NPR LIES In Promoting Brennan Center as ‘Nonpartisan Think Tank’ for Democracy


On NPR’s last All Things Considered “newscast” of 2021, they considered “A look back at attacks on voting rights in 2021 — and what could be next.” These “attacks” are by Republicans, and the liberal analysts were the only ones who were considered to analyze this phenomenon. 

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: 2021 was not an election year, which is not to say it’s been a quiet one on the voting front. Nineteen states have passed new laws restricting access to voting. Partisan election audits are trying to cast doubt on last year’s results, and polls show a significant number of Republicans still believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump. For the record, it was not. So let’s look back at how voting rights and processes changed this year, and then let’s take a look ahead at what that might mean for elections in 2022 and 2024.

Our guide to these shifting sands is Wendy Weiser, vice president for democracy at the Brennan Center for Justice. That’s a nonpartisan think tank that works to defend systems of democracy and justice. Wendy Weiser, welcome.

This, to be blunt, is a lie. Just take a look at the Open Secrets website for campaign contributions by employees of the Brennan Center for Justice. It is pages of contributions only to Democrats, including Joe Biden (and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama) for President. There are 55 donations to Democrats or liberal PACs in 2020 alone. There are 282 donations listed, and not one single (R) on the list. 

The president of the Brennan Center is Michael Waldman, who was Director of Speechwriting for President Bill Clinton from 1995 to 1999, and special assistant to the president for policy coordination from 1993 to 1995. The center is named for Supreme Court justice William Brennan, a hero to the Left.

NPR also did this — with Waldman the Clinton aide — back on March 26. Anchor Audie Cornish told listeners “That’s Michael Waldman from the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan group that advocates for the expansion of voting rights.”

They also lied like this on January 30 with the center’s Myrna Perez. Later in 2021, Perez was confirmed as a Biden appointment to the federal courts.

The anchor’s questions for her Brennan Center expert were all softballs: 

KELLY: You see this past year as a year of, it sounds like, overwhelmingly negative developments on the voting rights front?

WEISER: That’s right. This has been a year of retrenchment on voting rights and on democracy more generally.

KELLY: Well, let’s look ahead at what 2022 might bring. We’ve been talking a lot about what’s happening in states. Does any of this change without federal legislation? As you know, voting rights bills that would have protected or expanded voting access stalled this year in Congress.

It closed out with panic over the riot as a “dress rehearsal.” The only solution is…the leftist bills federalizing elections, including banning voter ID.

KELLY: Last question – and this is not a voting question, but it may be on people’s minds as they listen to you as someone who – whose work is on protecting our democracy. To what extent do you worry that January 6 was a dress rehearsal?That a failed coup could be practice for a successful one?

WEISER: So (laughter) that’s a really good question. January 6 really does worry me. I am worried that we have not put it behind us. To the contrary, across the country, we’re seeing efforts to rile up Americans against our electoral system. So I am worried that if we don’t pass federal legislation, if we don’t put in place strong protections against election sabotage, that we are going to see a repeat of January 6 and that this movement’s not going to go away.

NPR is paid for by….you. You can share your opinion on this by contacting NPR Public Editor Kelly McBride here. 

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