NPR Host Fired Over Role As Spokesperson For 'Occupy D.C.'
October 20, 2011 at 10:30 AM (PT)
Earlier TODAY (10/20), ALL ALLCCESS tipped you that a NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO host, acting as a spokesperson for the "Occupy D.C." protest in WASHINGTON, was being investigated by the network. That reporter, LISA SIMEONE has been fired.
SIMEONE, who hosts "WORLD OF OPERA" and "SOUNDPRINT," is serving as a spokesperson for the protest, which conservative website THE DAILY CALLER's MATTHEW BOYLE charged violates the NPR ethics policy. Asked about it by ROLL CALL, SIMEONE said she is a "freelancer," allowing her to work with the protest, which would otherwise run counter to the network's policy.
The NPR policy states, "NPR journalists may not engage in public relations work, paid or unpaid. Exceptions may be made for certain volunteer nonprofit, nonpartisan activities, such as participating in the work of a church, synagogue or other institution of worship, or a charitable organization, so long as this would not conflict with the interests of NPR in reporting on activities related to that institution or organization."
SIMEONE told THE ASSOCIATED PRESS that she is not a news reporter.
"I don't cover news. In none of the shows that I do, do I cover the news," she said. "What is NPR afraid I'll do? Insert a seditious comment into a synopsis of 'Madame Butterfly?'"