Promoting the white supremacists

NPR is doing its bonehead “both sides” thing again.

In a “Morning Edition” segment, the radio host Noel King interviewed Jason Kessler, a white nationalist who is planning a rally in Washington this weekend on the anniversary of last year’s rally, which was the scene of racist chants and deadly violence.

Ms. King preceded the discussion, which was part of a weeklong series about the anniversary of the Charlottesville rally, with a warning: “Some of what you’re about to hear is racist and offensive.”

Why talk to a white nationalist at all? Why give a white nationalist a huge respectable platform? Why promote white nationalism on NPR?

In the interview on Friday, which lasted about five minutes, Mr. Kessler relayed junk science and ranked the intelligence of various races.

Ms. King at times pushed back and interrupted Mr. Kessler. Before he made his remarks on race-ranking, which he has supported by citing a political scientist, she said the scholar’s work had been “debunked by scientists and sociologists, and is deemed racist by many.”

“and is deemed racist by many”; typical NPR “some people think X while other people think Y.” Yes we know that, but sometimes what people think is just wrong.

She asked Mr. Kessler: “You said that you’re not a white supremacist, but you do think there are differences between races. What are the differences?”

After he answered with his intelligence rankings, claiming black people were the least smart, she said: “You don’t sound like someone who wants to unite people when you say something like that. You sound like someone who wants to tick people off.”

What you say is deemed racist by many; you don’t sound like someone who wants to unite people; you sound like someone who wants to tick people off – it’s all reception with them, all appearances, all reaction, all some think boo and some think bah. It’s as if NPR puts their brains in a blender and then redistributes them evenly among the entire staff.

NPR stood by the report on Friday. Terence Samuel, the deputy managing editor of NPR News, said in an interview that he was “proud of the job Noel did this morning.”

Oh ffs – there again, it’s not about how the on-air personality performed, it’s about the substance, and giving the substance a huge megaphone.

“I think it’s important for us to cover race and racism, and quite frankly, if you’re going to do that, you have to talk to racists,” he said. “It’s uncomfortable, but we do that all the time.”

Not on the air you don’t.

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