WASHINGTON—In response to criticism from Accuracy in Media (AIM), taxpayer-funded National Public Radio (NPR) has announced that its U.N. correspondent, Linda Fasulo, acted inappropriately in accepting money from Ted Turner to write a pro-U.N. book. NPR spokesman David Umansky says that “no reporter will be able to accept similar subsidies in the future,” the network reported. NPR noted that “critics say the deal proves she’s too cozy with the UN.” Fasulo also covers the U.N. for NBC News and MSNBC.
AIM editor Cliff Kincaid said that a total of $26,000 from pro-U.N. sources went to Fasulo, a reporter who is supposed to objectively cover the U.N., in “a conflict of interest that calls into question her coverage of U.N. issues.”
The NPR News Code of Ethics and Practices requires that its reporters avoid “actual and apparent conflicts of interest or engaging in outside activities, public comment or writing that calls into question our ability to report fairly on a subject.” In Fasulo’s case, she was reporting on the U.N. for NPR as she was accepting money from Ted Turner’s U.N. Foundation to do her pro-U.N. book.
During a February 8 appearance on Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor Kincaid said, “The problem is that any news organization that is expected to cover the United Nations objectively should not have a U.N. correspondent taking money?” Kincaid continued, “the acknowledgement section of the book only says that she acknowledges generous financial support from the U.N. Foundation set-up by Turner and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. No amounts were given.” He continued, “When The New York Sun followed up on [AIM’s] original report by asking how much money she actually got, she didn’t want to say.”
AIM eventually documented the $26,000 figure, despite Fasulo’s refusal to provide the amounts of money she received for the book.
Accuracy In Media (AIM) is a non-profit, grassroots citizens watchdog of the news media that critiques botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage.