NPR ‘Founding Mother’ Nina Totenberg Uploads to Public Editor Kelly McBride on SCOTUS ‘Clarification’ story

The growing controversy about an NPR story on a mask at the Supreme Court turned in while a legendary reporter there blasted the broadcaster’s public editor for criticizing her work.

Publicity editor, Kelly McBride, who operates independently of the newsroom but receives payment from publication, summon to “clarify, but not correct” a Supreme Court article by one of the editorial’s “founding mothers,” legal reporter Nina Totenberg wrote.

“She can write whatever damn thing she wants, whether I think it’s true or not,” Totenberg told The Daily Beast on Thursday night. “She didn’t clarify anything!”

Totenberg laughed, and added, “I haven’t even looked at it, and I don’t care about it because I report to the news department, she doesn’t report to the news department.”

Totenberg had report on Tuesday that Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who has diabetes, worked remotely, asked questions from the microphone in her room at a recent hearing and called into the weekly meeting of judges, to avoid being around Justice. Neil Gorsuch, who was the only justice not wearing a mask at that hearing. Totenberg also reported that Chief Justice John Roberts had “in some way asked other judges to cover their faces,” before that hearing, a request that Gorsuch, who sat next to Sotomayor on the high court bench , was explicitly denied.

In a statement, Gorsuch and Sotomayor, said, “The report that Justice Sotomayor asked Justice Gorsuch to wear a mask surprised us. It’s wrong. Although we may disagree on the law at times, we are warm colleagues and friends.” In his own statement, Roberts said, “I am not asking Justice Gorsuch or any other Justice to wear a mask on the bench.”

Fox News runs many articles and online segment dedicated to what it considers the rebuttal of the story by the judge’s statements.

McBride, NPR’s publicity editor, later wrote that “After speaking with Totenberg and reading all of the judges’ statements, I believe her report is solid, but choose from Her language was misleading.”

“Totenberg and her editors should have chosen a word other than ‘asked’… It’s not a nuanced word,” McBride wrote, in an article with subtitles. “An incorrect verb choice made the report unclear.” Unless “asked” was updated in the article to something like “recommend,” a word that Totenberg later used. used when canceling her story in a All things Considered McBride warns that “NPR risks discrediting audiences.”

An NPR spokeswoman told The Daily Beast late Thursday that “we stand behind Nina Totenberg’s reporting.” The NPR official added: “The publicity editor is independent and does not talk about NPR.”

McBride, for her part, told the Daily Beast on Thursday night that she stands by her proposal and that she “thinks NPR should clarify the language in the story.”

But in her own phone conversation with Beast, Totenberg — a towering presence at NPR who has been there since 1975 — responded to McBride, the judges, and general criticism of the sentence. her story.

“A no-no from two of them doesn’t work,” Totenberg said, referring to statements from Sotomayor and Gorsuch. As for Roberts, she said, “the other person just refused to accept the fact that I’m not saying he asked people to do anything, but in some form did.”

“I have nothing to say, except that I am pursuing my report,” Totenberg said over dinner. “I think it’s perfectly valid.” NPR ‘Founding Mother’ Nina Totenberg Uploads to Public Editor Kelly McBride on SCOTUS ‘Clarification’ story


ClareFora is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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