On Thursday's All Things Considered, NPR's Ari Shapiro
couldn't be bothered to feature any of the religious leaders who spoke
at the inter-faith service in honor of the victims of the Boston
Marathon bombing, Instead, Shapiro zeroed in on the liberal politicians
who spoke, playing five straight clips from President Obama's speech at
the memorial event.
The correspondent also played up the President's speaking ability: "This was Obama the orator, a man who is famous for his ability to give a speech that, even in a time of mourning, can bring a crowd roaring to its feet."
Host Melissa Block set up Shapiro's report
by highlighting the chief executive's apparent message during the
service: "'We stand with you' – that was President Obama's promise to
Boston today. He delivered a message of strength and resilience at an
inter-faith service in Boston's towering Cathedral of the Holy Cross."
The NPR journalist then launched into introducing his first soundbite from Boston's Democratic mayor, Tom Menino. Shapiro noted that Menino "struggled out of his wheelchair to stand and speak" and asserted that the politician was "a living symbol of this city's refusal to give up in the face of pain." Just before playing a clip from Deval Patrick, another left-of-center government official, he spotlighted that liberal Massachusetts governor "drew cheers when he said Massachusetts invented America."
Shapiro devoted the rest of the segment to his excerpts from the President's speech. He used his "famous" line about Mr. Obama just before playing the fifth consecutive soundbite from the liberal politician.
The NPR correspondent has carried water for President Obama in past reporting. In April 2011, he slanted towards backers of the White House's new "voluntary principles" to limit junk food ads to children. The following month, Shapiro played up how the death of Osama bin Laden supposedly represented a "fundamental shift in the way Americans perceive Mr. Obama."
More recently, during a February 2013 report, the openly-homosexual journalist touted how the Defense Department changed its policy to grant limit benefits to same-sex partners of members of the military, and claimed that "as a political move, the Pentagon's action is barely controversial." Shapiro later added that "it's hard to tell whether President Obama's pro-gay positions are helping to create this wave [of support for homosexuals in the military], or just letting him surf it."
The full transcript of Ari Shapiro's report from Thursday's All Things Considered:
MELISSA BLOCK: 'We stand with you' – that was President Obama's promise
to Boston today. He delivered a message of strength and resilience at
an inter-faith service in Boston's towering Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
NPR's Ari Shapiro was there.
ARI SHAPIRO: One of the first to speak at today's service was Boston Mayor Tom Menino. Still recovering from leg surgery, he struggled out of his wheelchair to stand and speak – a living symbol of this city's refusal to give up in the face of pain.
MAYOR TOM MENINO, (D), BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: I'm telling you, nothing can defeat the heart of this city – nothing. Nothing will take us down, because we take care of one another.
SHAPIRO: That promise of solidarity and resilience was the message of the day. Governor Deval Patrick drew cheers when he said Massachusetts invented America.
GOV. DEVAL PATRICK, (D), MASSACHUSETTS: In a dark hour, so many of you showed so many of us that darkness cannot drive out darkness, as Dr. [Martin Luther] King said. Only light can do that.
SHAPIRO: Patrick introduced his friend, the President of the United States, who talked about the beautiful morning that dawned in Boston the day of the attacks.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: A day that explains why a poet once wrote that this town is not just a capital; not just a place. Boston, he said, is the perfect state of grace.
SHAPIRO: Obama said an attack on Boston feels personal, and then, he talked about the three people who died when the bombs went off, including eight-year-old Martin Richard.
OBAMA: And we're left with two enduring images of this little boy – forever smiling for his beloved Bruins, and forever expressing a wish he made on a little posterboard – no more hurting people – peace.
SHAPIRO: Then, the President spoke to the people in hospital rooms across this city still recovering from the blast, watching him on TV.
OBAMA: Your commonwealth is with you. Your country is with you. We will all be with you as you learn to stand and walk – and, yes, run again. Of that, I have no doubt. You will run again.
SHAPIRO: He compared the struggling city and the country to exhausted marathoners near the end of a race.
OBAMA: Like Bill Ifrig – 78 years old – the runner in the orange tank-top who we all saw get knocked down by the blast – we may be momentarily knocked off our feet. But we'll pick ourselves up. We'll keep going. We will finish the race. (audience applauds)
SHAPIRO: This was Obama the orator, a man who is famous for his ability to give a speech that, even in a time of mourning, can bring a crowd roaring to its feet. He said, we come together to celebrate life and walk our cities and cheer for our teams.
OBAMA: When the Sox, the Celtics, and Patriots or Bruins are champions again – to the chagrin of New York and Chicago fans – the crowds will gather and watch a parade go down Boylston Street. And this time next year, on the third Monday in April, the world will return to this great American city to run harder than ever and to cheer even louder for the 118th Boston Marathon. (audience applauds)
SHAPIRO: Then, the President left to meet with victims, first-responders, and volunteers in person, to thank individually the people he had just valorized on the national stage. Ari Shapiro, NPR News, Boston.