You are hereBlogs

Blogs


NPR Gets Radio Host Fired for Occupying

[UPDATES BELOW

in short, NPR claims Soundprint acted on its own to fire Simeone

but NPR was publicly pushing the issue -- see that blog post I linked to

and the Soundprint exec producer referred to NPR's ethics policy when firing Simeone

NPR also pushed WDAV to take action (presumably by firing Simeone, no other actions having been discussed) and WDAV refused, resulting in the announcement by both WDAV and NPR that WDAV would not fire her

Simeone has been fired by Soundprint but not by WDAV]

National Public Radio on Wednesday discovered that a woman named Lisa Simeone who produced hosted a show about opera called "World of Opera" had been participating in a nonviolent occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., organized by October2011.org.  That same day, NPR persuaded a company for which Simeone worked to fire her, cutting her income in half and purging from the so-called public airwaves a voice that had never mentioned politics on NPR.

This frantic email was sent to all NPR staff:

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 Simeone’s 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 mediarelations@npr.org. We will keep you updated as needed. Thanks.

##

Also see NPR's blog post about this here.

About three and a half hours after the above email was sent, Simeone had been fired by a show called Soundprint as punishment for having been "unethical."  Here is her bio on that show's website.  And here she is on NPR's.

Soundprint is a show that does touch on politics and includes political viewpoint in Simeone's ledes, but it is not an NPR program and not distributed by NPR.  It is, however, heard on public radio stations.  Despite the title "NPR World of Opera," that show is produced by a small station called WDAV for which Simeone contracts.  Simeone was not an NPR employee.  WDAV has not expressed any concern over Simeone's "ethics."

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?"

Let's be clear about Simeone's political activities.  We have three quarters of the country wanting billionaires taxed, two-thirds wanting wars ended, large majorities wanting funding moved from the military to green energy and education and jobs.  Simeone has been taking part in a nonviolent encampment designed to facilitate the petitioning of our government for a redress of grievances, a right guaranteed by the First Amendment.  That's all.  She has been participating.  Nothing more. There is nothing more specific to the allegation, nothing in particular that she has allegedly done other than participate in a nonviolent mass mobilization on behalf of majority opinion.

It may be difficult for NPR bigwigs to understand why we don't all just rent $400 per night hotel rooms instead of littering a public square with tents.  But NPR's highly paid political agitators on behalf of the 1% are part of the problem.  They are what we are protesting.  And that is presumably what makes our speech and assembly "unethical." 

Or perhaps the breach of ethics is to be found in behaving as a decent citizen while simultaneously possessing some connection to the most insidious corporate loudspeaker in the country, one labeled "public" but belonging to the 1%.

The most important point to stress here, I think, is that all requests should be routed through NPR Communications at 202-513-2300 or mediarelations@npr.org

 

UPDATE: NPR claims not to have caused the Soundprint firing (and to only be pushing for action against Lisa by WDAV):

David,

Your post this morning was wholly inaccurate. We’d ask you to please make corrections immediately.

To set the record straight, here are the facts:

It has been reported that NPR had a role in the decision made by the management of the public radio program Soundprint to end its relationship with Lisa Simeone as the program's host. This is not true. Soundprint is an independent public radio program that is not produced by NPR. NPR had no contact with the management of the program prior to their decision. We learned about it after the fact, through media reports. 

Other than Lisa's role as host, Soundprint and WDAV's World of Opera are completely unrelated. As we indicated last night, we are in conversation with WDAV about this matter. We fully respect that the management of WDAV is solely responsible for the decision making around Lisa's participation in Occupy DC and her freelance role with WDAV's program.

You may find more at our blog, www.npr.org/thisisnpr

When will you correct your post to remove NPR from the equation?Please let me know if you have questions.  

Thank you,

Anna

 | Anna Christopher Bross | Director, Media Relations | achristopher@npr.org | 202.513.2304 | 202.680.3848 | @NPRanna

 

UPDATE 2: WDAV has stood strong in the face of NPR pressure and will not fire Simeone. NPR has confirmed this

Classical public radio station WDAV says Lisa Simeone will continue to host World of Opera.

Please contact WDAV for further details: http://www.wdav.org/default.htm

Simeone thus far remains fired from Soundprint.

