April 17, 2024

National Public Retaliation and Resignation

The editor who complained about NPR’s left-wing bias was suspended and then resigned.

National Public Radio receives taxpayer money. Specifically, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting received $525 million in federal funding in the most recent fiscal year, a portion of which goes to NPR and PBS via local television and radio stations around the country. Federal funding isn’t the sole or even primary source of revenue for these ventures, but neither is $500 million chump change.

Understandably, after recent events, there are renewed calls for defunding. “I would eliminate the funding for NPR tomorrow,” declared Texas Senator Ted Cruz. “We shouldn’t be in the business of funding NPR.”

Senator Marsha Blackburn agrees, and she is preparing legislation for that purpose. “It makes no sense that the American people are forced to fund a propagandist left-wing outlet that refuses to represent the voices of half the country,” she said. “NPR should not receive our tax dollars.”

Every now and then, Republican politicians express disgust at the idea of publicly funding a left-wing enterprise like NPR, and we certainly agree with Cruz and Blackburn. Yet taxpayers have been subsidizing it since the ‘60s, and Ronald Reagan once called government programs “the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.”

In any case, by recent events, I mean the blistering Free Press op-ed written by 25-year NPR veteran Uri Berliner last week, followed by his suspension and then his resignation this morning.

As I said last week, conservatives have always known that NPR is just another cog in the Leftmedia propaganda machine, but even leftists should take note when Berliner explains just how bad it’s gotten as left-wing journalists succumbed to Trump Derangement Syndrome.

It was obvious that Berliner wrote his op-ed effectively as a public resignation letter. For one thing, he published it in The Free Press, founded by Bari Weiss, who left The New York Times for the same reasons. For another, his colleagues now think his name is mud. NPR political correspondent Danielle Kurtzleben didn’t name Berliner but complained about people “going to another outlet and s**tting on your colleagues.” Doing that would lose “trust.”

Furthermore, Berliner even went so far as to name-drop NPR’s new CEO, Katherine Maher, noting that she had no journalism experience but essentially challenging her to make fair journalism the outlet’s “new North Star.” He might as well have added, Go ahead and fire me.

On the one hand, any employee of any organization who publicly airs grievances like he did will find himself on thin ice, and rightly so. On the other hand, if Berliner is being honest, he’s been sounding the alarms internally for years, only to be ignored.

He sure isn’t being ignored now.

Neither is Maher’s history. The Manhattan Institute’s Christopher Rufo lives for this sort of thing, and he set to work digging through Maher’s old Twitter feed. The evidence that Maher, formerly CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation, is a left-wing loon is myriad and damning. Here are just a few samples:

America is addicted to white supremacy.

Never underestimate the ability of white people to center ourselves.

Lots of jokes about leaving the US, and I get it. But as someone with cis white mobility privilege, I’m thinking I’m staying and investing in ridding ourselves of this spectre of tyranny.

I made a commitment to never step on a speaker’s stage without talking about our climate crisis.

I mean, sure, looting is counterproductive. But it’s hard to be mad about protests not prioritizing the private property of a system of oppression founded on treating people’s ancestors as private property.

Who was it that declared a fetus was genetically human from the point of conception?

Donald Trump, she said, is a “deranged racist sociopath.” After Joe Biden’s 2020 victory, she said, “I can’t stop crying with relief.”

Hillary Clinton shouldn’t say “boy” and “girl” because it’s “erasing language for non-binary people.”

Maher didn’t have children because “I dunno, the planet is literally burning.”

She applauded BLM and reparations while condemning white people, straight people, “late-stage capitalism,” and America generally.

You get the idea. I’d go out on a limb and say that Berliner was also aware of this before he challenged Maher to be fair. He is, after all, a straight white male — one of her favorite targets. If only he had identified as a black female, he could have hung NPR out to dry and suffered no consequences whatsoever. Rebuking DEI was a big part of his point, though.

He also benefits from having someone else “out” his new boss. “We’re looking for a leader right now who’s going to be unifying and bring more people into the tent and have a broader perspective on, sort of, what America is all about,” Berliner told NPR scribe David Folkenflik in a post-suspension interview Tuesday. “And this seems to be the opposite of that.”

Yeah, I’d say so.

Perhaps most revealing were Maher’s comments about Berliner’s op-ed. She called it “profoundly disrespectful, hurtful, and demeaning” because it amounted to “a criticism of our people on the basis of who we are.” No, that’s just it — the crux of the problem with modern radical leftists. Berliner based his entire criticism not on “who” but “what.” Leftists are obsessed with identity, and Berliner says that obsession is the problem. Even so, it’s not who’s doing it, it’s what they’re doing, which is to violate basic journalistic integrity. Berliner simply decided he could no longer stomach such an environment.

Oh yeah, and there’s also this:

And this:


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