NPR’s Rovner: Advocate, Not Journalist

“To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical.”

That quote by Thomas Jefferson sums up lots of folks’ beef with National Public Radio. They’re forced, through their tax money, to pay for the propagation of wrongheaded opinions, including those of Obamacare cheerleaders.

One such cheerleader is NPR’s “health policy correspondent” Julie Rovner. Recently she took questions from listeners, and based on her answers, she easily could have been mistaken for an Obama administration spokesperson – putting the best face on Obamacare without the slightest hint of skepticism about any aspect of the proposed bill.

A listener asked about the apparent contradictions of the financing of the bill – that it will cost about $1 trillion over 10 years yet save $130 billion and add not a dime to the deficit.

Rovner’s response started out, “All three of those statements are true at the same time, believe it or not.”

A good reporter would have prefaced her response with something like “The Obama administration (or Democratic senators) claims that all three of those statements are true…” Instead, Rovner just stated it as if it were fact – or an Obama administration talking point.

She ended her answer with this Obama talking point: “it adds not one dime to the federal deficit; in fact, takes a whole lot of dimes away.”

Julie, in journalism you’re supposed to preface a statement like that with “so-and-so claims…” or “so-and-so believes that…” and then state some of the counter arguments.

Either that, or NPR should introduce her not as “health policy correspondent” but “health policy advocate” or “Obama administration spokesperson” or at least “NPR commentator,” and then add a disclaimer at the end along the lines of “Ms. Rovner’s opinions are solely her own and do not necessarily represent those of NPR, the station, its owners,” etc.