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Ex-NPR Editor: NPR Needs Some ‘Soul-Searching’ About Serving All Americans

by | May 2, 2024

By Tim Graham

Ex-NPR senior editor Uri Berliner appeared again on Chris Cuomo’s NewsNation show on Tuesday night. “I think that really, NPR has a lot of soul searching to do about representing the country at large. Being a publicly funded news organization and really trying to represent this country in all its great diversity and viewpoints.”

It should seem obvious that NPR is impervious to “soul searching” since they didn’t want Berliner to work there any more after he raised his questions about viewpoint diversity.

Cuomo asked about morning host Steve Inskeep and then other people at NPR saying Berliner “cherry-picked” his stories and got it wrong. “Do you think in retrospect that you should have done anything different?”

Berliner said no, “not at all. You know, I think even in our news in NPR newsroom, since the story was published, they’ve decided to institute regular reviews of coverage, which I think is a positive sign. I also think there’s a conversation in this country that’s happening within the media, but also more broadly about the really sad level of trust of the media and the extent to which narratives are imposed in newsrooms, whether they are legacy media and they’re left leaning or whether they’re coming from the right, and I think there’s a large group of people that are tired of it, and are just calling out the media for doing things that are increasing the polarization in this country, so I don’t regret — I don’t have any regrets.”

Cuomo said, “I was moved that the media left this story alone,” and they didn’t want to have a real examination of NPR’s content. “What does it mean for you going forward? ”

BERLINER: Well, I you know, I think there was that there was some a lot of positive stories, including, interestingly, from college newspapers supporting what I said, and saying it’s vital. And, you know, and from reporters and columnists around the country, and I would say this story lasted a lot longer than I expected it to. I thought, you know, I would write this and there would be pushback in the newsroom and it would be, you know, be over in a couple of days. You know, the head of the newsroom [Edith Chapin], criticized the story, I think she did it in a fairly respectful way, I was suspended five days without pay. I didn’t object to that I didn’t seek a grievance from the union. And I thought it was gonna go away after that.

 

But then the new CEO, Katherine Maher, she injected herself into the newsroom, and she attacked me publicly and personally, and I think that extended the story, especially when people started finding out more about her views, not just the tweets, you know about America, being addicted to white supremacy, or criticizing Hillary Clinton for using the words [inaudible]. More importantly, videos that surfaced where she talked about the First Amendment being a challenge and a tricky thing when you’re trying to suppress information. This is when she was running, Wikimedia, which oversees Wikipedia. And I think that really extended the story a lot.”

Cuomo expressed amazement that the serious complaints within NPR were about wanting to take it further to the left, not further to the center.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Newsbusters and reposted with permission.

Categories: Media Bias