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Conservatives, journalists criticize NPR’s new ‘disinformation reporting team,’ re

Public editor says delay hurt network.

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Conservatives and journalists were quick to criticize NPR’s new “disinformation reporting team” on Saturday as many pointed to the outlet’s initial dismissal of the Hunter Biden laptop story and more. 

NPR’s Nancy Barnes, SVP of News and Editorial Director, and Terence Samuel, VP and Executive Editor, announced in a note to their newsroom staff that they were launching a “disinformation reporting team.”

The New York Post’s Jon Levine, along with several others, pointed to NPR’s dismissal of the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020. In a statement, Samuel said that they didn’t want to waste NPR readers’ time on stories that were “pure distractions." 

"We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not real stories, and we don’t want ot waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions,” he said. 

Washington DC, USA – June 4, 2012: The NPR (National Public Radio) building in Washington DC. Founded in 1970, NPR is a non-profit network of 900 radio stations across the United States. (iStock)

The House Judiciary GOP also pointed to NPR’s dismissal of the Hunter Biden story in response to the news. 

Federalist CEO and co-founder Sean Davis said that NPR’s “entire organization is a disinformation team.”

Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway also responded to the news, saying that NPR has been “little other than a disinformation team for many years." 

Many others also contended that the outlet’s "disinformation team” has been “up and running for years.”

Hunter Biden, the son of new U.S. President Joe Biden, attends his father’s inauguration as 46th US President on January 20, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Photo by JONATHAN ERNST / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JONATHAN ERNST/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Deputy Digital Director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee Mike Hahn suggested the outlet conduct an “internal review” first.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., also slammed the announcement, saying that their first target “needs to be itself” pointing to the Hunter Biden story. Boebert helped launch an effort to take down the Department of Homeland Security’s new Disinformation Governance Board, which the department has put on pause after many raised free speech concerns. 

UNITED STATES – JUNE 16: Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., is seen on the House steps of the U.S. Capitol after the last votes of the week on Thursday, June 16, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., also commented on the news, writing, “defund NPR." 

Following the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, NPR tweeted the news and described the leader as a "divisive arch-conservative." 

Conservatives slammed the outlet and many called to defund NPR for the description. The outlet deleted their original tweet and instead referred to Abe as an "ultranationalist” rather than “divisive arch-conservative” in a new tweet.

Hanna Panreck is an associate editor at Fox News.

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