Mara Liasson is the political correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR), which receives taxpayer funding through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Yet, for some reason, when discussing challengers to Hillary Clinton in a recent interview, Ms. Liasson said not one word about Clinton’s closest rival, Bernie Sanders. Could the fact that Mara Liasson is also a contributor to Fox “News” have anything to do with it?
It’s understandable why the Big Six media corporations are doing their best to minimize and ignore Bernie, despite his surging popularity and increasing poll numbers. After all, Bernie wants to take away their control and power over our democratic government, which they acquired after the demise of the Fairness Doctrine. It was the Fairness Doctrine that required broadcast media to be objective and present all sides of an issue.
However, NPR is not a private entity. Under the original 1967 charter for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, publicly-funded media outlets such as NPR and PBS must maintain “a strict adherence to objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature” – in this case, the current Presidential campaigns.
Apparently, it’s difficult for NPR to maintain that “objectivity and balance” when their own political correspondent is also working for Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda machine. In her recent interview with Rachel Martin, Liasson said that Joe Biden’s entry would be a “positive,” because it would bring “more competition to the race.” However, she went on to ask: “What does he offer that’s unique, that’s different from Hillary Clinton? He’s very similar to her in his profile…[and] he certainly can’t capture the anti-Establishment fever that has been sweeping the Democratic base.”
The answer is patently obvious to anyone who has been paying even the least bit of attention to the race for the Democratic nomination. Bernie has captured that “anti-Establishment fever,” and he’s going to keep on capturing it. Liasson is either asleep, or – as is more likely – acting on her own biases as well as following orders from Fox. It’s not the first time Liasson has actively taken action or non-action in order to help or harm a candidate. In October of 2014, Liasson used her position with Fox “News” in order to help out Colorado’s Cory Gardner, a hard-right Conservative theocrat whose positions were not sitting well with women voters. Her misrepresentations convinced enough Colorado voters to send Gardner to the US Senate.
Interestingly, NPR fired correspondent Juan Williams in October 2010 after he appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, where he said, “If I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.” The reason given by NPR management:
[Williams’ comments were] inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR…News analysts may not take personal public positions on controversial issues; doing so undermines their credibility as analysts.
In Liasson’s case, it was not a comment but her deliberate failure to state the obvious fact that Bernie is in fact the real alternative to Hillary. Liasson had an obligation to point this out to NPR listeners, particularly those who might not know about Sanders’ candidacy and his positions on the issues. Would she have mentioned Bernie if she weren’t working for Fox News? We don’t know for sure. One thing is certain, however – NPR is falling down on the job, and definitely needs to reconsider its relationship with Mara Liasson in light of her connection with Fox “News.”
Watch Thom Hartmann discuss this very issue:
Watch Ed Schultz discuss the issue of Corporate Media not proving Bernie fair treatment:
Watch David Pakman discuss the issue of Corporate Media’s apparent hostility toward Bernie’s success.