UPDATE 3: The Executive Producer of Soundprint, when firing Simeone, told her on the phone that she had violated NPR's code of ethics.  She [the executive producer of Soundprint] brought NPR into it.

UPDATE 4: Public supports Simeone on WDAV website: Read the comments below the post.

 

POLICE BACK OFF FROM GRANDMOTHERS AS THE GRANNY PEACE BRIGADE OCCUPIES LINCOLN CENTER


Culture seekers streaming through Lincoln Center Tuesday evening, Oct. 18, were undoubtedly surprised to see a tableau not usually seen at the arts complex.  Approximately 60 members of the Granny Peace Brigade and their followers formed a semi-circle around the fountain located in the midst of the plaza surrounded by the Koch Theatre (home of the New York City Ballet); the Metropolitan Opera House, and Avery Fisher Hall.

 

Obama's Imperial Arrogance

  Obama's Imperial Arrogance - by Stephen Lendman

 

Candidate Obama promised peace. As president, he double downed Bush and then some, waging multiple direct and proxy wars.

 

The business of America is war. Washington has a permanent war policy. Republicans and Democrats perpetuate it.

 

Major Media Liars Never Quit

  Major Media Liars Never Quit - by Stephen Lendman

 

Whenever major media Libya reports appear, truth is distorted, manipulated and falsified. For seven months, despite daily terror bombing and ground attacks, courageous loyalists bested the ferocity of NATO and its rebel army.

 

As a result, they control most of Tripoli, Benghazi and other cities across the country. Fighting, however, still rages. Loyalists are holding their own. They're determined to liberate Libya, live free and rebuild. 

Occupying America: Sowing the Seeds of a Second American Revolution

By Lori Spencer



"There are combustibles in every state which a spark might set fire to." 

          -- George Washington's letter to General Henry Knox concerning the

                  Shay's Rebellion, 1786


One month ago, a group of some 1000 demonstrators gathered in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park to protest the pillaging of the nation's economy by powerful corporations and international houses of high finance. While these young activists were entirely peaceful, they also made it clear that this would be no hippie-dippy flower-twirling love-in, sit-in, teach-in, or even a camp-in; this was an occupation. The demonstrators announced that they intended to Occupy Wall Street 24/7, stayinguntil hell freezes over if need be.

 

The New York City police welcomed them warmly with pepper spray and more than a few violent smack-downs, even going so far as to arrest some 700 protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge who werelured into a position where they could be charged with blocking traffic.

 

How We Got Arrested in the Senate Finance Committee

I've been arrested before and always paid a fine right away, perhaps because I was part of a larger group.  This time they're threatening us with fines and jail, which I certainly did not expect. Watch:

 

 

 

 

Economic Tremors

  Economic Tremors - by Stephen Lendman

 

Sovereign default threatens Greece. Progressive Radio News Hour contributor Bob Chapman warns when it goes, all troubled Eurozone countries will follow.

 

Is it imminent? Likely not. More likely is winter or next spring. But given its troubled state, it's just a matter of time.

 

Life in East Jerusalem

  Life in East Jerusalem - by Stephen Lendman

 

Palestinians suffer grievously under occupation, including in East Jerusalem. Israel wants it entirely Judaized as its capital even though legally it's an international city under UN trusteeship.

 

No matter. Palestinians face daily hardships and abuses, including its elected officials.

 

All Hail the Unknown Organizer!

 

By Charles M. Young

 

Liberated Autonomous Manhattan -- In a century, community organizers will still be debating what to call Zuccotti Park/Liberty Plaza/Liberty Square. The surrounding skyscrapers will be covered with luxuriant tomato vines hanging from rooftop organic gardens. Electricity will be generated by solar panels and fermenting compost. Inside, the skyscrapers will be humming with intense conversation at the Occupy Education Graduate School of Revolutionary Studies, open to anyone willing to teach everyone wanting to learn.

Visitors to the park will meander through meticulously maintained sidewalks that wind in fractals through authentic tarps and wet sleeping bags from the early 21st century. Scent generators will alternately waft herbal cigarettes, sandalwood incense and mildew into the breeze.

