A broadcaster who hosts several programs that air on NPR was reportedly fired Wednesday for her participation in Occupy DC after conservative websites suggested "apparent ethics violations."
She also works as a freelance host on NPR's World of Opera.
"We recently learned of World of Opera host Lisa Simeone's participation in an Occupy DC group," NPR's Anna Christopher wrote. "World of Opera is produced by WDAV, a music and arts station based in Davidson, North Carolina. The program is distributed by NPR. Lisa is not an employee of NPR or of WDAV; she is a freelancer with the station."
"We're in conversations with WDAV about how they intend to handle this. We of course take this issue very seriously."
NPR had not confirmed the firing and WDAV still had her photograph on their site at time of publication,
In a video posted to YouTube in July, Simeone declared her intentions to participate in the October occupation of DC.
"I'm going to Washington, D.C. on October 6 because our moment has come," she said. "Life, peace, justice. That's what we want. That's what we're going to demand... We're not leaving. We're not just going to go there and march around with signs. We're going, we're going to sit down on that nice cold ground for however long we have to, how ever many days, however many weeks. We're going to stay and we are going to demand that our leaders listen to us."
"I find it puzzling that NPR objects to my exercising my rights as an American citizen -- the right to free speech, the right to peaceable assembly -- on my own time in my own life," Simeone told WarIsACrime.org's David Swanson, a noted peace activist. "I'm not an NPR employee. I'm a freelancer. NPR doesn't pay me. I'm also not a news reporter. I don't cover politics."
"This sudden concern with my political activities is also surprising in light of the fact that Mara Liaason reports on politics for NPR yet appears as a commentator on FoxTV, Scott Simon hosts an NPR news show yet writes political op-eds for national newspapers, Cokie Roberts reports on politics for NPR yet accepts large speaking fees from businesses. Does NPR also send out 'Communications Alerts' about their activities?"
The Baltimore Sun's David Zurawik predicted that Simeone would also find herself out of a job as the host of NPR's World of Opera by the end of the day Thursday.