NPR will no longer distribute ‘World of Opera’ after host becomes OWS spokesperson
NPR will no longer distribute “World of Opera,” after it was revealed this week that host Lisa Simeone has become a spokesperson for protests in Washington, D.C. WDAV, the North Carolina public radio station that produces the show, said Thursday that Simeone would remain as host and that her involvement in the “Occupy Wall Street” movement had violated nothing in her agreement as a freelancer with the NPR member station.

NPR’s ethics code prohibits journalists from participating in marches, rallies or protests, though. NPR Spokesperson Anna Christopher said Thursday that the same ethics code applies to shows like “World of Opera.”

She’s a public person who represents NPR and public radio,” Christopher told the Associated Press.

Now that NPR is no longer the show’s distributor, Simeone no longer represents the news organization, which has been the focus of public and congressional attention for its journalists’ political beliefs since earlier this year when Juan Williams was fired.

On Friday, NPR resolved this conflict be distancing itself from “World of Opera” and its host, as WDAV announced that it would become the show’s distributor, effective November 11.

In an email message, Christopher said that through WDAV “World of Opera” would be “distributed to all the stations that air the program. We are pleased that there will be no interruption in service to stations or the audience.”

WDAV marketing director Lisa Gray said by email “we have not heard from any stations about this week’s World of Opera news but hope they will be as thrilled as we are that the show will continue to be available for air.”

Simeone has hosted the show, which can be heard on about 60 public radio stations, since 2002. She has a long association with public radio and was the weekend host of NPR’s “All Things Considered” in 2000.

Simeone was fired from the documentary show “Soundprint” on Wednesday, after her role in the protests was reported by Roll Call, the Daily Caller and Fox News.

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  • F. Douglas

    I don’t know what specific rules Fox has, but I’ve read that after Sean Hannity did one of his shows at a tea party event, Roger Ailes banned any future ones…. and indeed I’ve not heard of that sort of thing happening again. I believe that they ban political donations — like other news organizations do. They also released Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum as commenters when they became presidential candidates — so they have a rule on that. Who knows what other rules they have….

  • Anonymous

    she’s a “journalist” at NPR but does understand the problem. and sadly, quite a few of the commentators here don’t get it either. too many media foks have been cheering on the OWS folks…with just as much gusto as they condemned, not to long ago, the “racist” and “traitorous” (thanks, joe b.) Tea Party protestors.

  • Roderick

    My favorite is
    Violetta from La Traviata. I like her because she is truly a dynamic
    character and the fact that she can go through all of that pain and
    still love Alfredo.

  • Anonymous

    Of course, few careful observers will believe a word of this, just for starters because of your past behavior. See how that works? Interesting sudden personality change from all your other posts. Hmmm. Wonder what that’s about. In any case, it’s a little hard to swallow your sudden, Mr.-Reasonable-citing-facts schtick after all the stuff about lazy hippie Nazis and so forth.

    I have been to one OWS gathering, where I saw nothing like any of this. Crowds annoy me, and so does chanting and whatnot – and I’m not a joiner anyway, so I didn’t stay long and I don’t plan to go back. Actually, a fair number of the  people at OWS annoy me, probably for (SOME OF) the same reasons they theoretically annoy you. Some of them — the loudest — are obnoxious twits. But I’m not going to lie about  them, or lump them all together, or pick out the twittiest and craziest among them and call those people representative of the whole, which is a knowing lie. And I’m certainly not going to belittle their cause. Because why the hell would I want to stand up for a bunch of rich bankers, Jew or Goy? For that matter, why would you?

    But whether or not I  had ever attended any of these events, and whether or not I had read many, many other accounts, both personal and from the not-lying media, from all different events, that sound utterly different from your description, what you write here simply doesn’t carry the ring of truth. It sounds like you just culled stuff you heard in the propaganda media and in comments sections, and pretended to have witnessed it yourself. I’m convinced you haven’t attended a single OWS event, and I find that pathetic. And even if you have, you’re still making most of this up. 

