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Rep. Paul Gosar calls for NPR to be defunded over its blackout on Hunter Biden allegations

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) is calling for National Public Radio to be defunded by the federal government. The movement to defund NPR comes after the media organization announced that it would not cover the allegations against Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

On Thursday, NPR managing editor Terence Samuels declared that covering the news story about emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop that was left at a computer repair store is a “waste” of time, and discredited the allegations a “distraction.”

“We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions,” Samuels stated. “And quite frankly, that’s where we ended up, this was … a politically driven event and we decided to treat it that way.”

NPR has dismissed the Hunter Biden accusations despite Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe declaring the Hunter Biden’s laptop is “not part of some Russian disinformation campaign.”

NPR also enacted a blackout on the Hunter Biden story despite an alleged business partner of Hunter Biden, Tony Bobulinski, confirming the emails are “genuine” and coming forward with multiple phones that he claims have text messages showing dealings with a Chinese energy corporation and the Democratic presidential nominee’s son. Bobulinksi alleges that Joe Biden is involved in the deal. He also offered to speak with the FBI and senators regarding alleged transactions with the Shanghai-based company.

NPR refuses to cover the story despite the fact that Hunter Biden has not denied dropping off his laptop at the computer repair shop back in 2019.

Rep. Gosar wants to defund National Public Radio, who called the outlet’s blackout “appalling.” He added that he has “already directed my staff to start working” on legislation to defund NPR, which is a federally-funded media organization.

Gosar, a staunch ally of President Donald Trump, believes the accusations against the Biden family. He quote-tweeted a post that read: “Joe Biden uses public office to enrich himself and his family. President Trump uses public office to bring jobs and prosperity to American families!” Adding, “This on repeat every day until the election.”

Former Trump administration Ambassador to Germany and Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell was also enraged by NPR’s blackout on the Hunter Biden story, calling it “activism.”

The NPR website states:

Federal funding is essential to public radio’s service to the American public. Its continuation is critical for both stations and program producers, including NPR.

Public radio stations receive annual grants directly from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) that make up an important part of a diverse revenue mix that includes listener support, corporate sponsorship and grants. Stations, in turn, draw on this mix of public and privately sourced revenue to pay NPR and other public radio producers for their programming.

These station programming fees comprise a significant portion of NPR’s largest source of revenue. The loss of federal funding would undermine the stations’ ability to pay NPR for programming, thereby weakening the institution.

Elimination of federal funding would result in fewer programs, less journalism—especially local journalism—and eventually the loss of public radio stations, particularly in rural and economically distressed communities.

Social media giants Facebook and Twitter censored the Hunter Biden story soon after the New York Post published the report that is potentially damaging to the Biden campaign. Twitter suspended the official account for the New York Post on Oct. 14, and the account is still inactive.

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NPR tells readers the Hunter Biden story is a ‘waste’ of time and a ‘pure distraction,’ so they’re not reporting on it

NPR managing editor Terence Samuels acknowledged Thursday that the news outlet has not been reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop story because the editorial staff there doesn’t want to “waste” readers’ time on what they consider “pure distractions.”

What are the details?

On Thursday, NPR’s Samuels explained to readers that the Hunter Biden laptop story is a waste of their time and they don’t need to look into it.

“We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions,” Samuels said. “And quite frankly, that’s where we ended up, this was … a politically driven event and we decided to treat it that way.”

His response was included in NPR’s Public Editor newsletter, written by Poynter’s Kelly McBride.

In the newsletter, McBride included a question from a reader, who asked, “Someone please explain why NPR has apparently not reported on the Joe Biden, Hunter Biden story in the last week or so that Joe did know about Hunter’s business connections in Europe that Joe had previously denied having knowledge?”

In response, McBride wrote:

There are many, many red flags in that New York Post investigation. NPR Media Correspondent David Folkenflik detailed most of them here. Intelligence officials warn that Russia has been working overtime to keep the story of Hunter Biden in the spotlight. Even if Russia can’t be positively connected to this information, the story of how Trump associates Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani came into a copy of this computer hard drive has not been verified and seems suspect. And if that story could be verified, the NY Post did no forensic work to convince consumers that the emails and photos that are the basis for their report have not been altered.

