National Public Radio (NPR) characterized former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo as a “divisive arch-conservative” a mere hours after a gunman assassinated him during a campaign rally on Friday.
Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, was assassinated by a gunman who was reportedly “dissatisfied” with Abe’s political performance. Abe served as Japan’s prime minister from 2006 to 2007 and, more recently, from 2012 to 2020.
NPR posted the following tweet after Abe’s assassination:
Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a divisive arch-conservative and one of his nation’s most powerful and influential figures, has died after being shot during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan, hospital officials said.
However, NPR has since deleted its tweet after social media users were outraged with the outlet’s characterization of Abe.
“NPR referring to Japan’s most popular PM, who won his elections by large margins, as “divisive” indicates the inability of media outlets to genuinely report any longer,” Erielle Davison tweeted. Everything is a mural for their projection. So pathetic and so sad.
NPR referring to Japan’s most popular PM, who won his elections by large margins, as “divisive” indicates the inability of media outlets to genuinely report any longer. Everything is a mural for their projection. So pathetic and so sad.
— Erielle Davidson (@politicalelle) July 8, 2022
“Once you accept the simple reason why NPR and the CCP both treat Shinzo Abe the same you will understand what is truly going on in our world,” Human Events senior editor Jack Posobiec added.
Once you accept the simple reason why NPR and the CCP both treat Shinzo Abe the same you will understand what is truly going on in our world
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) July 8, 2022
Other users pointed out the difference between NPR’s coverage of Abe’s death and Cuban communist dictator Fidel Castro.
Former Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) tweeted:
When Fidel Castro died, NPR called him a “prominent international figure.” On Yasser Arafat’s death “a freedom fighter.” On Prime Minister’s Abu’s assassination, NPR’s statement: “a divisive arch-conservative and an ultranationalist.” Brought to you by your US tax dollars.
NPR describing Fidel Castro vs. NPR describing Shinzo Abe posthumously. pic.twitter.com/lP1SatxgkI
— Natalie Johnson (@nataliejohnsonn) July 8, 2022
Other users called for the taxpayer-funded news outlet to be defunded after its remarks about Abe.
“We taxpayers fund this propaganda,” Steve Cortes tweeted. “Time to defund NPR & PBS.”
We taxpayers fund this propaganda.
Time to defund NPR & PBS pic.twitter.com/GPsqbdaIsv
— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) July 8, 2022
“Will Republicans FINALLY get the balls to defund NPR?” Benny Johnson added.
Will Republicans FINALLY get the balls to defund NPR?
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) July 8, 2022
After the social media outrage, NPR deleted its initial tweet and replaced it with one characterizing the former prime minister as an “ultranationalist.”
“Shinzo Abe, the former Japanese prime minister and ultranationalist, was killed at a campaign rally on Friday,” NPR’s updated tweet read.
Interesting… @NPR went from “divisive arch-conservative” to “ultranationalist.” https://t.co/AYnVQ8Riu9 pic.twitter.com/p1x7Al1rIy
— Jacob Bliss (@JacobMBliss) July 8, 2022
“NPR deleted its first tweet calling Shinzo Abe a ‘divisive arch conservative’ and then posted this tweet calling him an ‘ultranationalist,’” David Shafer noted. “As if he were Tojo or Itagaki and not the four time elected leader of a modern democracy. May he rest in peace.”
Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.