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What You Don’t Know About NPR CEO Katherine the Not-So-Great

Look who's running the show now.

Katherine Maher was likely the perfect choice for CEO of National Public Radio (NPR) when she was appointed to that position a month ago. She is a dyed-in-the-wool leftist with a gilded professional pedigree plying her trade at organizations such as the Wikimedia Foundation, the World Economic Forum, and the Council on Foreign Relations, among others. She’s blonde, beautiful, and thoroughly steeped in the elite leftism that has overtaken American institutions.

Maher (no relation to TV personality Bill Maher) is a rabid anti-Trumpist who has called the former president a “deranged racist sociopath,” worked to “get out the vote” for Joe Biden in Arizona, and has the hard left lexicon down pat. Why does this make her perfect for a taxpayer-funded American broadcast outlet? Perhaps because she embodies what NPR has morphed into since its debut more than 50 years ago.

In heralding the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, President Lyndon Johnson intoned: “So today we rededicate a part of the airwaves – which belong to all the people – and we dedicate them for the enlightenment of all the people.” Notice the repeated phrase “all the people.” How could such a noble concept go so awry?

NPR: Going, Going, Gone

NPR’s former senior editor, Uri Berliner, had been with the company for half its existence. Having watched the illustrious aspirations of a public broadcaster ground to dust, he could take it no longer and finally blew the whistle on what we already knew: that NPR stopped considering all things – a la their famed morning program All Things Considered – and determined to consider only some of them. Fairly adept at seeing the handwriting on the wall, Berliner left, resigning after a five-day suspension for writing an article that pointed out a lack of diversity that no longer represented America in an organization run entirely by Democrats. This is what makes NPR a perfect fit for its new CEO.

Hats off** to Christopher F. Rufo, who has written an illuminating article about NPR’s new CEO by digging into the weeds of her Twitter/X posts. It appears Ms. Maher has used this platform as a cathartic friend who listens to her frustrations, joys, and all the emotions one would typically communicate to a human being. What Rufo found among this plethora of personification, i.e., attributing human characteristics to an inanimate social media platform, is very disturbing if one believes that a taxpayer-funded organization should display at least a modicum of balance.

Katherine Maher’s tweets indicate that she is a very partisan actor. As Rufo explains:

“The most troubling of these conclusions is her support for radically narrowing the range of acceptable opinions. In 2020, she argued that the New York Times should not have published Senator Tom Cotton’s op-ed, ‘Send in the Troops,’ during the George Floyd riots. In 2021, she celebrated the banishment of then-president Donald Trump from social media, writing: ‘Must be satisfying to deplatform fascists. Even more satisfying? Not platforming them in the first place.’”

In one of the videos she made while working at the Atlantic Council, Maher explained how the First Amendment is a roadblock to censorship because it is “a fairly robust protection of rights.” She firmly believes it is the job of a public platform to “regulate what kind of content they want on their sites.” One must wonder if she would feel the same way had Twitter censored some of her 29,400 tweets.

In his article on Maher, Rufo concludes: “The new CEO of NPR, then, is a left-wing ideologue who supports wide-scale censorship and considers the First Amendment an impediment to her campaign to sanitize the world of wrong opinions.” This makes her the arbiter of what is right and what is wrong.

All this would be well and good if the taxpayer could check a box and decide whether to fund public broadcasting or not. That, however, is not the case. Instead, conservatives are left with no choice: You will fund it, and you will like it.

Maher is certainly entitled to her opinions. She may spew her leftist lingo far and wide. However, as CEO of a public broadcasting entity, she has a responsibility to extend a hand of fairness, cover all sides of an issue, and let Americans decide for themselves. There is room for plenty of conservative news outlets as well as leftist ones, but National Public Radio adhering to leftist ideology goes against the very grain of its purpose.

If her Twitter/X account is any indication – and it is – then putting Ms. Maher atop a tax-payer-funded public broadcasting outlet is anathema to its original purpose and abominable to the American public.

~

** Note from the editor: Liberty Nation’s Joe Schaeffer wrote a story on NPR and Maher several months before Rufo’s article. You can read it here.

Read More From Leesa K. Donner

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