Editor’s shocking expose of NPR bias has newsroom ‘in turmoil’ – report

NPR editor Uri Berliner has provoked “turmoil” at the news outlet with his “bombshell” essay this week exposing its liberal coverage — the irony being that few outside NPR contest said bias.

That’s according to The New York Times, which reported that NPR “is facing both internal tumult and a fusillade of attacks by prominent conservatives.”

Berliner wrote an essay for the Free Press that panned NPR’s coverage of the Russian collusion hoax, Hunter Biden’s laptop, and the COVID lab leak theory, suggesting it was the result of a left-wing bias. He also alleged that NPR prioritized racial diversity over ideological diversity.

He wrote that NPR “hitched our wagon” to U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chief purveyor of the Russia-gate hoax.

“Schiff, who was the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, became NPR’s guiding hand, its ever-present muse. By my count, NPR hosts interviewed Schiff 25 times about Trump and Russia. During many of those conversations, Schiff alluded to purported evidence of collusion. The Schiff talking points became the drumbeat of NPR news reports,” Berliner wrote.

According to Fox News, the Times reported that the essay was brought up at a “long-scheduled meet-and-greet” with some NPR show hosts on Wednesday. NPR editor-in-chief Edith Chapin reportedly said at the meeting she did not want Berliner to become a “martyr.”

“We’re proud to stand behind the exceptional work that our desks and shows do to cover a wide range of challenging stories,” Chapin said in an email to staff on Tuesday. “We believe that inclusion — among our staff, with our sourcing, and in our overall coverage — is critical to telling the nuanced stories of this country and our world.”

“Mr. Berliner’s essay also sent critical Slack messages whizzing through some of the same employee affinity groups focused on racial and sexual identity that he cited in his essay. In one group, several staff members disputed Mr. Berliner’s points about a lack of ideological diversity and said efforts to recruit more people of color would make NPR’s journalism better,” The Times noted.

Tony Cavin, NPR managing editor of standards and practices, also pushed back, suggesting Berliner made it more difficult for NPR journalists to do their jobs.

“The next time one of our people calls up a Republican congressman or something and tries to get an answer from them, they may well say, ‘Oh, I read these stories, you guys aren’t fair, so I’m not going to talk to you,’” he told The Times.

NPR TV critic Eric Deggans tweeted, “Many things wrong w/terrible Berliner column on NPR, including not observing basic fairness. Didn’t seek comment from NPR before publishing. Didn’t mention many things which could detract from his conclusions. Set up staffers of color as scapegoats.”

Brian Mann, a self-described “aging rural White man,” stepped forward to carry water for the liberal outlet, saying he “felt welcome, supported, heard and respected by my colleagues.”

He also downplayed the reported “turmoil.”

Tom Tillison


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