NPR Drops Opera Show Over Host's Help for Occupy DC

A day after radio host Lisa Simeone was fired from her documentary show Soundprint for being a "leader" of Occupy DC, NPR announced it would stop distributing her other show, World of Opera. Which means that Republicans will definitely stop kicking NPR around, now.

In a nutshell, Simeone helped organize Occupy DC (to what extent, it's not clear), and because NPR is deeply afraid of appearing liberal (hint: you guys appear liberal because you produce quality journalism) and losing some portion of its funding thanks to Congressional loudmouths, it dropped her show. This is manifestly stupid of NPR, but it's hard to feel anything but pity for the network, the default stance of which seems to be "trembling with fear." I want to send NPR to a shrink, or something. I want to tell NPR to cut off the GOP and move to another state. I want it to start going to the gym and saying daily self-affirmations.

I also want it to read its own goddamn ethics code:

NPR's ethics code states that "NPR journalists may not participate in marches and rallies" involving issues NPR covers. The code notes that some provisions may not apply to outside contributors. It uses a freelancer who primarily contributes arts coverage as an example.

Rehm said the network didn't need to cite the code in its decision to drop the show because its position on hosts' political activities was "even more fundamental."

Simeone, who lives in Baltimore, is a freelancer who has worked in radio and television for 25 years. She has hosted music shows and documentaries.

Luckily for fans of World of Opera ("the only radio show in the nation devoted to broadcasting full-length operas from around the world"), WDAV—the member station that produces the show—will distribute it on its own, because fuck NPR for being such enormous craven weenies about this.

[AP]