The Latest NPR Turmoil

By James Fallows

Like Jeff Goldberg, I saw the news of the latest NPR shakeup while on the road. I am in a part of southern China where the internet connection is so shaky I can't even sign onto a VPN and each new web page, if not firewalled, can take a minute+ to appear. (Chapter 4 million: The World Is Not Flat.) I want to say more about this, especially in light of my current cover story in the magazine, but in these circumstances I can't. So let me buy time with a link to something I wrote after the previous turmoil -- the one in which Vivian Schiller was doing the pushing rather than the one being pushed out.

I still believe what I wrote there, and in the cover story. Both of the triggering events (first the firing of Juan Williams, now the NPR fundraiser's stupid comments) were mistakes, but IMHO each quickly served as a pretext for people with a larger agenda against NPR and its commitment to "real" reporting and news coverage from around the world. More to say but that's all I can type now. Pls read those other items instead!

(For the record: I have never been on the NPR staff but have appeared on various programs over the years.)