NPR Heavily Criticized For Presenting Black Lives Matter As Other Side To White Nationalist Jason Kessler

NPR interviewed the 'Unite the Right' organizer and then pivoted to a discussion with a BLM activist, presenting them as co-equal sides of the same coin.

With a Unite the Right anniversary rally scheduled to take place in Washington this weekend, rally organizer and noted white nationalist Jason Kessler scored himself a softball interview with NPR Friday morning. After Morning Edition host Noel King was finished letting Kessler push race-based junk science while failing to ask him about the death of Heather Heyer at last year’s Charlotteville rally, NPR immediately turned to a Black Lives Matter activist for an interview.

It wasn’t just that NPR gave Kessler a platform to spew his racist rhetoric that made folks angry, though. It was the way the public radio network presented Kessler and BLM — basically, implying that an organization devoted to racial justice is the other side of white supremacy — that caused an immediate backlash from reporters, observers and activists.

The Washington Post’s Karen Attiah said NPR was “telling on itself” in how it presented the two interviews.

Activist Brittany Packnett invoked Martin Luther King to make a point about the Friday morning public radio segments.

DeRay McKesson slammed NPR for even giving Kessler a platform.

Let’s be honest…there was LOTS of negative reaction.

Meanwhile, NPR is defending the Kessler interview, telling the Observer that “interviewing the people in the news is part of NPR’s mission to inform the American public, it does not mean NPR is endorsing one view over another.” a spokesperson added that “our job is to present the facts and the voices that provide context on the day’s events, not to protect our audience from views that might offend them.”

Which, apparently means, letting someone come on and rank different races by intelligence while deciding it isn’t appropriate to ask that person about the violence he is personally responsible for. Got it.

In the end, here’s how the Morning Edition crew felt about Friday’s broadcast:

Ummmm…

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Justin Baragona is the founder and publisher of Contemptor. He was previously the Cable News Correspondent for Mediaite and prior to starting Contemptor, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.
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