Monday, February 18, 2008

NPR Ombudsman Blows Off Concern

On February 11th, NPR and Talk of the Nation's Neal Conan held a roundtable discussion about coverage of the presidential campaigns. About 20 minutes in, Alicia Shepard, NPR Ombudsman, had this notable interchange with a disgruntled caller:
WARNER: I'm calling because there's been no coverage, generally, but also on NPR about the current presidential race in the Green Party of the United States. We had four primaries last Tuesday in Massachusetts, Arkansas, Illinois, and California, and it seems to me that basic journalism includes covering the facts, and if you're not covering all the facts, you're not doing your job. And I've also not heard anything about large-scale voting interference with Green Party members voting in Illinois, which occured last Tuesday, and I want to know if NPR is going to cover the District of Columbia primary that's going to be happening tomorrow, including the Green Party Primary.

SHEPARD: I don't think I can answer that, but let's hope that the political editor, Ron Elving, is listening, and I'm sure that NPR will be covering the Democratic primary in the District.

CONAN: Republican primary too.

WARNER: Well, that's the point. There's also another party's primary - the Green Party primary - the Libertarian party, which is another smaller, national party, also is not getting any coverage, and they have a full slate of presidential candidates also. I know because I saw their ballot with mine for the California primary.

CONAN: Warner, thanks very much for the call. Let's see if we can go now....
What the fuck just happened?

The Ombudsman is supposed to stand for oversight and extended explanations over policy. A policy question about news being completely ignored was directly asked of Alicia Shepard. And she completely ignored his concern and said the Dems and Repubs would be covered for sure - which is exactly his point!

And when he elucidated and brought up more ignored small party news, Neal Conan cut him off and went to another caller.

Proper coverage of anyone not on Media Sweetheart list, anyone not suckling at the teat of Media Mania, is being completely ignored. And it is not simple "Shhhh," brush it under the carpet, but a blatant, public, debilitating mushroom stamp from the Judgment Cock of Big Media. And today, Alicia Shepard wields that club.

Listen at the above link. Contact Alicia Shepard at the Ombudsman's Page. Let her know what you feel after you hear Warner get knocked down by the person who's supposed to at least listen to the little guy.

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