American taxpayers pay for National Public Radio, and what do we get for our money? Increasingly hysterical and unbelievable Leftist propaganda. This Thursday’s Morning Edition Report was over the top even for NPR, with the far-Left organization’s “Domestic Extremism Correspondent,” Odette Yousef, claiming that fully 20% of Republican state legislators want to alter the Constitution itself, getting rid of the equal protection and due process clauses, reimposing slavery, and denying women the right to vote. This is comic book-level vilification with no basis in fact whatsoever — and your tax dollars are paying for it.
Yousef was basing her claims on a report from what NPR termed a “social justice group” but tellingly did not name. Yousef told NPR’s Steve Inskeep:
This report looked at more than seven thousand state legislative seats at capitals across the country during the 2021-2022, um, legislative period, Steve, uh, Steve, and, uh, it found that 875 of them had joined at least one far-right Facebook group, so that’s more than one in ten of all state legislators, and more than one in five of Republican state legislators. Um, and, you know, you’ll note that this may very well be an undercount, um, you know, maybe not all state legislators advertise their affiliations, um, through joining Facebook groups. Um, but it does start to paint a picture. Um, it also had another key finding, which is that these legislators have been involved in sponsoring nearly a thousand bills across a number of areas, including, uh, limiting access to voting, limiting discussion of race in schools, restricting women’s access to abortion, anti-LGBTQ legislation, putting restrictions on protests, and more.”
This was a decidedly Leftist spin on what these legislators were supporting, as they themselves would likely characterize it as ensuring the integrity of the electoral process, throwing the divisive and hateful race-baiting of Critical Race Theory out of schools, defending life, preventing transgender indoctrination of children, and prosecuting rioters. But that point of view doesn’t get heard on NPR.
Inskeep then asked: “When you say somebody’s far-right, what does that mean?” Yousef answered:
The researchers for this survey were really trying to draw a bright line between what they were, uh, designating as far-right and what we might consider sort of more traditional conservative, like membership in, uh, the group ALEC, the American Legislative Ec-, Exchange Council, uh, you know, uh, support for the NRA, or even support just for MAGA. Um, you know, this was really just looking at legislators who occupy an echo chamber – uh, echo chambers of misinformation online, you know, around things like anti-masking, election denial, COVID denial, and even some who affiliate with movements that believe the federal government is illegitimate, Steve.
There it is again: “misinformation.” The establishment Left today appears determined to smear its opponents as spreading “misinformation,” or “disinformation,” as Biden’s “paused” Disinformation Governance Board would have it, and silencing them accordingly.
Eager to further the narrative, Inskeep then asked: “Would you call them white nationalists?”
Surprisingly, Yousef didn’t immediately assent but instead took a little longer to get there. She answered: “Not necessarily, um, but many of them do support agendas that would overturn sections of the Constitution. Um, Devin Burghart heads the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, which did the survey.”
Then we hear Burghart: “If you allowed groups that fall into this category to bring their agenda to fruition in the United States, it would do things like get rid of equal protection and due process, and even the amendment prohibiting slavery. We would get rid of things like women’s voting rights. They’re not out there saying ‘We want to overthrow the government to create a white nation,’ but they are putting forward ideas, wrapped in a Constitutional package, that ultimately have the same impact.”
So NPR would have us believe that over 20% of Republican state legislators want to bring back slavery and deny women the right to vote. This outrageous smear is based on the Left’s talking points about the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade: the idea that if the abortion issue is thrown back to the states, other issues where the federal government ultimately took a position on something that had previously been up to the individual states could be thrown back to the states as well.
The fatal flaw in this argument, however, is that slavery and women’s suffrage were the subject of actual Constitutional amendments, while the universal legality of abortion is based on one dubiously argued Supreme Court decision. Republicans could argue in a similar vein that attempts to make Roe sacrosanct will lead to a return of segregation, as the Supreme Court ruled for in its favor in Plessy v. Ferguson. But Republicans (“the Stupid Party”) don’t generally fight as dirty as Democrats (“the Evil Party”) do.
It’s because the Evil Party fights so dirty that our tax dollars are going to pay for this appalling Leftist propaganda on NPR. NPR should, of course, be immediately and totally defunded. But we would need a Congress full of patriots for that.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.