Katherine Maher

After Criticizing the First Amendment and People’s “Reverence for the Truth”, NPR CEO Claims She Just Has a “Nuanced Perspective”

DCNF(DCNF)—National Public Radio’s (NPR) new CEO Katherine Maher attempted to defend herself following backlash for her past remarks concerning the First Amendment in an interview published by The Wall Street Journal Wednesday.

Maher, who became CEO in March, has come under fire for posting her support for Biden’s 2020 campaign on Twitter in November of that year, as well as a video from 2021 where she said the First Amendment poses obstacles to countering “bad information.” Maher insisted in the WSJ interview that she possesses a “robust belief in the First Amendment” and that she was sharing “nuanced” views in the resurfaced video while accusing critics of taking her remarks out of context as a manipulation tactic.

Maher told the WSJ she was referring to the “landscape of constitutional protections and why that limits options of policymakers taking on certain issues” during the WSJ interview, adding, “It is by no means a personal perspective; it’s a very bad faith distortion of a nuanced perspective on a policy landscape issue.”

Social media platforms should have First Amendment rights, but “it also means it’s a little bit of a tricky road to be able to really address some of the real challenges of where does bad information come from,” Maher was saying in the 2021 interview, she told the WSJ.

Maher also gave a TED Talk in 2022 that resurfaced recently where she asserted “our reverence for the truth might be a distraction that’s getting in the way of finding common ground and getting things done.”

Maher similarly said the pushback about her views is distracting in the WSJ interview.

“All of this frankly is a bit of a distraction relative to the transformation our organization needs to undergo in order to best serve our mandate,” she told the WSJ.

Editor Uri Berliner worked at NPR for 25 years and accused the outlet in a recent essay of seeking to take down Trump during his presidential term by citing Russia-collusion allegations that subsequently were debunked. The outlet suspended Berliner without pay for five days beginning on Friday, and he ended up resigning.

“I cannot work in a newsroom where I am disparaged by a new CEO whose divisive views confirm the very problems at NPR that I cite in my Free Press essay,” Berliner wrote in his resignation letter.

Maher also called former President Donald Trump “racist” in 2018 on Twitter, according to The New York Times.

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

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