I posted quite a bit on NPR's (and especially Tom Gjelten's) distortions regarding the withdrawal of Obama's first pick to head the CIA, John Brennan back in late November-early December last year. At the time several significant journalist bloggers strongly criticized the appointment of Brennan due to his praise of intelligence gathered by CIA torture and his explicit support of torture/rendition flights and illegal wiretapping. NPR repeatedly claimed that Brennan's only fault was being a CIA associate during the time that such practices were going on. Furthermore NPR frequently used derogatory terms to belittle the efforts of bloggers to highlight Brennan's documented shortcomings: "a campaign of liberal bloggers," "the hubbub these liberal groups were raising," and "those people who were stoking the fires of criticism."
Compare this with the general and normative descriptions given to the radical crew of Likudist neocons who attacked the Freeman nomination:
On Tuesday's ATC Gjelten stated that "in recent years as a private citizen Freeman has been an outspoken critic of some US policies, especially regarding China and Israel. Because of that his appointment...was vigorously criticized..."
Again on Tuesday, Mary Louise Kelly stated, "Freeman has a record of speaking his mind on policies regarding China and Israel in particular, so Freeman's nomination faced opposition from the start..."
Oddly we NEVER get the substance of Freeman's remarks. His thinking on Israel can be found here, and as Andrew Sullivan points out, the outrageous nature of his "anti-Israel" comments are as follows:
"Tragically, despite all the advantages and opportunities Israel has had over the fifty-nine years of its existence, it has failed to achieve concord and reconciliation with anyone in its region, still less to gain their admiration or affection. Instead, with each decade, Israel's behavior has deviated farther from the humane ideals of its founders and the high ethical standards of the religion that most of its inhabitants profess."As far as Freeman's China remarks go, they appear to have been dishonestly obtained and purposely distorted. Other rather tame and rational ideas of Freeman's can be seen here. The important story is that the successful attack on Freeman indicates that even mild and perfectly rational critiques of US-Israeli foreign/military policy are not open for debate or discussion. (A policy which dovetails well with NPR's coverage of Israel-Palestine issues.)
Amazingly NPR never presents Freeman's remarks or focuses on the sleazy nature of the organizers of the attack on Freeman. Tonight Siegel had a thin and tepid interview with Freeman offering him the opportunity to rebut one critique of him, which he did quite effectively - but that's it.
Again, when presented with an easy opportunity to offer informative and substantive reports on a pressing issue - NPR fails to deliver.