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NPR host of ‘On Point’ Tom Ashbrook suspended for ‘unspecified allegations’

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The host of one of the most popular talk shows on National Public Radio was suspended Friday by both WBUR, the home of his program “On Point.” and Boston University, the parent of the NPR powerhouse, for allegations the university has hired an outside investigator to explore.

WBUR released this statement Friday at 5 p.m.:

Yesterday, Boston University and WBUR received some allegations against Tom Ashbrook. Tom will be on leave from his duties at WBUR while an outside organization hired by Boston University examines these allegations. We will decide a course of action after getting the results of this investigation.

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Interesting, the WBUR.org story about the suspension ran under the headline: ‘On Point’ Host Tom Ashbrook Has Been Placed On Leave For Unspecified Allegations, as if WBUR did not know why it had just suspended the host of one of its own shows.

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The WBUR article reported that Ashbrook was at the station Friday, but left before the staff meeting when the suspension was announced:

In a statement, Ashbrook said he’s “stunned at the situation.” He declined further comment.|
“I have no information about what the station has received. There’s a process and I respect the process,” Ashbrook said.
BU has not yet responded to a request for information about the policy for, timing of or costs of the outside investigation mentioned in the statement announcing Ashbrook’s leave.

Ashbrook retweeted this Tweet on his own feed:

For more than 15 years, Ashbrook has hosted the program that is a legacy of NPR’s coverage of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. “On Point” is carried on 290 NPR stations with roughly 1.8 million daily listeners to the two-hour weekday program. The show’s podcast has roughly 2.2 million downloads per month.

Ashbrook has a fascinating that includes his undergraduate studies at Yale University, studies in India and gold prospecting in Alaska. For 10 years, he lived in East Asia, where he dubbed over  Kung-Fu movies. As a reporter, he worked for overseas and American papers before settling in Boston to lead the foreign coverage for The Boston Globe. The host has a private fortune separate from his NPR income that comes from his co-founding of the homeportfolio.com website.

Ashbrook’s first wife Danielle Guichard-Ashbrook died in 2014 after a long illness. The Bloomington, Illinois native met his current wife in 2016 after she Tweeted about one of his programs and he reached out to meet her. The couple married in June.

This is the Tweet that led to Ashbrook’s second marriage:

As of Dec. 5, Ashbrook’s wife Tweeted that she was overseas as part of an Eisenhower Foundation Fellowship:

 

Sanctity Of Life

Courageous Bishops Criticize “Devout Catholics” Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi Over Abortion Stances

God bless these bishops.

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The mainstream media never tires of highlighting Joe Biden’s cradle Catholicism. “Joe Biden is a devout Catholic!” they exclaim. “Joe Biden was spotted attending Mass on Sunday!” they report. “Joe Biden’s Catholic faith is deeply personal and all about healing!” they declare.

It’s all part of a careful attempt to demonstrate that one can be committed to both the Catholic faith and the tenets of 21st century liberal progressivism.

But many Catholics beg to differ. We think certain tenets of 21st century liberal progressivism—and thus much of the current Democratic Party platform—are fundamentally incompatible with Church teaching, namely that abortion falls under the purview of “reproductive rights,” that same-sex marriage has the same moral legitimacy as heterosexual marriage, and that your gender identity need not conform to your biological sex, to name a few.

And some courageous Catholic priests and bishops have stuck out their necks in order to remind the faithful of this. For example, a recent statement released by the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, reads in part that “our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender. Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences.”

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Archbishop Gomez says it’s important to bring this to everyone’s attention because “the nation’s bishops are given the duty of proclaiming the Gospel in all its truth and power, in season and out of season, even when that teaching is inconvenient or when the Gospel’s truths run contrary to the directions of the wider society and culture.”

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco also recently released a statement in response to Nancy Pelosi, who said that many pro-life voters’ support for Donald Trump “gives me great grief as a Catholic” and accused them of being “willing to sell the whole democracy down the river for that one issue.”

To begin with the obvious: Nancy Pelosi does not speak for the Catholic Church. She speaks as a high-level important government leader, and as a private citizen. And on the question of the equal dignity of human life in the womb, she also speaks in direct contradiction to a fundamental human right that Catholic teaching has consistently championed for 2,000 years,” the first paragraph of the archbishop’s statement reads.

The penultimate paragraph: “I myself will not presume to know what was in the minds of Catholic voters when they voted for the Presidential candidate of their choice, no matter who their preferred candidate was. There are many issues of very grave moral consequence that Catholics must weigh in good conscience when they vote. But one thing is clear: No Catholic in good conscience can favor abortion. ‘Right to choose’ is a smokescreen for perpetuating an entire industry that profits from one of the most heinous evils imaginable. Our land is soaked with the blood of the innocent, and it must stop.”

Nancy Pelosi is notorious for pulling the “Catholic card,” probably even more so than Joe Biden. In 2012 she even met with then Pope Benedict XVI, who no doubt reminded her that human life begins at conception and that all Catholics have an obligation to believe and uphold that truth. Nine years later, however, and her stance on abortion has not changed a bit.

It is clear that one cannot be a devout Catholic and hold the liberal progressive stance on abortion. God bless these bishops for standing up and being willing to correct our leaders who are normally immune from any mainstream criticism.

And if you’re Christian, Catholic or non-Catholic, pray for the souls of people like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi. They probably need it. Pray also for the souls of the untold millions of infants who have been murdered by the heinous act of abortion.

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