by WorldTribune Staff, January 27, 2020
After Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called out a National Public Radio (NPR) media personality for lying and breaking journalistic ethics by reporting on off-the-record comments, the corporate media came to her defense.
But Radio and TV host Mark Levin questioned the ongoing need for the taxpayer-funded media outlet that swings far to the left.
Pompeo said he agreed to discuss only Iran in a recorded interview with NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly, not Ukraine. But Kelly pressed him on Ukraine, including questions on the ouster of former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.
Kelly “lied to me, twice,” Pompeo said in a statement on Saturday. “First, last month, in setting up our interview and, then again yesterday, in agreeing to have our post-interview conversation off the record. It is shameful that this reporter chose to violate the basic rules of journalism and decency.”
Levin, host of “Life, Liberty & Levin” on Fox News, tweeted: “Why does NPR still exist? We have thousands of radio stations in the U.S. Plus Satellite radio. Podcasts. Why are we paying for this big-government, Democrat Party propaganda operation.”
In response to Levin’s tweet, President Donald Trump tweeted: “A very good question!”
Pompeo said Kelly’s actions are another example of how an “unhinged” media wants to hurt the Trump administration.
“It is no wonder that the American people distrust many in the media when they so consistently demonstrate their agenda and their absence of integrity,” Pompeo said.
After Pompeo’s statement, leftist media personalities rushed to Kelly’s defense.
Jason Rezaian of The Washington Post called Pompeo’s statement “a shameful assault on #PressFreedom.”
That comment drew a sharp rebuke from Andrew Surabian, a former special assistant to Trump.
“In what universe is complaining about a reporter breaking an off the record agreement an ‘assault on press freedom’?” Surabian tweeted. “If @NPRKelly did indeed break an off the record agreement, she should be fired & her colleagues should be condemning her, not holding her up as a resistance hero.”
Kelly claims that she told Pompeo she had confirmed with his staff the evening before the interview that they would talk about Iran and Ukraine, which he disputed. And while Pompeo’s statement said Kelly promised the discussion in his office would be off the record, NPR reported Kelly was never told that.
“Nor would I have agreed,” she said.
NPR said it stands behind its report. “We will not be intimidated,” NPR CEO John Lansing said Saturday.
In December 2018, NPR was forced to issue a lengthy correction after falsely accusing Donald Trump Jr. of lying to the Senate about plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, claiming his statements contradicted Michael Cohen’s plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller.