Democratic Colorado Rep. Diana Degette became incensed at her Republican colleagues on Wednesday after they criticized National Public Radio (NPR) CEO Katherine Maher for not testifying at a hearing.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce requested Maher attend the hearing about whether NPR is ideologically biased in the wake of allegations by editor Uri Berliner, who had worked there for 25 years, that the outlet sought to take down former President Donald Trump. Maher did not show up because of a scheduling conflict, as she has an all-day board meeting, but Republicans still took aim at the CEO, with Degette saying the committee should be ashamed of itself for what she referred to as partisanship.

“I want to say, shame on this committee for doing this,” Degette said. “Apparently … the majority members keep attacking the NPR CEO Katherine Maher because she’s not here. They gave her one week notice, she’s a brand new CEO and today is her board meeting, her first board meeting as CEO, and you want to haul her in here so that you can rake her over the coals for your partisan issues. Shame on this committee! I’m beside myself. I think it’s outrageous.”



NPR suspended Berliner without pay for five days for his essay criticizing the outlet, which he published in the Free Press, and the editor later resigned.

“I cannot work in a newsroom where I am disparaged by a new CEO whose divisive views confirm the very problems at NPR that I cite in my Free Press essay,” Berliner wrote in his resignation letter.

Maher came under fire for posting her support for President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign on Twitter in November of that year, as well as calling Trump “racist” in 2018 on Twitter, according to The New York Times.

The CEO also gave a TED Talk in 2022 that recently resurfaced where she asserted “our reverence for the truth might be a distraction that’s getting in the way of finding common ground and getting things done.”

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