Skip to comments.NPR Host/Occupy Protester Says She's Been Fired
Posted on 10/20/2011 8:25:26 AM PDT by Sub-Driver
NPR Host/Occupy Protester Says She's Been Fired By Tim Graham Created 10/20/2011 - 10:56am
AP is reporting NPR host/Occupy protest leader Lisa Simeone has been fired: "A freelance broadcaster who works for music and documentary programs has been fired from a job after NPR questioned her involvement in a Washington protest."
Lisa Simeone said Thursday that she was fired from "Soundprint," a documentary show that is not produced by NPR, but by Soundprint Media in nearby Laurel, Maryland. "Simeone says she was fired Wednesday in a phone call during which NPR's code of ethics was read to her." Simeone is angry that her free-speech rights are being trampled, telling journalist David Swanson on the left-wing site War Is A Crime.org:
Simeone told me: "I find it puzzling that NPR objects to my exercising my rights as an American citizen -- the right to free speech, the right to peaceable assembly -- on my own time in my own life. I'm not an NPR employee. I'm a freelancer. NPR doesn't pay me. I'm also not a news reporter. I don't cover politics. I've never brought a whiff of my political activities into the work I've done for NPR World of Opera. What is NPR afraid I'll do -- insert a seditious comment into a synopsis of Madame Butterfly?
"This sudden concern with my political activities is also surprising in light of the fact that Mara Liaason reports on politics for NPR yet appears as a commentator on FoxTV, Scott Simon hosts an NPR news show yet writes political op-eds for national newspapers, Cokie Roberts reports on politics for NPR yet accepts large speaking fees from businesses. Does NPR also send out 'Communications Alerts' about their activities?"
Swanson claimed to have an internal e-mail from NPR executive Dana Davis Rehm
From:NPR Communications Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 6:12 PM Subject: From Dana Rehm: Communications Alert
To: All Staff Fr: Dana Davis Rehm Re: Communications Alert
We recently learned of World of Opera host Lisa Simeones participation in an Occupy DC group. World of Opera is produced by WDAV, a music and arts station based in Davidson, North Carolina. The program is distributed by NPR. Lisa is not an employee of WDAV or NPR; she is a freelancer with the station.
We're in conversations with WDAV about how they intend to handle this. We of course take this issue very seriously.
As a reminder, all public comment (including social media) on this matter is being managed by NPR Communications.
All media requests should be routed through NPR Communications at 202.513.2300 or email@example.com. We will keep you updated as needed. Thanks.
Over at Time magazine, TV critic James Poniewozik sounds just like Simeone in dismissing the ethical dimensions of the moonlighting:
Public radio listeners! Have you long worried that your station was undermining capitalism through its broadcasts of the Ring Cycle? Tired of having your children brainwashed by the socialistic messages of La Traviata? Well, fear no more: host Lisa Simeone has been fired from the documentary show Soundprint and is having her role as host of NPRs World of Opera investigated after it was discovered that Simeone, a freelancer, has been serving as spokeswoman for an Occupy Wall Streetrelated protest group.
Im going to go out on a limb and say that firing Simeone from World of Opera would be a stupid, stupid decision. I know people who work in public broadcasting, and they are to a person smart folks, so I am going to assume that they know that it would be stupid. As, probably, do the people who will ultimately make the decision.
It may also be unavoidable. As we learned with Juan Williams case and the fallout from the James OKeefe NPR sting video in March, NPR and the larger public-radio community (Soundprint is not produced by NPR), because they rely in part on public funds, are vulnerable to politicization and practically obligated to overreact when a staff member or even freelancer comes within 200 feet of a political opinion.
NPR is "vulnerable to politicization"? Who in this case is the politicized one? As if NPR doesn't bang a liberal can on a daily basis in its newscasts? Poniewozik concluded:
My local public-radio station, WNYC, is currently in the middle of its pledge drive. If I were them, Id publicize this story to maximize donations: You see the ridiculous things we have to do because we rely on public funding? Dig deep and give now!
Poniewozik isn't acknowledging that WNYC raise money with listeners by telling them their funding is in trouble...and then they'll take more federal subsidies.
“I’m a freelancer. NPR doesn’t pay me. “
Then you didn’t get fired.
I hate to say it; but good for NPR.
The only thing more pathetic than NPRs bias is NPR’s attempt to show they are unbiased.
If she’s not an employee, and she doesn’t get paid, how does one get fired? NPR is free to continue using her services or stop at any time, as they see fit.
Seems to me that party line politics is what NPR is all about ...
Aw Jeez.....and that was my favorite show........NOT !!
