Skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

Comments made by NateBowman

NPR Ombudsman Discusses Her Job, Takes Calls From Listeners

"SHEPARD: ...And I often wonder do NPR listeners not like the fact that they’re [Ms. Liasson and Mr. Williams] appearing on Fox or do they – or is it what they say on Fox? Because NPR’s ethics code is clear, which is the ethics code, if your listeners are interested, is also on my blog. But it says that you cannot say something – If you’re an NPR reporter, you cannot say something on another network that you would not be allowed to say on NPR. So there’ve been a couple times where each of them have done that and broken the ethics code, and I, as NPR’s Ombudsman, who get the complaints about that, sometimes I feel that Fox should be paying me, too. But – So over time, it has become a problem with Juan Williams, in particular, because he also hosts Bill – is a substitute host for Bill O’Reilly, so he has a part-time status with NPR. He is a contractor; he is not a staff reporter the way that Mara Liasson is. And he is considered a commentator or a news analyst. So that’s how they feel that they can deal with the fact that Juan is giving his opinions. And Mara pretty much says she tries to keep it straight down the line as a reporter just commenting on the facts because she covers national politics and the White House."

1. THANK YOU for citing the Code of Ethics and Practices in this context.
2. Why wonder, Ms. Shepard. Some people do not like that they are appearing on FOXl; almost all mind what they say. And I know from reading the comments to your posts on this issue (and I suspect email and phone complaints have done the same) that they have cited specific statements that Mr. Williams and Ms. Liasson have made.
3. A couple times when they have broken? Media Matters lists over 200 for Mr. Williams and over 100 for Ms. Liasson. With quotes.
4. Mr. Williams' contractual status does not excuse what he does. Perhaps it does in NPR's eyes, but not to the listeners' ears.
5. And, as I say every time the issue comes up: If Ms. Liasson's 10-year body of work at FOX is something she is proud of, why is it not on her NPR bio?

August 9, 2010 at 8:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

NPR Ombudsman Discusses Her Job, Takes Calls From Listeners

"MARY: …I think there’s a certain semantic imbalance in your reporting of events in Israel and Palestine. The Israeli fighters are always called troops or soldiers whereas the Palestinian victims are always referred to as gunmen.
SHEPARD: I will say that, Mary, this is a common complaint in terms of this particular issue and how people perceive it. Israel does have an army and a defense force and I do not believe that Gaza does, which is probably why they use the term ‘gunmen.’... the people listen to the prism of their own beliefs and...they can hear a story, just as Mary did, and pick up on something like that kind of difference between troops and gunmen and think that more respect is being given to Israel."

Truth is lost in Ms. Shepard's opinion that people only see things through the prism of what they want to see AND THAT AUTOMATICALLY MEANS THE COMPLAINT IS NOT VALID.
1. If it is a common complaint, you should have researched it, resolved it for yourself and acted to have NPR be truthful.
2. Your statement should be based on research, not your belief.
3a.It is Hamas which has a military wing, not Gaza. It is called The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades and was founded in 1992. They even have a website.
More at
3b. Fatah's mainstream military branch is al-Assifa. The most well-known of its other military wings is the Al-Aqsa Brigades

August 9, 2010 at 8:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

NPR Ombudsman Discusses Her Job, Takes Calls From Listeners

"And I feel I’ve often—for years I’ve felt this—that if the public only knew, if they were only in these meetings and they could see that, you know, 99% of journalists are filled with integrity, they want to get the story out as accurately and fairly and in context as possible, they’d have a greater respect."

1. Your job, Ms. Shepard, is to represent our concerns to NPR, not to tell us how great NPR is.
2. Most of the concerns that we voice to you are issues of competence, not integrity. And, the fact that a miscarriage of journalism is not done willfully does no less make it a miscarriage of journalism.
3. Most of the concerns we voice ARE respectful. Though I have heard an NPR editor refer to listeners as 1d1ots and ridicule them for using the British spelling of a word.

August 9, 2010 at 8:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal )