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NPR Loses Another Host Over Politics

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By Emma Koonse, Christian Post Reporter
October 24, 2011|7:19 pm

Just days after reports of Lisa Simone leaving NPR due to politics, “All Things Considered” co-host Michele Norris has stepped down.

Norris has temporarily resigned from the popular radio show due to her husband accepting a position in the Obama 2012 campaign.

Norris informed her “NPR family” that her husband, Broderick Johnson, was given a senior adviser position in the Obama Campaign and that she had just relinquished her duties as host until the campaign is over.

“After careful consideration, we decided that Broderick’s new role could make it difficult for me to continue hosting ATC,” wrote Norris. “Given the nature of Broderick’s position with the campaign and the impact it will most certainly have on our family life, I will temporarily step away from my hosting duties until after the 2012 elections.”

Norris clarified in the email that there is still a lot of ground she can cover aside from the election, and that she will return after “wearing a different hat for a while, producing signature segments and features and working on new reporting projects.”

NPR’s Code of Ethics stated that NPR journalists are prohibited from participating in marches or rallies about issues covered by the network, and advises employees to resign in order to prevent conflicts of interest.

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Norris is not the first NPR employee to find herself in a tough spot due to politics. Last week, host of “World of Opera” Lisa Simeone was fired from her job for participating in a Washington, DC protest.

NPR spokesperson Anna Christopher confirmed that the code of ethics does apply to programs such as “World of Opera,” and said that Simeone “represents NPR and public radio.”

Speaking to AP, Simeone claimed that the October protest she attended was not part of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, though it shared similar principles.

The host added that news is not her area of expertise, so if she had participated in Occupy Wall Street, it should not affect her work.

“I don’t cover news. In none of the shows that I do, do I cover the news,” said Simeone. “What is NPR afraid I’ll do? Insert seditious comment into a synopsis of “Madame Butterfly?”

 

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