House Republicans summon NPR CEO for hearing on 'rampant' bias allegations


FIRST ON FOX: The House Energy & Commerce Committee is summoning the head of NPR before Congress to answer accusations the outlet has a left-wing bias despite receiving federal funds.

“The Committee has concerns about the direction in which NPR may be headed under past and present leadership. As a taxpayer funded, public radio organization, NPR should focus on fair and objective news reporting that both considers and reflects the views of the larger U.S. population and not just a niche audience,” Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., wrote to NPR CEO Katherine Maher.

She led Morgan Griffith, R-Va., chair of the subcommittee on oversight, and Bob Latta, R-Ohio, chair of the subcommittee on communications and technology, in asking Maher to publicly testify before Griffith’s panel next week.

“You are requested to appear before the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee for a hearing on May 8, 2024, to explain the allegations of political and ideological bias rampant at NPR,” they wrote.

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A split image of Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Katherine Maher

The House Energy & Commerce Committee, led by Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, is probing NPR and its CEO, Katherine Maher. (Getty Images)

The lawmakers also sent Maher a list of questions, including about the political affiliations of registered voters working in the newsroom and whether any concerns were raised in recent years by NPR’s board of directors about political diversity in their workplace.

The committee also asked for any internal written materials regarding a lack of viewpoint diversity within NPR.

Conservatives have long accused NPR of reporting with a left-wing bias while some of its funding is provided through federal grants and other government-backed dollars.

Those concerns were recently magnified when former NPR editor Uri Berliner asserted in an op-ed that the outlet mishandled critical stories that stemmed from Hunter Biden’s laptop hard drive and COVID-19 lab leak theories, among others, and that registered Democrats were vastly overrepresented in the newsroom, 87-0.

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Uri Berliner

Former NPR editor Uri Berliner levied accusations of bias against the outlet. (JP Yim/WireImage)

“We also find it disconcerting that NPR’s coverage of major news in recent years has been so polarized as to preclude any need to uncover the truth. These have included news stories on matters of national security and importance, such as the Mueller report, the Hunter Biden laptop, and the COVID-19 origins investigation. On each of these issues, NPR has been accused of approaching its news reporting with an extreme left-leaning lens,” the lawmakers wrote.

They also took issue with Maher’s own past statements, including a 2021 TED Talk in which she said, according to the letter, “Our reverence for the truth might be a distraction that’s getting in the way of finding common ground and getting things done.”

“You yourself have stated that you view the First Amendment as ‘the number one challenge’ because speech protections make it ‘tricky’ to suppress ‘bad information’ and the ‘influence peddlers who have made a real market economy around it.’’ Ironically, both you and NPR have used the same First Amendment to protect your own views and statements,” they wrote. 

“In 2020, you took issue because The New York Times chose to publish an op-ed written by Republican Senator Tom Cotton, calling the piece ‘full of racist dog whistles.’”

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They asked that Maher answer their questions on NPR’s history by May 14.

Maher criticized the backlash against NPR in an interview with The Wall Street Journal last week, accusing her detractors of “bad faith distortion” of her views and statements.

Fox News Digital reached out to NPR for comment on the letter.



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