Outrage over NPR’s unwillingness to name names

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NPR is being accused of hypocrisy in its coverage of Outrage, a documentary about closeted politicians who support anti-gay legislation. Film critic Nathan Lee, who reviewed the film on Friday, objected when NPR scrubbed his references to two Republican pols profiled in the movie. Lee asked that his name be taken off of the review, IndieWire reported yesterday. NPR’s Dick Meyer explained the decision by citing a “long-held policy” of respecting the privacy of public figures and “not airing or publishing rumors, allegations and reports about their private lives unless there is a compelling reason to do so.” But bloggers at Movieline took some delight in pointing to recent NPR stories as evidence that the rule only applies to politicians. Their examples: last month’s Monkey See blog posting by Linda Holmes, who poked fun at the mainstream media’s speculation over the sexuality of American Idol frontrunner Adam Lambert; and, a November 2008 Tell Me More segment discussing whether Queen Latifah would come out as a lesbian. In addition, Fresh Air’s Terry Gross “nearly had an on-air coronary” when Kirby Dick, director of Outrage, began naming names during a May 6 interview.