NPR Has Been Slammed With Scandals, and Here are the Worst

 

NPR Has Been Slammed With Scandals, and Here are the Worst

2020/06/30

Originally started as a one-time two-hour special the week of September 11, 2001, On Point is one of NPR's longer-running and popular call-in shows. For most of that time, one man was at the helm: Tom Ashbrook. 



Ashbrook was well-respected by his peers and known as a fierce and opinionated host, described as "hands down one of the finest interviewers on radio and TV," by Mary Olson, general manager of one of largest public radio stations in California. When he was suspended in December 2017 and investigated by his employer, WBUR in Boston, for bullying as well as sexual misconduct, it shocked many. This was at the heyday of the #MeToo movement, and Ashbrook's friends, worried he was getting caught up in a "witch hunt atmosphere" that discredited the movement, penned an open letter in his defense signed by some prominent names in the press, arts, and academia.  


Ultimately, WBUR fired Ashbrook for creating "an abusive work environment." Reporting on his dismissal, WBUR itself stated, "Devoted listeners called and emailed the station urging managers to rethink the decision and promising to go elsewhere if they didn't." On Point airs in over 290 stations around the country today, and the podcast is downloaded over two million times a month.
















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