, Congress appropriated a total of $198 million for CPB to rehab the public TV and radio satellite systems.

 


13 posted on 12/11/2002 8:39:59 AM PST by Drango
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To: Yehuda
Gathered outside the Brattle Street bookstore, a handful of activists distributed leaflets declaring that WordsWorth president Hillel Stavis ''Sells Words but Suppresses Words.''

Right out the Democratic Party/Bill Clinton strategy book. Always accuse your opponent of doing exactly what you are doing. Say it loud enough and long enough and people start to believe it. Like a trained dog, they look where the finger is pointing, but never look at the hand pointing the finger.

From this day forward, I'm buying my books from WordsWorth.

14 posted on 12/11/2002 8:41:14 AM PST by Free State Four
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To: Yehuda
Thank you for the post. I intend to get some late han. gifts from the store.
15 posted on 12/11/2002 8:44:06 AM PST by KantianBurke
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To: Yehuda
Mark Jurkowitz is a regular on Emily Rooneys Friday night PBS TV show "Greater Boston", so it is natural for him to write about this subject. I suspect it will be discussed in great detail on Friday nights show.

Some may recall that the TV station was caught selling its donor lists to the DNC a couple years ago and they made all kinds of excuses. It only came to light when a supporters 4 year old daughter received a solicitation from the DNC because the Mother had made a donation in her daughters name. Maybe some wonder how they get on these mailing lists - well.... careful who you donate to
16 posted on 12/11/2002 8:45:01 AM PST by OBone
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To: Yehuda
I spent the summer of '83, between my Junior and Senior years of H.S., at Harvard. I'm glad that I bought some books from WordsWorth, while I was there. When I get some book-spending money, I'm going to see about buying from them, again.

17 posted on 12/11/2002 8:45:23 AM PST by Celtjew Libertarian
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To: Yehuda
My new book supplier!
18 posted on 12/11/2002 8:46:31 AM PST by firebrand
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To: Yehuda
I have just bookmarked WordsWorth's site. I will be buying my books from them.

I don't buy from Barnes and Noble due to their refusal to carry conservative books in their stores.

However, I have never had a problem with Amazon.com.

Is there a political problem with Amazon.com, that I'm not aware of?

Thanks, just in time for my Christmas book shopping. Everyone in the family wants books from our 20 month old grandson to our 86 year old mothers.
19 posted on 12/11/2002 8:47:03 AM PST by Grampa Dave
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To: Yehuda
Thanks for the alert, and I'll pass it on to the Mass. Freepers. I'm on my way to the Square now to buy some books at Wordsworth's. It kills me that WBUR/National Pinko Radio's leftist, pro-Arab slant continues to attract underwriters.

While we're on the subject, the non-profit status of this supposedly "public" radio station appears highly suspicious. Two underwriters pull out and WBUR whines that they lost $2M. OK, let's say there are conservatively (of course) 50 underwriters... that means they still have around $48M in funding, based on a mil each from Stavis and Cognex who pulled out. Throw in all the money they raise from "listeners like you" through that incessant begging, and we're back up to $50M (conservatively). What the hell does it cost for an NPR satellite feed and the smattering of locally produced features? It can't be any fifty million bucks! I think that WBUR is making an enormous profit by bilking local businesses and unwitting listeners, and that this non-taxable profit is lining the Board's pockets.
20 posted on 12/11/2002 8:59:33 AM PST by cloud8
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To: Grampa Dave
Is there a political problem with Amazon.com, that I'm not aware of?

They sell books advocating men having sex with boys.

21 posted on 12/11/2002 9:03:23 AM PST by Paleo Conservative
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To: Yehuda
Thank you, Yehuda. I have bookmarked the site and will spread the word amongst all my friends.
22 posted on 12/11/2002 9:03:59 AM PST by Inkie
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To: Grampa Dave
I don't buy from Barnes and Noble due to their refusal to carry conservative books in their stores.

