Headline Shenanigans at NPR

“Is Slow Growth Actually Good for the Economy?”  That, I’m not joking, was an actual headline at NPR.  

The headline not only exposes  the Obama-water-carrying attitudes at NPR, it also exposes the fact that NPR is filled with what I call “insular progressives.”  The latter are people with extremely liberal views, who have surrounded themselves with like-minded people.  As a consequence, they are apt to say things that moderates and conservatives find ridiculous.  But they never or rarely learn that because they have so little interaction with moderates and conservatives.  Probably most professors and most mainstream journalists, I believe, could reasonably be called “insular progressives.” 

This time, however, the NPR progressives seem to have realized their insular nature, and it seems they became embarrassed by the headline.  They changed it to “Is Moderate [my emphasis] Growth Actually Good for the Economy?”

What brought on the embarrassment?  How’d the progressives at NPR come to realize how ridiculous their headline was?

It appears that two people, Gabriel Malor and Michelle Malkin, and one institution, Twitter, are most responsible.  Malor wrote a link to the headline along with the the following tweet: “Unbelievable.  Actual NPR headline.”  He wrote another tweet making fun of NPR’s headline:  ”Is high blood pressure actually good for your health?”

Malkin retweeted Malor’s tweet, and she urged her twitter followers to “let the NPR headlines games begin.”  Here are some of the faux NPR headlines.  They include “Is cancer actually good for the body?” and  ”Was Seal Team Six good for bin Laden?”.

I suspect that this story will gain some traction–at least among blogs and talk radio.  I also suspect it will catch the attention of some members of Congress.  NPR executives concerned about their taxpayer subsidies can’t be too happy with this.

  1. SMatthewStolte

    The headline doesn’t strike me as especially insular at all. It is plainly intended to be provocative. It assumes a background belief that most moderate liberals to moderate conservatives would assume: that we want growth to be fast. 

    Insulated thinking is not defined its provocative arguments but by its background assumptions. Thus, an open-borders advocate who is insulated from those who advocate moderate restrictions would not find it necessary to make it explicit that he thinks the border ought to be open. He simply assumes that restrictions on borders are scandalous. He would never write a headline that said: “Could open borders actually be good for our country?” That would strike him as a dog-bites-man story. 

  2. Last Outpost on the Right

    The “headline” is a trial balloon. Obama’s campaign KNOWS there will not a robust economy to support his candidacy. And it seems the “new normal” meme has few takers. So they pitch this economy as BETTER than normal. It flows through NPR so it doesn’t appear to be a campaign ad, but it sure looks a lot like a focus group. And no, I don’t see it working any better than “new normal” did.

  3. The King Prawn

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see stories in the near future about how Obama single-handedly solved the problem of economic oscillations through his anemic growth policies.

  4. flownover

    Are NPR reporters really the best in the country ?

  5. Percival

    Is “anemic” the new “moderate?”

  6. George Savage

    The embedded left wing worldview is endemic.  A look at the front page of this morning’s San Jose Mercury News reveals the following headline:  ”Globe-trotting Apple takes bite out of its taxes:  Tech giant takes advantage of loopholes in system with offices all over the world. ”

    The growing digital economy presents a conundrum for lawmakers overseeing corporate taxation:  Though technology is now one of the nation’s largest and most valued industries, many tech companies are among the least taxed, according to government and corporate data.

    One searches the lengthy article in vain for any consideration of the possibility that the preceding quote might represent cause and effect: that tech companies are a shining light in the US economy precisely because they have found viable ways of escaping the world’s highest corporate tax rate (35% federal plus another 8.84% of skin in the game for lucky California companies).

    It’s all static analysis all the time:  Apple is so successful, if only it would stop availing itself of “loopholes” and boost its 9.8% effective global tax rate to 43.84%, California community colleges would once again be flush with cash.  

  7. George Savage

    And the article unintentionally proves the Laffer Curve in operation.  High tax rates in California are not producing higher corporate tax revenue, just exporting jobs that could be here to other states and countries.

  8. DrewInWisconsin

    While the original headline is an obvious case of propping up the failed economic policies of this administration, the new headline is a headscratcher. I cannot imagine any legitimate news organization writing a headline like “Is Moderate Growth Actually Good for the Economy?” The questions tumble out. As opposed to . . . what? Rapid growth? If the first headline says “We’re totally trying to get Obama re-elected,” the new headline says “We don’t really know what’s newsworthy. Perhaps you should tune to a different station.”

    I cannot imagine an actual, market-driven news organization writing a headline like that. One that’s subsidized by the government, however . . . par for the course.

  9. Franco

    Are reduced donations to NPR actually good for radio?

    Would Fewer Things Considered be a better name for that famous NPR show?

    Would more hippie baby-boomers dying improve the watchability of PBS pledge drives?

  10. DocJay

    Franco, defunding NPR would indeed be fresh air. George Savage, nice correlation. Will anyone actually discuss those facts? Not on science Friday I bet.

  11. Liberty Dude

    “Self Flagellation for a Supreme Leader the Moral Ideal?  Marxists, Nazis, and NPR find common ground ”

    How about them apples?

    On the other hand, if they are considering the steady and powerful growth seen under free banking (late 19th century) vs. the artificial booms created by government policy & central banks, than yes, they are correct.  I sincerely doubt you’ll see this level of depth @ NPR.

  12. CreditMgr

    Suggested NPR headline & story: Is a Depression What the Environment Needs?  Poverty and inactivity produce a smaller carbon footprint than a growing economy so NPR can cheer stopping the sea-level rise.

  13. Freesmith

    As usual, defensiveness reigns on the Right and Ricochet embodies it.

    Yes, go ahead and be appalled, or take the sophisticated path and create ironic alternate headlines that poke fun at Democrat Party stupidity.

    (That’s right, Democrat Party, not NPR. Call the enemy by its right name, the same way we all demanded our government call Islamic extremists by their proper name, not some weaselly euphemism.)

    Here’s the headlines I’d prefer seeing from a Republican-run NPR:

    “Detroit, Crown Jewel of Democrat Urban Policy”

    “Did Syria Demonstrate the Moral Bankruptcy of Obama/Clinton Foreign Policy?”

    “Bell, California – A Look Back at How Democrats Plundered a Poor Community”

    If you want to make people stop doing what they enjoy and what also benefits them, show them how it hurts.

    Irony and sarcasm never made a bully stop, but knocking his teeth out never failed. 

  14. Sumomitch
    Franco: Are reduced donations to NPR actually good for radio?

    WouldFewer Things Consideredbe a better name for that famous NPR show?

    Would more hippie baby-boomers dying improve the watchability of PBS pledge drives? · 24 hours ago

    Only problem with Franco’s list:  Each of these examples are actually improvements! Ironically undermining the irony.

  15. Tom Kirkwold

    I’ve been a NPR listener for almost 20 years now. Dependable and fair. I listen to Rush and Hannity too – just to keep up with the opposition. I’ve listened to Rush since ’92, Hannity since ’09. To say NPR is perfect would be inaccurate. But liberal? Really?

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