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This started out as a rather long comment in Joan McCarter's front page diary on the 98 Companies who have pulled or suspended ads on Rush and all "controversial" RW radio. I feel, however it warrants a diary of its own.

Today, I listened to The Diane Rehm Show, produced by National Public Radio and WAMU out of American University which serves the Greater DC area. What I heard appalled me: Phyllis Schlafly defending Rush Limbaugh nearly without any challenge what so ever from the host, Diane Rehm

Follow me over the divider-doodle for the story...

I just heard Phyllis Schlafly on the Diane Rehm show. Now I used to like Diane, but more and more she brings on "both sides" and allows canned talking points to be used as answers to questions without serious challenge. I don't know if it's her chronic illness or what, be she has really been phoning it in lately.

This is what she let Phyllis get away with: asserting that Democrats had said horrible things about Palin, Malkin, and others. Diane let that stand without asking her who said what exactly and when (like, you know, a journalist would). She then allowed Schlafly to get away with asserting that Democrats promote single parenthood because women on government assistance are their "natural constituency" and defend what Rush said about Fluke. The only people who really challenged this were a couple of callers--from the South, I will add.

Kossack Krush pointed out to me--having heard the program as well today--in this comment in Joan's diary:

Diane Rehm did ask Phyllis Schlafly why she felt insulted by a caller who asserted that agendas such as Schlafly's
need to be soundly debated.

And Schlafy said "It's an anti-Phyllis comment".

The other guests on the show today were Terry O'Neill, the President of NOW, and Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post. While there was some challenge from the other guests, for the most part Schlafly's talking points went without serious, rigorous challenge, even her suggestion that Fluke's testimony was about the "public" paying for her to be on the pill so she could be sexually active without consequence--clearly NOT the subject of her testimony which I have heard and read in its entirety, and which I am sure Diane Rehm has, as well. There is no transcript up at this time but you can listen for yourself to today's show HERE.

What does this have to do with Rush and his advertisers? It tells you that yes, it will hurt Rush, but you've got NPR call-in show hosts bringing on his apologists like Diane Rehm did. For free.

Who needs Sears advertising on your show when you have Diane Rehm bringing on shills for you left and right on public radio?

I'm sending an email to Diane Rehm and to the NPR ombudsman about this. In my opinion, no program--whether produced by NPR directly or not--which shows up on the public airwaves should allow hate speech apologists to spew bile unchallenged. Talking not being in the service of the public interest!

I can't believe Diane has consumed so much right wing Kool-Aid that she finds what Schlafly had to say remotely reasonable or legitimate, let alone when Schlafly stuck to her guns that Fluke wanted birth control on the public dime to have sex, essentially perpetuating Rush's lie.

As you can see, I'm pretty steamed, but good on all the advertisers who have pulled out of RW hate radio. Now if we can get some of them to stop funding Diane Rehm, we'll really send a message.

Let's Take Action!

You can find WAMU's contact page here and NPR's ombudsman by going to the NPR website here.
If you didn't hear the show, I encourage you to listen to it and contact WAMU and NPR and let them know that Public Broadcasting should not be used to provide an unchallenged platform for the apologists of hate speech, especially when it is blatantly inaccurate and possibly slanderous as Rush Limbaugh's was. Let's help clean up NPR and the Diane Rehm show. Let's do it today.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I Didn't Recognize Her Voice But I Heard the 1st (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Krush, Smoh, mayim, flowerfarmer, DvCM

    clause out of her mouth and switched the station.

    The next segment of the show was more of the same. Explaining how the entire US retirement system including social security is collapsing. I got 2 clauses into that show.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:37:51 PM PDT

  •  They have to do that from time to time... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, skillet, Smoh, randomfacts, DvCM

    ...else they'd be in danger of losing their funding.  The Washington GOP blowhards already think they're leftist and thus shouldn't be publicly supported.