Interesting, because I have felt the same thing for a long time. However, a few weeks ago I was in a rush to get an inexpensive copy of the Koran (TP) and I was a block from the ither Manhattan flagship store.

As I entered warily, I noticed a poster for a "meet the author" event that promoted "meeting the ultimate partner to enhance your life...." blah blah blah... I did a double take when I found it was for an author promoting her text on getting back to G-d....

I went to the info counter and asked for directions, and the clerk smiled at my yarmulke and U.S./Israel flag pin and asked me if I wanted to see the latest critiques of Islam!

I asked did he have, "Islam: Death Cult for Dummies" and he replied, "sort of! Follow me!'

We had an entertaining discussion which changed my attitude towards B&N.

But I will still try and shop with this Boston guy for my online buys because he is sticking his neck out.

However, I have never had a problem with Amazon.com.

I didn't either, though I resented the cookie manipulation where they kept trying to sell me garbage based on prior purchases (I eventually disabled that "feature"...)

"Is there a political problem with Amazon.com, that I'm not aware of? "

There was a flap a few weeks ago about an alleged misuse of an Amazon "buy-thru-support-Israel" link on a Jpost.com page. I never got the whole story.

Bottom line, if it's a choice between shopping with someone who doesn't offend me vs someone who risks his (and puts my) money where my mouth his, I'll take the latter.

23 posted on 12/11/2002 9:05:00 AM PST by Yehuda
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To: firebrand
B&N anecdote ping:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/804708/posts?page=23#23
24 posted on 12/11/2002 9:06:55 AM PST by Yehuda
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To: Yehuda
Thanks for posting this I will make it a point nect time I am going through The Peoples' Republic of Massachusettes to stop there and make some purchases.

Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown
25 posted on 12/11/2002 9:08:48 AM PST by harpseal
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To: Yehuda
Good for Hillel Stavis !!!! And who is protesting? Some stupid leftist pro-Pallie Jews! Oy!!


BTW The Stavis family is big in the Boston area. They own an ambulance company, fish distibution company and more...

26 posted on 12/11/2002 9:22:06 AM PST by dennisw
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To: Yehuda
Out here in Kaliland, the Barnes and Noble stores go out of their way not to carry conservative books or to even order a book for you. If they order one for you, it make take weeks to get a book that you can get from Amazon.com in days.

Our DIL wanted to buy our son Sean Hannity's new book. She struck out here with the local lib ownend and lib run Dalton's. Then, she was unable to find the book in any B&N store in the E Bay.

She ordered it from Amazon.com and a copy for one of her uncles. She got the book for my son in two days, and her uncle on the East coast got the book in 3 days.

I will try Wordsworth, and if it works, I will pass it on to her and friends and relatives.
27 posted on 12/11/2002 9:24:35 AM PST by Grampa Dave
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To: Grampa Dave; dennisw
Interesting (to both of you...)
28 posted on 12/11/2002 9:28:14 AM PST by Yehuda
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To: Grampa Dave; Yehuda
I just phoned their 800 number and the woman was happy to get my message of support for Hillel Stavis and his company. I got a real person at corporate HQ and not some remote order fullfiment center.

________________



WordsWorth Books
Mailing address: 30 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Phone: 617 354-5201 or 1-800-899-2202

Fax: 617 354-4674

29 posted on 12/11/2002 9:29:52 AM PST by dennisw
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To: Yehuda
Good job linking to the older WBUR free republic thread.
30 posted on 12/11/2002 9:33:19 AM PST by dennisw
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To: Yehuda
Thanks, Yehuda, I bookmarked the site. Somebody or other will be getting a book from me for Christmas, and it'll come from WordsWorth.






31 posted on 12/11/2002 9:42:48 AM PST by hellinahandcart
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To: Yehuda
This refusal to carry conservative books has been one of my sorepoints since Rush came out with his first book.

I could not get Rush's book here in N. Kali... My oldest son was working in Bend, Oregon. He bought a couple and sent them to me. Later, I went up to spend a week with him and fly fish. I bought a dozen of Rush's books to give to friends and relatives. Not only did the book stores in Bend and Sun River have Rush's books, they discounted them and gave a big discount if you bought 12 books.

