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November 11, 2015

Ignoring Precedent, NPR Station Refuses to Correct Max Blumenthal Errors


In September, an NPR member station in Chicago invited Max Blumenthal to pontificate about Israel. And as has come to be expected from the anti-Israel extremist, he bombarded the credulous audience with a torrent of falsehoods.

NPR listeners, of course, deserve and expect no less than accuracy. So it was left to producers at WBEZ, the station, and Worldview, the program, to clear the record.

Blumenthal claimed “almost every building� in the Gaza town of Beit Hanoun had been “destroyed.� Listeners deserve to know that this is false — according to multiple UN studies, an overwhelming majority even of affected buildings — that is, ignoring undamaged structures — were not destroyed.

Blumenthal severely misquoted the Israeli military, the Associated Press, and the advocacy group Btselem about casualty statistics. Regarding the military, Blumenthal told the audience it said the exact opposite of what it actually said. Listeners deserve to know the truth.

Blumenthal also upended the truth about Palestinian rockets, claiming that the further they fly, the smaller their warhead. Listeners should be told that, in fact, the opposite is true.

He put words in a Hamas leader’s mouth to make the silly case that the terrorist group doesn’t target civilians. When excitedly describing the prowess of Hamas fighters, he roughly quadrupled the number of Israeli soldiers killed during a particular operation. And on, and on.

By the end of the segment, listeners were substantially less informed than they were 20 minutes earlier.

But WBEZ officials say they will not let their audience know about the false facts they were fed, suggesting that inaccurate statements by guests do not require corrections. In fact, there is a long NPR precedent of correcting guest errors.

We've now informed WBEZ of this precedent. Will it correct? Or will it be the case that Chicago-area NPR listeners are stuck with a lower caliber of ethical, accurate journalism?

A partial list of NPR corrections to guest errors:

All Things Considered
Oct. 5, 2015
Our guest incorrectly says Catholics who are separated and divorced do not have access to the sacraments. In fact, it is only separated and divorced Catholics who have civilly remarried who are excluded from some sacraments, like Communion.

Fresh Air
July 6, 2015
In the audio of this story, as in a previous Web version, our guest incorrectly says that the Navajo Generating Station consumes about 22,000 tons of coal each year. In fact, it consumes about 22,000 tons of coal each day.

All Things Considered
Aug. 30, 2015
In the audio of this story, as in a previous Web version, our guest incorrectly says that participants in the studies had "less than a millisecond to respond." In fact, they had less than a second.

Weekend Edition Saturday
May 8, 2015
In this conversation, our guest says that pitcher Yordano Ventura of the Kansas City Royals hit the White Sox's Adam Eaton with a pitch. In fact, Eaton was not hit with the pitch. But he and Ventura exchanged words and a brawl ensued. We also say that Ventura had been throwing at opposing players' heads. While he has hit some players and has angered others with inside pitches, it was not correct to say that Ventura was targeting their heads.

Fresh Air
March 2, 2015
In this story, our guest incorrectly refers to the film Maps To the Stars as Maps Of the Stars. A previous headline also contained the same error.

All Things Considered
Jan. 2, 2015
We mistakenly refer to Vice President Biden as President Biden, and then our guest makes the same mistake. Additionally, the original transcript incorrectly inserted the title vice where it had not been used.

Pop Culture Happy Hour
Master And Commander
Dec. 30, 2014
One of our panel members said during the franchise discussion that the Master And Commander film came from the Horatio Hornblower books. As has been pointed out to us, it actually came from the Aubrey/Maturin stories of Patrick O'Brian.

Tell Me More
Sept. 25, 2013
In the audio of this story, our guest refers to Medicare plans offered by private companies as Medicare Exchange. She meant to say Medicare Advantage.

Talk of the Nation
June 25, 2013
In the audio of this story, a guest included the Black Panthers among groups that often bombed U.S. targets in the '60s and '70s. While a handful of people with links to the Black Panther Party were accused of bombings, it was not an activity generally associated with the group.

Talk of the Nation
June 17, 2013
Our guest incorrectly stated that actress and dancer Vera-Ellen sang "We Will Meet Again." Actually, singer-songwriter Vera Lynn recorded the song. He also said the film The Big Parade was released in 1926. The correct year is 1925.

Posted by GI at November 11, 2015 11:32 AM

Max Blumenthal supports Palestinian terrorists stabbing 80 year old Israeli women.

Posted by: Barry Meridian at November 11, 2015 03:31 PM
Max Blumenthal also supported the Palestinian terrorist murdering a 3 month old Jewish baby last year
Scroll down alittle when you're on the twitter link above to see Max's sickening support for Palestinian terrorists murdering 3 month old Jewish babies.

Posted by: Barry Meridian at November 11, 2015 03:33 PM

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