  •  Doesn't a non-challenge go against (10+ / 0-)

    NPR's new policy for reporters? Part of it reads:

    Maintaining the “appearance of balance” isn’t good enough, NPR says. “If the balance of evidence in a matter of controversy weighs heavily on one side…” we have to say so. When we are spun, we don’t just report it. “We tell our audience…” This is spin!
    Either Rehm didn't get the memo, or the standard doesn't apply to Fluke.
    •  Yes, indeed it does. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Smoh, DvCM

      Let's write them and tell them so.

      Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

      by commonmass on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:53:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, but she's not a reporter (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, gypsytoo, DvCM

      It's an opinion and discussion show.  Same thing with Talk of the Nation, which also has been unlistenable the past several years (except for Science Friday with Ira Plato).  Rehm' shtick of being oh-so-polite with everybody -- just like someone's favorite grandmother or aunt, if she had her own talk show! -- is doubly horrific when she's chatting up William Kristol and other people who should be in the goddamn Hague.

      She, as much as anybody at NPR, is a servant of the masters.

      -----
      Tom Smith Online
      Music In Every Style... Except Dull
      I want a leader who shoots for the moon. The last time we had one, we got to the moon.

      by filkertom on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:53:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bush / Rove kinda screwed NPR...for me at least. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, cacamp, DvCM
  •  I thought people like (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Smoh, Marie, dogemperor, cacamp, DvCM

    Phyllis Schlafly were extinct.

    I was wrong. I am trying to find a transcript of the show but I think its not available until tomorrow.

    Here is another blogger on the topic

    Diane Rehm had several women on today talking about women’s reproductive rights.

    One of her guests was Phyllis Schlafly. This woman is an idiot, and should be completely ignored. Maybe we can send her and Rush off to some remote island somewhere and never have to hear from either one of them again. Seems like a match made in heaven: Mr. and Mrs. Misogynistic.

    Her claims were many, and all equally ridiculous: single moms are all churning out babies out of wedlock so that they can solicit handouts from Obama’s government; feminists are all anti-men, anti-family; women WANT their reproductive rights to be limited which is why they keep voting for ultra-conservative Republican white men.

    Diane did a poor job challenging any of these opinions. She must have been feeling under the weather. I’m very disappointed.

    The comments on the website include bizarre, paradoxical claims such as that women want big government to protect their reproductive rights so that they can keep having babies and end up in poverty. Yeah. That makes sense. There also seems to be the belief that erectile disfunction is a “medical condition” but pregnancy (or ovarian cysts, or irregular or hemorragiac menstrual cycles) is/are not. Right.

    Just Sayin

  •  I think Dianne Rhem is a special case (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, dogemperor, Catte Nappe, DvCM

    Don't get me wrong - I am now in the process of writing a letter to my local NPR affiliate telling them why I don't contribute any more

    (at least until they stop calling on Tony Perkins of FRC for comment).

    But I've listened to Diane for years and she always puts on these right wing hate mongers and just lets them make fools of themselves.

    I don't know how she does it - but face it Phillis cam off as an ass, without Diane having to say anything, didn't she ?

    She doesn't challenge them, she gives them enough rope to hang themselves.

    If altar boys could get pregnant, contraception would be a sacrament.

    by tiponeill on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:55:18 PM PDT

    •  Yes, she does sometimes do that, but in this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dogemperor, DvCM

      particular case we're dealing with what may end up to be slander. It's certainly not true, what Schlafly was saying nor what Rush said about Fluke's testimony and the purpose for it.

      Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

      by commonmass on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:02:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think she's doing that at all (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, gypsytoo, JayRaye, DvCM

      We think they're making fools of themselves, because we already think they're fools.  Sad thing is, a lot of people listen to NPR to figure out how they feel about things, much as people listen to Fox News.  And it's worse in this case, because NPR has the reputation of at least giving somewhat of a shit about The Truth.

