NPR Editor Who Accused Network Of Liberal Bias Resigns
The headquarters for National Public Radio, or NPR, are seen in Washington, DC, September 17, 2013. The USD 201 million building, which opened in 2013, serves as the headquarters of the media organization that creates and distributes news, information and music programming to 975 independent radio stations throughout the US, reaching 26 million listeners each week. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Senior Business Editor Uri Berliner is resigning from National Public Radio (NPR) a little more than a week after he publicly accused the network of espousing left-wing bias in an essay.

In a post to X on Wednesday, Berliner shared what he said was his resignation letter to NPR CEO Katherine Maher, who lashed out at the editor’s critique and has faced blowback over old tweets.

“I am resigning from NPR, a great American institution where I have worked for 25 years,” Berliner said. “I don’t support calls to defund NPR. I respect the integrity of my colleagues and wish for NPR to thrive and do important journalism.”

He added, “But 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.”

The Free Press published the essay on Tuesday last week in which Berliner argued NPR “lost America’s trust” with its increasingly liberal bent.

His critique touched on topics related to former President Donald Trump, NPR’s COVID coverage, reporting on transgender issues, audience figures, the network’s own level of diversity, and more.

Berliner additionally wrote about how he tried to make some of his concerns known internally. He said no one ever “trashed” him, but he was repeatedly brushed off and nothing changed.

On Tuesday of this week, NPR’s media correspondent David Folkenflik reported that Berliner had received a letter informing him that he had been suspended without pay for five days starting on Friday.

NPR told Berliner he failed to follow the network’s rules and get approval for outside work for other news outlets. Berliner was also accused of publicly releasing proprietary information about audience demographics that NPR considered confidential.

The letter, billed as a “final warning,” said Berliner would be fired for another policy violation. Berliner conceded he did not get permission to speak with Folkenflik, but said he thought it would be “extraordinary” if he were fired for speaking to an NPR journalist.

In the backlash that followed the essay, Trump demanded NPR’s funding be cut. And Maher, who has served as NPR’s chief executive for less than a month, condemned the “deeply simplistic” and “profoundly disrespectful, hurtful, and demeaning” assessment.

Old tweets from Maher that displayed her personal views in favor of liberal causes began to resurface as the fallout over Berliner’s essay and follow-up interviews began to grow, fueling more criticism, particularly from the Right.

Maher called Trump a “racist” in a 2018 post that has since been deleted and shared a photo of herself wearing a hat touting President Joe Biden’s campaign in November of 2020.

Journalist Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, posted to X on Wednesday a clip of Maher talking about the First Amendment and platforms dealing with “bad information.”

Berliner told Folkenflik the posts indicate Maher is the “opposite” of the kind of leader NPR needs to be “unifying and bring more people into the tent and have a broader perspective on, sort of, what America is all about.”

Maher released a statement that said “everyone is entitled to free speech as a private citizen” in America.


“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,” she added. “NPR is independent, beholden to no party, and without commercial interests.”

The report from Folkenflik noted that NPR emphasized that “the CEO is not involved in editorial decisions.”

Folkenflik wrote that some in the newsroom acknowledge Berliner’s critique as valid, while others say they are no longer willing to work with him.

NPR’s chief news executive, Edith Chapin, reportedly announced that Executive Editor Eva Rodriguez would lead monthly coverage review meetings. Berliner reportedly said he welcomed the announcement but would reserve judgment until those meetings happen.

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