When Employees Occupy Off-Duty

Now-former NPR host, Lisa Simeone, was terminated from her contract when she was seen at an Occupy D.C. protest. A conservative website questioned her presence, claiming that it violated NPR’s ethics policy, reports the Baltimore Sun.

So, what’s the problem? Image. NPR is partially subsidized with taxpayer funds and works hard to ensure that it is seen as a neutral news source. Simeone, by virtue of being a host on public radio, is a public face, or voice as it were, of NPR. An agency whose image is based on political neutrality. An agent of the agency who publicly takes a political position. It doesn’t work.

Or at least that’s what NPR would likely argue. Which is why Ms. Simeone is no longer a freelancer for NPR.

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