America's Multi-Headed Monster

  America's Multi-Headed Monster - by Stephen Lendman

 

It' combines and represents:

  •  
  • money power in private hands to make more of it at the public's expense;

 

  • super-wealth and privilege;

 

Lies, Damn Lies, and NATO Claiming Control Across Libya

  Lies, Damn Lies, and NATO Claiming Control Across Libya - by Stephen Lendman

 

At an October 11 press briefing, NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu claimed Operation Unified Protector (NATO's aggression on Libya) "has been a great success. We're pretty close to the end, but we're not there yet."

 

Quds Force II - The Storyline Repeats Itself

By Michael Collins

(Washington, DC)  A faction of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard called the Quds Force (QF) is center stage in the War on Terror for the second time in five years. In 2007, President George W. Bush hauled out the group of middle and upper level Iranian government officials as a rationale for military action against Iran. The decisive shutdown of the Bush effort marks a critical turning point in recent history and will be discussed later in the article.

QF II began last Tuesday when FBI Director Robert Mueller and Attorney General Eric Holder unified the terror storyline between the rabid neoconservatives of the Bush era and the low key loyalists to the national security state in the Obama administration.

Holder and Mueller accused, "elements of the Iranian government of plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington," the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. In essence, this military faction allegedly hired an outsider to murder the Saudi ambassador to the United States. With the full knowledge of the Iranian government, the outsider tried to hire a Mexican drug lord for the high level hit. Attorney General Holder announced that the United States is "holding the Iranian government accountable." Holder went on to state the official position of the government, namely that the Iranian government entity behind the plot was the Quds Force.

We the 99% Demand a Totally Different Federal Budget

99% Budget

We can fit our demands on a bumpersticker: "Majority Rule" or "People Over Profits" or "Love Not Greed."  But we don't want to.  Our government is doing everything wrong, and we should be allowed to present the full list of grievances.  We can, however, give the world a thousand words' worth in an image, a pie chart to be exact.  Our federal budget funds the wrong things.  We want it to fund the right things.

Here are pie charts produced by some of us members of the 99%: gallery.

Here's where you can make your own: start.

 

Street-Teachin on drones and the war

Debra Sweet, National Director of World Can't Wait, at Occupy Wall Street, leading a Street-Teachin on drones and the war.http://warcriminalswatch.org/index.php/news/87-videos/1092-10-11-11-debra-sweet-at-occupy-wall-street-teach-in-on-wars-and-drones-

Arrests Around the World

Let's add this one to the large number of arrests being reported in NY and around the world.

"Tonight, Progressive Caucus Chair Karen Bernal, activist Cindy Sheehan and at least one dozen other peaceful protestors were arrested at Occupy Sacramento.  I counted about 35 police vehicles and dozens of officers in riot gear as the peaceful demonstrators occupied Cesar Chavez Park after a day when hundreds of protestors marched to the CA State Capitol.  I'm sending this from my phone, but will have more details, photos and video in the morning." --Bill Lackemacher

Obama vs. Jobs; Hope vs. Reality

Last week, President Obama racked up several more broken campaign promises as he pushed through Congress three new job-killing corporate trade agreements.  The Senate Finance Committee was quite open about the fact that these agreements will kill off more jobs and eager to mitigate the damage with band aids attached to the treaties.  Some of us who were in the hearing room felt an obligation to speak up and ask why in the world the senators -- with perfect bipartisan harmony -- insisted on causing the damage in the first place.  And for that we were thrown in jail.

Imagine the denunciations of human rights abuses in Colombia if the plan for that country this week were war rather than corporate exploitation to produce impoverishment to produce drug crops to produce war.  Imagine the denunciations of human rights abuses in Iran having continued as usual if U.S. cops weren't cracking skulls in New York, Boston, Denver, and San Diego.  Maybe we wouldn't have needed the Tale of the Moronic Mexican Iranian Assassins at all.

Also last week, President Obama pretended to try to pass a weak gesture in the way of lessening the damage of his policies with separate legislation known as a "jobs bill."  But he made no serious effort to get it passed and according to many observers wanted it to fail.  It was blocked by Democrats as well as Republicans in a Democratic Senate.  Nonetheless, the purpose was apparently to create a campaign ad for what the same president will supposedly try to do in 2013 if reelected, and if tens of millions of us are still obediently filling out job applications.

Ongoing Israeli Human Rights Abuses

  Ongoing Israeli Human Rights Abuses - by Stephen Lendman

 

Throughout its history, Israel's been a serial human rights abuser. Count the ways. 

