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Online Chat with NPR CEO Vivian Schiller

by Alicia C. Shepard
Nov 11, 2009

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Alicia C. Shepard

Interested in hearing what Vivian Schiller, NPR's president and CEO has to say about Dan Schorr, pledge drives, the hard-to-follow public radio system, funding, iPhone apps and more?

Here's a link to an online conversation that Schiller did Tuesday with WashingtonPost.com.

One person asked Schiller about Dan Schorr, who at 93, still does a weekly commentary and appears on Saturday to talk about the week's news with Scott Simon on Weekend Edtion Saturday.

Derwood, Md.: Why do you keep Dan Schorr around? His analysis is reliably faulty, liberally-biased, and mean-spirited (yeah, I guess I'd feel the same way after what Nixon did to me). But still — he really knocks down any credibility you have of being 'unbiased', especially since he is a part of the news wing, not entertainment.

This is a question I get from time to time from people asking when NPR will have a conservative commentator to balance what they see as liberal commentary from Schorr.

"The only way to answer is that Dan is a news analyst - not a commentator - and that he isn't representative of any one side of the debate," said Ellen Weiss, NPR's senior v.p. for news. "In other words, we don't expect him to naturally side with the left. But rather to take a position based on his reporting. In those cases where we are looking for a conversation or commentary that spans left to right, we bring together people who are happily identified with one side or the other."

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