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March 08, 2011
NPR execs caught on hidden camera trashing conservatives
James O'Keefe, the young filmmaker who brought down ACORN, has caught on tape two people identified as senior executives of NPR bashing conservatives and the tea party and cozying up to people they believe to represent a Muslim organization affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, in hope of scoring a multi-million dollar donation. Matthew Boyle of the Daily Caller has an excellent write-up of the contents of the contents of the recording released by O'Keefe: "The current Republican Party, particularly the Tea Party, is fanatically involved in people's personal lives and very fundamental Christian - I wouldn't even call it Christian. It's this weird evangelical kind of move," declared [Ron] Schiller, who runs NPR's foundation.
In a new video released Tuesday morning by conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe, Schiller and Betsy Liley, NPR's director of institutional giving, are seen meeting with two men who, unbeknownst to the NPR executives, are posing as members of a Muslim Brotherhood front group. The men, who identified themselves as Ibrahim Kasaam and Amir Malik from the fictitious Muslim Education Action Center (MEAC) Trust, met with Schiller and Liley at Café Milano, a well-known Georgetown restaurant, and explained their desire to give to $5 million to NPR because, "the Zionist coverage is quite substantial elsewhere."
On the tapes, Schiller wastes little time before attacking conservatives. The Republican Party, Schiller says, has been "hijacked by this group." The man posing as Malik finishes the sentence by adding, "the radical, racist, Islamaphobic, Tea Party people." Schiller agrees and intensifies the criticism, saying that the Tea Party people aren't "just Islamaphobic, but really xenophobic, I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it's scary. They're seriously racist, racist people."
The release of the recording comes a day after NPR CEO Vivian Schiller (no relation to Ron) in a talk at the National Press Club challenged anyone for evidence of liberal bias at NPR.
That's not the only difference between the undercover tape and NPR's public positions.
Later in the lunch, Schiller explains that NPR would be better positioned free of federal funding. "Well frankly, it is clear that we would be better off in the long-run without federal funding," he says. "The challenge right now is that if we lost it all together we would have a lot of stations go dark."
When one of O'Keefe's associates asked, "How confident are you, with all the donors that are available, if they should pull the funding right now that you would survive?," Schiller answered this way: "Yes, NPR would definitely survive and most of the stations would survive."
That is precisely the opposite answer Schiller's boss, NPR CEO Vivian Schiller (no relation), gave at a press conference Monday in Washington. "We take [federal defunding] very, very seriously," she said. "It would have a profound impact we believe on our ability - of public broadcasting's ability - to deliver news and information."
At the Café Milano lunch, Schiller said he's "very proud of" how NPR fired Juan Williams. "What NPR stood for is non-racist, non-bigoted, straightforward telling of the news and our feeling is that if a person expresses his or her opinion, which anyone is entitled to do in a free society, they are compromised as a journalist," he said. "They can no longer fairly report."
With that, Schiller once again directly contradicted NPR's public statements. At her Monday press conference, Vivian Schiller apologized for the way it handled the Williams matter. "We handled the situation badly," she said. "We acted too hastily and we made some mistakes. I made some mistakes
Clearly, it is time to defund public broadcasting.