NPR CEO Skips Congressional Hearing On Network’s Liberal Bias

The top executive at NPR failed to appear at a congressional hearing designed to examine alleged bias at the news outlet despite being funded by taxpayer dollars.

Katherine Maher, who was named CEO of NPR earlier this year, said she declined the invitation to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee due to a scheduling conflict. The committee went through with the hearing in Maher’s absence, arguing it was crucial to investigate any instances of political bias despite relying on public support from the taxpayer-funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

“I will note for the record, we invited NPR’s CEO, Ms. Maher, to participate in today’s hearing. She has declined to do so stating that she needed more time to prepare and that she had a conflict with an NPR board meeting,” committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) said in her opening statement. “The Energy and Commerce Committee will fulfill its responsibility to investigate the allegations against NPR and take appropriate action based on what we find.”

The hearing comes after a former senior editor of the network published an essay accusing NPR of allowing left-leaning politics to influence how it covers major events in recent years, including its coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, Republicans’ investigation of Hunter Biden, and other stories coming out of the Biden administration.

“It’s true NPR has always had a liberal bent, but during most of my tenure here, an open-minded, curious culture prevailed,” wrote Uri Berliner, who worked at NPR from 1999 until April of this year. “In recent years, however, that has changed. Today, those who listen to NPR or read its coverage online find something different: the distilled worldview of a very small segment of the U.S. population.”

The allegations sparked concern among House Republicans, who argued the outlet was using money from listeners who look to NPR for objective journalism to influence their thinking.

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