    The anti-semitic nonsense is just you parroting Rush Limbaugh (or whomever was parroting him that you heard.). You mention “ample videos” of “OWS” going on anti-semitic rants. Do you mean the odd video of the odd nutball saying crazy stuff? Because if that’s what you mean — again, that’s just simply pathetic. Intellectually bankrupt. Soullessly disingenuous. So utterly unconcerned with the truth that it would be hard to call you a “person” at all. 

    Of course, if you have video evidence showing any representative sample of the protesters (since you said “OWS” after all, and not “a couple of random nuts.”), please post it. This is the Internet, and you can do such things. I just searched YouTube myself — nothing. You’re asking us to believe that a movement made up of (your words) college students and the like is anti-semitic? 

    Similarly, you can link to all these news stories about the feces-strewn parks and whatnot. Not a story where a few people took craps in the bushes, not a story about people *saying* there’s a lot of people doing that – I mean documented accounts about whole groups of people crapping in public in places where there were facilities available. You yourself said “some protesters” were doing this. Well, it’s huge groups of people gathering for unplanned events for days and weeks at a time. If 10 people took craps over several days where thousands of people had been gathering — big deal. More drunks and homeless people probably did the same thing in any city where a few protesters might have done it.  I searched Google News – lots of mentions of defecation and urination. Not much in the way of documentation. This, like the anti-semitism garbage and the characterizations of the OWSers somehow being upper middle class, college kids, hippies and Nazis all at the same, is quite purposely designed, by a well-funded propaganda machine, to hoodwink folks like you into — supporting bankers and limiting regulation on business that might prevent an even worse catastrophe from occurring. Because, as you might recall, that’s what this is all about — remember when the global economy nearly imploded a few years ago. Yeah, that.And finally, are you a 60-year-old woman in 1974? Pot? Really? Oh, heavens!Thanks for the “due respect,” though. Yours,”Brown Shirt.”

  • Anonymous

    NPR did the right thing. For once.

  • Anonymous

    With all due respect flanc, I have been to several OWC in several cities, but not in NY. I did not see nor speak to people that you describe. Quite the opposite. 

    Yes, there are Ron Paul supporters. But some that I spoke to aren’t fully aware of Ron Paul’s full beliefs. They tend to be familiar with just one issue involving the Federal Reserve. Paul has said numerous times he doesn’t support the OWS crowd.

    In the city in which I live, OWC protesters have proudly posted pictures of vandalism on their local Facebook page. The police have had to bring cleaning crews into City Hall to pressure clean the protester’s urine and feces from the park. The city has made clean restrooms available around the clock to protesters, but some protesters chose to urinate and defecate on city property anyways. It’s been well documented by local press.

    And there is the constant smell of pot at the protest. Always.

    There are few people of color in attendance. But the normally active social/civic groups from the black and hispanic communities have avoided the protests and have not attended. Why? It’s simple. They don’t support them or they don’t support the way they are behaving.

    Local media has correctly described it as a white, middle and upper-middle class, college student movement.

    There are no Jewish organizations on hand either. And that’s understandable since many consider the OWS greedy banker rhetoric as a euphemism for the old Jewish banker anti-semitism. Many a fascistic movement has been started with that hateful rhetoric.

    There are ample videos of OWS going on vile, anti-semitic rants that really make me uncomfortable. It’s certainly not the intelligent movement you speak of. And I don’t know how you can ignore or excuse that hate-speech, unless perhaps you agree with it.

    I have also attended Tea Party protests in several cities. It’s a much more diverse group. But if your knowledge of all of this comes from a TV or computer screen and not first hand knowledge, that might be hard to discern.

    I’ve never heard a racist or anti-semtic comment at a Tea Party protest. And no one urinated or defecated in the bushes. And I didn’t smell any weed either.

    By the way, how many OWS and Tea Party protests have you actually attended?If you have not personally attended a protest, then best you not respond until you do.

  • Anonymous

    Try and find an organization that fired people for marching with Dr. King. Those organizations don’t exist anymore.

  • Anonymous

    Just as it’s your right to be a complete goddamned imbecile, and a fine job you’re doing there!  You’re a typical, ill-informed right wing ass who somehow believes he’s part of the ruling class.  I shake my head in disbelief at your type on an almost hourly basis.

