A Fake News Victory? Elon Musk Switches NPR’s ‘State-Affiliated Media’ Label

April 10th, 2023 4:26 PM

Twitter owner Elon Musk appeared to cave to leftist pressure and switched  NPR’s “state-affiliated media” account label for the more euphemistic “government funded media.”

The move came days after NPR and left-wing allies decried Musk’s designation of NPR’s Twitter account as “state-affiliated,” a label used for outlets that vomit government-run propaganda. While NPR is not directly run by the government, the media outlet has routinely positioned itself as a mouthpiece for leftist causes and Democratic politicians, including the Biden administration.

Some of NPR’s most outrageous leftist reporting include but are not limited to claiming those who oppose reparations for blacks suffer from “collective willful ignorance,” offering free abortion ads, and fuming at conservative critics for highlighting the financial ties between leftist billionaire George Soros and Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who is prosecuting former President Donald J. Trump.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre rushed to defend NPR journalists at an April 5 press conference, claiming they “work diligently to hold public officials accountable and inform the American people.” “The hard-hitting independent nature of their coverage speaks for itself,” she decried. CNN’s Kaitlan Collins similarly defended NPR. “That’s not obviously NPR,” Collins said in reference to the definition of state-affiliated media. “NPR does great journalism.”

NPR President and CEO John Lansing, who lists his preferred pronouns as “he/him” in his official Twitter bio, threw a hissy fit over Musk’s move by barring the company from publishing its news on Twitter, The Washington Post reported. “We were disturbed to see last night that Twitter has labeled NPR as 'state-affiliated media,' a description that, per Twitter's own guidelines, does not apply to NPR,” Lansing said.

NPR attempted to downplay its government funding, providing Musk with details of its finances. “The network's finances [shows] that nearly 40% of its funding comes from corporate sponsorships and 31% from fees for programming paid by local public radio stations,” an NPR reporter claimed. The government grants only account for “about 1% of its annual operating budget.” 

The network’s claim, however, appears to be a classic case of double-speak. NPR also proclaims on its website how “[f]ederal funding is essential to public radio's service to the American public and its continuation is critical for both stations and program producers, including NPR.”

“The label change is little more than a distinction without a difference,” said MRC Free Speech America & MRC Business Director Michael Morris. “One thing remains clear: NPR does the bidding of the left, including protecting leftist policy prescriptions and federal politicians, many of whom it relies on to receive grant money.”

Democrats funneled $75 million through the coronavirus stimulus bill in 2020 to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for the purpose of supporting NPR and PBS stations.