Byron York, in the Washington Examiner:
Shepard says neither she nor the NPR staffers who approved the cartoon knew that there was anything derogatory about the phrase "tea bagger." Shepard adds that NPR has done much serious and balanced reporting on the tea party movement. Nevertheless, she concludes that there are real problems with the "How to Speak Tea Bag" video. "Chief among them is it doesn't fit with NPR values, one of which is a belief in civility and civil discourse," Shepard writes. "Fiore is talented, but this cartoon is just a mean-spirited attack on people who think differently than he does and doesn't broaden the debate. It engages in the same kind of name-calling the cartoon supposedly mocks."
Shepard sought comment from top NPR executives, who said they would not apologize for Fiore's cartoon, nor would they remove it from the NPR site. "Opinion and satire are going to sting some members of the audience and soothe others," NPR senior vice president for news Ellen Weiss told Shepard. "This one satire is not the only coverage on the topic and while it offends some members of the audience, I see no reason to remove it."
Good. Hopefully the cartoon will still be on NPR's website when the next Congress takes up their budget in 2011.
Incidentally, NPR's Ellen Weiss, who recently ordered Juan Williams to stop mentioning his NPR association when introduced on Fox News, is married to Obama Administration advisor David Saperstein. But I'm sure that's no reflection of Weiss's politics or ideology in any way.