Politics

Republicans keep pressure on NPR and controversial CEO amid political bias scandal

Congressional Republicans are applying pressure to both National Public Broadcasting (NPR) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) amid NPR’s bias scandal. 

A series of letters to both entities have been sent from both House and Senate Republicans, requesting action to ensure NPR’s integrity and address the allegations of ideological bias made by senior editor Uri Berliner, who has since left the organization. 

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce requested NPR CEO Katherine Maher to appear Wednesday for an Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on the allegations. 

‘The Committee has concerns about the direction in which NPR may be headed under past and present leadership,’ Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., wrote. 

However, a spokesperson for NPR told Fox News Digital in a statement that Maher would not be joining the subcommittee to testify. She is willing to testify on a different date, the spokesperson added. 

‘NPR respects the committee and its request and has offered to testify on a date in the near future that works for the committee and Maher,’ the spokesperson said. ‘NPR has a previously scheduled and publicly posted all-day meeting of its board of directors on that date, Maher’s first such meeting since she joined NPR just six weeks ago. These meetings are scheduled more than a year in advance.

‘Maher is therefore unable to attend this week’s hearing and has communicated that to the committee and proposed alternate dates. Maher will provide written testimony in her absence,’ the spokesperson continued. 

A spokesperson for the House Energy and Commerce committee told Fox News Digital Maher’s choice not to testify on Wednesday ‘speaks volumes.’

‘The chair looks forward to reviewing her thorough and transparent responses to the committee’s letter,’ the spokesperson said. 

A spokesperson for Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chairwoman Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., did not say whether she is concerned by the allegations made against NPR or if she would invite Maher to testify in the Senate. 

‘The chair is focused on getting a five-year reauthorization passed,’ the spokesperson said, referencing the FAA re-authorization bill that has a deadline of May 10. 

CPB has also been the recipient of letters scrutinizing its grant funding to NPR amid the scandal. Both Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rick Scott, R-Fla., have sent such letters. 

Asked by Fox News Digital for comment on the letters and any concerns the corporation might have over the revelations at NPR, CPB simply replied on Tuesday it ‘has confirmed receipt of Senator Cruz’s letter and will reply in a timely manner.’

The allegations of ideological bias in NPR’s newsroom have also led to bills being discussed in both chambers and introduced in the House to cut the organization’s funding. 

One such attempt by House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good, R-Va., would stop NPR from receiving federal funding, while also preventing public radio stations with federal grants from using them to buy content from or pay dues to NPR.

Berliner’s scathing essay addressing his concerns with his employer was published roughly one month ago, on April 9. Among other revelations, Berliner discovered that the NPR Washington, D.C., newsroom held zero Republicans, compared to 87 Democrats. 

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