NPR’s abortion audio reveals its ugly smugness
At 5:45 a.m. Thursday, NPR’s political editor Steve Inskeep walked into an auditorium full of abortion-rights activists and asked them what they were going to do about the Supreme Court’s decision to hear a case on abortion funding.
That’s right: It was a question. A question that elicited the usual answer: We’re going to get elected back into office, and we’re going to go to court and force the hand of legislators.
In fact, the answer had nothing to do with money, or even the fact that the bill had just been signed into law. It was about whether NPR should be on the side of a woman’s right to choose.
The decision on the matter went to the Supreme Court, whose members, all appointed by Republican presidents, are deeply polarized. The court has been a bulwark against a conservative vision of reproductive care, and NPR is trying to protect women’s access to reproductive choice.
The decision also meant that the court, the most liberal in the land, is now split evenly between the four more conservative justices on the court.
So NPR is spending the morning meeting abortion-rights activists, many of them young women who want to make their voices heard about the need for abortion coverage in health insurance.
I was there. I interviewed them. Here’s what I heard them say about NPR.
A few minutes after the hour, they got the answer they were looking for: NPR supports the right to choose. They asked what they could do to ensure the court would be sympathetic to their cause. And the activists, knowing the answer, shrugged and said, “Why not?”
Their response was striking, as were the few scattered applause lines that broke out.
Here’s a little backstory: NPR is a very powerful member of the media. It does not only report the news at us. It shapes it. We’re the place to find out what’s going on in the world. The nation’s top news stories, at least, are news you’ve never heard before