NPR Admits Failure to Fact-check Author of Book Defending Looting

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Posted: Sep 04, 2020 7:30 AM
NPR Admits Failure to Fact-check Author of Book Defending Looting

Source: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File

NPR’s public editor Kelly McBride has responded to pushback about its controversial interview with the author of a book defending looting, acknowledging the editor of the story should not have allowed the author to get away with advancing claims that were easily proven false.

“This Q&A with a provocative author did not serve NPR’s audience,” McBride wrote, noting that several readers pointed out some of the claims were contradicted by NPR’s own reporting. “On top of being wrong about recent events, the author’s characterization of the Civil Rights Movement is a distortion and oversimplification.”

Many of the author’s statements supporting her thesis “could easily be fact-checked,” so she checked in with the editor of the section it ran under, Code Switch. He said it was, “but we should have done more.”

“A new introduction was added to provide more context and prepare the reader to digest the author's ideas,” McBride said. 

The failure to have challenged the claims to begin with, however, is problematic for two reasons, she continued. 

In addition to misinforming readers, “news consumers are watching closely to see who is challenged and who isn’t,” she said. “In this case a book author with a radical point of view far to the left was allowed to spread false information. Casual observers might conclude that NPR is more interested in fact-checking conservative viewpoints than liberal viewpoints. Or possibly, that bias on the part of NPR staff interferes with their judgment when spotting suspect information.”

Another problem is that few if any readers who genuinely had an interest in the interview will go back to the story to see the revisions. But honestly, it doesn’t read much better anyway.

As Bronson reported, the book is complete Marxist garbage that justifies looting as a means of attaining wealth redistribution so the working class people get “what they need for free immediately…without having to rely on jobs or a wage.” 

The author dismisses looting as just “mass shoplifting” that doesn’t hurt anyone except insurance companies.

“It's just money. It's just property. It's not actually hurting any people,” she claims. 

The countless small business owners who’ve had their life’s work destroyed because of the rioters and looters strongly disagree.