NPR ‘in conversations’ on how to handle ethics violation


Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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It is still unclear what, if any, action National Public Radio will take to handle the ethics violations of one of its member stations’ employees, Lisa Simeone.

Simeone, who is technically a contract employee for Charlotte, North Carolina public radio station WDAV, has broken NPR’s ethics policy by acting as a spokeswoman for Occupy DC group “October 2011” — the group currently “occupying” Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C.

NPR spokeswoman Anna Christopher told The Daily Caller the radio network is considering taking action. “We’re in conversations with WDAV about how they intend to handle this,” Christopher said in an email. “We of course take this issue very seriously.”

The political advocacy Simeone has displayed also appears to be an affront to what incoming NPR CEO Gary Knell has said he’d like the network to be: “It’s about journalism, it’s about news,” Knell, who starts on December 1, told the Associated Press after he got the job. “It’s not about promoting one political agenda or another.” (RELATED: NPR executives caught on tape bashing conservatives and tea party, touting liberals)

NPR nationally syndicates Simeone’s WDAV program, “World of Opera.”

NPR may try to spin the ethics violation as non-existent. For instance, NPR’s congressional correspondent Andrea Seabrook tweeted that she thinks Simeone did not commit an ethics violation because “World of Opera” isn’t a “news” program.

But “World of Opera” isn’t the only show Simeone hosts on taxpayer-subsidized airwaves.

NPR affiliate, WAMU at American University in Washington, D.C., airs another program Simeone hosts — “SoundPrint.” WAMU describes the program as “the aural equivalent of photojournalism” and says Simeone explores “news, history, and culture” on it.

WAMU’s news director, Jim Asendio, has not answered The Daily Caller’s requests for comment on what it plans to do about Simeone’s ethics violations.

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