Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Glenn Heller Not The Only Person Upset With Alan Chartock.

I guess Glenn Heller is not the only person upset with the left leaning bias of Alan Chartock and WAMC. Here is what an NPR producer had to say after listening to WAMC, while driving through upstate New York.

“I was driving through upstate New York and listening to the local public radio station, and there was this guy on the air ranting,” says one Washington-based NPR news producer, who didn’t want to be identified. “He was talking about the war in Iraq and how wrong it was and how we’re being held hostage as a country by this right-wing administration.”

The NPR producer assumed he had tuned into a Pacifica radio station, one of a small network of community stations that broadcast left-of-center advocacy-journalism programs. “It was actually sort of entertaining,” the producer recalls. “But then I nearly couldn’t believe it when this guy said, ‘In just a few moments we’ll be returning to NPR’s All Things Considered.’”

What the NPR producer was hearing was a pledge drive hosted by Alan Chartock, president of WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, a regional network of seven NPR member stations that is a primary source of NPR news in upstate New York and the Berkshires. Chartock’s outspoken political commentary—as well as that of opposing voices—is regularly heard on the stations he manages. He also publishes a blog on WAMC’s web site that has recently featured sharp attacks on the Republican Party, the Bush administration, and “neocons” in general.

“If you took a photo of me in the car,” says the NPR producer, “my jaw would have been on the floor. It really freaked me out. As a producer, I want NPR to be viewed as middle-of-the-road. I want people to think that NPR is fair. But when someone like Chartock gets on the air, it makes us look like a left-of-center organization, just as we believe Fox [cable news] is a right-wing organization because they mix commentary with news. And I guarantee you that Joe Listener out there is not making a distinction between the crazy local guy and the reasonable national organization.”

Read the entire article in The Baltimore City Paper, an alternative newspaper serving the Baltimore Metro area since 1977.


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