Have you ever found yourself in a situation where someone tells you of a joke they heard, and how offensive it was to them. Then they retell it to you- with great relish -reminding you all the while how shocked they were by it. I had something of this feeling about the story on ATC yesterday regarding Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic minority leader in the House of Representatives.
The story is supposed to cover the fact that many Republicans believe that villifying Pelosi is key to winning elections in November. What we get is a forty second clip of rightwing Republican Roger Wicker of Mississippi villifying Pelosi's character and record: "frankly a very left wing San Francisco liberal like Nancy Pelosi, and we ought to cite chapter and verse showing the votes she had cast on national defense, all of the times she had opposed these tax cuts for middle Americans and all the huge spending increases that we would have had votes prevailed over time."
This does convey the BS and spin that Republicans lay out there, but what about NPR's fact check or counterpoint to these accusations? NOTHING. Wicker's remarks just sit out for listeners to take in. There is no demand for specific votes on "national defense," "tax cuts for middle Americans," or "huge spending increases." Wicker was not challenged by the reporter or by a follow-up look at her record (and his!), or even by an ally of Pelosi to take issue with Wicker's remarks. It is interesting that the story ends by noting that most voters know almost nothing about Pelosi--so for these voters the "information" they get from NPR today will be nothing but distortion lifted "chapter and verse" from the Republicans' campaign notes.