IV. Conflicts of interest
1. Conducting ourselves in a manner that inspires confidence in us as independent and fair means avoiding actual and apparent conflicts of interest or engaging in outside activities, public comment or writing that calls into question our ability to report fairly on a subject.
2. A conflict of interest in its simplest dictionary term is a conflict between the private interests and the professional responsibilities of a person in a position of trust. An operative word in this sentence is "trust." All of us are in positions of trust with our audience. To maintain that trust requires that there be no real or perceived overlap between the private interests and opinions of NPR journalists and their professional responsibilities.
3. An employee covered by this code has the responsibility to disclose potential conflicts of interest. Revealing a conflict of interest after an individual has already participated in coverage where such a conflict exists or appears to exist can be extremely damaging to the reputation of NPR. NPR journalists must, at the time they are first assigned to cover or work on a matter, disclose to their immediate supervisor any business, commercial, financial or personal interests where such interests might reasonably be construed as being in actual, apparent or potential conflict with their duties. This would include situations in which a spouse, family member or companion is an active participant in a subject area that the NPR journalists covers. In the financial category, this does not include an investment by an NPR journalist or their spouse, family member or companion in mutual funds or pension funds that are invested by fund managers in a broad range of companies. The supervisor will decide whether the interests create an actual conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict. In making these decisions, supervisors should feel free to consult with senior managers of their Division and/or the Office of General Counsel.
NPR Code of Ethics Section IV
NPR throwing a low level hack under the bus to “prove” they’re not biased. Yea, OK, whatever.
Funny how they don’t seem to cry about Free Speech when Conservatives get fired.
See here, liberals. You cheer when Big Brother shuts down your oppositions opinions or free speech. But suddenly, who is there for you when they come after you.
The hypocrasy is rich.
Consequently, none of her rights are violated. An employer can fire you because of the car you drive, the shoes you where or the color of your eyes. You can say anything you want.
Free Speech protects you from the government, not your boss.
Davidson, North Carolina.... hmmm, isn’t that where the liberal arts college founded by Presbyterians is located?
NPR has ethics????...
I find it puzzling that NPR objects to my exercising my rights as an American citizen the right to free speech, the right to peaceable assembly on my own time in my own life. Im not an NPR employee. Im a freelancer. NPR doesnt pay me. Im also not a news reporter. I dont cover politics. Ive never brought a whiff of my political activities into the work Ive done for NPR World of Opera. What is NPR afraid Ill do insert a seditious comment into a synopsis of Madame Butterfly?
This sudden concern with my political activities is also surprising in light of the fact that Mara Liaason reports on politics for NPR yet appears as a commentator on FoxTV, Scott Simon hosts an NPR news show yet writes political op-eds for national newspapers, Cokie Roberts reports on politics for NPR yet accepts large speaking fees from businesses. Does NPR also send out Communications Alerts about their activities?
NPR has a code of ethics? Who knew?
NPR’s code of ethics was read to her.”
Huh? I didn’t know NPR had a code of ethics.
NPR has an ethics code?
Sorry, but I’m not buying it.
This is making me think beyond NPR and where it gets its funding. All of the networks rely on corporate sponsors from Wall Street to keep their big business going. When are the OWS protesters going to turn on the media?
I am okay with Mara, Scott and Cokie getting canned too.
That is EXACTLY the sort of thing people like you working for NPR would do. Read The Fountainhead. Slipping "seditious comments" into so-called "artistic" commentary and reaming the moral fabric of this country is the foundation of this entire communist movement.
Sorry, but I’m on her side; no matter how antithetical her views are to mine, if she were not breaking any laws she should not have to be dealing with this crapola from NPR.
“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
Free speech protects you from the government, not your boss.
Bears repeating. Thank you.
Don’t they teach civics anymore?
Oh? Wait, no they don’t.
They didn't want to have hearings on her.
Listen young lady, you can protest on Wall Street, in Atlanta, in Los Angeles, in Boston, in Nye, Montana for all we care. But don't &*%#ing go anywhere near DC, or anywhere else THE WON may be. Do you understand? No one protests THE WON. No? Still don't get it? You're fired.
Wasn’t she the old DJ on WPLJ in NYC in the 80’s?
The constitution says nothing about private companies or individuals when it comes to free speech. Only government can be charged with violating your free speech. If NPR chooses to enforce an ethics violation, which she must have known about, then they have every right to do so. They didn't fire her for actually demonstrating, the way I understand it, and I didn't see mention of it here, is that she wanted all jews run out of America. That sounds like hate speech to me and fomenting violence against a certain race of people.
The recent effort to de-fund NPR fell short. Too bad as I would like to see no taxpayer dollars going to them. They get support from Listeners Like You (well, not ME), corporate (shock!) donations, and foundation grants...and yes, CPB funding through taxes.
