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Discussing the flap over a comment Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) made at a campaign event on October 30, National Public Radio political correspondent Mara Liasson characterized Kerry as a "windsurfing flip-flopper," reviving one of the Bush-Cheney campaign's most potent smears from 2004.
As Media Matters for America has noted, Liasson frequently provides political spin despite her role as a news reporter. Discussing appearances by NPR journalists, including Liasson, as commentators on Fox News shows, then-ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin said on the February 16 edition of Washington, D.C., station WAMU's The Kojo Nnamdi Show that "NPR reporters have an obligation to stay reportorial."
From the November 1 edition of NPR's All Things Considered:
ROBERT SIEGEL (host): Mara, it sounds like the Republicans have been in need of a good issue and they thought they found one in Senator Kerry.
LIASSON: They certainly think so. This is something they are trying to use to fire up their base. They need to in the remaining days before Election Day. Even at the expense of returning voters' focus to Iraq.
Now, this is a little bit of déjà vu all over again because that windsurfing flip-flopper has provided the Republicans with ammunition again, just like he did in the campaign of 2004. And Vice President Dick Cheney was out on the campaign trail saying John Kerry was for the joke before he was against the joke.