Beginning this week, listeners who donate to National Public Radio member stations will have more than the usual organic cotton tote bags and “Car Talk” bumper stickers to choose from as thank-you gifts. Now, they can opt for an official NPR “Kick a Catholic!” t-shirt as well.
“We’re always looking for new incentives for our pledge drives,” said NPR promotions director Frank Byast. “People like things that are a fun twist on the news, so we think the ‘Kick a Catholic!’ thank you gifts will be a big hit. No pun intended.”
The shirt and mug were inspired by NPR’s “Kick a Catholic Week,” the brainchild of NPR reporters forced to cover the controversy generated by the Obama administration’s mandate that Catholic institutions pay for contraceptives and abortifacients.
“We thought, ‘Okay, we can’t ignore this anymore, so how can we have fun with it?’” said Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep. “That’s the nice thing about a story like this. When one side is so clearly wrong, you’re a little less concerned about being fair and balanced. It’s like covering the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. You’re not going to ‘balance out’ your coverage by interviewing Nicolae Ceaușescu, right? It’s the same with the Catholic bishops.”
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