It wouldn’t be the media if they didn’t try to spin every single story, report or interview for their agenda. After all, they’re businesses before they’re news organizations, so ratings, ad dollars and ideology come first before keeping you accurately informed.
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) sent a letter to National Public Radio (NPR) Vice President and Executive Editor Edith Chapin on Thursday concerning “misinformation” in a NPR article following an interview Banks did with host Michel Martin on the show “All Things Considered” on October 2nd.
The “misinformation” that Banks, who cc’d “Every Republican member of Congress” in the letter, is referring to is writer and NPR’s public editor Elizabeth Jensen’s claim that it was Banks that provided “misinformation” when speaking about whistleblower whisperer and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
According to Banks’ letter:
After a rambling introduction that takes well over half of the article and repeatedly alludes to “errors” and “misinformation” in the October 2 interview, Mrs. Jensen finally presents her account of my supposed lie. Apparently, I am guilty of “incorrectly asserting that Schiff had “lied” about his role in the whistleblower complaint.” Mrs. Jensen then adds “(I’m not going to repeat the entire incorrect statement.)”, as if my claims were so vulgar and salacious as to be unworthy of reprint. If she had included my full remarks, well-informed readers would see that everything I said about Adam Schiff is true. And demonstrably so.
Banks conveyed that point to Chapin in his letter:
During a September 17, interview on [MSNBC’s] “Morning Joe” Adam Schiff stated, “We have not directly spoken with the whistleblower.” This, as the New York Times report proved, is untrue. A fact-check by the Washington Post, hardly a conservative publication, gave Schiff’s Morning Joe claim “Four Pinocchios” — their highest rating for dishonesty. So, Chairman Schiff, like Mrs. Jensen, did, in fact, “lie about it.
The congressman went on to address his “final claim” from the interview with Martin:
Regarding my final claim, the New York Times story reports that Chairman Schiff’s aide counseled the whistleblower to find legal representation and then file a formal complaint with an inspector general. In accordance with the staffer’s advice, the whistle-blower hired attorneys Andrew Bakaj and Mark Zaid, and submitted a complaint to Inspector General Michael Atkinson. Additionally, on September 10, 2019 Chairman Schiff sent a public letter to acting Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire, calling for him to turn over a then little-known whistleblower complaint to the House Intelligence Committee. According to the New York Times report, Maguire’s staff was “puzzled” by the aggressive, public campaign, as such negotiations are typically conducted privately. The Chairman’s unusual decision was clearly motivated by his firsthand knowledge of the whistleblowers’ grievance. So, Chairman Schiff did play a clear role in “orchestrating the whistleblower account.”
If you recall the questioning of Maguire during a House Intelligence Committee in late September, Maguire repeatedly stated that addressing whistleblowers official complaints typically happen in private.
Banks takes the last few paragraphs of his letter to Chapin to convey his displeasure that the bias NPR regularly displays seems to be “typical” of the outlet. He wrote he was asked to take part in the October 2nd interview because NPR was supposedly attempting “to counter perceived bias.”
The only way Banks said NPR could begin to combat their perception of bias is to “retract and issue a correction.”
“But, if you retract and issue a correction to Mrs. Jensen’s disingenuous article, NPR will have taken a step towards basic standards of journalistic integrity,” Banks wrote before ending the letter. “And if you sincerely do wish to book Republican lawmakers, they may be more likely to accept your request.”
Ouch! Looks like NPR’s got some ‘splainin to do.