I heard one of those clips of a listener-patron who needs folks to know they have contributed, and then listened to them wax sycophantic; gushing about how NPR has no bias whatsoever in their coverage of the news or anything else, for that matter. Now, I am a house painter who is also an active autodidact, and I happen to know that you cannot graduate from a school of journalism without having learned about the inevitability of bias in reporting and editing. No journalist who is competent in their own professional domain knowledge will ever claim that their reporting has no bias in it, unless they are dishonest. So, to then choose this falsehood and select it for on-air circulation, again, is either a function of incompetence or dishonesty. Take your pick. It doesn’t really matter, since either way it looks bad. (I’m using journalism and reporting interchangeably, here.)
The point is that the truth is nothing to be afraid of. I would respect NPR more if its representative outlets reflected a more diverse intellectual environment. They want to have it both ways. Realpolitik says it is the case that the NPR base would pull the plug on their ass if they failed to toe the Party line. This is political realism. This is psychological realism. If NPR or any other purveyor of opinion or news wants me to respect them as “expert” or “honest”, then they start by acknowledging it all up front and wrestling through the implications openly. To the degree they could never comply, I could never be the person for whom their news is crafted. They may be “national”, but they don’t represent me and aren’t talking to me.