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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.