Fallows, Charen, McKibben on NPR & Public Radio

This article is more than 10 years old.

Our coverage of the Juan Williams firing controversy has provoked an unprecedented outpouring of opinion online. As the dust begins to settle, we post three takes on NPR and public radio, all from guests and friends of On Point:

-The Atlantic's James Fallows, an NPR contributor, has a new blog post: "Why NPR Matters." His take: "We don't have so many first-rate institutions — in general, and especially in journalism — that we can afford to let one this valuable be delegitimized. Its leadership made a mistake in its handling of Juan Williams, but people who care about the news environment should recognize how much it has done right and defend it against the current cynical attack."

-Columnist Mona Charen, who appeared with On Point's show Monday, wrote this follow-up: "NPR Confronts Its Own Tea Party." She writes, "I appeared on the public-radio program On Point this week with National Public Radio ombudsman, Alicia Shephard, and listened to her defend NPR’s firing of Juan Williams. NPR, the listener is invited to conclude, has no bias, but Juan Williams, a liberal with occasionally heterodox views, is too conservative for NPR."

-Environmental writer and now activist Bill McKibben published a think-piece on public radio in The New York Review of Books, "All Programs Considered." He says: "[I]f if you landed in a spaceship someplace in America searching for thoughtful and nonpartisan culture, your first stop would be the public radio stations that usually show up below 92 on the FM dial. You’d find not just the big news shows but also a variety of call-in shows: national ones, like On Point, The Diane Rehm Show, or Talk of the Nation, with its much-loved Science Friday edition, but also a number of superb local talk programs...These differ from the commercial right-wing shows in that they daily feature guests from a wide spectrum of American political and cultural life: on the morning I’m writing this, for instance, Tom Ashbrook of On Point in Boston spent an hour discussing the rise of social gaming on Facebook, Krasny covered “the troubled construction industry,” and The Leonard Lopate Show examined the current state of the company Google..."

This program aired on October 26, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.