The last one is what should be gone. They want to do their liberal slant, fine, then take the tax money out of it and
re-brand as National Progressive Radio. NO tax money, NO way.
(By the way a 2008 list of corporations who VOLUNTARILY gave to NPR includes...Fox Broadcasting Company)
The sad part is as seen recently, efforts to de-fund probably won’t happen. In the end elected representatives
“stand up for educational radio” (read: liberal indoctrination).
It’s...for the children, you see. This is why they
won’t get rid of public money for Big Bird (PBS),
All Things Considered, etc.
I wonder how long he'll remain as Capital One Bank's spokesman?
Bears repeating. Thank you.
We have devolved into a society where no responsibility or accountability for one's personal conduct or character can be questioned. It is always somebody else's fault. Or everybody is a victim.
I am teaching my children about freedom, the cost of it and the responsibility that comes with it. "You have the right to say anything you want in public, on TV, on the Radio, in Print and on the internet per the Bill of Rights. You have the RESPONSIBILITY to show restraint, couth and good behavior in the interest of your own integrity and the integrity of those you represent, namely, me. :o)
I fail to see the logic here.
Where was mgt. When Cokie Roberts practically cried on the radio when Bush won? Or attacked a fellow reporter who appeared to be conservative when Bush was nominated? Honestly, this firing doesn’t impress me at all.
NPR is way biased, and with this firing, now they rate as hypocritical as well.
Coffee mugs and tote bags for the 99%!!
Bill of Rights reads Congress shall make no law... Did Congress make a law prohibiting her free speech? Well McCain-Feingold does that, but that's not what she's accused of violating.
The only possible interpretation that might agree with her is if you consider that National Peoples' Radio is a government organization, and in fact by firing her, a part of the government did violate her rights. Best answer of all - GET RID OF NPR COMPLETELY.
Stop accepting public funds and you don't have to answer to the government.
Right now, you're a dancing bear wearing a muzzle.
Free your mind NPR. Get off the dole.
Funny....when you don’t show up for work, they stop giving it to you.
Funny....when you don’t show up for work, they stop giving it to you.
Pharmboy, What do you think? Should the Federal Government intevene everytime an employee complains they were fired unjustly? They are already involved in the termination or furlough of all minorities, women and senior citizens. Do you know what it takes to fire someone today?
Now, we may not agree with NPR (I seldome do), but I would be a hypocrite to change my beliefs based on a circumstance that is more or less in my political or opinionated favor.
When they fired Juan Williams for appearing on Fox with an opinion I said, "They can do that. It's a free country... as long as they didn't fire him because he was black, disabled, a woman, a senior citizen, Latino, Asian or Gay. As long as he wasn't fired for claiming he had been sxually harrassed or experienced retribution for a complaint of assault antimidation, sexual assault, racial or sexual orientation antimidation. Then the government should do nothing to intervene."
(I hope you all see the irony in my previous paragraph)
LOL its a little like getting fired from Free Republic.
Precisely my first thought too.
But look at it this way Lisa, you can now legitimately claim to be among the 15% of OWS rioters who are unemployed.
You’re legit!! LOL!
She's the lovely gal that said she would “laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out” if she were to see conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh suffering a heart attack.
I guess wishing death upon a conservative is ethical...Oh well...
Of course a radio board I frequent has a thread called “Here We Go Again” and the first post, by the Big A, starts:
>>nce again, House Republicans are targeting NPR:
>>So they’re not targeting public broadcasting as a whole, or CPB. Just NPR. Why? Because of some unproven mythology about liberal bias. It’s one thing to believe the government shouldn’t be in the broadcasting business. Fine: defund the FCC too. It’s one thing to want to cut down on unnecessary bureacracy. Eliminate CPB. But that’s not what they’re doing. It’s continued retribution for Juan Williams. Talk about holding a grudge.
Logic is wasted on NPR sycophants.
So glad my tax $$ are subsidizing this. < |:/~
The word everybody seems to be overlooking is leader. They are saying that she is the leader of this nascent socialist movement.
The group is laughable in it's mindless, kiddy Kamp enthusiasm, but it is ominous in it's possibilities.
Don't confuse the leaders with the followers.
Marx in the Parks gang!! I love it. Should be the new moniker for these kids.
Funny, the press and the protesters are all celebrating all the good food they have and are cooking for themselves. Think about that. A bunch of 20 and 30 year old’s cheering themselves on for feeding themselves! What an accomplishment - acting like real grownups! These are adults that never had to do anything for themselves. Now they want adulation for how smart and resourceful they are getting food to themselves in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world! Priceless.