National Public Radio is being hailed for its commitment to diversity in its latest promotion of anchors and producers. With NPR evening anchor Melissa Block departing, they promoted Kelly McEvers and Ari Shapiro to work alongside Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish on the nightly newscast All Things Considered. Michel Martin will take over hosting the show on weekends.
Cornish and Martin are black, and Shapiro is gay. “That leaves Siegel as the only straight white dude delivering the news on ATC,” explained Andrew Beaujon at Washingtonian magazine.
Martin hosted the afternoon talk show Tell Me More, devoted to African-American news and views, until NPR canceled it. So Beaujon noted:
But perhaps the bigger story of these moves is buried in the news of the hosting changes. Carline Watson, who was executive producer of Tell Me More, will become the weekday executive producer of All Things Considered, and Kenya Young, who was a producer on Tell Me More, will become executive producer of Weekend ATC. Watson, Young and Martin are all African-American and stayed with NPR after it canceled Tell Me More last year....
NPR maintained Code Switch, a digitally focused “team of journalists fascinated by the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture.” Now two of the four producers of its biggest news programs will be African-American, as will the host of Weekend All Things Considered. “I hope that makes a statement about how we feel about diversity,” [NPR vice president for programming and operations Christopher] Turpin says.
That said, Martin is replacing Arun Rath, who was the first Indian-American to host an NPR news program. The point of all this is that all of these people are liberals, so the “diversity” is only in ethnicity and sexual orientation, not in ideology.