Thanks to One Dissenter, the Mask Drops at NPR

April 20th, 2024 4:00 PM

Without a doubt, many readers here at NewsBusters were mega-dittos fans of the late, great Rush Limbaugh. In today’s media world perhaps you listen to conservative talk radio hosts Sean Hannity or Rush’s successors Clay Travis and Buck Sexton, or Glenn Beck or Jesse Kelly. Or, indeed someone else, perhaps a local conservative host in your area.

But whomever you listen to from that list of conservative talkers, they all have one thing in common: their shows have sponsors from the private sector. 

And in no instance are those sponsors the American taxpayer. To a show, those sponsors are from the private sector, all busy selling their product (like Optima Tax Relief).

This is, of course, not true with National Public Radio. NPR is funded in part, whether you like it or not, by you. The American taxpayer. And it is no coincidence that the government-supported radio has a seriously liberal bent.

God bless America and free speech. But the decidedly obvious problem is that you are paying the bill - and the money is lifted right out of your wallet automatically, giving you absolutely zero choice in paying for what has morphed into left-wing propaganda radio.

Imagine taxpayer dollars going to subsidize Limbaugh or Levin. You don't have to wonder whether the Left would find that a horrible expenditure of tax dollars to promote one side of the fence.

Which makes the saga of longtime NPR editor Uri Berliner considerably interesting. A longtime editor at NPR, Berliner penned a lengthy article which not only startlingly admits to the problem but criticizes his bosses and colleagues for producing news every day from the liberal bubble.

Over at a site titled, yes, The Free Press, Berliner titled his piece this way: 

I’ve Been at NPR for 25 Years. Here’s How We Lost America’s Trust.

Let’s dip into some of the things this longtime NPR editor says.

First of all, Berliner describes himself, saying: 

You know the stereotype of the NPR listener: an EV-driving, Wordle-playing, tote bag–carrying coastal elite. It doesn’t precisely describe me, but it’s not far off. I’m Sarah Lawrence–educated, was raised by a lesbian peace activist mother, I drive a Subaru, and Spotify says my listening habits are most similar to people in Berkeley. 

I fit the NPR mold. I’ll cop to that.

Then he goes on to say:  

By 2023, the picture was completely different: only 11 percent described themselves as very or somewhat conservative, 21 percent as middle of the road, and 67 percent of listeners said they were very or somewhat liberal. We weren’t just losing conservatives; we were also losing moderates and traditional liberals. 

An open-minded spirit no longer exists within NPR, and now, predictably, we don’t have an audience that reflects America.

And how did this happen? Berliner goes on - but of course - this way, saying: 

Like many unfortunate things, the rise of advocacy took off with Donald Trump. As in many newsrooms, his election in 2016 was greeted at NPR with a mixture of disbelief, anger, and despair. (Just to note, I eagerly voted against Trump twice but felt we were obliged to cover him fairly.) But what began as tough, straightforward coverage of a belligerent, truth-impaired president veered toward efforts to damage or topple Trump’s presidency.

Berliner keeps going, listing notable stories from the last several years and the way they were handled by the decidedly left-wing NPR staff.

  • Trump-Russia collusion hoax? That was “catnip” and NPR took their guidance from the man Sean Hannity calls “the congenital liar (Rep.) Adam Schiff.”
  • The New York Post pre-2020 election scoop about Hunter Biden’s decidedly scandalous laptop? Says Berliner: 

The laptop was newsworthy. But the timeless journalistic instinct of following a hot story lead was being squelched. During a meeting with colleagues, I listened as one of NPR’s best and most fair-minded journalists said it was good we weren’t following the laptop story because it could help Trump.

  • The reality that the Covid pandemic came out of a lab leak in Wuhan, China? 

The lab leak theory came in for rough treatment almost immediately, dismissed as racist or a right-wing conspiracy theory. Anthony Fauci and former NIH head Francis Collins, representing the public health establishment, were its most notable critics. And that was enough for NPR. We became fervent members of Team Natural Origin, even declaring that the lab leak had been debunked by scientists. 

But that wasn’t the case.

Berliner keeps on going to give examples making his devastating case of left-wing bias at NPR. 

When George Floyd died, he writes that the message from the top of NPR was that. 

America’s infestation with systemic racism was loud and clear: it was a given. Our mission was to change it.

NPR, it was made clear, was all about diversity - diversity of skin color and gender. Berliner writes: 

But what’s notable is the extent to which people at every level of NPR have comfortably coalesced around the progressive worldview. 

And this, I believe, is the most damaging development at NPR: the absence of viewpoint diversity.

Now. Having spoken truth to power, you get one guess as to the newest headline about Mr. Berliner, this one from CBS:

“NPR suspends editor who accused the network of liberal bias”

And within a matter of hours, that headline was followed by this one at the New York Post. It read: 

NPR editor Uri Berliner resigns after bombshell expose reveals network’s pervasive left-wing bias

The Post story reported: 

NPR correspondent Uri Berliner, who was suspended without pay after calling out the radio broadcaster’s rampant liberal bias, resigned on Wednesday — and took a parting shot at the network’s controversial CEO.

'I am resigning from NPR, a great American institution where I have worked for 25 years,' Berliner wrote on his X social media account on Wednesday. 'I respect the integrity of my colleagues and wish for NPR to thrive and do important journalism.'

Berliner added that he 'cannot work in a newsroom where I am disparaged by a new CEO whose divisive views confirm the very problems at NPR I cite in my Free Press essay.'

The “new CEO” of NPR that Berliner refers to is one Katherine Maher. And it took a bare blink of the eye for Maher to be revealed in past tweets as the personification of the Trump-hating, far-left mindset that consumes NPR.

So there you have it. You, the American taxpayer, are paying for NPR and its left-wing bias. And if you are working at NPR and protest that bias, you will be suspended without pay and then made so uncomfortable you are forced to resign.

The real problem? This is but one example of a journalistic outlet pretending to “just the facts” reporting. The fact that taxpayers have to pay for it is particularly insulting to Americans. And that is something that Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn is determined to change, sponsoring legislation to defund NPR. While over in the House the same move is being led by Indiana Congressman Jim Banks.

But make no mistake, there are plenty of so-called journalism outlets out there that pretend to straight-up reporting when, in fact, just like NPR, their newsrooms are under the iron-fisted control of left-wing activists.

And viewpoint diversity, as is true at NPR, is not to be tolerated.

At NPR, thanks to Uri Berliner -- at the cost of his job -- the mask of journalistic independence and objectivity has finally dropped. It's about time someone from the inside told the ugly truth about it.