NPR’s Totenberg denies ‘lefty’ stereotype after undercover video revelations

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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It’s been just a few days since revealing undercover video footage of former NPR Senior Vice President Ron Schiller has surfaced and resulted in the departure of not only Schiller, but his superior, NPR President Vivian Schiller (no relation).

But on this weekend’s syndicated “Inside Washington,” longtime NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg offered her own view of the turmoil created by this video footage and she offered a vigorous defense the NPR product.

“I can’t defend the executives, the top executives,” Totenberg said. “And I can’t necessarily even defend the board, but I can defend the product. There is a reason that we are the only news organization other than Fox with a growing audience. It’s because of our product, which is straight-shooting, factual and spends an enormous amount of money gathering news from all over the country and the world.”

Totenberg has made her own left-leaning and sometimes incendiary comments in the past. Nonetheless, Totenberg argued NPR should be judged by its product as opposed to the actions of the organization’s executives.

“Judge us by our product,” she continued. “People in the newsroom were probably more mortified than Charles [Krauthammer] or anybody in the Tea Party or anybody else. We were just horrified and not by the political incorrectness of what he said, but by the fact he even thought this way, much less said.”

Totenberg, along with several other NPR contributors, denounced the actions of Ron Schiller in an open letter. Still, “Inside Washington” host Gordon Peterson said the revelations played right into the stereotype that NPR is “a bunch of lefties.” Totenberg denied that was the case.

“I know it does, but it’s not true,” she said.