NPR’s Old CEO Was Accused Of ‘Racism’ For Asking Employees For ‘Civility’: REPORT

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National Public Radio’s (NPR) former CEO got accused of racism in 2023 for requesting “civility” from employees, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

Former NPR CEO John Lansing pushed employees to consider “civility” more during a question-and-answer forum regarding the outlet’s hip-hop podcast focused on black and queer issues called “Louder Than A Riot” lacking its own budget, the NYT reported. When Lansing made the request after the podcast’s editor Soraya Shockley had pressed him about lack of funding for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), an employee at NPR wrote in the forum’s chat that the term “civility” is “racist” because it is frequently deployed against minorities. (RELATED: ‘Clearheaded Most Of The Time’: Corporate Media Defends Biden’s Lucidity As Interview Transcript Reveals Memory Lapses)

“How are we supposed to support diverse programming — actually commit to D.E.I., and make it not a folly — when this company seems scared to talk about money when it is not a $30 million deficit?” Shockley had asked, according to the NYT.

Shockley submitted a human resources complaint against Lansing following the session, suggesting the “civility” comments “dog-whistle racism,” an individual aware of the interaction told the NYT. The complaint ended up at an external law firm, which did not advise penalties for Lansing.

Lansing declined to comment on the exchange, according to the NYT.

Veteran NPR editor Uri Berliner recently published an essay that in part alleges all levels of the publication were aligned on the prioritization of race and identity, causing a lack of “viewpoint diversity” and a DEI push. The essay triggered turbulence within the company, according to the NYT.

“We are slipping in our ability to impact America, not just in broadcast, but also in the growing world of on-demand audio,” NPR chief financial officer Daphne Kwon told NPR executives, according to a recording of a late 2023 discussion obtained by the NYT.

NPR did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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