Longtime NPR analyst and commentator Cokie Roberts co-wrote a syndicated newspaper column that called for “the rational wing” of the Republican Party to stop Donald Trump’s presidential nomination, leading NPR to clarify what Roberts’ role is as a commentator. While NPR forbids its journalists from taking a stance on public affairs, Roberts is not a full-time employee and was officially named a commentator several years ago, which NPR says gives her more room to state political opinions. NPR’s senior vice president for news and editorial director Michael Oreskes also said that the context around this case is unique, because the news industry as a whole is struggling with how to cover Trump.
+ Glenn Greenwald on the problem with neutrality in journalism: “This framework [of objectivity] neutered journalism and drained it of all its vitality and passion, reducing journalists to stenography drones permitted to do little more than summarize what each equally valid side asserts. Worse, it ensures that people who wield great influence and power — such as Donald Trump — can engage in all sorts of toxic, dishonest, and destructive behavior without having to worry about any check from journalists, who are literally barred by their employers from speaking out.” (The Intercept)