National Public Radio’s Morning Edition aired a story by Kirk Siegler on Tuesday morning on the enduring tensions at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada, where armed protestors faced down the federal government in May. The story notes that the married couple who carried out a deadly shooting spree in Las Vegas last week had been at the Bundy ranch. Siegler fails, however, to note that they had also been at an Occupy protest.
Moreover, while Siegler’s story, as posted on the NPR website, mentions that the murderers were asked to leave the ranch,” that portion of the story did not actually air, as the audio of the story reveals. Listeners are left to believe that Bundy and fellow protestors shared some connection with the murderers–if not personal, then political and ideological.
By implication, other critics of federal power may be linked to such violence as well.
That is a connection that the mainstream media, including NPR, have been desperate to make ever since the Tea Party emerged.
It is an effort that has largely failed, because the perpetrators of sensational attacks have usually been deranged individuals without clear ideological affiliations, or with conflicting ones. (In one often-overlooked case, a left-wing extremist tried to carry out a mass shooting at the Family Research Council.)
The lack of evidence has not prevented the media from continuing the effort to associate violent extremism with conservatism.
Here, NPR aired a story that was not only biased against conservatives, owing to its omission of the link between the Vegas murderers and the media-backed Occupy movement, but that was further edited to remove exculpatory information apparently included by the reporter.
Journalistic malpractice, twice over.