Then, Ken Hamblin, the black advenger came out with his book, and I was consulting all over California. From San Diego the Bay area every chain and privately owned book store acted ignorant of the book or tried to make you feel ignorant. Finally Ken got Amazon.com to carry his book. I ordered and had the book in two days.

I sent copies of the invoice to the two local owned book stores and the chain. Now we are down to one local owned, and they are in trouble. Every conservative book that I have bought from Amazon.com or some other internet source, I have sent these stores copies of the invoices and told them that they will be closing their doors one day due to their left wing censorship. One of the left wing locals closed about two years ago.

In ten years there will be no need for any left wing book store. The children of left wingers not aborted will not be able to read thanks to the NEA Wherehouses. The unaborted liberal children are sent to learn how to hate America, love the Islamofascists and how to become fresh meat for the predator homosexuals in charge of ther educational agendas in the NEA Wherehouses. The ability to read is not learned in the left wing NEA Wherehouses posing as schools.
32 posted on 12/11/2002 9:44:53 AM PST by Grampa Dave
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To: sauropod; KLT
"NPR fans shaking down small business" ping...
33 posted on 12/11/2002 9:45:48 AM PST by hellinahandcart
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To: dennisw
Good for you!

I will order a book or some from them, when I get books, I will write a thank you note on the invoice and send the owner a copy saying thank you for your brave stand for America and Israel.

Then I will send copies to my local lib book stores for their info!
34 posted on 12/11/2002 9:50:40 AM PST by Grampa Dave
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To: Yehuda
Wordswith is right nearby (Barney Frank is my congressman :(

Thanks for the ping, Yehuda.

35 posted on 12/11/2002 10:45:53 AM PST by UbIwerks
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To: Yehuda
Here is an OLD article link from NPR's in-house toadie about NPR's Middle East 'Problem' ~ SNICKER

Be sure to check out this quote at the bottom
In my opinion, the pressure on NPR from these groups can constitute a form of journalistic McCarthyism. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Media Matters

NPR's Middle East 'Problem'

By Jeffrey A. Dvorkin
Ombudsman
National Public Radio


NPR seems to have a problem regarding its reporting of the Middle East. The problem appears to be that whenever it reports this story, it provokes the ire of one group or another.

In the past few weeks, NPR has had to deal with the following issues:

1. CAMERA (The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) www.camera.org, began another campaign to protest against what it perceives to be NPR's supposed pro-Palestinian slant. CAMERA's tactic is to encourage some businesses to stop underwriting for public radio stations. Some stations, notably WBUR in Boston, say that they have noticed the loss of support. While no station admits that it has lost a lot of money, station managers in a few key stations say they've noticed a drop in financial support from some longtime underwriters.

2. FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) www.fair.org, launched a campaign around the same time to protest against NPR's supposed pro-Israel bias. Specifically, FAIR says that NPR failed to report the deaths of more than 30 Palestinians while reporting the region was in a period of "relative calm," because there were few Israeli injuries or deaths.

3. Steven Emerson has renewed his claims that he continues to be banned from appearing on NPR -- a ban he says goes back more than three years. Emerson, who has made a reputation as an anti-terrorism expert, was last heard on NPR in August 1998, and -- in the interests of full disclosure -- when I was VP of News at NPR.

Since Sept. 11, Emerson has been interviewed on many media outlets over his contention that Arab terrorist cells have deep roots inside Arab-American communities. Emerson has claimed that he has been banned from NPR because of his ideas. Bruce Drake, now NPR's News VP, has stated repeatedly that there is no ban and that any program or reporter can interview Emerson. But among all the experts interviewed by NPR, Emerson has not been heard. Emerson's cause and continued criticism of NPR has been taken up by a newspaper columnist in the Boston Globe, a report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and by an editorial in the New York Post.

