NPR’s Norris to step away from ‘ATC’ hosting duties while husband works for Obama campaign

NPR.org
Michele Norris, who has co-hosted “All Things Considered” since 2002, says she’ll step away from those duties while husband Broderick Johnson works for the Obama re-election campaign as a senior adviser. “This has all happened very quickly, but working closely with NPR management, we’ve been able to make a plan that serves the show, honors the integrity of our news organization and is best for me professionally and personally,” she writes in a note to listeners (posted below). Norris will continue to report for “All Things Considered,” but not on politics, according to a tweet from NPR media reporter David Folkenflik. He also notes: “@michele_norris recused in ’04 when Johnson aided Kerry’s congressional outreach; not in 2008 when he was unpaid adviser to Obama camp.”


Hello everyone,

I need to share some news and I wanted to make sure my NPR family heard this first.

Last week, I told news management that my husband, Broderick Johnson, has just accepted a senior advisor position with the Obama Campaign. After careful consideration, we decided that Broderick’s new role could make it difficult for me to continue hosting ATC.

Given the nature of Broderick’s position with the campaign and the impact that it will most certainly have on our family life, I will temporarily step away from my hosting duties until after the 2012 elections.

I will be leaving the host chair at the end of this week, but I’m not going far. I will be wearing a different hat for a while, producing signature segments and features and working on new reporting projects. While I will of course recuse myself from all election coverage, there’s still an awful lot of ground that I can till in this interim role.

This has all happened very quickly, but working closely with NPR management, we’ve been able to make a plan that serves the show, honors the integrity of our news organization and is best for me professionally and personally.

I will certainly miss hosting, but I will remain part of the ATC team and I look forward to contributing to our show and NPR in new and exciting ways.

My very best,

Michele

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  • Anonymous

    Norris and all the hosts have asked probing questions of folks left of center, the OWS movement has been poked and prodded (as well it should be).  But there are two other points about the bias claims manifest by “hostile” questions.  First, I am a bit surprised that folks on this site don’t acknowledge the role of producers.  Do you think the hosts are coming up with all those questions or, moreover, are the only ones with questions.  Second anyone who listens to NPR consistently couldn’t possibly think they’re in the tank for the President.  The current big project is roadshow to talk see how people are coping with the economy being in the toilet, not exactly Obama campaign material and this isn’t a first.  NPR has issues.  Lack of serious thoughtful questioning isn’t one of them. 

  • Anonymous

    Norris, like all the hosts, asked tough questions of anyone.  I could site just as much “hostility” toward left leaning interviewees and the coverage of OWS (once they stopped ignoring it) is great example of that.  OWS has probed poked and prodded by NPR (and rightly so). 

    But there are two things more to the point.  One, some of you don’t seem to know how news works.  Host don’t necessarily produce, that is to say, they don’t always come up with all of the questions.  That is at least partly the job of the various producers.  Second how can anyone who listens to ATC day and day out say they are in the tank for Obama?  The major project right now is going across the country to see how folks are coping with the economy being in the toilet and this is not the first of such series.  So highlighting unemployment is promoting the current administration?

    Anyone with any pretense toward “objectivity” can’t take a good look at NPR’s coverage and claim the sorts of biases I see put forward here.

  • Anonymous

    Just jumping the gun to try to ward off the inevitable criticism.  Norris and NPR knew they were in an untenable position and think this will stop the criticism. Guess again, it won’t.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/QXHUG6B22T6CKA3CRQ4EG3UOCM Laurence

    Several posts have mentioned Norris’s “hostility” when interviewing conservatives.  Could it be that they were typically stupid, and having them on NPR was a waste of time.  Once in a while a right-wing lunatic appears on Chris Matthews’ show on MSNBC and has to be schooled in, oh, I don’t know: REALITY!  Same with Lawrence and Rachel later in the evening.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I’m going to file this under the heading “shocking news.”

  • Anonymous

    Have listened for years to Norris’ open hostility to anyone or anything right of center.  Truly amazing.

    Now that she admits she’s compromised, she should never be allowed back to host ATC.

    Great opportunity for NPR to replace her. She was a walking talking lefty liability.

  • Anonymous

     Anyone listening to Norris on a regular basis has heard her palpable hostility when interviewing anyone right of center. NPR shouldn’t allow her back as host of ATC or ever let her cover anything, politically.

    Cat’s out of the bag for Norris, permanently. By stepping down, she acknowledged her bias.

  • Anonymous

    Surprise, surprise.

  • http://twitter.com/HotCornerBlues Gary

    But NPR’s not biased. Nah!

  • http://twitter.com/HotCornerBlues Gary

    But NPR’s not biased.Nah!

  • Anonymous

    The media and their buds are going all-out for Obama in 2012.