Let's look at a recent column by NPR ombudsmen Jeffrey Dvorkin tallying
up guests from think tanks who've appeared on NPR shows. Here's the data, and
a bit of his commentary (bold text is mine):
American Enterprise – 59 times
Brookings Institute – 102
Cato Institute – 29
Center for Strategic and Intl. Studies – 39
Heritage Foundation – 20
Hoover Institute – 69
Lexington Institute – 9
Manhattan Institute – 53
There are of course, other think tanks, but these seem to be the ones whose
experts are heard most often on NPR. Brookings and CSIS are seen
by many in Washington, D.C., as being center to center-left. The
others in the above list tend to lean to the right. So NPR has interviewed
more think tankers on the right than on the left.
The score to date: Right 239, Left 141.
You see these sorts of tallies all the time, and for all sorts of reasons
they always have to be taken with a huge grain of salt. Decisions about who's
left or right or center is obviously highly dependent on where the judge stands.
(Here's a blurb
from The Nation describing Brookings as "center-right.")
And as the policy debate "center" has shifted rightward, previously
staid, neutral institutions have come to be characterized as "left."
But this one is really interesting: do you see how Dvorkin describes CSIS and
Brookings as "center or center-left"—and then all the sudden
in the final count they are just plain left? Only calling Brookings left—which
a sentence before he essentially described as "center"—could
he make the count look remotely fair. Now over at TAPPED, Garance Franke-Ruta
that this imbalance was supposed to be corrected by Center for American Progress.
Maybe. But the
truth of the matter is that if groups like Cato and the AEI get that much air—88
NPR visits combined—we should hear from places as left as the Institute
for Policy Studies on a more regular basis. And the last time I remember
seeing Phyllis Bennis
on any sort of broadcast was on MSNBC's Donahue
in the fall of 2002.
Go to Original Article >>>
The views expressed herein are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Looking Glass News. Click the disclaimer link below for more information.