4. Linda Gradstein, NPR's Jerusalem correspondent, has been invited to a speaking tour of colleges and universities in the United States. Pro-Palestinian activist Ali Abunimah, who has a Web site called "The Electronic Intifada" www.electronicintifada.org, has pointed out that Gradstein's expenses plus an honorarium for the speaking tour would be paid by Hillel, the Jewish Students Society. When informed of this, Bruce Drake reaffirmed NPR's longstanding policy against accepting money from groups that may have an interest in how the news is reported. The result? Gradstein will not accept money from the students' society.

Pressure Tactics

All journalistic organizations experience pressure from one group or another at various times. But it is rare, in my experience, to see the pressure mount in such an unremitting and continuous manner.

These groups are aware that NPR is an organization that depends on public largesse, and they know NPR may be more vulnerable to financial pressures than other media. Newspapers or commercial broadcasters seem more able to withstand financial or community pressure in part because they are private companies.

NPR needs to respond publicly to these groups. Not because of the financial pressure, but because of NPR's obligation to its listeners and to the public radio community. In my opinion, there are solutions that speak to the public broadcaster's sense of mission and commitment to be an independent provider of reliable information.

But NPR must also be prepared to say that if NPR must choose between financial support and its journalistic integrity, it will choose the latter.

More Nimble Corrections

NPR's Middle East coverage is, in my opinion, reliable for the most part. NPR does make mistakes of omission from time to time. When they occur and when they are pointed out by CAMERA or by The Electronic Intifada or by FAIR, there should be a mechanism that deals with the error in a public way as quickly as possible. Often, mistakes are shelved or worse, ignored. A mature journalistic organization like NPR must do better.

More Opinions

Steve Emerson's ideas may be unpalatable to some, but they are worth hearing, discussing and arguing over. As I have said before in other columns, NPR's value is that it gives voice to people who might surprise us. If NPR is given the benefit of the doubt (rare these days), it should be restated that Emerson was not banned by any newsroom policy. But the way it usually happens is that other ideas and their advocates probably pushed for other experts. It's time to hear what Emerson has to say.

More 'Arms-Length' Relationships

Linda Gradstein should not be taking money from any group that has a partisan approach to the conflict in the Middle East. But she has a First Amendment right to speak to whomever she wants. Indeed, it would be interesting if Mr. Abunimah and The Electronic Intifada would see their way clear to inviting her to speak to his group while she is in the United States. They might learn something too.

NPR has a policy, which forbids its journalists from accepting benefits, gratuities or monies from groups that have an interest in how the news is reported. NPR management must make sure that the policy is widely distributed and scrupulously followed.

Putting Pressure on NPR

But there is another danger in all this pressure and counter-pressure on NPR.

NPR needs and will profit from reasoned discussion and intelligent media criticism. Sometimes, these critics help, sometimes not. What we do not have is a place where these passionate discussions can happen without acrimony and with the ultimate goal of improving NPR's reporting. The issue has become so fraught, that even internal discussion or criticism of NPR's Middle East coverage is now rebuffed as being on the side of one pressure group or another. As an unintended consequence, the pressure groups have lowered the standard of media criticism inside and outside of NPR.

We hear much from NPR's critics on its Middle East coverage. But we never hear from listeners who find it useful and insightful. Non-NPR journalists also seem to be staying away from this story -- worried that any discussion of the economic pressures on NPR might be perceived as feeding into anti-Semitism.

NPR should, in my opinion, find a way to report on this story -- in effect to report on itself. It will be subject to much criticism for doing so, but the greater danger is to pretend that this is a story that is unimportant or of little interest to its listeners. NPR also needs to respond publicly to these pressure groups. Not to do so would only increase the impression that NPR is on the defensive.

The stakes here are, in my opinion, important both for NPR and for American journalism in general -- no less for NPR's ability to report on this and any other issue with independence and credibility.

If NPR, with its deep tradition of fairness and openness can't find a way to address these issues, other media that feel that they are now immune to such pressures may be deceiving themselves.

But ultimately, NPR's independence and integrity are what count. In my opinion, the pressure on NPR from these groups can constitute a form of journalistic McCarthyism. It may be that at the end of the day, once a reasonable and detailed discussion with its critics has taken place, NPR may lose some of its longtime supporters. But that may be the price it must pay for not losing its journalistic soul.

Listeners can contact me at ombudsman@npr.org.

Jeffrey Dvorkin 
NPR Ombudsman 

36 posted on 12/11/2002 11:00:40 AM PST by Drango
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To: Yehuda
Bookmarked site for later - thanks! God bless!
37 posted on 12/11/2002 11:26:22 AM PST by talleyman
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To: Yehuda
In other words, the liberal nuts believe that the owner of WordsWorth DOES NOT have the right to NOT support NPR.
38 posted on 12/11/2002 12:36:14 PM PST by Cinnamon Girl
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

To: Yehuda
Bookmarked, thanks for the ping.
40 posted on 12/11/2002 1:22:55 PM PST by SJackson
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To: Yehuda
Thanks for the info. The next time I need a book, I will certainly support this principled stand.
41 posted on 12/11/2002 2:37:44 PM PST by Lion's Cub
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To: Yehuda
Sells Words but Suppresses Words

What a load of malarky. Anti-intellectual gobbledeegook. Bullshot. Crapola. Nonsense.

He doesn't have to give money to them. It's his money. Just because he doesn't give them money, doesn't mean he is suppressing them. They can say what they want, and raise money from other people.

The left really does believe in entitlements. They think that because he gave them money in the past, that he can be blackmailed into continuing to give his money to causes he doesn't support.

42 posted on 12/11/2002 2:48:38 PM PST by monkeyshine
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To: monkeyshine
...and yet somehow I feel like he is getting what he deserves for supporting NPR in the first place.
43 posted on 12/11/2002 2:51:29 PM PST by JohnGalt
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To: Yehuda; Mercuria; AnnaZ; incindiary; Dutchy; ELS; firebrand; StarFan; PARodrig
OutStanding!!
44 posted on 12/11/2002 3:00:31 PM PST by RaceBannon
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To: dennisw; ladyjane
Ping, you are imured in that Ilk, true or false?
45 posted on 12/11/2002 3:00:56 PM PST by Little Bill
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To: JohnGalt
...and yet somehow I feel like he is getting what he deserves for supporting NPR in the first place.

You can say that again. Liberals LOVE NPR as long as they agree with the message. This guy has given millions to the station for their 'fair and balanced' programming. Now when he doesn't like the message, it's no longer fair and balanced. Too bad! I love it when liberals get hoist on their own petard.

46 posted on 12/11/2002 6:21:01 PM PST by ladyjane
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To: Little Bill
It's a bunch of liberals having a cat fight. Fun to watch the Brattle Street liberals having hissy fits. It's interesting, this guy has given multi millions to NPR, has Alan Dershowitz giving book readings, yet freepers are running out to buy books from him. You figure.
47 posted on 12/11/2002 6:27:17 PM PST by ladyjane
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To: Yehuda
Thanks for the heads up, Yehuda. Bookmarked. (^:
48 posted on 12/11/2002 7:36:05 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: Yehuda
Bump.
49 posted on 12/11/2002 7:37:24 PM PST by Victoria Delsoul
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To: Yehuda
Thank you for the heads up. Haven't lived in Boston for thirty-plus years, but NPR is part of the anti-Israel propaganda machine.

I recommend subscribing to Honest Reporting and Daniel Pipes.

We had a run-in with a Waldenbooks here--the leftist twerp was still registered back in New York and went back to vote for Smoocher of Suha.

Since, we've found Amazon supplies all the raw meat necessary, including the very politically incorrect Shakedown: exposing the real Jesse Jackson, by Kenneth R. Timmerman, Regnery, 2002.

Help stamp out:
Nazi
Propaganda
Radicals

50 posted on 12/11/2002 9:52:10 PM PST by PhilDragoo
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