I have been listening to NPR since my teens or early twenties. That's a lot of years. I have always enjoyed Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and All Things Considered.
I have been bothered by their coverage of the Bruce Ivins story.
Bruce Ivins was a scientist involved in the study of anthrax. He worked for the government. He became a suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks.
I have always believed that the anthrax mailings were a scam by the GOP-led government to detract attention from Iraq planning, and to endanger, harm or kill, GOP opponents. I've never believed there was a "lone gunman" but I think the government needs to have a "lone gunman" to distract the public. I believe that Dick Cheney and Karl Rove are capable of plotting such an attack within our borders, I don't think they'd think twice about it, and I don't think the idiot sitting in the Oval Office would even be involved.
This can't be the story, though. Neither the press nor the government want any sloppy "conspiracy" stories spread around. There has to be some psychologically unstable genius, jilted by an employer or a lover, who has the ability to act out in a sophisticated way like anthrax mailings.
I expect Fox News and its kissing cousins CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS, to play along with the jilted lover/disgruntled employee story; but, I expect NPR to avoid jumping on the bandwagon. In a series of reports over the past week or so, NPR personalities Dina Temple-Raston, Laura Sullivan, Joanne Silberner and Renee Montagne, have discussed the federal case against Ivins, the so-called "results" of the federal investigation, and the reactions of family and lawyers, as if the government's story is completely accurate and needs no investigation.
In particular, I was disturbed by a "report" by Temple-Raston based on an interview with Ivins' brother, Charles. The presentation of the interview, the editing of the audio, and the conclusions were almost Fox-like in their tone. Temple-Raston seems to whole-heartedly embrace the government's story, the so-called 'evidence' and the 'affidavits' presented as facts. Over the past week, NPR has presented the government's case as a done-deal.
Isn't NPR the last mainstream media outlet we can rely upon to question government conclusions?
This is not the NPR I have known and loved and it bothers me that they are handling this story so meekly.
Am I alone in my discomfort?
Here are some links to NPR articles:
FBI Details Case Against Anthrax Suspect
Ivins' Lawyer Rebuts DOJ Anthrax Allegations
Fort Detrick: From Biowarfare To Biodefense
Charles Ives interview