National Public Radio announced Thursday that “World of Opera” host Lisa Simeone will continue as the show’s host, despite violating of the network’s ethics policy by acting as a spokesperson for a left-wing “Occupy DC” political protest group.
World of Opera is produced by WDAV, a North Carolina NPR affiliate. NPR nationally syndicates the show over taxpayer-subsidized airwaves.
According to WDAV, it was ultimately responsible for the decision to keep Simeone on the program, meaning NPR had no say in the matter. But NPR spokesperson Anna Christopher has not answered The Daily Caller’s questions about whether the taxpayer-funded radio network plans to continue syndicating the program while its host violates the network’s own ethics code.
Simeone, a long-time classical radio host in Baltimore before reaching national prominence, was fired Wednesday from her other public radio show, SoundPrint, an internationally syndicated program appearing on NPR affiliate WAMU in Washington, D.C. Her phone-call termination reportedly included a reading aloud of NPR’s ethics policy.
NPR denies having any role in Simeone’s firing from SoundPrint. “SoundPrint is an independent public radio program that is not produced by NPR,” network spokesperson Dana Davis Rehm said in a blog post. “NPR had no contact with the management of the program prior to their decision. We learned about it after the fact, through media reports.”
Even so, it remains to be seen whether the publicly funded radio network will cut its ties with the political advocate’s opera broadcasts. (RELATED: NPR host doubles as spox for Occupy DC, despite ethics violation)
In response to media attention surrounding Simeone’s ethics violations, Media Research Center president Brent Bozell asked House Speaker John Boehner in a Thursday letter to revisit previous attempts to defund National Public Radio.
“This is just the latest in a long list of abuses by this taxpayer subsidized leftist propaganda machine,” Bozell wrote to Speaker Boehner. “It learned nothing from the public outrage when it fired Juan Williams in 2010. NPR is out of control, using taxpayer money to lend support to a sometimes violent and lawless mob set on crippling the financial backbone of our country.”
“NPR is not an objective, independent news broker,” Bozell continued. “NPR is a shill for George Soros and other liberal funders, doing the bidding of these donors and acting in tandem with their political interests.”
House Republicans voted to defund NPR in the spring, but their efforts stalled after the Democratic-led Senate failed to take the measures seriously.