Accuracy in Media

Ken Stern, former editor and CEO of NPR embedded himself for a year with “the other side,” and discovered some interesting things about himself and his industry.

“I found an America different from the one depicted in the press and imagined by presidents,” Stern wrote in a New York Post piece touting his upcoming book, “Republicans Like Me: How I Left the Liberal Bubble and Learned to Love the Right.”

Stern said he went all out: standing in pit row for a NASCAR race, hanging out at Tea Party meetings, sitting in on Steve Bannon’s radio show, pig hunting in Texas.

He found most reporters are liberal and that most people in real America deeply distrust the media. He also found that groupthink pervades press coverage and that many of the people he thought he knew on the right were not what he expected at all.

Liberals outnumber conservatives in the media by 5:1, Stern wrote, and this bubble creates a situation where the media horde coalesces around “which stories are important, which sources are legitimate and what the narrative of the day will be.”

When he attended the Urbana Conference, with 15,000 evangelical young people, Stern said he “certainly didn’t expect the intense discussion of racial equity and refugee issues – how to help them, not how to keep them out – but that is what I got.”

At Urbana, he met young people preparing to go off to a life of mission work, of “charity and compassion for others.”

Some would staff rural hospitals; others would build homes for the homeless. One even wanted to fly a powered parachute over miles of jungle in western Congo.

“It was all inspiring – and a little foolhardy, if you ask me about the safety of a powered parachute – but it left me with a very different impression of a community that was previously known to me only through Jerry Falwell and the movie ‘Footloose.’”

He was flabbergasted by gun enthusiasts and how far off the mark his impression of them had been.

“I linked up with a group of friends from Houston who belied the demographic stereotyping of the hunt; collectively we were the equivalent of a bad bar joke: a Hispanic ex-soldier, a young black family man, a Serbian immigrant and a Jew from D.C.,” he wrote. “None of my new hunting partners fit the lazy caricature of the angry NRA member. Rather, they saw guns as both a shared sport and as a necessary means to protect their families during uncertain times.”

The media mistreats the gun debate because it is “obsessed with the gun-control side and gives only scant, mostly negative, recognition to the gun-rights sides.”

At least 200 times per day, according to the Department of Justice, Americans use guns to defend themselves from criminals. Stern referenced a case in Houston, where a robber entered a store and pointed a pistol at the store clerk. The clerk walked out from behind the counter, raised his own gun, started firing and watched the robber stumble onto the street and be arrested.

The clerk never even takes the cigarette out of his mouth. When the shooting stops, he said, “Castle doctrine, baby,” referring to a law that allows a person to use force to defend a legally occupied place. An incredible story, he said, but one rarely seen in mainstream media.

“It’s not that media is suppressing stories intentionally,” Stern wrote. “It’s that these stories don’t reflect their interests and beliefs.”

Stern said he met people in Youngstown, Ohio, and Pikesville, Ky., who don’t trust what they hear or read in the news and see the media as “hopelessly disconnected from their lives, and it is now the media has opened the door to charges of bias.”

Two-thirds of voters think mainstream media runs fake news and its major institutions are seen as creating, not combating, our growing partisan divide.

“You can’t cover America from the Acela corridor,” he said. “The media need to get out and be part of the conversations that place in churches and community centers and town halls.”

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  • extractr

    Well pilgram, I’m glad you enjoyed the ride.

  • jststric

    Love this story. I think MOST of the left would be surprised if they just stopped and listened. Not that we have all the answers or the right answers. But we certainly are the demons they think we are.

  • mioahu


  • Mary

    Looks like we got a new member without so much as a whimper. Yeee Doggie.

  • mioahu

    what s shocker, leftist live in the leftist bubble… and then they all wonder how come they didn’t see the Trump win coming 🙂

  • Sirius The Great

    “It’s not that media is suppressing stories intentionally,” Stern wrote. “It’s that these stories don’t reflect their interests and beliefs.”

    I’m not sure that there is a difference.

  • Patriot159

    Welcome to the real world and the right side of life!

  • samo war
  • Some good points,but not the whole Leftist story by far.

  • oat21

    Finally a liberal who sees the insanity and destruction of the liberal left wing diacritic socialist party. Glad you woke up, they, Liberals, are mentally unstable anarchist.

  • TED

    For the majority of the American population … certainly the majority in the northeast and in California … the “Acela Corridor” is where it’s at!

    The rednecks, hillbillies, and cowboys are free to believe (and lead their lives) differently if they so choose.

    Never the twain shall meet!

  • TPS12

    I’m sure when you go explain this to your lib friends in journalism they will greet you with love and open arms. NOT! If you go back and stay to long your conversion will be lost.


    Funny how pulling your head out of your own butt results in actually seeing the world as it really is. More liberals should try this exercise, the world would be a better place and we would have much less suffering from socialism.

  • Mark Wynn

    I like my local NPR, except in the runup to elections, when the national NPR becomes a PR outlet for the Democrat Party. And they are good at it, pretending to be impartial while subtly building up Democrat candidates and putting down Republicans. I have a masters in communication and 30 years public affairs experience, and can detail how they do this.

  • Mark Wynn

    Oh, the progressive/Democrat press does, indeed, suppress stories that don’t support their agenda. In public relations pratice, it’s called “benign neglect.” That’s why Fox News, in my opinion, is the most important modern development in U.S. media. Fox News covers the stories that the mainstream media try to bury with “benign neglect,” forcing the mainstream media to cover the stories as well.

  • Mark Wynn

    NPR couldn’t even stand an uncensored comments feature under their stories. The faithful complained about any comment that didn’t support the Democrat/progressive agenda. Now NPR does not have a comments feature under their stories.

  • Mark Wynn

    Windage and elevation, Miss Prim … windage and elevation ….