WNYC Listeners Fume Over Fundraising That Interrupts Bhutto Coverage


WNYC’s decision to go ahead with a one-day fundraiser on the day of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination is drawing ire from angry listeners on their message board. The pledge drive takes a day off a future fundraiser in order to capitalize on the tax refunds offered for end-of-year charitable donations.

A listener named Eva posts:

”I don’t know why I’m surprised by the news of Bhutto’s death. But I was surprised that WNYC went ahead with the fundraising drive. This could easily enough have been delayed in order to show respect.

”I will OF COURSE continue to donate to WNYC, just as I did when I was young and broke. It’s a great station; one seriously tacky mistake won’t sway my opinion. But I seriously hope that Brian and company have the sense to understand that fundraising at this time was a crass, crass mistake and disrespectful to the Pakistani-American community.”

Another listener named Paulo from Patterson, New Jersey writes:

”I think the part that was worst of all was that they tried to weave discussing the issue into the fundraising discussion… I mean, if they’d just avoided the subject altogether except for the designated news time, it would’ve actually been BETTER. But when you hear them saying ‘Oh, this is a tragic event, and we cover tragic events year round, so please give generously…’ it’s extremely distasteful.”

In defense of WNYC — which is publicly funded — the station is running a noteworthy NPR news special on their AM station today at 2 p.m. discussing the assassination and hosted by award winning journalist Neal Conan.

(image via clipart)