NPR Freelancer Canned for Joining Occupiers

Lisa Simeone hosted show on opera
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2011 12:18 PM CDT
NPR Freelancer Canned for Joining Occupiers
Occupy DC protesters demonstrate in front of the White House, in Washington, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

A freelance radio host has lost her NPR World of Opera gig after an outcry over her involvement with a group affiliated with Occupy DC. Baltimore resident Lisa Simeone is acting as spokesperson for protesters under the October 2011/Stop the Machine banner; NPR responded to her involvement in a memo, saying, “We of course take this issue very seriously.” World of Opera is produced by affiliate WDAV and distributed by NPR. “We’re in conversations with WDAV about how they intend to handle this,” the memo read.

Mere hours after that statement went out, Simeone was fired from another program called Soundprint, a documentary series that airs on an NPR affiliate, the AP reports. Simeone’s participation in the Occupy protests had been called out by the conservative Daily Caller site, which accused her of “breaking the taxpayer-subsidized network’s ethics rules,” the Baltimore Sun reports. Simeone is outraged. “I find it puzzling that NPR objects to my exercising my rights,” she tells the blog War Is a Crime. “I don’t cover politics. … What is NPR afraid I’ll do—insert a seditious comment into a synopsis of Madame Butterfly?” (Click to read about how Occupy was sparked by ... a Canadian magazine?)

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