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Saturday, October 22, 2011

NPR Dumps 'World of Opera' Because Of Host Lisa Simeone's Occupier Participation

By Susan Duclos

Following up on recent news of "World of Opera" host Lisa Simeone’s participation in an Occupy DC group where as a freelancer associated with NPR it appeared she violated NPR's code of ethics, we now see news that NPR will no longer distribute the member station-produced program "World of Opera" to about 60 stations across the country because the show host helped organize an ongoing Washington protest. (Via Huffington Post)

Instead, North Carolina-based classical music station WDAV, which produces the show, said it will distribute the nationally syndicated program on its own beginning Nov. 11. The station said it plans to keep Lisa Simeone as host and has said her involvement in a political protest does not affect her job as a music program host.

NPR spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm said the network disagrees with the station on the role of program hosts but respects its position.

"Our view is it's a potential conflict of interest for any journalist or any individual who plays a public role on behalf of NPR to take an active part in a political movement or advocacy campaign," she told The Associated Press. "Doing so has the potential to compromise our reputation as an organization that strives to be impartial and unbiased."

Also according to Rehm, NPR does not need to cite their code of ethics because an overriding factor is it's position on hosts' political activities which they say is "even more fundamental."

[Update]Funny but I don't remember these people complaining very much when NPR took action against Juan Williams.

Please, if you saw either of these bloggers pitching a fit about William's firing by NPR, leave a link and I will add it as an update.