NPR’s Old CEO Called ‘Racist’ for Asking for ‘Civility’

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(Dmytro “Henry” Aleksandrov, Headline USA) NPR’s former CEO got accused of racism in 2023 for daring to suggest that employees should be civil at the workplace.

During a question-and-answer forum regarding the outlet’s hip-hop podcast focused on black and “queer” issues called “Louder Than A Riot” lacking its own budget, former NPR CEO John Lansing pushed employees to consider “civility,” the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.

Lansing commented after the podcast’s editor Soraya Shockley had pressed him about the lack of funding for DEI. As a result of that, an employee at NPR wrote in the forum’s chat that the term “civility” is “racist” because it is frequently deployed against racial minorities.

“How are we supposed to support diverse programming — actually commit to DEI, and make it not a folly — when this company seems scared to talk about money when it is not a $30 million deficit?” Shockley said.

After that session, Shockley submitted a human resources complaint against Lansing, suggesting the “civility” comments are “dog-whistle racism,” according to an individual aware of the interaction. The Daily Caller reported that an external law firm looked at the complaint and did not advise penalties for Lansing.

Lansing declined to comment on the exchange, the Caller added.

The news about Lansing came after veteran NPR editor Uri Berliner’s recent publication of his viral essay, in which Berliner alleged all levels of the publication were aligned on the prioritization of race and “gender identity,” which caused a lack of “viewpoint diversity” and a DEI push.

After the essay became viral, it triggered turbulence within the company, the news source reported.

“We are slipping in our ability to impact America, not just in broadcast, but also in the growing world of on-demand audio,” NPR chief financial officer Daphne Kwon told NPR executives, a recording of a late 2023 discussion revealed.

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