Conservatives and journalists quickly criticized NPR’s “disinformation team” on Saturday. Many pointed out NPR’s initial dismissal about the Hunter Biden laptop story, and many more.
Nancy Barnes, SVP/Editorial Director of NPR, and Terence Samuel (VP/Executive Editor), announced to their newsroom staff in a note that they were starting a “disinformation team.”
Jon Levine of the New York Post, among others, pointed out NPR’s 2020 dismissal in 2020 of the Hunter Biden laptop story. Samuel stated that NPR didn’t want to waste their time with stories that were “pure distractions.”
He stated, “We don’t want to spend our time on stories which aren’t real stories, and we also don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories which are just pure distractions.”
House Judiciary GOP also criticized NPR’s response to the news, dismissing the Hunter Biden story.
Sean Davis, CEO of Federalist and co-founder, stated that NPR’s entire organization was a disinformation team.
Mollie Hemingway, a Fox News contributor, also replied to the news, stating that NPR had been “little more than a disinformation group for many years.”
Others also claimed that the outlet’s disinformation team has been “up-and-running for years.”
Mike Hahn, Deputy Digital Director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, suggested that the outlet first conduct an “internal assessment”.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (Republican from Colorado) also condemned the announcement. She said that the first target of the attack “needs be itself”, pointing out the Hunter Biden story. Boebert was instrumental in launching an effort to discredit the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board. The department has since put the board on pause following free speech concerns.
Dan Bishop, R.N.C., also made comments on the news and wrote, “defund NPR.”
NPR tweeted the news about the assassination Shinzo Abe’s former Japanese Prime Minister and called him a “divisive archconservative.”
Conservatives attacked the outlet, and many called for NPR to be defunded because of the description. In a new tweet, the outlet referred to Abe in an “ultranationalist” instead of “divisive archconservative” and deleted their original tweet.