Take a look at this segment, which ran yesterday morning on NPR.
It's not very good, but I suppose it's a little better than yesterday, when it had the line "There's also miraculous healings and prophesying" [at the charismatic Catholic church being discussed].
I took issue with this claim by posting on their Codeswitch blog. It's one thing to state that "parishioners report miraculous hearings". It's quite another thing to state flatly -- even if ungrammatically -- that these "miraculous healings" actually took place. Did the reporters witness any "miraculous healings"? Were medical records verified? I'm willing to bet they did not and were not.
In response to my posting (which was rapidly voted up), NPR first (silently) fixed the grammar but kept the part about "miraculous healings". Then they deleted my comment, together with the comments of many other people. When I complained about this, my comment was briefly reinstated by Codeswitch employee Matt Thompson. He agreed it had been deleted unfairly. Once again, it was rapidly voted up; NPR listeners know bad journalism when they see it.
After some time (I don't know when) my comment was deleted again. This time Matt Thompson refused to answer my e-mail to explain why. I then took my case to Gene Demby, who apparently runs this NPR blog. He couldn't come up with any good reasons to delete my comment or the comments of dozens of others. He only claimed that "the story was about a specific faith tradition; the deleted comments argued about its illegitimacy". Bullshit. My deleted comments were about the shoddy journalism of NPR's reporters, who shouldn't be reporting "miraculous healing" as fact if they had no evidence. A simple rephrasing would have made that clear; it's Journalism 101.
And even if other people's comments argued about the "illegitimacy" of a "faith tradition", so what? Are "faith traditions" somehow above the reach of criticism?
Tinpot dictators and control freaks like Demby should not be moderating blogs for NPR. NPR stands for "National Public Radio", not "National Pablum Radio". NPR should be using the loosest possible standards to ensure robust discussion and debate.
Update: Gene Demby is so insecure he actually blocked me from following him on twitter. This guy shouldn't be employed at NPR!