      So, when Rehm has these crazy people on, and they get whole minutes to make their cases and spout their talking points and Diane nods and says "Mm-hmm" now and then, she is implicitly validating their positions as worthy of attention and study and support.

      If, at the end of the day, the rope with which someone is supposed to hang themselves hasn't actually been tied into a noose by somebody, people start to think no hangin' was called for.  And thus does more bullshit, diversion, and lying settle into the public discourse.

      -----
      Tom Smith Online
      Music In Every Style... Except Dull
      I want a leader who shoots for the moon. The last time we had one, we got to the moon.

      by filkertom on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:59:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I get the crappy Hartford (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Smoh, dogemperor, Tonedevil, DvCM

    station -- doesn't have Rehm or many other programs and they effing dropped the Met Opera on Saturdays.  My other option -- for the Met, anyway, is a Catholic station which is insufferable re: commentary but plays good oldies -- 20s onwards.  Tough living in a valley with shitty reception.  

    I used to love Diane Rehm's show and WAMU when I lived in Baltimore -- also the Baltimore NPR was good but has been sold a couple of times so not sure of its status now.

    Only Terry Gross should be allowed to do interviews on NPR.  Oh -- and Ira Glass and Carl Kassell -- oh, and Paula Poundstone and maybe Click and Clack.  The rest of them suck.

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:56:51 PM PDT

    •  No Met Broadcast?! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gchaucer2, dogemperor, Tonedevil, DvCM

      I continue my grandfather's tradition of listening to the Met broadcast every Saturday, in the same chair he sat in to listen to it since the 30's. I would be crushed if my local affiliate discontinued the Met!

      The other person that can be good is Tom Ashbrook of WBUR Boston who does "On Point". Chris Lyden (formerly of "The Connection" which Ashbrook's show replaced and more recently of his new show "Open Source" out of Lowell, MA which I believe is syndicated in some places).

      Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

      by commonmass on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:00:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tom Ashrook can be good (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, Tonedevil, DvCM

        but he has a frantic tone I find annoying.

        Stupidest thing the new MBAs at Texaco did was to cancel their sponsorship of the Met broadcasts -- 60 years and those assholes pinched pennies for what?

        Yep -- no Met from Hartford.  I can't pick up the Amhurst station which carries it so I tune into the Jesus station -- which causes guilt because of the relentless homophobic and anti-woman diatribes.  I don't give them money -- just take advantage of 4-6 hours of opera.

        Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

        by gchaucer2 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:07:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ashbrook -- (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass, DvCM

          the cat is bothering me and I didn't proof-read.  Got to blame somebody/thing.

          Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

          by gchaucer2 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:07:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I still think of it as the Texaco Opera Theatre. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dogemperor, DvCM

          That was a really bad move. The simulcasts in movie theatres are fun though, we have that a lot at the Strand in Rockland.

          Ashbrook irritates me because he's almost as arrogant as his predecessor Chris Lyden was. Almost. But he gets pretty in-depth and always loves needling David Brooks when he has him on, which I find amusing, because you can hear Brooks sweat over the airwaves.

          Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

          by commonmass on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:18:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Marty Moscowain(?)? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass

      Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

      by Smoh on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:01:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Stream it! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass

      Minnesota Public Radio/ Classical has it, I'm pretty sure.

      Too soon old, too late smart.....

      by DvCM on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 07:41:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Aaaaghkth! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, dogemperor, Catte Nappe, DvCM

    I just recently discovered the Diane Rehm show and have enjoyed it. Trying to think what brought me there-- interview with John Lithgow maybe? I'll have to listen to the show with Schlafly sometime but from your description I may be jotting off another jolly email.

    Anyway, I can't believe that Schlafly is still stealing oxygen. My family has been despising her for generations.

  •  'This is not a war against women'......... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    YES IT IS!!!

