Conservatives on Twitter skewered National Public Radio over the weekend after the left-leaning news outlet added a notable disclaimer to its annual broadcast reading of the Declaration of Independence.
In a Twitter thread posted on Independence Day, the taxpayer-funded outlet noted that the Declaration, one of America’s prized founding documents, is filled with “flaws and deeply ingrained hypocrisies.”
“245 years ago today, leaders representing 13 British colonies signed a document to declare independence. It says ‘that all men are created equal’ — but women, enslaved people, Indigenous people and many others were not held as equal at the time,” NPR said in a tweet. “The document also includes a racist slur against Indigenous Americans.”
It went on to add: “In this thread of the Declaration of Independence, you can see a document with flaws and deeply ingrained hypocrisies. It also laid the foundation for this country’s collective aspirations — the hopes for what America could be.”
🧵 245 years ago today, leaders representing 13 British colonies signed a document to declare independence.
It says “that all men are created equal” — but women, enslaved people, Indigenous people and many others were not held as equal at the time. https://t.co/dtE0z2Uabc
— NPR (@NPR) July 4, 2021
The document also includes a racist slur against Indigenous Americans.
Author David Treuer, who is Ojibwe, says there is a lot of diversity of opinion and thought among Native Americans — a community of more than 5 million people — about the document’s words. pic.twitter.com/K64UXhMKDA
— NPR (@NPR) July 4, 2021
The same statement was read aloud during NPR’s reading of the document along with some further context, provided by a staffer.
“After last summer’s protests and our country attempting to confront its history, we want and need to be honest about the words in this document,” the staffer said.
What happened next?
In response to the disclaimer, several critics — discontented by the outlet’s decision to criticize America on a day set aside for its celebration — called on government officials to “defund NPR.”
Florida Republican congressional candidate Lavern Spicer quipped, “Today is a great day for America to declare its independence from NPR which is currently attacking our Constitution.”
“Why in the hell are American taxpayers funding this nonsense? #DefundNPR,” California Republican congressional candidate Buzz Patterson added.
Inez Stepman blasted “what is essentially a trigger warning at the start [of the document] to let people know that they’re about to read something offensive.”
“Maybe we should add a similar rider to our tax dollars,” she suggested.
Political advisor Blair Brandt tweeted: “Defund NPR – an Anti American outlet funded by American taxes.”
Spectator contributor Stephen L. Miller responded to the controversy by re-upping a column he wrote last summer in which he questioned whether taxpayers should “continue to fund these enterprises, when they clearly focus less on educating the public, and more on pushing commentary and opinion, and now, even libel?”