Trump Calls for Defunding NPR After Senior Editor’s ‘Viewpoint Diversity’ Essay

While critical of the public media org’s current management, Uri Berliner maintains that “defunding isn’t the answer”

Donald Trump
Donald Trump at an election night watch party in South Carolina (Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

After a senior editor at National Public Radio on Tuesday blasted his employer of 25 years for not having any Republicans on staff, Donald Trump called for the nonprofit media organization to be defunded.

“NO MORE FUNDING FOR NPR, A TOTAL SCAM! EDITOR SAID THEY HAVE NO REPUBLICANS, AND IS ONLY USED TO ‘DAMAGE TRUMP.’ THEY ARE A LIBERAL DISINFORMATION MACHINE. NOT ONE DOLLAR!!!” Trump wrote in all caps on his Truth Social media platform Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Uri Berliner wrote an op-ed for The Free Press lamenting the “absence of viewpoint diversity” at NPR, writing that he found “87 registered Democrats working in editorial positions and zero Republicans.”

Berliner wrote that, due to DEI initiatives that focus on hiring people of diverse ethnicities and genders, “an open-minded spirit no longer exists within NPR, and now, predictably, we don’t have an audience that reflects America.”

Berliner also wrote that he “eagerly voted against Trump twice,” but was upset that “what began as tough, straightforward coverage of a belligerent, truth-impaired president veered toward efforts to damage or topple Trump’s presidency.”

An award-winning journalist himself, Berliner added that “despite our missteps at NPR, defunding isn’t the answer.”

“As the country becomes more fractured, there’s still a need for a public institution where stories are told and viewpoints exchanged in good faith,” he wrote. “Defunding, as a rebuke from Congress, wouldn’t change the journalism at NPR. That needs to come from within.”

NPR editor-in-chief Edith Chapin defended the organization in response to the piece, saying she and the leadership team “strongly disagree with Uri’s assessment of the quality of our journalism.”

Journalist Mehdi Hasan also weighed in on the issue Tuesday, tweeting, “This essay has it backwards: you can’t blame NPR for conservatives not listening. You have to ask why conservatives have gone down conspiracy holes (climate change, 2020 election, vaccines) & how on earth mainstream media is supposed to cater to them now?”

Per NPR’s website, its income comes from dues and fees paid by member stations, underwriting from corporate sponsors and annual grants from the publicly funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Less than 1% of its funding comes directly from the federal government.

NPR is currently rated as “leaning left” by Allsides.com, which assesses media bias, more centrist than the “left” status of The Huffington Post.

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