Mara Liasson is National Public Radio’s top political correspondent. She also helps hold down the left flank on panels where she appears as a FOX News contributor such as Special Report with Bret Baier. Josh Gerstein reports that NPR management has asked Liasson to reconsider her appearances on Fox News because of what they perceive — in accord with the teaching of the Obama administration — as the network’s political bias:
According to a source, Liasson was summoned in early October by NPR’s executive editor for news, Dick Meyer, and the network’s supervising senior Washington editor, Ron Elving. The NPR executives said they had concerns that Fox’s programming had grown more partisan, and they asked Liasson to spend 30 days watching the network.
At the end of the 30 days, Liasson was undoubtedly expected to engage in rigorous self-criticism, but so far it hasn’t worked out that way: “At a follow-up meeting last month, Liasson reported that she’d seen no significant change in Fox’s programming and planned to continue appearing on the network, the source said.”
Somehow I think this is not the end of the story.
PAUL adds: The left’s strategy seems to be as follows: coerce left of center figures into refusing to appear on Fox and then claim that Fox is becoming more partisan.
Reports that NPR is in the vanguard of this strategy come as no surprise. NRP is a national disgrace. I’d rather listen to the commercials on sports talk radio.
UPDATE (by Paul): Dick Meyer emails to tell me I should “utiliz[e] skepticism” about a story that uses only anonymous sources. He is right, particularly insofar as the story accuses Dick of discouraging Liasson from appearing on Fox. In his dealings with me, and in the columns he used to write for CBS’s website, Dick has not struck me in the least as an opponent of free, robust discourse across partisan lines.
What I don’t know is whether Dick is denying that NPR management asked Liasson to reconsider her appearances on Fox. NPR itself is being cagey on the subject, it seems to me, denying (at least according to Politico) only that there’s any relationship “between the White House’s criticism of Fox and any discussions about Fox that we’re having.”
SECOND UPDATE: I understand NPR’s position to be that it gave Politico a “no comment” because it has a blanket policy against commenting about employer-employee relationships.
SCOTT adds: The fifth paragraph of Gerstein’s story notes that “an NPR spokeswoman told POLITICO that the Obama administration’s attempts to discourage other news outlets from treating Fox as a peer had no impact on any internal discussions at NPR.” That seems to go beyond “no comment.”