NPR CEO won’t attend House hearing on allegations of bias

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David Fitzgerald/Web Summit via Sportsfile

Katherine Maher on Centre Stage during the opening day of Web Summit 2019 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal.

NPR CEO Katherine Maher will not attend a U.S. House committee hearing Wednesday aimed at looking into alleged ideological bias at the organization. 

An NPR board of directors meeting Wednesday was scheduled more than a year ahead of time and will be Maher’s first after joining the network six weeks ago, according to an emailed statement from an NPR spokesperson. 

“This meeting will be Maher’s first opportunity to review and consult with the Board on the challenges and opportunities facing the organization, including a strategy to lead NPR forward in fulfilling its public service mission to serve all of America,” NPR’s statement said. 

Maher will provide written testimony and has proposed alternate dates, the statement said. 

The Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing is titled  “Examining Accusations Of Ideological Bias At NPR, A Taxpayer Funded News Entity.”

It follows the publication of an essay last month in The Free Press by now-former NPR editor Uri Berliner in which he criticized what he said is a lack of ideological diversity among network staff. 

One question the hearing hopes to address is how Congress can address criticism that NPR “suffers from intractable bias,” according to a memo to the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. 

U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, posted on X Tuesday that it wasn’t a surprise Maher would not be at the hearing, saying it confirms NPR is a “waste of taxpayer dollars.”

“Republicans have known of NPR’s public biases for years – a news broadcast that mostly elite liberals listen to, to feel better about ramming their woke agenda down America’s throat,” Crenshaw said. 

Witnesses who will testify at the hearing, scheduled for 10 a.m. Eastern time, include Howard Husock, a senior fellow with the American Enterprise Institute and former CPB board member; James Erwin, a federal affairs manager for telecommunications with Americans for Tax Reform; Tim Graham, executive editor of the right-leaning; and Craig Aaron, co-CEO of Free Press.

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