NPR Editor Suspended After Exposing Alleged Liberal Bias

NPR suspends senior editor for criticizing network's liberal bias, reigniting debate over media bias and transparency. CEO's past tweets also draw scrutiny, prompting NPR to review coverage.

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NPR Editor Suspended After Exposing Alleged Liberal Bias

NPR Editor Suspended After Exposing Alleged Liberal Bias

National Public Radio (NPR) has suspended senior business editor Uri Berliner for five days without pay after he published an essay criticizing the network for having a liberal viewpoint with little tolerance for contrary opinions. Berliner, who has worked at NPR for 25 years, wrote in his essay for The Free Press that NPR's coverage has become the "distilled worldview of a very small segment of the U.S. population."

The suspension has angered many of Berliner's colleagues and provided ammunition to conservative critics of NPR, including former President Donald Trump. NPR said Berliner violated company policy by failing to secure approval for outside work, which is required of NPR journalists. Berliner's essay specifically criticized NPR's coverage of Trump, accusations against President Biden's son Hunter, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

NPR's top editor, Edith Chapin, strongly disagreed with Berliner's conclusions, while another NPR colleague, Steve Inskeep, said the essay was filled with errors and assumptions. Berliner said he would not appeal the suspension.

Why this matters: The incident has reignited a long-running debate about alleged liberal bias in public media and raised questions about journalistic independence and transparency. It comes as trust in national news organizations is declining amid growing political polarization in the U.S.

The controversy has also brought renewed scrutiny to NPR's new chief executive, Katherine Maher, over her past social media posts criticizing Trump. Berliner argued that Maher's tweets undercut her message of serving the "American public" and that NPR needs a leader who can be "unifying and bring more people into the tent." In response to the criticism, NPR has announced it will implement monthly internal reviews of its coverage.

Key Takeaways

  • NPR suspended senior editor Uri Berliner for 5 days without pay for an essay criticizing NPR's liberal bias.
  • Berliner's essay argued NPR's coverage reflects the views of a small segment of the U.S. population.
  • The suspension angered Berliner's colleagues and provided ammunition to NPR's conservative critics, including Trump.
  • NPR's new CEO, Katherine Maher, faced scrutiny over past tweets criticizing Trump.
  • In response, NPR announced monthly internal reviews of its coverage to address concerns about bias.