Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Ruth's Morning Edition Report

Ruth: If you've been following the news, you know that one of the big stories is Karl Rove's involvement in the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. It's a pretty big story. Time magazine has a big story on it this week, it's made the front page of the New York Times and other papers, TV's jumped on it to show their footage of their reporters finally waking up and demanding answers at press conferences from Scott McLellan and the Bully Boy. It's been a pretty big story. At least it's been a pretty big story everywhere except NPR's Morning Edition.

How many stories has Morning Edition done on the topic this week? The answer is zero.

You read that correctly. NPR hasn't done one report on this topic. This has been a major story in print and on television. It's been news everywhere but Morning Edition which apparently either doesn't see it as a story or else is suddenly overcome with a case of shyness.

Monday came in and went. Tuesday came and went. Not one story was devoted to the topic.

The only mention of the events came via, of all people, Cokie Roberts while she was discussing homeland security and the Supreme Court.

Political Analysis
By Cokie Roberts
Senate Preview: Homeland Security Funding, O'Connor Vacancy
Morning Edition, July 11, 2005 · Cokie Roberts talks about the week ahead in politics. This week, the Senate takes up funding for homeland security. But senators are talking most about who will be nominated to succeed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court.

Renee: Well you know talking about a consensus candidate, how do you think the interest groups on the left and the right would respond to that since they both have very intense interests in getting candidates in their direction?

Well, you know, Renee, that's a badly worded question. But Cokie answered it briefly and then went into this:

Cokie Roberts: And we have another element here which is that his political advisor Karl Rove must be distracted. He has his own problems with the case about Valerie Plame's name and the reporters having been revealed as the source to Matthew Cooper, the Time reporter, althogh Rove's lawyer said that Rove never mentioned the CIA agent Valerie Plame's name.

Renee: (sounding curt) Cokie, thanks very much.

Cokie: Mmm-hmm.

Renee: NPR's new analyst Cokie Roberts.

Morning Edition doesn't see this as a story. They must be the only major news outlet that doesn't. Renee truly sounded curt with her "Cokie, thanks very much." Which may be why Cokie didn't launch into her usual, "My pleasure, Renee" (alternated with "My pleasure, Steve" on some mornings). Instead Cokie just replied, "Mmm-hmm."

Why doesn't Morning Edition feel this is a story worth covering?

People listening Monday, if they get their news solely from Morning Edition, may have wondered what Cokie was speaking of since Renee had no follow up question and since Morning Edition hasn't done one story informing their listeners about the e-mail from Karl Rove to Matthew Cooper. If those listeners were hoping for clarification or amplification with another report on Monday, they were disappointed. The topic was also not covered on Tuesday.

Tracey, my granddaughter, swears NPR's having a clampdown on the topic due to the funding issue that's ongoing in Congress and a desire not to offend Republicans. If that's the case, NPR should be ashamed because their first priority should be covering the news.

They haven't covered Kenneth Tomlinson's appearence before Congress either. C.I. noted Democracy Now!'s coverage and the strange manner in which Mr. Tomlinson conducted himself. He did sound strange. And the Bob Dylan quote he repeatedly gets wrong, on NPR, in Congress, is "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."

You don't need a weatherman to know that Morning Edition is not interested in covering the Karl Rove story. You do need an explanation for their silence.