‘Critics Say’! NPR Hits Biden For Holding An ‘All White’ Meeting Of Lefty Historians

Posted on Wed 09/07/2022 by


By Tim Graham ~

The Washington Post reported President Biden invited in a pack of liberal historians to advise him on the sad state of American democracy, still in darkness as if Trump never left Washington. National Public Radio found a space to criticize this liberal meeting — because it seemed racist.

Their headline? “Historians advise the president. The problem? The scholars were all white.”

The story aired on the terribly named All Things Considered on Thursday night. They overwhelmingly consider the Left.  But conservatives enjoyed Biden taking guff from the taxpayer-subsidized radio network.

Biden’s invitation list included historians Allida Black, Michael Beschloss, Sean Wilentz, and Jon Meacham (who occasionally writes speeches for Biden), plus journalist Anne Applebaum. Biden’s chief speechwriter, Vinay Reddy, was also in attendance, so the meeting wasn’t all-white.

NPR race reporter Sandhya Dirks assembled a panel of Leftists of Color to complain:

JELANI COBB: In having an all-white room, you kind of replicate the kind of gaps in perspective that we’ve seen that have facilitated this problem in the first place.

SANDHYA DIRKS: That’s Jelani Cobb, dean of Columbia Journalism School and a staff writer for The New Yorker. He says he’s also troubled by Wilentz’s problematic past thinking on race, including once saying Barack Obama ran the most racist campaign in modern history.” [Really?]

COBB: Here we have this crisis which is shot through with racial elements. And that’s the person in the room. Yeah. That’s a problem.

DIRKS: Who is in the room with the ear of the president matters, says historian Manisha Sinha. Because we’ve seen the death of democracy, we’ve also got a blueprint for its rebirth — a massive civil rights movement led by Black people and people of color, people who maintained a stubborn belief in America’s promise and pushed the government to attempt a second Reconstruction.

MANISHA SINHA: The only time in American democracy that it has been protected has been when the federal government has responded in forceful ways.

Dirks acknowledged that Biden met with another group of historians earlier this year that included Black historian Annette Gordon-Reed and let the White House director of African-American media insist Biden has engaged with “diverse stakeholders” during his time in office. Then she went back to Cobb:

DIRKS: Jelani Cobb says still, it’s concerning this all-white historians meeting happened at the same time there is a massive movement by Republicans to censor and silence the histories of Black and brown people in America. He says excluding the perspectives of scholars who study race is a kind of willful blindness.

COBB: Like, there’s a map that will help us understand the moment we’re in, and we’re plunging ourselves into complete darkness at that moment.

DIRKS: The path out can only be seen if people in power are willing to look squarely at the role racism plays past and present.

NPR’s a Grade A example of the oddity of liberals decrying the perilous state of democracy while assembling stories where everyone is on the Left. There is NO democracy in an NPR story. Only one side gets to speak.

NPR is supported by you….the taxpayer.

Tim Graham is the Executive Editor at NewsBusters, and he is the Director of  Media Analysis at the Media Research Center. His career at the MRC began in February 1989 as associate editor of MediaWatch, the monthly newsletter of the MRC before the Internet era.

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