  •  It's the false equivalency crowd (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, JayRaye, DvCM

    I stopped listening to NPR decades ago because  I didn't like the manner in which they bent over to be "evenhanded" -- before we even had the phrase "false equivalency" to describe the process.  It's endemic among inside-the-Beltway journalists, except, of course, those who we see on Martin and Cenk and Ed and Keith and usually on Rachel and Larry.

    All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:58:25 PM PDT

  •  Specifically... (4+ / 0-)
    She then allowed Schlafly to get away with asserting that Democrats promote single parenthood because women on government assistance are their "natural constituency" and defend what Rush said about Fluke.
    Apart from the political discussion, Schlafly said that 'single' mothers (really meaning unmarried mothers) need either a husband or the government to take care of them, so without a husband, the government in effect becomes the husband. I can see how this is offensive, as it ignores the possibility of unmarried mothers supporting themselves through hard work (who would have thought?). All I could do though was laugh. Phyllis Schlafly, really? First of all, I was surprised that she's still active and how coherent she is. But the words coming out of her mouth are so archaic. She is still living in a world where people will understand that she is talking about 'welfare queens' or worse, forgetting the opportunities that women have in the workforce today. If anything, young unmarried mothers today who can't find work and can't live with a partner will just move back home.

    "It is, it seems, politically impossible to organize expenditure on the scale necessary to prove my case -- except in war conditions."--JM Keynes, 1940

    by randomfacts on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:01:14 PM PDT

  •  good on you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, DvCM

    My local NPR station plays classical music all day so I don't hear Rehm but I have noticed how far NPR has shifted to the right over the last few years. I wonder if Dianes station manager or some boss told her to schedule more wingers?

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:23:04 PM PDT

  •  Diane Rehm (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, JayRaye, DvCM

    I didn't get to hear the whole show, just the beginning, in which Diane welcomed Phyllis. They sounded like old buddies.

    But I would like to point to what I think is a very strong track record for Diane Rehm. She's usually one of the better journalists on the radio. Her voice sounds awful, (and has sounded awful for sometime- is she sick?) but she still seems sharp as a tack most of the time.

    One of the best interviews I've ever heard on radio was when she interviewed the self-appointed 436th representative, Grover Norquist, maybe 3 months ago? She repeatedly asked him to name a single cabinet-level department he wanted to close. And he kept fumbling. And she kept asking him. It was quite good, and I'm surprised the NeoCons didn't ream her for her "liberal bias".

    I'm willing to give Diane a break. She's generally quite good.

    •  Ms. Rehm does have a vocal condition, has had (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DvCM, commonmass

      lots of medical history with it (dysphonia or something).
      She can be good sometimes.
      She ambushed noted war criminal Henry Kissinger once a long time ago and tore him up, doubt he will ever come back there.

      "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

      by Bluefin on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 06:37:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Big problem with this. Dumb point all over. (0+ / 0-)

    This equating Rehm with Limbaugh is just plain dumb.

    Rehm didn't go gutter on anyone. All she did was have on a host some people don't like. Her offense was having on Phyllis Schlafly and not grilling her down to dust. So now we're getting to the point that certain guest with different point of views can be on shows?

    Stupid. Just plain stupid.

    Sooner or later, if this place isn't careful, we're going to get into GOP territory.

  •  If you listen carefully, Ms. Rehm actually agreed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    with Phyllis Screechly when that crone used the false equivalency of libruls criticizing Palin and Malkin vs. Limpballs trashing Fluke, et al.
    Rehm didn't just remain silent with this, she actually strongly agreed with Shafly that Palin, etc., had been maligned unfairly.
    I couldn't hear much of the program due to fog attenuating the FM signal in and out, but it sounded like Terry O'Neill, the President of NOW, was allowed much more airtime than Phyllis, and used it very effectively.

    This is what she let Phyllis get away with: asserting that Democrats had said horrible things about Palin, Malkin, and others. Diane let that stand without asking her who said what exactly and when...

    "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

    by Bluefin on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 06:51:19 PM PDT

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