Latest News 30-04-2024 05:01 26 Views

GOP senators air ‘deep concerns’ over NPR bias, urge CEO to ‘start a course correction’

A group of Republican senators shared concerns over ideological bias at National Public Radio (NPR), with the organization's controversial CEO Katherine Maher following high-profile criticism from former senior editor Uri Berliner, who recently resigned from his role citing her 'divisive views.' 

'We have deep concerns regarding the editorial direction under NPR's national leadership,' wrote a group of Republicans in a letter on Monday led by Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.

In the letter, also signed by Republican conference Chairman John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Sens. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and Eric Shmitt, R-Mo., they stressed that NPR's 'National leadership has allowed and cultivated an environment where ideological bias not only creeps in but takes center stage.'

Berliner first penned his essay for the Free Press on April 9, discussing why he believes the institution has lost public trust. He detailed his criticisms of the coverage of various events, including allegations of former President Trump's collusion with Russia in the 2016 election, Hunter Biden's laptop and the theory that COVID-19 actually began in a lab in China and was leaked. 

The 25-year NPR veteran further revealed that his research found there were '87 registered Democrats' in editorial roles in NPR's Washington, D.C., headquarters and no Republicans. 

According to the senators, the ideological homogeneity at NPR is not just disappointing, but amounts to 'an ethical failure.'

The 'decidedly left-leaning editorial stance' at the publication is a serious threat to 'the integrity and diversity of thought,' they added. 

'If NPR’s goal was to become an echo chamber, mission accomplished. But as a publicly funded entity, you are responsible for providing impartial coverage that accurately informs all Americans, regardless of political affiliation,' the letter continued. 

In closing, the Republicans called on Maher to begin a 'course correction' to remedy the exposed lack of diversity at NPR. 

Maher has come under particular scrutiny due to her lack of editorial background, as well as her opinionated and overwhelmingly Democratic personal views, which she has publicly shared on social media over time. In 2020, she criticized news outlets for their coverage of looting during the riots following the death of George Floyd. '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,' she said at the time. 

NPR did not immediately provide comment to Fox News Digital. 

In the wake of Berliner's public criticism of his then-employer, several Republican lawmakers have renewed calls to restrict funding of the organization that provides grants for NPR, giving the outlet federal money. Blackburn recently revealed she is looking at legislative options with the intent of introducing a bill to address funding for NPR, and there are multiple measures in the House already looking to do so. 


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