The NPR Emperor Has No Clothes

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File

Under Elon Musk’s tenure, Twitter has had a mixed report card when it comes to free speech. One of the Musk-era innovations at Twitter is to name government-affiliated media outlets as “state-affiliated media.”


Twitter applied this designation to Russian and Chinese propaganda outlets, the BBC  — and NPR.

The poor babies at NPR complained, so Twitter refined its designations to give them a little more nuance.

But that wasn’t enough for NPR, so the outlet has decided to pout, take its ball, and go home.

NPR let the world know via, of all things, an article on NPR. (Way to make yourself into the story. There’s nothing tacky at all about that.)

“NPR will no longer post fresh content to its 52 official Twitter feeds, becoming the first major news organization to go silent on the social media platform,” reports David Folkenflik, writing about NPR in the third person.

Folkenflik also writes that NPR just couldn’t handle the “government-funded” designation — because it suggests that NPR might have a bias, which it does.

“It would be a disservice to the serious work you all do here to continue to share it on a platform that is associating the federal charter for public media with an abandoning of editorial independence or standards,” NPR CEO John Lansing emailed employees.

“The news organization says that is inaccurate and misleading, given that NPR is a private, nonprofit company with editorial independence,” Folkenflik continues. “It receives less than 1 percent of its $300 million annual budget from the federally funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting.” Oh, okay. We stand corrected. There’s no way that roughly $3 million in federal money could be considered government funding.


Oddly enough, NPR has crowed in the past about its reliance on taxpayer money.

“NPR has claimed that ‘federal funding is essential to public radio’s service to the American public,’” reports Influence Watch. “NPR’s website especially stresses that local journalism is dependent upon federal funding.”

However, NPR has changed its tune, as Musk pointed out.

So, instead of pushing out its “editorial independence” on Twitter, NPR is asking listeners to follow it on TikTok — you know, the Chinese Communist spyware social media outlet.

Sorry, NPR, we see right through your childish pouting and foot-stomping toward Twitter as well as your narcissism in making the story about yourself. And we’re not sympathizing with you one bit.


Related: ‘You Just Lied’: Elon Musk Destroys BBC Reporter, and It’s Epic

By the way, NPR, you think that Twitter’s actions undermine your credibility? Welcome to the world that conservative media has lived in for years.

If Twitter and other social media outlets and big-tech conglomerates undermine anyone, it’s countless conservative outlets like PJ Media. Here’s how it works: certain words, phrases, and topics, can lead the tech giants to withhold money from our articles. In essence, we lose money for reporting the truth — and that’s money we use to pay staff and freelance writers. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to cue up Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” and tug at your heartstrings with sad stories.)

And then there are the “fact-checkers.” These people sometimes legitimately call out outlets for getting facts wrong, but, just as often, they serve as gatekeepers of The Narrative™, slapping fact checks on items that are true but inconvenient to the left.

NPR tries to claim that it’s independent because it gets much of its support from “listeners like you.” (Ignore that taxpayer cash, won’t you?) You can support PJ Media and help us in our mission to tell the truth without fear — and often with a glorious sense of humor — by becoming a PJ Media VIP!


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