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NPR Says It will Apologize for Commentator’s Remark

December 22, 1995

WASHINGTON (AP) _ National Public Radio will make a national on-air apology following a Christian Coalition complaint that a commentator made an anti-Christian remark, an NPR official said Friday.

``It should not have aired and we’re very sorry about it,″ NPR spokeswoman Kathy Scott said in an interview. NPR planned to air the apology Friday evening on ``All Things Considered.″

The remark occurred during a commentary by Andrei Codrescu on ``All Things Considered″ on Dec. 19 regarding the return of Christ and Christian theology, the Christian Coalition said.

``The evaporation of four million (people) who believe in this crap would leave the world a better place,″ the coalition quoted Codrescu as saying. The group reviewed a transcript of the broadcast.

Scott said the apology would be worded along the lines of: ``We apologize. It should have never run. Andrei Codrescu also apologizes.″

``All Things Considered″ airs on radio stations at slightly different times, but is generally on in the late afternoon.

The coalition said NPR rejected a request to allow its executive director, Ralph Reed, two minutes of air time on ``All Things Considered″ to offer an opposing view.

The group, which represents more than 1.7 million people, said it will intensify lobbying efforts for Congress to discontinue funds to NPR.

NPR, which produces and distributes programs to more than 300 public radio stations nationwide, gets a slice of the more than $200 million Congress provides to help support the public broadcasting industry.

``National Public Radio has mocked and defamed the deeply held beliefs of millions of Christians, and it is my sincere hope that NPR executives have the decency to go on the air and admit they were wrong,″ coalition spokesman Mike Russell said in a statement.

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