NewsGuard Maintains NPR’s Perfect Rating Despite Berliner's Suspension, Resignation

April 17th, 2024 5:00 PM

Last week, now-former NPR business editor Uri Berliner drew the ire of the station’s new, far-left CEO after he called out NPR for allowing the liberal worldview to dominate the newsroom. Berliner’s act of journalistic integrity ultimately cost him his job; he was suspended and ultimately resigned. But despite NPR’s retaliation against a whistleblower and others coming forward to corroborate Berliner’s claims, left-wing media rating organization NewsGuard maintained NPR’s perfect 100/100 rating.

In his essay for The Free Press, Berliner exposed NPR as a factory churning out content that catered to the liberal worldview: “There’s an unspoken consensus about the stories we should pursue and how they should be framed. It’s frictionless—one story after another about instances of supposed racism, transphobia, signs of the climate apocalypse, Israel doing something bad, and the dire threat of Republican policies. It’s almost like an assembly line.”

Earlier this week, Berliner was suspended without pay by the station under the guise of it being punishment for publishing something with another outlet without getting permission first (as if NPR would have allowed him to publish something critical out them to begin with). NPR did give permission for Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep to publish a Substack defending the station and attacking his long-time colleague.

Berliner subsequently resigned; posting his resignation letter on X. “I am resigning from NPR, a great American institution where I have worked for 25 years,” he wrote. “I don’t support calls to defund NPR. I respect the integrity of my colleagues and wish for NPR to thrive and do important journalism. But I 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.”



Despite NPR seeking retribution against one of their journalists for publically blowing the whistle on how they were allowing their liberal bias to poison their newsroom, thus forcing said journalist to publically resign, NewsGuard has so far maintained NPR’s perfect 100/100 rating.

Berliner’s criticisms of NPR weren’t business or employment-related (such as pay or working conditions) and had everything to do with the politics influencing the news product the organization was putting out. And thus, was an issue NewsGuard should’ve been taking seriously, especially considering that Berliner was getting support from other former NPR staffers.

At this point, a lack of action by NewsGuard to downgrade NPR’s score appeared to be in defiance of the facts and in opposition to the support Berliner was receiving from many right-wingers.

As MRC Associate Editor for Business & Free Speech America Joseph Vazquez noted in the 2023 study of NewsGuard’s rankings, the point of the whole system was for it to be used as a “cudgel” against right-leaning news organizations:

NewsGuard wields its ratings as a cudgel, attempting to scare away advertisers from doing business with media and organizations that have been accused of promoting so-called “misinformation” or wrongthink on a whole host of issues like abortion, climate change, COVID-19 and elections. In so doing, NewsGuard effectively strips media outlets with which it disagrees of their ad money, slowly bleeding out their coffers.

NewsGuard can reluctantly downgrade legacy liberal media outlets when they have terrible reporting held up under their nose. They recently downgraded The New York Times after the Media Research Center called them out multiple times.

They need to do the same now with NPR.