  • Anonymous

    Could someone please post the contact information for the person who made this decision?  Thanks!

  • John Flinn

    they need do IPO sence fox is trouble and going under???

  • Anonymous

    Well it’s harsh, but only in the way I actually meant it: that what you wrote was so ridiculous, inane and juvenile — so incredibly basement-bound Internet-commenter-like — and so clearly parroted from what you’re hearing from the propaganda media and other comments sections, that one would think the embarrassment and utter humiliation of not being able to do any better would be strong enough to make you actually disappear. But you go ahead and make up some other meaning for what I actually said. It seems to be your forte’. Oh, and make sure to throw in some more Nazi references and lazy-hippie cracks. That’s real original, too.

    Every serious examination of the OWS protests shows the crowds to be made up of highly diverse (though largely moderately liberal), engaged, intelligent, serious bunch of people. They even include a fair number of conservatives, mostly of the Ron Paul variety. Only a minority are Democrats. More identify themselves as independent. That’s what the normal adults have found out, anyway, if you choose to listen to them. Some of them, no doubt, are lazy hippies, or whatever. Just like a (much larger) minority of the tea party protests were attended by crazy illiterates in tri-corner hats demanding “the birth certificate.” 

    As for “riled up,” I’ve seen your comments here, and I know your kind. You’re riled up 24/7/365. It’s your whole thing. Neverending fear and rage. This has nothing to do with politics, but only with psychology. There are lots of liberals out there who are just exactly like you. If you’ve ever posted anything, anywhere, that wasn’t some bit of adjective-laden, insult-filled biliousness directed at your perceived enemies – just “liberals” in general, I guess — please direct us toward it. Seriously – even one.

  • Anonymous

    Vanish from the earth? Wow. That’s harsh. I guess that means I should die. I wouldn’t expect that from those most ardent brown shirt. 

    Well, that’s not true. It’s fun and it’s easy to get people like you riled up. I knew a reference to the lazy, bigoted protesters would pull someone like you out of the woodwork.

    Gotta go. Fox News is on!

  • Anonymous

    Wait, there are rules for this kind of thing at Fox News? What are they?

  • Anonymous

    Jesus. How do you write this kind of insane drivel without just vanishing from the earth entirely from embarrassment?

  • Laurence

    A program on the Boston PBS station WGBH-TV discussed this issue on its weekly review of media stories.  Nobody was on board who knew anything about opera, so someone uttered the expected inanity “what does opera have to do with politics”.  Oops.  Beethoven’s “Fidelio”, for one, deals with the successful attempt by a lone woman to overthrow a dictator. A Verdi opera called “A Masked Ball” originally dealth with the assassination of a European monarch.  Even a comic opera like Mozart’s “Figaro’s Wedding Day” (sometimes translated as “The Marriage of Figaro”…slightly incorrect) deals with inherited titles vs-a-vis the common people.  If you play these and similar operas on a program, it’s very difficult NOT to make political references.  Last night (Friday, 10/21) I attended an opera in Boston that opens with soldiers returning from a just-ended war on the day President Obama announced the end of one of America’s longest and most unnecessary wars! 

  • Anonymous

    Finally, government funded radio does something smart. Seems as though they have finally gotten the message after their recent PR disasters. 

    No one restricted this woman’s free speech. She can say and do whatever she wants. She chose to be the spokesmouth for a group of lazy, drugged-out, white, anti-semitic college students and NPR wisely chose to disassociate from her.

    I’m not sure though that choosing to be the spokesmouth for far left, white rage is a good career choice.

  • Anonymous

    No, it’s not. Rules ain’t only for FOX News, lib-ural!

  • Anonymous

    Thats why the 1% rulws- cause 99% of the press ia chickensh*t

  • Anonymous

    Cowering in fear like sniveling, rat-faced gits is no way to run a news organization. This is just horrible. 

  • Anonymous

    Can you cite something specific to back this up? This is an awful, cowardly move on NPR’s part, but it seems to me they can stop distributing a show if they feel like it. What federal law are you talking about, and how, specifically, does it apply here?

  • N.

    NPR is in direct violation of federal law by sanctioning an independent contractor for violation of its employee code.