Diane Rehm: Donald Trump Won Because Not Enough People Listen to NPR

Opinion   |   Dave Andrusko   |   Nov 21, 2016   |   5:59PM   |   Washington, DC

Today’s edition of “You can’t make this stuff up” comes courtesy of the soon-to-be retired host of “The Diane Rehm Show.” Rehm, pro-abortion, pro-death to the core, is leaving the Friday before Christmas. The 80-year-old Rehm is representative of the strenghts and mounting weaknesses of National Public Radio.

Like her audience, she is old (80). Like the overwhelming preponderance of her audience she is white. Thus, the choice of Joshau Johnson, who is young (36) and African-America, as her successor.

“Johnson may help NPR expand its appeal among the younger, male and racially diverse listeners that public radio has struggled to attract throughout its history,” writes the Washington Post’s Paul Farhi. “Public radio and TV audiences are largely white and aging, a development that has concerned industry leaders for some time.”

So what unbelievable, head slappers came out of Farhi’s (as always) adoring story about Rehm and Johnson? Two, actually.


Johnson declined to discuss his political views, but he said he was as committed as Rehm to presenting a balanced show. “I see a lot of similarities in how I like to represent myself on the air in the way she presents herself on the air — the same style and ethic of conversation.”

“Ethic of conversation”? Lopsided panels in which contrary (read pro-life or traditional) views are given only the most passing of nods? Elitist sarcasm that goes unchallenged because almost all her guests swim in the same pool of intellectual snobbism?

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Second, Farhi writes

Rehm, 80, said her decision to leave her program was “1,000 percent the right decision for me and the station at this time.” But, she added, “I’m feeling somewhat guilty about leaving in this moment” following Donald Trump’s surprising presidential victory. “We need more discussion about what has happened and why this has happened.”

Well, actually, “more discussion” about “why this happened” comes in the next paragraph where Farhi quotes from a “gala” held last week to honor her.

“We’re all going to have to learn to listen in new and different ways, better and harder to those with whom we may not agree, those who are different from us, who may not even be aware of public radio, those who feel they have not been heard,” she [Rehm] said. “We who’ve been in public radio for all these years thought we were being broad and bold. But now we know we’ve been speaking with only a small portion of the electorate and the population at large. We have to do better.”

What?! Rehm, whose own media bubble is hermetically sealed, admitting “we have to do better”? Of course, she immediately clarifies:

Rehm said in an interview she wasn’t speaking about Trump supporters specifically, but about people who are “comfortable in their own factual universe” and not open to different points of view. “They want to construct a universe that is within the confines of the way they’re living. Public radio hasn’t reached them.”

This is enough to give condescension and a dismissive wave of the hand a bad name. The hosts of public radio programs–with Rehm being the best example–are the very epitome of people who live in their own factual universe. For them, there is no need to be “open to different points of view” because their “universe”—public radio—is where all right-thinking, open-minded people already reside.

Moral of the story? If only more people—you know, those “deplorables”—had listened to the Diane Rehms, well, Trump and Trumpism (the elite’s way of snidely imputing authoritarian impulses to Trump supporters) would never have carried the day.

You can’t make this stuff up, unless, that is, you live in your own universe where you never need come in contact with the rabble.

LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in at National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.