Growing up in my teens and early twenties with a steady, daily immersion in Rush Limbaugh gave me a definitive bias against NPR. I was told it was leftist, biased, liberal, etc. I had never even listened to it, but I would roll my eyes if I heard anything positive about National Public Radio. The very words NATIONAL and PUBLIC were dead giveaways to its deprivation.
What is interesting is that this bias remained with me even throughout the moderation of my politics, philosophy, and religion. I continued to listen to Right-Wing talk on the radio, because there just wasn't anything else to listen to.
Over time though, and with the ease of technology, I started to listen to lectures and books in the car that I had burnt to CD. I was unknowingly de-toxing from AM talk radio. On occasion, when I tuned back to Rush, Hannity, or Beck.... I started to notice how BORING they were. They repeated the same thing, endlessly, over and over. I would switch over to another station and come back 15 minutes later only to find they were STILL ranting about the same thing.
It was during one of these times over the past two years that I clicked over to NPR. They were discussing the struggles of the Mexican towns along the US boarder. Drug cartels practically own these cities and the violence and corruption there was pitiful to hear about. Over the next hour, I heard statements made by our Secretary of State in France, a story on Islamic and Christian relations in various middle-eastern countries, and a piece on issues presently being looked at in the British Parliament.
I had a strange feeling as I stepped out of the car. It wasn't a feeling I usually got when I listened to AM radio. I felt..... educated!
I hadn't expected this from NPR. Why did conservatives hate it so much? I continued to listen. When issues were addressed, there didn't seem to be any bias. If the president spoke, or an issue was presented, you heard from supporters and detractors. Where was the bias?
I did an experiment. I tuned to AM talk radio every 10 minutes and listened for 30 seconds. What I found was that there is actually very little said about conservative politics. What you get is a steady stream of Left bashing and ridicule.
I discovered why NPR is thought to be liberal by dittoheads- because NPR does not bash the Left. For an AM talk listener (who hears a steady stream of Left bashing), a Left-leaning view, presented side by side with a Right-leaning view in a calm manner, would sound PRO-Left. It is like stepping into a tepid swimming pool after being in the hot tub for twenty minutes..... it feels like it is freezing!
I am happy to say that, having purged the rancid rhetoric of Right radio, I can now enjoy and be educated by NPR.