Ex-NPR reporter with PLO ties now at Monitor Radio

A source at Monitor Radio, which is part of the Boston-based Christian Science Publishing Society that also publishes the daily Christian Science Monitor, confirmed that Meehan continues to provide reports as a part-time stringer to the radio news service.

"This is an issue of professional ethics; we have high standards about real and perceived conflicts of interest," said Newsday's foreign editor Jeff Summer, explaining why his paper stopped carrying Meehan's reports.

When first questioned in September, Meehan, who had been a part-time NPR reporter for two years, told the radio news service that her husband, Jiries Atrash, was not the senior PLO official of that name. However, calls in Israel on behalf of CAMERA — the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America — confirmed that Meehan and Atrash, an assistant to PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat in Jericho, shared the same telephone number.

As a result, NPR fired Meehan after initially rebuffing the conflict of interest charge. CAMERA first wrote to NPR about Meehan after the reporter was arrested Sept. 9 while covering a Palestinian protest outside Orient House, the PLO's headquarters in East Jerusalem. In a news report, Meehan was identified as the wife of Jiries Atrash.

Contacted by NPR officials, Meehan claimed she was married to a different Jiries Atrash. She described her husband as a Christian Palestinian and economist who works for a German firm in Israel.

But CAMERA investigated further and contacted several "Israeli sources," one of whom called the Jericho office of the Palestinian Authority and asked for the home phone number of Jiries Atrash.

It matched Meehan's number in the West Bank town of Beit Sahur.

This revelation provides CAMERA with new fuel in its fight against the publicly funded radio news service.

For years, CAMERA has asserted that NPR news coverage of the Middle East is biased against Israel.

CAMERA cited what it called examples of Meehan's anti-Israel bias in stories, but NPR denied the stories were slanted.