Just to warn you, today I am going to attack NPR. For any conservatives out there, attacking NPR is the liberal version of bashing the Bible. I am sure to get some hate mail for this one. Luckily, liberal hate mail reads like a Hallmark greeting card and is usually signed by the words “with love” so I am not too worried. Last week, NPR “fired” “Soundprint” and “World of Opera” host Lisa Simeone. The reason she was dumped from the NPR lineup? Lisa Simeone had the audacity to exercise her constitutional rights and organize Occupy Washington (an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street) protests in D.C. That’s right NPR fired someone for expressing their political views in their private lives. Congratulations NPR, you have made my Assholes of the Week List.
The good news for Simeone is that World of Opera is actually produced by WDAV, a North Carolina radio station who refuses to let her go. So World of Opera will continue, though the program will not be distributed by NPR. NPR spokesperson, Dana Davis Rehm stated, "Our view is it's a potential conflict of interest for any journalist or any individual who plays a public role on behalf of NPR to take an active part in a political movement or advocacy campaign.” Which Simeone amusingly replied, “What is NPR afraid I'll do — insert a seditious comment into a synopsis of Madame Butterfly?”
Look, I have often spoken out about the lack of quality journalism in this country. Corruption is rampant, the country is deeply divided and a handful of corporations run the vast majority of the major media. When people get their news from places like Fox News, clearly they are not getting unbiased journalistic reporting. So I commend NPR on wanting their reporters to be as unbiased as possible. The problem here is that Simeone, a freelance host, was protesting on her own time. Under NPR’s rules does this mean that their employees are not allowed to vote? Not allowed to click “like” on a political figure on their Facebook page? Not allowed to exercise their constitutional rights to protest when they see problems in this country? Being an unbiased journalist has to be extremely difficult, because they will eventually form opinions on the news they cover. However, Simeone covers opera, not politics. Simeone protested in her free time and not on her show. I love NPR, but they are wrong.
Hopefully this attention will bring added publicity for Simeone and World of Opera. For NPR, I hope they soon realize the magnitude of the mistake they made. When a corporation or government takes away your ability to voice your opinion, you only a few short steps away from a dictatorship.
Orbson Feeling Tweety: NPR sent me a letter saying that I am no longer allowed to listen to their station because I attended an Occupy NPR Rally.
A Bit of TV: I may keep writing this in every blog. The Walking Dead is a freaking phenomenal show. I even got Mrs. Orbson to give it a try and now she loves it. For you Netflix freaks you can even stream it in HD! Watch it!
Stern Reprimands: The NBA needs to stop canceling games in 2-week increments. Seriously, they are like the parents in the car yelling at their kids, “I will turn this car around if you don’t stop fighting! I will, see I’m slowing down.” Look NBA and parents, unless you actually turn the car around and go home the kids will never believe you. So cancel half of the season. You can always change your mind later. Stop this, “If we don’t agree by Thursday, we’re going to cancel another week” crap.