NPR flees from Twitter in response to being labeled as both “state-affiliated” and “government-funded” media despite observably being both:
After briefly being labeled “state-affiliated media,” NPR has decided to abandon Twitter.
Under the leadership of entrepreneur Elon Musk, Twitter attached a descriptor to the account associated with National Public Radio, characterizing the account as “state-affiliated media.”
After swift backlash, though, the social media site exchanged the label for a different, more accurate one: “Government-funded media.”
Supporters of NPR were angered by Twitter’s original label, seemingly lumping the U.S. news outlet in with sites like Russia Today (RT) and China’s Xinhua News Agency.
Apparently displeased with both designations, NPR announced Wednesday it was suspending its Twitter accounts.
A news article from NPR reported, “NPR will no longer post fresh content to its 52 official Twitter feeds, becoming the first major news organization to go silent on the social media platform. In explaining its decision, NPR cited Twitter’s decision to first label the network ‘state-affiliated media,’ the same term it uses for propaganda outlets in Russia, China, and other autocratic countries.”
NPR will “no longer be active on Twitter because the platform is taking actions that undermine our credibility by falsely implying that we are not editorially independent,” the outlet said in a statement.
John Lansing, CEO of NPR, told the news site he leads abandoning Twitter is about “protecting” NPR’s “ability to produce journalism without ‘a shadow of negativity.’”
The amusing thing about NPR’s little tantrum is that both Russia Today and the Xinhua News Agency are considerably more reliable than National Public Radio, which is both affiliated with the U.S. government and funded by it.
NPR gets another 31 percent of its funding in programming fees from member organizations. Federal funding indirectly contributes to the latter category because the publicly funded CPB provides annual grants to public radio stations that pay NPR for programming.
The media tries to conceal the fact that the Federal government gives the money to NPR’s member organizations, which than gives the money to NPR. There is nothing private or independent about NPR, though at least, unlike the BBC, citizens are not forced to pay a direct fee for it.
It is certainly both telling and amusing to see the extent of their reaction to being correctly identified in this way. The wicked flee even when no man pursueth.
UPDATE: The government-funded Public Broadcasting Service has reportedly followed suit and exited Twitter. It will be informative if the totally-independent and not-at-all marching-in-lockstep mainstream media organizations do the same. In, you know, protest and solidarity and all that.