Can't get my head round this: NPR sacks opera host for joining Wall Street protestmain
Lisa Simeone felt strongly about the financial crisis and sat down in Wall Street as part of the Occupation protest.
Next thing she knew the US Right were screaming for her head and a gutless public radio network duly delivered it.
She no longer hosts The World of Opera or Sound Print on NPR network radio.
Just like that. So far as I can tell, Lisa was exercising her democratic right, pure and simple. She wasn’t even promoting a new book, like Naomi Wolff. Yet that was enough to get her the sack, summarily and without right of appeal.
I cannot imagine the BBC being so chicken to dismiss a presenter on a one-sided wave of public acrimony when no crime had been committed. And where were the left-wing voices supporting Lisa, balancing the debate, and calling for her to keep her job?
Has it all gone totally lop-sided? Someone please enlighten me.
UPDATE: Steve Bass, President & CEO Oregon Public Broadcasting, has written in to clarify that Lisa Simeone was not fired as host of World of Opera. ‘She is still hosting the program, which is produced by WDAV, a classical public radio station in North Carolina. Rather than being distributed by NPR, it is now distributed directly by them to a few dozen stations that carry the program.’ While I’m pleased to learn she has been kept on by her host station, it does not alter the deplorable decision of NPR to drop her shows for an overtly political reason. It’s a free speech issue. Agree, Mr Bass?
2nd UPDATE: Ms Simeone has confirmed to the Baltimore Sun that she was fired from Sound Print for taking part in the demo. She continues with The World of Opera, though to fewer stations. ‘A solution is being sought,’ say station execs.