‘Partisan Propaganda Machine’: Republicans Push To Defund NPR Over Political Bias
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 22: A view of the National Public Radio (NPR) headquarters on North Capitol Street February 22, 2023 in Washington, DC. NPR CEO John Lansing announced in a memo to staff that the network is planning to lay off around 10% of its workforce, citing a decline in advertising revenue.
Credit: Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Republicans in the House and Senate are pushing to defund NPR after a now-former editor wrote an essay exposing the liberal bias of the outlet and reports broke on leftist comments made by CEO Katherine Maher. 

Republican Reps. Jim Banks (IN), Claudia Tenney (NY), and Bob Good (VA) all introduced their own legislation to end funding for the outlet. Banks introduced his measure on Friday, taking aim at Maher and calling NPR “low grade propaganda.”

“NPR’s new CEO is a radical, left-wing activist who doesn’t believe in free speech or objective journalism,” Banks said in a statement. “Hoosiers shouldn’t be writing her paychecks. Katherine Maher isn’t qualified to teach an introductory journalism class, much less capable of responsibly spending millions of American tax dollars.”

Recently, clips of Maher posted by journalist Chris Rufo show Maher saying that the “number one challenge” for her in fighting so-called disinformation was the First Amendment, which she called a “fairly robust protection of rights.” She also claimed that former President Donald Trump was a racist and posted about her desire to go on a road trip with Vice President Kamala Harris eating “nuts and baklava.”

Tenney, who introduced the “Defund NPR Act of 2024” said that the outlet had become a “partisan propaganda machine.” 

“As a former newspaper owner and publisher, I understand the importance of non-partisan, balanced media coverage, and have seen first-hand the left-wing bias in our news media,” she said. “NPR is using American taxpayer dollars to manipulate the news and lie to the American people on behalf of a political agenda. It’s past time the American people stop footing the bill for NPR, and the partisan, left-wing activists that control it.”


Good introduced similar legislation alongside eight co-sponsors, saying that it was “egregious” for taxpayers to be backing partisan news coverage. 

The lawmakers’ push comes after now-former senior business editor Uri Berliner wrote an essay in the Free Press saying that the network had lost the trust of Americans because of its coverage of things like gender ideology and refusal to cover the Hunter Biden laptop story in the lead up to the 2020 election. 

Berliner, who resigned days after the essay was published, said that NPR lacked serious viewpoint diversity. 

“It’s frictionless — one story after another about instances of supposed racism, transphobia, signs of the climate apocalypse, Israel doing something bad, and the dire threat of Republican policies,” he wrote.

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