House Republicans Seek NPR CEO Testimony About Liberal Bias Allegations
Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican from Washington, speaks during a news conference about the ongoing protests happening on college campuses, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, April 30, 2024.
(Tierney L. Cross/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

House Republicans have requested Katherine Maher, who became the CEO of National Public Radio (NPR) in March, provide testimony to Congress about the allegations of left-wing bias at the network, an invitation that could lead to a high-profile clash on Capitol Hill next week.

Energy and Commerce Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) led a letter that was sent to Maher this week, asking the media executive to appear before the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on May 8 to address claims related to NPR’s coverage of topics related to politics, COVID, transgender issues, audience figures, the network’s own level of diversity, and more.

“The Committee has concerns about the direction in which NPR may be headed under past and present leadership. As a taxpayer funded, public radio organization, NPR should focus on fair and objective news reporting that both considers and reflects the views of the larger U.S. population and not just a niche audience,” the letter said.

Controversy rocked NPR when a longtime editor, Uri Berliner, went public last month with the bias allegations and lamented how NPR had “lost America’s trust” with an increasingly leftist bent. After being suspended for five days, Berliner stepped down, saying he could not work in a newsroom where he was being “disparaged by a new CEO whose divisive views confirm” the problems he cited.

Berliner’s resignation happened after Maher condemned what she said was a “deeply simplistic” and “profoundly disrespectful, hurtful, and demeaning” assessment of NPR. Maher faced more blowback as posts and clips spread on social media, showing her being critical of former President Donald Trump and supportive of President Joe Biden. They also displayed personal views in favor of liberal causes. Maher later told The Wall Street Journal that critics were making a “bad faith distortion” of her views.

The House GOP letter noted many of the allegations raised by Berliner, including a claim that all of NPR’s editorial staffers in Washington, D.C., were registered Democrats. They also highlighted past comments from Mater about dealing with “bad information,” striking a balance with the speech protections under the First Amendment, and warning how the “truth might be a distraction.”

McMorris Rodgers and her colleagues wrote the committee is “concerned that your personal views and opinions on matters of public interest heavily influence your decision making at NPR and may cloud objective reporting of the news at NPR.” In addition to the invite, they posed questions to Maher on internal NPR matters such as employee party affiliation, asking that the information be provided by May 14.

“In your own words, ‘slowing down a little bit and bringing the conversation in, [] listening with sincerity, debating with respect, consulting widely, and weighing difficult decisions with candor,’ might be what NPR needs to rebuild the damage to its reputation and credibility,” the letter said.

It was not immediately clear whether Maher would cooperate with the House Republicans. The Daily Wire has reached out to NPR seeking comment on the letter.

Although there has been a renewed push to cut funding for NPR, including a proposed measure from House Republicans, Berliner rejected the calls to defund the network. “I respect the integrity of my colleagues and wish for NPR to thrive and do important journalism,” he said.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  House Republicans Seek NPR CEO Testimony About Liberal Bias Allegations