NPR, still reeling from the McScandals of the last year, has overreacted once again to satisfy right-wing critics.
The public network will no longer distribute World of Opera, an NPR spokeswoman said in a statement sent to its member stations Friday evening.
Why would they do that, you ask, and why should anyone care?
Simeone is not employed or even paid by NPR. She's a freelancer for WDAV in Charlotte, N.C.. In a statement, yesterday, NPR said it "fully [respected] that the management of WDAV is solely responsible for the decision making around Lisa's participation in Occupy DC and her freelance role with WDAV's program..."
That is a problem: most listeners believe that if it's public radio- it's NPR. That's not the case- plenty of public radio has nothing to do with NPR. Many stations are not member stations, even though they may carry some programming that's NPR produced or distributed. WoO is not carried by any stations in the Seattle market.
Would Simeone have tried to slip a little liberality into her between the tunes DJ spiel about Valkyries and tremululating tenors? We doubt it, but hell, if she did, there would no doubt be a James O'Keefe there to hear it- and nothing short of Planned Parenthood chaps the hide of the tea party right than NPR.
"I've never brought a whiff of my political activities into the work I've done for NPR World of Opera," Simeone said in an email to [NPR's] David Folkenflik. "What is NPR afraid I'll do — insert a seditious comment into a synopsis of Madame Butterfly?"
We get their hyper-sensitivities, especially after the tough year they had with Juan Williams and O'Keefe. But the NPR ethics were written for news gatherers. Why the WoW host who works for somebody else and well outside the news stream, can't have a life of her own is unfathomable.
WDAV, which is owned by Davidson College, will take over distribution of the public radio opera show.