Taxpayer-funded NPR issued a revealing statement on Wednesday addressing Twitter’s decision to label NPR as “U.S. state-affiliated media” in its bio.
NPR, whose budget is subsidized nearly 11 percent by taxpayer funds, declared it was “disturbed” about the social media platform’s decision to be transparent about the subsidization of NPR.
President and CEO John Lansing called the label “inaccurate,” while arguing the organization “stands for freedom of speech & holding the powerful accountable. A vigorous, vibrant free press is essential to the health of our democracy”:
NPR stands for freedom of speech & holding the powerful accountable. A vigorous, vibrant free press is essential to the health of our democracy.
My full statement on the recent inaccurate Twitter label below: pic.twitter.com/kdusUNtNUo
— John Lansing (@johnlansing) April 5, 2023
Wow, way to make this label meaningless. NPR is absolutely not even comparable to propaganda outlets like RT & Sputnik, which have no editorial independence. This is ridiculous and only helps actual propaganda outlets blend in with legitimate news outlets. pic.twitter.com/xD44Ijntwe
— Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D (@RVAwonk) April 5, 2023
NPR also slammed the label by publishing in an article titled, “Twitter labels NPR’s account as ‘state-affiliated media,’ which is untrue.”
In the piece, NPR reporter Bill Chappell reached out for comment to Yoel Roth, who was Twitter’s head of trust and safety and a notoriously left-wing employee with a history of political tweets who previously equated members of the Trump administration with Nazis. Roth departed Twitter after Elon Musk purchased the platform.
“Twitter’s decision to label NPR as a state media outlet flies in the face of years of research, all evidence about NPR’s funding and governance, and Twitter’s own policies and principles,” Roth claimed.
“Establishing a false equivalency between public broadcasters and editorial control of media by government is misleading,” he said, “and undermines the essential work of providing transparency about state-backed propaganda efforts around the world.”
Many NPR affiliates have a history of attacking conservatives and Republican lawmakers. In March, Republican House Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) was targeted by a taxpayer-funded NPR affiliate in New York State.
Taxpayer-funded NPR will lay off ten percent of its workforce, going from approximately 1,200 to about 1,050 employees, after the left-wing media company failed to generate enough revenue, the organization announced Thursday. https://t.co/LRRHQIz5lO
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) March 24, 2023
“Taxpayer-funded disinformation outlet NCPR, caught unlawfully sending emails supporting Democrat candidates, continues their strange, sexist obsession with lying about Elise Stefanik,” senior adviser to Stefanik, Alex DeGrasse, told Breitbart News.
In 2021, NPR published false claims in a book review of Hunter Biden’s memoir that his laptop was Russian disinformation. It has since issued a correction, referencing the now-debunked Politico story on October 19, 2020, which used “dozens of former intel officials” to push a false and misleading narrative about the origins of Hunter’s laptop.
The selective coverage appears to be costing the taxpayer-funded network. NPR announced in March it will lay off 10 percent of its workforce, going from approximately 1,200 to about 1,050 employees, after the left-wing media company failed to generate enough revenue.