Kathy's the Gift That Keeps On Giving

We'll probably get tired of reading/posting about Katherine Maher and Commie Radio at some point, but we have not reached that point today.

First up is Reason's Robby Soave, who observes, accurately, that NPR's Uri Berliner Has Shown That DEI Is About Punishing Heresy.

"I cannot work in a newsroom where I am disparaged by a new CEO whose divisive views confirm the very problems at NPR I cite in my Free Press essay," he said, referencing statements made by NPR CEO Katherine Maher—whose considerable history of tweeting woke nonsense is now under public scrutiny as well.

And he is quite correct. Berliner's article for Weiss concludes with this thought: "What's notable is the extent to which people at every level of NPR have comfortably coalesced around the progressive worldview. And this, I believe, is the most damaging development at NPR: the absence of viewpoint diversity."

Berliner cited Russiagate, the Hunter Biden laptop story, and coverage of the lab leak theory of COVID-19's origins as coverage areas where NPR's bias in favor of the progressive, establishment Democratic Party perspective led the outlet astray. A media company that did not completely dismiss non-progressive opinions out of hands might have fared better.

The absence of viewpoint diversity at NPR should be no surprise, however, when its CEO apparently believes that ideological diversity is a "dog whistle for anti-feminist, anti-POC stories." For Maher, diversity involves "race, ethnicity, gender, class, ability, geography"—everything except diversity of thought.

I'm old enough to remember one of the cardinal justifications for affirmative action was that it would automagically bring diverse viewpoints to too-stodgy academia and business. Kathy's not down with that:

In other unsurprising news, Tristan Justice digs out a story that you might have thought would worry our Official Civil Libertarians: New NPR CEO Took Wikipedia Censorship Orders From Feds. Quoting a clip excavated by Christopher Rufo:

This is (as we have seen a lot lately) government censorship via a complaisant proxy.

Meanwhile Rufo interviewed a semi-famous Wikipedia co-founder, now a severe critic: Larry Sanger Speaks Out .

Christopher Rufo: What are you thinking as you’re watching these statements from former Wikipedia CEO Katherine Maher, who is now the CEO of NPR?

Larry Sanger: I’ve been following your tweets. You’ve kind of shocked me. The bias of Wikipedia, the fact that certain points of view have been systematically silenced, is nothing new. I’ve written about it myself. But I did not know just how radical-sounding Katherine Maher is. For the ex-CEO of Wikipedia to say that it was somehow a mistake for Wikipedia to be “free and open,” that it led to bad consequences—my jaw is on the floor. I can’t say I’m terribly surprised that she thinks it, but I am surprised that she would say it.

Rufo: In another clip, she says explicitly that she worked with governments to suppress “misinformation” on Wikipedia.

Sanger: Yes, but how did she do that in the Wikipedia system? Because I don’t understand it myself. We know that there is a lot of backchannel communication and I think it has to be the case that the Wikimedia Foundation now, probably governments, probably the CIA, have accounts that they control, in which they actually exert their influence.

And it’s fantastic, in a bad way, that she actually comes out against the system for being “free and open.” When she says that she’s worked with government to shut down what they consider “misinformation,” that, in itself, means that it’s no longer free and open.

But the thing is—I’m using the words carefully here—the Wikimedia Foundation doesn’t have an authority in the Wikipedia system: the website, its talk pages, the various bureaucratic structures. It just doesn’t have the authority to shut things down. So, if Big Pharma or their government representatives want to shut down a description of their research of a Covid-critical biochemist, I want to know how that happens. And I think the other people who are at work on Wikipedia, we want to know how that happens.

Yeah, I'd think Wikipedia contributors would like to know that.

But the lady herself takes to the pages of Jeff Maurer's substack to explain, in a guest column. And asks the musical question: Who the Fuck Did You THINK Ran NPR?

As CEO of National Public Radio, I expect to be scrutinized. So, I wasn’t surprised this week when conservative activists started circulating various tweets and other things I’ve said over the years. They are really going after me — I’m Public Enemy Number One on conservative Twitter! I’m being portrayed as an uber-progressive resistance liberal who works in privileged white woman cringe the way that Michelangelo worked in marble. My critics have seized on past statements like “America is addicted to white supremacy” and “I’m so done with late-stage capitalism” to hold me up as an avatar for midwit coastal elite groupthink.

I have to say: I’m surprised by the uproar. I expect scrutiny, but I did not expect to become the subject of a multi-day media frenzy. And please keep in mind: I’m not accused of wrongdoing — I’m accused of being extremely progressive in an obnoxious way. And I feel compelled to ask: Who the fuck did you think was running NPR, you fucking morons? Wasn’t it definitely going to be someone with my behaviors and opinions? Are you truly shocked that I’m basically the “Ruthkanda forever” girl grown up and in charge of a major media outlet?

Sounds totally legit.

Also, sounds like Pun Salad has entirely abandoned its keep-it-PG13 language stance. Ah well.

Also of note:

  • [Amazon Link]
    (paid link)

    I can't recommend our Amazon Product du Jour. Nor can I recommend its use on Hamas-loving college students. But I can understand. As the Free Beacon reports: Columbia Students Claimed They Were Sprayed With an Israeli Chemical Weapon. It Was Actually Fart Spray Purchased on Amazon, New Lawsuit Says.

    Chemical weapons are typically associated with Middle Eastern warzones, not Ivy League colleges. So when one of them was allegedly deployed at Columbia University, it ignited a media frenzy.

    Pro-Palestinian protesters told the Columbia Spectator they had been sprayed with "skunk," a crowd-control chemical developed by the Israeli Defense Forces, at a rally in January. Mainstream media amplified the allegations, and Columbia suspended a student involved in the "attack"—who had previously served in IDF—within days.

    The narrative was a progressive fever dream: At one of the best universities in the country, an Israeli student had deployed chemical weapons against peaceful student protesters for challenging the alleged depredations of the Jewish state.

    Columbia president Minouche Shafik repeated this claim at a meeting of the university’s senate. "Demonstrators," she said, "were sprayed with a toxic chemical."

    It now appears that the "toxic chemical" was a harmless fart spray purchased on Amazon for $26.11.

    According to a lawsuit filed against Columbia on Tuesday, the suspended student had in fact dispersed "Liquid Ass"—a "gag gift for adults and kids," per its product description—at an unsanctioned pro-Palestinian rally. He sprayed the substance in the air, not at any particular individual, in what the lawsuit describes as a "harmless expression of speech." The result was a swift suspension for which the student is now suing, alleging that the university "rushed to silence Plaintiff and brand him as a criminal" through "biased misconduct proceedings."

    Let me just say that searching for "Liquid Ass" on Amazon brings up a disquietingly large selection of items.