Politics

Examples of Bias at NPR and PBS?

| by Cato Institute

By David Boaz

In my Britannica Blog column today I look at some brand-new examples of what might seem to be liberal bias at NPR and PBS:

NPR’s Diane Rehm Show devoted an hour to Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent socialist from Vermont, talking about his new book The Speech. But it looks like Diane has not interviewed Sen. Rand Paul, the constitutional conservative from Kentucky, about his new book The Tea Party Goes to Washington, even though it’s selling better than Sanders’s book. It’s pretty clear to book publicists that it’s much easier to get a liberal author on the Diane Rehm Show than a conservative or libertarian author.

Meanwhile, this week PBS is featuring the latest in its program Journey to Planet Earth, this episode featuring “environmental visionary Lester Brown,” the long-time president of the Worldwatch Institute. The episode, “Plan B: Mobilizing To Save Civilization,” “delivers a clear and unflinching message – either confront the realities of climate change or suffer the consequences of lost civilizations and failed political states.” Matt Damon hosts. But Lester Brown’s decades-long predictions about environmental disasters have been wrong more often than the 5.9 million NCAA brackets filled out on ESPN. See this review from 1999 or this one from 2000 or this one from 2009. Meanwhile, a PBS documentary featuring the ideas of Julian Simon, who challenged doomsday orthodoxy and notably got things right? Don’t bet on it.

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For more examples and why it matters, read the whole thing.