by Max Brantley
The lefty blogosphere is buzzing — understandably — about National Public Radio pressure forcing a public radio station to fire the host of a show on opera because she was participating in an anti-war demonstration in Washington. This would compromise her coverage of the Barber of Seville how? It looks an awful lot like NPR caving yet again to conservative pressure. In the conservative world, all critics in whatever venue must be silenced and punished to the extent possible. It is OK, of course, for NPR's Mara Liaason to appear on Fox News and cluck along sympathetically to the Murdoch line.
Maybe if NPR hears I'm raising money on KUAR tomorrow morning (to help buy programs from NPR) they'll call Ben Fry and force me off the air.
If not, my begathon stint is 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. — 569-8485, 1-800-952-2528 or kuar.org. I match $10 of all pledges mentioning the Arkansas Blog. I match $25 of all pledges from people willing to be identified on-air as Republican readers of the Blog.
UPDATE: The more you hear about this firing, the worse it sounds for NPR.
UPDATE II: But wait. The host, Lisa Simeone, will keep her opera show, though different reports suggest continued distribution by NPR is still under study. NPR disavows connection with her firing from another show. It objects to a variety of inaccuracies in reporting on the matter. (Though note that it initially expressed great concern about the host's involvement in a protest event and noted that NPR distributed her opera program.)