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NPR analyst compares Obama to Nixon, issues full apology | Washington Examiner

October 25, 2009

NPR analyst compares Obama to Nixon, issues full apology

By: BYRON YORK

Chief Political Correspondent

10/24/09 9:52 AM EDT

It’s pretty unremarkable to describe the Obama White House’s growing enemies list — the insurance companies, Chamber of Commerce, Fox News — as “Nixonian.” But there’s one place where, if you venture such an opinion, you’d better be prepared to apologize — quickly and profusely.

On National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation” Wednesday, NPR political editor Ken Rudin said the White House campaign against Fox News is a bad idea. “It’s not only aggressive, it’s almost Nixonesque,” Rudin said. “I mean, you think of what Nixon and Agnew did with their enemies list and their attacks on the media; certainly Vice President Agnew’s constant denunciation of the media. Of course, then it was a conservative president denouncing a liberal media, and of course, a lot of good liberals said, ‘Oh, that’s ridiculous. That’s an infringement on the freedom of press.’ And now you see a lot of liberals almost kind of applauding what the White House is doing to Fox News, which I think is distressing.”

It’s not the usual thing you hear from NPR analysts. Reaction from the NPR audience was negative, and within 24 hours, Rudin was in backtrack mode. “I made a boneheaded mistake yesterday,” Rudin wrote on his NPR blog. “Comparing the tactics of the Nixon administration — which bugged and intimidated and harrassed journalists — to that of the Obama administration was foolish, facile, ridiculous and, ultimately, embarrassing to me. I should have known better and, in fact, I do know better. I was around during the Nixon years. I am fully cognizant of what they did and attempted to do.”

“I apologize for a dumb comparison.”

Rudin’s full-180 earned warm praise from NPR ombudsman Alicia Shepard. “While it was a dumb thing to say, I applaud Rudin for quickly apologizing,” Shepard wrote. “Journalists are going to make mistakes — not intentionally but they will happen. Acknowledging them goes a long way to maintaining credibility.”

Author’s note — For full disclosure, I am a Fox News contributor.

via NPR analyst compares Obama to Nixon, issues full apology | Washington Examiner .

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7 Comments
  1. ZAC D. permalink
    October 25, 2009 9:44 PM

    If he had to apologize how is that not Nixonesque? Sure Obama isn’t bugging anyone unless you want to count his continuance patriot act as a form of Nixonesque bugging. From the insurance companies to the Chamber of Commerce to Fox News I wouldn’t put it passed obama to abuse the warrentless wiretaps. Fuck this coward for apologizing. Naomi Wolf never apologized for saying America is becoming fascist under George W Bush. All these
    double standards make me sick. We need to bring it to these people. Stop the defense and mount an offense. We spent 8 years on defense. If this guy is doing something wrong we need to call him on it. Whether we are correct about it or not. If we are wrong we should not apologize for thinking.

  2. Chief B permalink
    October 26, 2009 11:16 AM

    Once we have our freedom of speech rights trampled on it’s a sloppery slip from there!

    This administration has been in office for 10 months nad has absolutely NOTHING! Zilch! Nada! Zippo!

    Except for quadruple our national debt!

    It’s time for the American people to stand up and take back this country! And WE THE PEOPLE can start by voting these incompetent loons out of office!

  3. Pete permalink
    October 26, 2009 1:16 PM

    It’s always good to see public confessions by journalists. Reminds me of the Soviet purge trials of the 1930s. Where is Walter Duranty whne you really need him?

  4. johan permalink
    October 27, 2009 2:44 AM

    The NPR WOULD backtrack for obvious political reasons, and this kind of chickening out only means that this outlet + many others are afraid the slumbering anger and fright from the LEFT, see The Nation(!) will cause them to jump ship!
    The coming revolution/tsunami(tip: Jonah Golodberg) is soon unavoidable!! After Republican victories in Virginia(and N Jersey?) much of Obama’s ‘reforms’ will fail or stall…perhaps lead to more discharged people in this Administration??
    The more radicalised and frustrated middle America feels, the more likely that libertarians’ and more right-wing people’s views will be respected…and WANTED!!
    Can we hope for impeachment proceedings come March 2010?

  5. T. Hunter permalink
    October 27, 2009 2:20 PM

    Re: Rudin backtracking…He lacks balls…T. Hunter

  6. October 27, 2009 9:39 PM

    I second Chief B’s notion! It’s about time these journalists are held accountable.

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