“But,” she continued before quoting Samuels, “the biggest reason you haven’t heard much on NPR about the Post story is that the assertions don’t amount to much.”

What’s the background?

Since the controversy hit the internet last week, it has been treated as unwelcome, to say the least, in left-wing media circles.

Perhaps the greatest example of this occurred the very same day the New York Post published their “smoking gun” email report about former Vice President Joe Biden’s alleged meeting with a top Burisma executive, when Facebook and Twitter censored the story before fact-checking it.

Since then, the story has received comparatively little coverage among left-leaning publications, especially when contrasted to the coverage granted to reports such as the New York Times’ publication of President Trump’s tax returns.

While the reason for this is obvious to most — the news outlets would prefer not to report on a story that could be damaging to their preferred candidate — few have come out and said as much. NPR at least acknowledged the obvious.

Anything else?

Shortly after the story broke, Democratic lawmakers and former intelligence officials began parroting the narrative that the story was part of a Russian disinformation campaign, but that claim has been repudiated by current Justice Department and intelligence officials.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe rejected the claim Monday, saying there is “no intelligence” supporting it. Then on Tuesday, the Department of Justice and the FBI confirmed his assessment.

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NPR tweet about Trump rallies perfectly illustrates coronavirus double standard for protests

A pair of tweets from NPR — one about social justice protests in Washington, D.C., and the other about upcoming Trump rallies — highlight the way protests are seemingly exempt from criticism for lack of coronavirus social distancing.

About a protest in D.C., NPR tweeted the following:

“Thousands of voices at a protest in D.C. came together to sing the Bill Withers classic ‘Lean on Me,’ led by local musician Kenny Sway. ‘It sounded like unity and togetherness,’ he says. ‘It sounded like love and pureness of the people.'”

The Trump campaign recently announced the return of its campaign rallies, which also draw thousands of attendees. Here’s what NPR said about that:

“President Trump will hit the campaign trail this month — despite the deadly coronavirus pandemic, which continues to impact the lives and livelihoods of households across the country. ‘The rallies will be tremendous,’ a campaign manager said.”

Here’s a bonus tweet from NPR about rallies at which thousands will gather — a tweet that doesn’t tie those rallies to the pandemic in any way.

This should be simple: Either all mass gatherings are dangerous and have the potential to spread COVID-19 widely and quickly, or none of them are dangerous and they should not be blamed for any potential spikes in coronavirus cases.

So which is it? If you believe Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top expert on President Trump’s coronavirus task force (who has mostly disappeared from the news cycle since the protests began), there is significant risk that the protests could undo the progress the U.S. has made toward moving past the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It is the perfect set-up for the spread of the virus in the sense of creating some blips which might turn into some surges,” Fauci said, according to WTOP.

“As I sat in front of the TV and watched the screen go from Washington, D.C., to New York City, to Los Angeles, to Philadelphia, I got really concerned,” Fauci told the Sunday Times of London. “I was going, ‘Oh my goodness. I hope this doesn’t set us back a lot.’ [After] all of the work in trying to maintain the physical distance and doing all the things, I became very concerned that we might see a resurgence.”

Fauci said all public health experts can do is tell people to be careful and wear a mask. But if that is effective, why didn’t we do that from the beginning, rather than shutting down businesses and ordering people to stay home?

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Bloomberg News killed a story on China’s communist elites fearing repercussions. Then it fired the reporter and tried to silence his wife: report

Six years ago, Bloomberg News quashed an investigation into China’s wealthy elites over fears that the Chinese government would retaliate. Then the outlet fired one of the reporters involved and even attempted to silence his wife, NPR reported.

