‘An Extra $10 for Mary Louise Kelly’: NPR Sees Rise in Donations After Pompeo Incident

‘An Extra $10 for Mary Louise Kelly’: NPR Sees Rise in Donations After Pompeo Incident

In the days following a testy encounter between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a reporter for NPR, the public media outlet says it has seen a bump in donations.

“It is really gratifying to hear people being supportive of the reporting that journalists are doing in general, because it’s been a tough time for journalists the past few years,” Debbie Hiott, general manager for NPR station KUT in Austin, Texas, told the Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple Blog. About half of the 124 gifts the station received since Friday are from first-time donors, with some comments attached to each donation explicitly mentioning the incident.

Pompeo, after an interview for “All Things Considered,” swore at co-host Mary Louise Kelly and demanded she identify Ukraine on a blank map of Europe. Later, Pompeo released a statement doubling down, and President Trump publicly praised the former CIA director for his treatment of Kelly. The State Department, furthermore, this week chose to remove NPR correspondent Michele Kelemen from a trip abroad.

Donor comments cite one or more of these events:

“I am thankful for the brave reporting done by Mary Louise Kelly this past week in regards to Secretary Pompeo. This incident has made me realize more than ever how important it is to keep this great service alive.”

“I’ve already renewed our KUT membership, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s inexcusable treatment of NPR reporters Mary Louise Kelly and Michele Kelemen prompts me to make an additional small gift to support KUT, NPR and high-quality reporting. It’s that “democracy dies in darkness,” and NPR is a bright light.”

Exact donation figures are currently unavailable as there are more than 1,000 NPR member stations.

William Vaillancourt

William Vaillancourt

William Vaillancourt is a writer and editor from New Hampshire whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Progressive, Slate and Areo Magazine, among other places. He holds a BA in Political Science and History from Boston University.