Do Public Radio Hosts & Political Rallies Mix?

October 25, 2011 § 1 Comment

Apparently not.

According to a recent NY Times article, a public radio host who was linked this week to antiwar and anti-corporate-greed protests in Washington, D.C., has been fired by one radio producer that employs her, but supposedly supported by another. Lisa Simeone, who has been the host of two programs heard on some NPR stations, is reported to have been a leader in an occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington. Her participation in the rally might have violated NPR’s code of ethics.

Ms. Simeone was the host of “Soundprint,” which is broadcast on some NPR stations. “Soundprint” said Thursday that it had dismissed her.
She also is the host of “World of Opera,” a program that is produced by a member station of NPR, WDAV, which said Thursday that she remained employed by the station. But I’ve discovered since the publication of this article, WDAV has dropped “World of Opera” from its roster (Word is A Crime.org).

Having some friends involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement, I’m struggling with how I feel about this.

Has Lisa Simeone violated contractual NPR code of ethics?
Is everyone overreacting – is it like McCarthyism?
Is NPR scared to offend its key supporters?

Maybe it’s a combination of those, and other, questions.
I’m leaning towards over-reacting, and NPR’s fear of losing lots and lots of supportive money…

What are your thoughts?

David Walker

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