Occupy Wall Street Costs Journalist Her Job

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A freelance public radio host has lost her job for the documentary program "Soundprint" because of her involvement with the Washington, D.C. faction of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
   
Lisa Simeone also hosted several shows on National Public Radio, including "World of Opera" and the weekend edition of "All Things Considered."
  
The Baltimore-based public radio host served as a spokeswoman for Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Moira Rankin, president of Soundprint Media Center Inc., told the Associated Press Simone's involvement was a violation of NPR's code of ethics.

Tim Graham, director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center, offered his take on the Lisa Simeone flap and whether NPR should lose public funding. Click play to watch.

"It's fine if you want to be a leader of an organized protest movement, but you can't also be in a journalistic role," Rankin said. 

"You can't be the host of a journalism program and plead that you are different than the reporter who is going to come on a minute after you introduce the program," he added.

But Simeone said she was puzzled by Rankin's words.

"NPR objects to my exercising my rights as an American citizen -- on my own time, in my own life," she said.

While NPR officials also questioned Simeone's activities, they could not fire the freelancer and insist they did not pressure "Soundprint" to do so.

In early October, NPR hired Gary Knell as the organization's new chief executive.  The former resident and Chief Executive Officer of Sesame Workshop said he wanted to "depoliticize" the network.     

The Simeone controversy comes as many NPR stations are in a fall pledge drive to raise money from their listeners.

Not all the money for public radio comes from the listeners. Congress provides about 15 percent. Allegations that NPR is too liberal has some calling on lawmakers to cut the funding.

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