LOS ANGELES – Councilmember Bernard C. Parks and Councilmember Bill Rosendahl have issued the following joint statement regarding NPR:
“In recent days, National Public Radio – NPR – has come under fire for comments made by one of their fundraisers, Sr. VP of Development Ron Schiller, in a hidden camera video recorded without his knowledge.
He described the Tea Party movement as “xenophobic” and “seriously racist.” While it would certainly be improper for NPR’s news division or reporters to speculate on the motivations of those in the Tea Party movement, Mr. Schiller should be allowed to make his own personal conclusions in what he thought was a private conversation.
Mr. Schiller’s assessment is backed up by verifiable facts. Self-proclaimed Tea Party activists have gone on record:
* Blaming black homeowners for the financial crisis
* Supporting politicians who think the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was an overreach of Government power
* Supporting Arizona’s controversial immigration law
* Perpetuating the lie that President Obama was not born in Hawaii and his birth certificate is fake
The apparent lack of nearly any minority supporters of the movement, and its inception coinciding with the inauguration of President Barack Obama, also suggest a racial subtext to their motivation.
Unlike the questionable ethics of ‘ambush’ and ‘gotcha’ journalism -favored by conservative media – NPR has consistently maintained the highest ethical standards in its reporting.
The frequent criticism from conservatives that NPR has a liberal bias is patently untrue. NPR has a bias toward objective reporting of the facts. If facts show that conservative policies of subsidies for large corporations, tax breaks for millionaires and preserving the healthcare status quo have hurt American families and eroded the once-strong middle-class of this country, they should not fault NPR for informing the American people of that reality.
NPR journalists have won hundreds of awards for investigative reports, outstanding documentaries, digital innovations and bodies of coverage. Among the highest honors: 31 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, 53 George Foster Peabody Awards, 37 awards from the White House News Photographers Association, 17 Webby Awards (which includes
4 Webby “Peoples’ Voice” awards) and 18 awards from the Overseas Press Club of America.
Taxpayer support of NPR, through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) allows journalists to pursue stories without the threat of upsetting corporate sponsors, resulting in more honest and truthful reporting.
The CPB also provides financial support to numerous award-winning local media outlets, such as 89.3 KPCC, 89.9 KCRW, 90.7 KPFK and KCET – TV.
As elected officials, we recognize what the founding fathers of our country recognized: a free and independent media is absolutely vital and necessary for the preservation of our democratic system of government.”
—————————————–Bernard C. Parks was just re-elected to his third term on the Los Angeles City Council, where he serves as Chair of the Budget & Finance Committee. He represents the Eighth District, which includes the neighborhoods of Baldwin Hills, Crenshaw, Leimert Park, West Adams, Jefferson Park, Chesterfield Square, Angeles Mesa, and other areas of South Los Angeles. He is a former Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department. Bill Rosendahl is serving his second term on the Los Angeles City Council, where he serves as Chair of the Transportation Committee. He represents the 11th District, which includes the neighborhoods of Brentwood, Del Rey, Mar Vista, Marina del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Palms, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Venice, West LA and Westchester. Prior to his election, Rosendahl was an educator and an award-winning television broadcaster with a long record as a leader in Los Angeles civic affairs. Rosendahl is best known as producer and moderator of critically-acclaimed public affairs television shows. As host of “Local Talk”, “Week in Review” and “Beyond the Beltway,” he created a needed forum for discussion of public affairs. An advocate of empowering people through information, Rosendahl produced more than 3,000 programs over 16 years, opening the airwaves to all viewpoints and steering thoughtful dialogue on the most complex and controversial issues.