NPR editor who alleged left-wing bias at network suspended

National Public Radio has suspended an editor who has repeatedly criticized the outlet in recent days, alleging a left-leaning bias that he says is hurting the organization’s journalism.

Uri Berliner, a senior editor who has worked at NPR for more than 20 years, was suspended last week by the company for five days without pay, NPR’s media reporter David Folkenflik reported Tuesday.

Berliner published an essay in The Free Press last week arguing “those who listen to NPR or read its coverage online” are getting “the distilled worldview of a very small segment of the U.S. population.”

In handing down its punishment, NPR top brass told Berliner he did not secure approval for outside work for other news outlets, as is required of journalists at the outlet, Folkenflik reported.

In a statement to The Hill on Tuesday, an NPR spokesperson said the outlet “does not comment on individual personnel matters, including discipline,” but noted it “expect[s] all of our employees to comply with NPR policies and procedures.”

Berliner’s essay has provided fodder for frequent critics of the outlet who have for years alleged liberal bias at the public broadcaster.

Some of those critics this week highlighted social media posts of Katherine Maher, NPR’s CEO, praising Democrats, calling President Trump a racist and promoting progressive ideas.

Maher in a note to staff after Berliner’s essay published forcefully pushed back on his assertions and defended the outlet’s standards.

Berliner also criticized Maher’s social media posts during an interview with Folkenflik.

“We’re looking for a leader right now who’s going to be unifying and bring more people into the tent and have a broader perspective on, sort of, what America is all about,” he told the outlet’s media reporter. “And this seems to be the opposite of that.”

Trump knocked NPR leadership for its criticism of the piece, calling for the outlet to be defunded.

–Updated at 12:20 p.m. EDT.

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