Rosen to public media: “These people want to destroy you”

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Jay Rosen, journalism professor at New York University who blogs at PressThink, has a 10-point response to public media’s tactics for recovering from the video sting that brought down NPR’s chief executive and its top fundraiser. Rosen views the ouster of President Vivian Schiller as a “stupid and cowardly act” by the NPR Board that reveals a fundamental weakness in public broadcasting’s political strategy and its commitment to positioning itself as an impartial news service.

Culture warriors of the right wing “want to destroy you,” Rosen warns public media. “You don’t get to decide whether you have political enemies or not. Your enemies have that power. But you can decide how to respond to them. The default setting is a series of political defeats. It permits a trickster to take down your CEO.”

Rosen calls for NPR to replace its standards for impartial journalism — what he calls “viewlessness” and “the view from nowhere” — with pluralism. He also calls for NPR to give up the all of its direct support from CPB (which comprises less than 2 percent of its total budget) so that all federal money can go to local stations.

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