NPR Lies About Censoring Pro-Life Views During Abortion Debate

Opinion   |   Ryan Bomberger   |   Aug 2, 2011   |   1:09PM   |   Washington, DC

On July 18th, NPR’s Michel Martin invited Reverend Carlton Veazey and me to debate the issue of abortion in the black community on “Tell Me More”.  I’m beginning to believe a name revision is in order: “Tell Me More Lies.”

NPR has now officially, and dishonestly, disputed the charges of censorship and liberal bias by posting an article full of…liberal bias.  They could’ve posted the unedited audio of the interview, but such raw honesty is apparently too much for NPR to handle. The charade of fairness, no matter whom they need to defame, is a far loftier virtue for them than truth.  A producer originally told me the interview, for the show, would be a duration of 15 minutes. That changed after the interview.

It would be laughable if my tax dollars didn’t fund this one-sided journalism. Edward Schumacher-Matos, NPR’s Ombudsman, described by NPR as the “public’s representative to NPR, serving as an independent source regarding NPR’s programming” defended the network’s lack of integrity. He conducted his own research (an “independent” source whose salary is paid by NPR), and what do you know? He found that NPR wasn’t biased.

According to Schumacher-Matos, the executive producer of “Tell Me More”, Teshima Walker, wrote to The Radiance Foundation responding to our charges of deliberate bias. Quoting Ms. Walker, Schumacher-Matos determined: “I went back and listened to the story again, and have to conclude that she is right and Bomberger is wrong.”

Reading Ms. Walker’s quote in his article was the first time I’ve ever seen her name. Teshima Walker never contacted me, in writing, on the phone, or by any other means. The dishonesty of her assertion that their edits “allowed the substance of both arguments to remain intact while preserving the standard of fairness, clarity and civility” makes me wonder what universe NPR lives in.

I was civil throughout the conversation, never raising my voice and never interrupting. I was, apparently, way too polite. Perhaps I shouldn’t make that mistake again.

NPR’s ombudsman reinforces the myth that the show’s edits were to give both Rev. Veazey and I equal time. Granted, we each had nearly 3 minutes and 40 seconds to share our views (after editing), but mine were continually cut off by either the host or Reverend Veazey. I spoke 9 different times and was interrupted during 6 of those instances, 3 of which were interruptions from Veazey. He,however, spoke 3 times, uninterrupted and was never once challenged by the host during his lengthy monologues. It’s kind of like ‘separate but equal’. Ironic, considering the eugenic subject matter.

This is fairness in NPR’s world. Over a minute of closing thoughts in a pro-abortion tirade is equivalent to severely edited 15 seconds of provable prolife remarks. Schumacher-Matos claims those 15 seconds were my central argument, although I hadn’t spoken of the “financial gain” aspect of abortion anywhere else in the interview.

In NPR’s world, it’s a personal and irrelevant attack to address a nonprofit officer’s $183K salary for 5 hours a week of work, filed and signed with his signature. But a minute-long baseless rant about prolifers virtually aborting children after they’re born, ignoring every social need, isn’t personal (or fundamentally dishonest) at all.

The ombudsman didn’t even address the selective censoring of two words, “Title” and “X” (ten) that I had spoken. They removed those two words (and most of the subsequent Title X discussion) because it doesn’t fit a liberal narrative to have someone regarded as ‘conservative’ acknowledge and promote the existence of over 1700 Title-X funded clinics. My point, also cut out, was that “Planned Parenthood is not the savior of the community.”

Only in NPR’s inverted reality can a not-so-independent Ombudsman defend liberal bias with more liberal bias. We invite them to provide all the clarity possible: post the unedited audio and let the public decide.

This isn’t the first time NPR has censored The Radiance Foundation. During our first campaign, I was interviewed for over 30 minutes, offline, by NPR about our “Endangered Species” billboard campaign—one that I created and continue to direct.

Imagine my surprise when the nearly 4 minute radio broadcast report by NPR’s Morning Edition never mentioned me, The Radiance Foundation, our adoption theme behind the campaign or even thewebsite prominently featured on the billboard, Granted,they did post an image of the billboard in their online print edition, crediting it to per my request after the story had aired. Typical of NPR’s approach to “fairness” they included one prolife activist’s perspective versus three pro-abortion activists’ views.

This concern of censorship goes beyond that of the prolife movement. This is not about me, but about how the facts are so easily discarded by a public broadcasting network. NPR’s treatment of this issue applies to any social issue, obscuring the truth, to the detriment of those most in need of real solutions, for the elevation of liberal ideology.

American taxpayers should demand their own hard-earned money isn’t turned against them in daily attacks by a publicly funded news source with little regard for the truth.