The people who make shows for NPR stations, dinged by the perception that they're a bunch of kneejerk liberals, are proving themselves to be very, very touchy about how their employees participate with Occupy Wall Street. Today, Gawker has posted the first-hand account of Caitlin E. Curran, a Brooklyn-based former freelancer for The Takeaway, which is co-produced by NPR-member station WNYC and Public Radio International, who was fired from her public radio gig as a part-time web producer after her boss discovered she (briefly) participated in an Occupy protest.
Update 2: We've added WNYC's response below, in which the station says Curran was fired because, "When Ms. Curran made the decision to participate in the protest and make herself part of the story, she violated our editorial standards."
Update: We initially used "NPR" in the headline for this story which is incorrect because the show The Takeaway is more identified with NPR competitor PRI even though it airs alongside NPR programming. We've corrected the error, but there's also this point to make: the public radio economy contains many independent actors alongside NPR. There is the national organization, local broadcasters, independent producers and distributors all involved in programming on what listeners would consider "NPR stations." So, while NPR is not a centralized organization that controls all of public radio, the "NPR is liberal" critics are prone to paint with a broad brush. If anything, Curran's story illustrate how far the fear of looking too liberal has permeated the entire public radio ecosystem.