Important Admission: I am a big fan and supporter of NPR. I enjoy their artistry. I acknowledge their left-leaning bias, and that often colors their coverage of Republicans and conservatives in unflattering and unfriendly ways. Nevertheless, I appreciate the skill and erudition that permeates every aspect of their operation.

Today, however, Morning Edition's David Greene orchestrated a gratuitously misleading characterization of the President's press conference yesterday that deserves notice.

In the introduction to the story, NPR anchor Renee Montagne set-up Greene calling the session "a little unusual." It was a Rose Garden press conference, which is not commonplace, but that is not what she meant. Greene quickly asserted that yesterday there were "no chairs or mikes" at the press conference. Perhaps the "President wasn't in the mood for something so formal," Greene wondered. Reporters "stood and tried to make themselves heard," he reported and then implied that no one (not even the President) could hear the questions. Listening to Greene, I could not help but think of the old Reagan sound bites with the helicopter roaring and Reagan cupping his ear and looking befuddled and Nancy whispering: "just tell them we are working on it."

But that was all wrong. I happened to catch a replay of the conference early this morning on C-SPAN, and it was nothing like that. My one observation about the atmospherics was that the President must have been facing the sun, for he seemed to be squinting a lot. But the audio was fine. I did not miss any questions. Maybe C-SPAN has a better audio set-up than NPR--but David Greene said there were no "mikes," which, of course, was a ridiculous statement.

Later in his report, Greene featured a sound bite (which was exquisitely audible) of the question that queried the President about the "morality of homosexuality." Green added that the reporter "was lucky enough to be near a microphone" (which supposedly were nonexistent).

Listen to the full story here.

Am I being too fastidious? Maybe. Of course, people in the news business who make a living pointing out errors ought to get their facts right. Why emphasize this erroneous angle (no microphones) or comment on reporters standing in the Rose Garden, if not to create an impression that implicitly reinforces a storyline.

Anyhow, here is the C-SPAN archive (decide for yourself): Bush Administration Page here.

And the transcript from the White House here.

Also, I witnessed a remarkable edition of C-SPAN's Washington Journal this morning, which featured Ronald Griffin, a private citizen and father of a fallen American soldier. Griffen recently returned from a personal trip to Iraq. Much more on this in the hours or days to come. I encourage you to view it now for yourself here.