NPR backtracked its claims last week that it never cancelled interviews on the Iran Deal with Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo after staffers for the Kansas congressman produced emails proving that it had happened.
An Associated Press story Friday reported that NPR accepted $100,000 from a a White House-allied pro-Iran deal organization called the Ploughshares Fund in order to fund “national security reporting that emphasizes the themes of U.S. nuclear weapons policy and budgets [and] Iran’s nuclear program…” Ostensibly, NPR policy did not allow that grant to slant coverage, but the arrangement received renewed scrutiny after Obama national security advisor Ben Rhodes named the organization as one of the tools the administration used to echo their talking points.
One of the claims AP made was that Pompeo asked NPR to appear as a counterweight to pro-Iran deal congressman Adam Schiff, who frequently appeared on the network, but was denied. NPR diputed that claim, saying “it had no record of Pompeo’s requests.”
But when contacted by The Washington Free Beacon, Pompeo’s office readily produced emails negotiating an interview time. NPR later cancelled the interview: “The show managers have decided that there are already too many interviews in the works this week and that we don’t have the resources to take this one on. Perhaps there will be another opportunity,” a producer wrote.
Apparently another opportunity would not be coming. “Morning Edition is a bit full on Iran at the moment. I’m glad to be in touch and hope you’ll check back with us for future conversations,” a producer told Pompeo a month later.
After the Free Beacon reached out for comment, NPR admitted their initial denial was in error. “Rep. Pompeo was booked to discuss the Iran deal in August 2015, but the interview did not take place,” a spokesman said. NPR did not respond to the Free Beacon’s questions about why they initially said they couldn’t find evidence they had spoken with Pompeo’s office.
[Image via screengrab]
>>Follow Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) on Twitter
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]