By Shawn Langlois
When the New York Post first reported unconfirmed allegations of influence peddling by Hunter Biden, son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, with a Ukrainian company, Twitter and Facebook /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB +3.46% took steps to limit its spread across social media.
Now, with Biden opponents touting fresh developments and promising the release of more information, mainstream media outlets are left to grapple with how to handle what has become an explosive topic heading in to the November election.
Here’s what NPR had to say about the matter on Thursday:
The tweet linked to further rationale. “The biggest reason you haven’t heard much on NPR about the Post story is that the assertions don’t amount to much,” NPR’s Kelly McBride wrote.
That fired up Trump supporters, who, with the help of Donald Trump Jr., worked to make the #DefundNPR hashtag a trending Twitter /zigman2/quotes/203180645/composite TWTR +0.34% topic.
The president’s eldest son had plenty of support among conservatives:
This isn’t the first time Trump and his supporters have gone after NPR over claims of bias. Here’s the president, who has talked about cutting funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, questioning whether or not NPR should even exist:
Could NPR survive without government funding? According to a financial report earlier this year, a mere 1% of its annual operating budget comes from federal grants. NPR gets most of its funding from corporate sponsors, such as General Motors /zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite GM +1.92% and Trader Joe’s, as well as dues paid by member stations across the country. Those stations, in turn are, are funded by their listeners and local sponsors but also partially by the government, so NPR is vulnerable in that regard.
“The loss of federal funding would undermine the stations’ ability to pay NPR for programming, thereby weakening the institution,” NPR wrote on its website . “Elimination of federal funding would result in fewer programs, less journalism — especially local journalism — and eventually the loss of public radio stations, particularly in rural and economically distressed communities.”