Photo by Edward F. Palm)

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Forest, Virginia, United States
A long time ago, my sophomore English teacher, Father William Campbell, saw something in my writing and predicted that I would someday become a newspaper columnist. He suggested the perfect title for my column--"Leaves of the Palm." Now that I have a little extra time on my hands I've decided to put Father Campbell's prediction to the test. I'm going to start using this blog site not just to reprint opinion pieces I've published elsewhere but to try to get more of my ideas and opinions out there. Feedback is welcome. To find out more about me, please check out my Web site: www.EdwardFPalm.com (Click on any of the photos below for an enlarged view.)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The NPR Blues

Here is a prime example of what goes around comes around if I ever saw one.
     I am not a fan or a supporter of the Tea Party, but I just can't pass on the irony of NPR president and CEO Vivian Schiller's recent fall.  She was forced to resign over the recent sting interview in which the head NPR fundraiser, Ron Schiller (a namesake, but not a relative), was derisive of the Tea Party and its members.
     Vivian Schiller was the one who publicly defended the firing of NPR commentator Juan Williams last October.  Williams made the mistake of admitting that he feels anxious when he sees a person in Muslim garb on an airplane.  Williams had confessed to feeling such anxiety on the Bill O'Reilly Show. He was speaking for himself and not NPR.  But that distinction mattered not to Schiller,who got up on her high horse and pronounced Williams guilty of falling short of NPR's high standards of journalistic objectivity.
    I wonder:  can Schiller spell "karma"?
    I confess to some little insight into this controversy.  After a promising start--five commentaries in a little over a year--"All Things Considered" suddenly cooled toward me.   The producer I had been working with was "reassigned," and I never did click with the new one.  More than once, she pointedly reminded me that "All Things Considered" was a "news show" and that commentators who had been contributing for years were no longer getting on the air.
   The full impact of those comments didn't sink in at first.  Clearly, NPR has been running scared over its federal funding for some time now.  They have been desperate to rebut accusations of liberal bias.
   Truth be told, I'm not likely to get back on the air. I wasn't very good at it to begin with.  My writing was much better than my delivery.  Still, at the risk of being accused of self-interest, I have to recommend that NPR stop trying to curry favor with conservatives and resume calling them like they see them.
    Say it loud, NPR:  "We're liberal and elitist and we're proud!  --EFP    

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