The time has come to defund National Public Radio (NPR). Its latest policy directive to employees removes any pretense of its objectivity.
In July, NPR rolled out its revised ethics policy. Its public editor, Kelly McBride, said it “eliminates the blanket prohibition from participating in ‘marches, rallies and public events,’ as well as vague language that directed NPR journalists to avoid personally advocating for ‘controversial’ or ‘polarizing’ issues.”
What changed? The riots of 2020.
Kelly cites several examples of the kind of activism that fuels NPR. Black Lives Matter is mentioned, along with other references to racially charged news events. Indeed, in anticipation of questions from NPR reporters, she rhetorically asks, “Is it OK to march in a demonstration and say, ‘Black lives matter?’ What about a Pride parade? In theory, the answer today is, ‘Yes.'” [Notice she did not choose a pro-life rally as an example.]
“Protests organized with the purpose of demanding equal and fair treatment of people are now permitted,” Kelly says, “as long as the journalist asking is not covering the event.”
In practice, however, this is untenable. Even if a journalist who joins a Black Lives Matter or Antifa protest does not write about it, who is going to stop this person from writing about counterprotesters? Moreover, if an employee has had an abortion, would that stop her from covering the subject?
To show how utterly void of professional journalistic ethics NPR is, consider what its chief diversity officer, Keith Woods, had to say about conflicting opinions held by NPR employees about this issue. He says the views range from “people who would go so far as to use the word ‘objectivity,'” to those who are the “burn-it-all-down kinds of folks.”
Those who would “go so far as to use the word ‘objectivity'”? Wow. That’s really pushing it. Apparently, there are still some dinosaurs at NPR who believe it is their professional duty to be as objective as they can! They have obviously been crowded out by the “burn, baby, burn” folks.
To top things off, NPR has an anti-Catholic history, dating back until at least 1997. It has featured Catholic-bashing songs, made fun of Jesus dying on the Cross, claimed it was “not that unusual” for a priest to be accused of raping a child, and has consistently complained about Catholic nominees for the Supreme Court.
Its most recent offense, while not expressly anti-Catholic, occurred two years ago when its new style guide instructed reporters to stop using terms such as “fetal heartbeat,” “partial-birth abortion,” “abortion doctors,” and “abortion clinics.” It even went so far as to ban the word “unborn,” claiming that “Babies are not babies until they are born.”
This is the kind of bias that NPR evinced before its new ethics policy was promulgated. We can only guess how bad things will become now that its reporters can engage in direct activism with impunity.
We have contacted all members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees asking them to defund NPR.