 

State-sponsored terror is official policy. So is collective punishment, apartheid, colonialism, premeditated war, torture, and filling prison cells illegally with Palestinians wanting to live free on their own land in their own country.

 

Israeli/Palestinian Prisoner Swap

  Israeli/Palestinian Prisoner Swap - by Stephen Lendman

 

Since Hamas captured Gilad Shalit on June 25, 2006, on and off talks negotiated his release. 

 

Hamas took him captive, responding to repeated Israeli attacks, including a widely reported beach shelling. It killed eight Palestinians, injuring 32 others, including 13 children. Israel denied responsibility, falsely blaming a Hamas mine despite forensic evidence proving otherwise.

Thugs on the Job: The NYPD, Protecting and Serving...Wall Street

 

By John Grant

 

At the end of this chaotic YouTube video, made at the end of a huge victory by the activists occupying Wall Street, and their thousands of supporters, one of many outraged demonstrators is heard hollering: "He ran over his fuckin' leg!"

Well, I've looked at the video three times and that seems a pretty accurate description of what this cop did.

At first, the scooter's front wheel seems to be in front of the young man's leg. The guy, by the way, is a clearly legal observer wearing an official National Lawyers Guild yellow observer hat. He seems to be in serious agony at this point. So it seems likely he has already been run over once.

Pushing the Envelope for Confrontation with Iran

  Pushing the Envelope for Confrontation with Iran - by Stephen Lendman

 

Currently waging multiple imperial wars, Obama perhaps plans more. 

 

On October 11, the Department of Justice charged Iranian involvement in a fake terror plot to kill Saudi Arabia's US ambassador, blow up the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Argentina, and smuggle opium into Mexico.

 

Libyan Loyalists Resist NATO, Rebels and Propaganda

  Libyan Loyalists Fight NATO, Rebels and Propaganda - by Stephen Lendman

 

Reporting more propaganda than legitimate news, Al Jazeera broadcast another lie about NTC fighters, claiming Mutassim Gaddafi's capture, saying:

 

"....(O)ne of Gaddafi's sons has been captured in Sirte, according to" NTC officials. He's "currently being held in Benghazi....after being arrested on Wednesday."

 

Petraeus's CIA Helps Make the "Implausible" Plausible

Petraeus’s CIA Fuels Iran Murder Plot

By Ray McGovern

Editor’s Note (Consortiumnews.com):  The U.S. media and public are being riled up again with a new set of allegations against Iran, this time for a bizarre assassination plot aimed at the Saudi ambassador in Washington. But former CIA analyst Ray McGovern addresses the role being played by former general and current CIA director David Petraeus in what has the earmarks of an amateur Hollywood script.

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, in his accustomed role as unofficial surrogate CIA spokesman, has thrown light on how the CIA under its new director, David Petraeus, helped craft the screenplay for this week’s White House spy feature: the Iranian-American-used-car-salesman-Mexican-drug-cartel plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.

OCCUPY WALL STREET: Separating Fact from Media

 


By WALTER BRASCH 


 


Newspaper columnist Ann Coulter, spreading the lies of the extreme right wing, called the Occupy Wall Street protestors, “tattooed, body-pierced, sunken-chested 19-year-olds getting in fights with the police for fun.” She claimed the protestors, now in the thousands in New York, are “directionless losers [who] pose for cameras while uttering random liberal clichés lacking any reason or coherence.” (Several hundred thousand of these “directionless losers” are expected to attend rallies in more than 650 cities, Oct. 15.)

Beating Up on Iran

  Beating Up on Iran - by Stephen Lendman

 

After Washington bogusly accused Iran of an implausible terror plot on US soil, America's media brazenly regurgitated official lies.

 

It's nothing new. It's what they do instead of providing real news, information and analysis. Long ago they stopped trying, especially on television. It's little more than a worthless sinkhole no one should waste time on watching.

 

Abbas, UN Membership and Peace Talks

  Abbas, UN Membership and Peace Talks - by Stephen Lendman

 

Globetrotting to enlist UN membership support, Abbas told Time magazine in Columbia on October 11 that he'll resume talks if Israel accepts the Quartet's proposal.

 

Support This Site

Donate.

Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.

 

Sponsors:

 

Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.

Speaking Events

2015

Feb 21 Charlottesville

April 11 Michigan

April 25 Houston

August 27, Chicago

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.