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Friday, October 22, 2010

Open Letter to NPR

Dear NPR bosses.

I understand that you sent out a memo ordering NPR jounalists to not attend the Rally for Sanity/and fear.

the bosses at NPR actually made an even more bizarre decision earlier this month, when they told the network's journalists they could not attend the much-hyped Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert "rally" on the National Mall on Oct. 30; their memo said "NPR journalists may not participate in marches and rallies involving causes or issues that NPR covers,"

Did you send out a similar memo ordering NPR journalists to not attend the recent rally featuring Glenn Beck ?

I ask for information, but I guess the answer is no, since you didn't imagine that any NPR journalists would attend (or that the ones who would are the ones who would denounce you alleging that you were violated their first amendment right to peaceably assemble).

If the answer is yes, I apologize for this speculation. If the answer is no, then I must denounce you for biased pressure on NPR journalists, in which you make it clear that they must not act as liberals, but may act as conservatives. I can't imagine any justification for sending just one memo.

Update: Open letter answered. The answer to my question is no, they did not send a memo telling NPR reporters not to attend the Beck rally.

questions on how it handled Beck’s rally and the Oct. 2 gathering on the Mall for the “One Nation” progressive rally.

NPR did not advise staff to not attend those two rallies

Note that Alicia C. Shepard asserts that there were questions about the "One Nation" rally. I assume that she is not lying to her readers. I expect she can back up her claim of fact that there were such questions. If not, she must be fired. It just can't be that she is the one who decided to bring up the case of the "One Nation" rally. She definitely asserts the contrary. Obviously a false claim on a matter of fact is a firing offence.

So new questions. Who asked if NPR administration sent out a similar memo referring to the "One Nation" rally ? How many people asked ? Did they ask via e-mails, blog posts, phone calls, faxes, or smoke signals ? Maybe Alicia Shepard is the only person who asked the question and the only person who answered it by consulting her memory. Does that count ? Are ombudspeople allowed to report on events which take place only in their heads without noting that detail ?

Also is it really wise to type "One never truly knows what a lousy job the blogosphere is capable of until one is at the center of a story." I don't think one is wise to insult the blogosphere. Or to challenge it. Ohhhh, you think my original post was humorless, exagerated, paranoid, and hostile ? It was nothing. When challenged, I can give you some realll humorless hostility*.

How's about trying to answer another question "can that nutcase really put my job in danger ?" Fortunately the answer is "of course not."

Aside from the question of whether NPR posts falsehoods, I note that the she concedes the memo was a mistake, but did come up with a justification. Allegedly it wasn't clear to some NPR reportes if the Stewart/Colbert rally was considered political (so forbidden) or entertainment (so allowed). The ombudsman doesn't explain why the memo wasn't titled "When is a rally really a rally" and why it didn't end with the conclusion that this rally is really a rally (there was no need to remind people of the rule against attending real rallies).

I would really have liked a memo which noted that, this cycle, to be pro-sanity is to be partisan, and the NPR can't favor the sane over the insane. Note the balance. The memo wouldn't say which party has gone insane. Maybe the point would have been that Harry Reid is a wild and Craaaazzzy guyyyyy.

*humorless in the sense of not being funny not in the sense of not trying to be funny.

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