December 07, 2009

Did Obama Administration Try to Silence NPR Reporter?

Executives at National Public Radio recently asked the network's top political correspondent, Mara Liasson, to reconsider her regular appearances on Fox News because of what they perceived as the network's political bias, two sources familiar with the effort said.

According to a source, Liasson was summoned in early October by NPR's executive editor for news, Dick Meyer, and the network's supervising senior Washington editor, Ron Elving. The NPR executives said they had concerns that Fox’s programming had grown more partisan, and they asked Liasson to spend 30 days watching the network.

At a follow-up meeting last month, Liasson reported that she'd seen no significant change in Fox's programming and planned to continue appearing on the network, the source said.

NPR’s focus on Liasson's work as a commentator on Fox's "Special Report" and "Fox News Sunday" came at about the same time as a White House campaign launched in September to delegitimize the network by painting it as an extension of the Republican Party.

So NPR—a reliably left-leaning organization—has a problem with Liasson's appearances on Fox News—which she had been doing for a decade—at precisely the same time that the Obama Administration was trying to destroy the network's credibility.

The real question here is whether someone in the Obama Administration asked Elving and Meyer to pressure Liasson to leave Fox News, and if such influence is unethical or illegal.

I know... we can ask the Justice Department to investi—

Dang. Never mind.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at December 7, 2009 11:37 AM

Unthinkable! ...OK, maybe not.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at December 7, 2009 11:49 AM

I always like to watch Mara. That segment of the show is a must see for me, and I appreciate her well articulated somewhat leftist point of view. It would be a mistake for NPR to get her off Fox. She's presenting their pov to a lot of people like me. She does it in a better way than my area's newspaper.

Posted by: Jayne at December 7, 2009 08:38 PM

Wonder if this will cause Mara to reconsider the company she keeps at NPR?


Posted by: Richard McEnroe at December 7, 2009 11:34 PM

the Justice Department has, for now, ordered two key career attorneys not to comply with a subpoena about the case issued by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Posted by: Neo at December 8, 2009 12:09 AM