According to audio recordings obtained by NPR, in October 2013, Bloomberg News founding editor in chief Matthew Winkler told a team of reporters who were working on an exposé of the corrupt practices of China’s ruling class that the story would be killed out of fear that Chinese officials would “shut us down and kick us out of the country.”

“It is for sure going to, you know, invite the Communist Party to, you know, completely shut us down and kick us out of the country,” Winkler said, according to NPR, comparing the Chinese officials to the Nazis of World War II-era Germany. “So, I just don’t see that as a story that is justified.”

“The inference is going to be interpreted by the government there as we are judging them,” Winkler added, again relaying his concerns. “And they will probably kick us out of the country. They’ll probably shut us down, is my guess.”

The China-based team of reporters included Mike Forsythe, an ex-Bejing correspondent for Bloomberg News who now works for the New York Times. Forsythe and other team members had already published an award-winning report on the corrupt accumulation of wealth by China’s ruling class in 2012. And during the following year, they were working on a subsequent story that would tie top Chinese Communist Party officials — including the family of current President Xi Jinping — to the country’s wealthiest man.

But the story never ran. According to NPR, two Bloomberg editors denied that the story was killed at the time, instead saying that the story needed additional reporting. Winkler toed the same line.

“The reporting as presented to me was not ready for publication,” Winkler said to the Financial Times in November.

Shortly after the story was dropped, Bloomberg News fired Forsythe, accusing him of leaking about the controversy to other outlets. On his way out, he signed a nondisclosure agreement.

Then lawyers for Bloomberg News allegedly pressed Forsythe’s wife, author and journalist Leta Hong Fincher, to sign a nondisclosure agreement, as well. She declined despite repeated attempts by Bloomberg lawyers to force the action. After she hired attorneys of her own, Bloomberg L.P. finally let it go.

“They assumed that because I was the wife of their employee … I was just an appendage of their employee. I was not a human being,” Fincher told NPR. “There was no reason why I should have to sign a nondisclosure agreement, because I didn’t possess any damaging material about the company.”

In 2013, Mike Bloomberg, who was mayor of New York City at the time, denied that the story was cut out of fear of repercussions from China.

“Nobody thinks we are wusses and not willing to stand up and write stories that are of interest to the public and that are factually correct,” he told Politico at the time.

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Almost 20% of households have lost work due to the coronavirus — and that was before states shut down restaurants and bars

The wide-ranging preventative measures introduced in response to the coronavirus pandemic have resulted in nearly 1 in 5 Americans experiencing a layoff or a reduction in work hours, according to a newly released poll.

As cities and states continue to shut down schools, restaurants, bars, and more, and as people remain at home in order to stunt the spread of the virus, many businesses are starting to feel the economic effects.

By the time the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll was conducted on March 13-14 — days before many states had announced stricter lockdown measures — layoffs and reduced hours had already hit 18% of U.S. households.

According to a report by food news website, dozens of states mandated shutdowns for restaurants and bars effective earlier this week, on Monday and Tuesday. Unless most restaurant owners preemptively adjusted employee schedules, this news could mean that 18% is only the beginning and that the loss of work rate could significantly expand in the weeks and months ahead.

In fact, NPR noted in a report on the poll’s findings that restaurants, bars, and travel industries have been among the hardest hit, but that the ripple effects of the economic downturn are expected to eventually affect the entire economy.

The poll also revealed that lower-income workers have been affected the most so far as a quarter of households making less than $50,000 have already experienced loss of work. While some American employees are able to work from home, for many blue-collar businesses and retail industry jobs, remote work is simply not an option.

In an advisory notice sent from the White House Monday, President Trump recommended that Americans avoid social gatherings consisting of more than 10 people. That notice, along with recommendations released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday calling for the cancellation of mass gatherings, prompted cities and states to order restaurants, bars, and other community gathering spaces to temporarily close.

The president, aware of the dangerous economic effects such preventative measures could result in, has advocated for a multibillion-dollar stimulus package to protect the economy. The package is reported to include $250 billion in direct payments to Americans and provide significant relief for small businesses.