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Veteran NPR editor resigns after accusing network of liberal bias

A National Public Radio editor, who accused the network of liberal bias in a scathing article published last week in The Free Press, has resigned. Photo courtesy of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
A National Public Radio editor, who accused the network of liberal bias in a scathing article published last week in The Free Press, has resigned. Photo courtesy of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

April 17 (UPI) -- National Public Radio editor Uri Berliner, who accused the network of liberal bias in a scathing article published last week in The Free Press, has resigned.

The veteran editor's resignation comes after NPR suspended him for five days without pay, over publicly proclaiming that the federally funded network had gone from reporting the news to "telling listeners how to think."

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"I am resigning from NPR, a great American institution where I have worked for 25 years," Berliner wrote in his resignation letter to NPR, which he posted Wednesday on X.

"I cannot work in a newsroom where I am disparaged by a new CEO whose divisive views confirm the very problems at NPR I cite in my Free Press essay," Berliner added, as he referred to chief executive officer Katherine Maher.

Berliner's resignation comes after Maher suspended him for five days without pay for publishing the piece that exposed an "87-to-zero ratio in registered Democrats versus Republicans in its headquarters," according to Berliner, who said he voted against Donald Trump twice, in 2016 and 2020.

"An open-minded spirit no longer exists within NPR, and now, predictably, we don't have an audience that reflects America," Berliner wrote in his essay. "That wouldn't be a problem for an openly polemical news outlet serving a niche audience. But for NPR, which purports to consider all things, it's devastating both for its journalism and its business model."

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Maher, who has not responded to Berliner's resignation, issued a statement Monday responding to messages she posted on social media years before joining NPR, some of which called Trump "racist."

"In America everyone is entitled to free speech as a private citizen," Maher said. "What matters is NPR's work and my commitment as its CEO: public service, editorial independence and the mission to serve all of the American public. NPR is independent, beholden to no party and without commercial interests."

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said Wednesday she plans to call for legislative action to end federal funding for NPR, as Berliner urged restraint.

"I don't support calls to defund NPR," Berliner wrote in his resignation letter.

"I respect the integrity of my colleagues and wish for NPR to thrive and do important journalism."

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