Undercover video: NPR exec says NPR would be “far better off” without federal funds
posted at 8:48 am on March 8, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
Maybe I’m getting inured to this kind of thing, but for me the big screaming headline from the latest James O’Keefe undercover video isn’t that high-ranking NPR executive Ron Schiller bashes conservatives, Republicans, and the Tea Party as “white, gun-toting … xenophobic … seriously racist people.” The big news for me comes when Schiller, who thinks he’s meeting with representatives from the fictitious Muslim Education Action Center (MEAC) to discuss a $5 million donation to NPR to help MEAC “spread Sharia worldwide,” that NPR would do better without federal funding. Just before this, Schiller tells the two undercover reporters that federal funding only accounts for 10% of their direct funding, but a sudden end to subsidies for public broadcasting would close a number of their stations, which gives a little more clearer explanation of their financial dependence on taxpayers. Those moments come at about the six-minute mark:
The Daily Caller’s report focuses on the liberal hysteria aspect of the meeting:
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.”
Schiller goes on to describe liberals as more intelligent and informed than conservatives. “In my personal opinion, liberals today might be more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives,” he said.
Like those liberals gathered in Madison that kept comparing Scott Walker to Hitler, Mussolini, and Mubarak, and who accused Walker of “exterminating” union members? Well, to be fair, Schiller may never have heard about those. After all, he probably gets his news from NPR. Speaking of which, if Schiller represents the executive view at NPR, it’s not hard to imagine what kind of treatment those white, gun-toting, xenophobic Tea Partiers can expect from NPR’s news coverage.
Also, don’t miss the point where he tells the two MEAC representatives that there is no Jewish or pro-Israeli bias at NPR because “no one owns NPR,” but that Jewish control of newspapers exists because “it’s there in those who own newspapers.” Betsy Liley then explains that American Jewish World Service is one of NPR’s “biggest funders,” but Schiller then explains that AJWS is looking for a fair point of view but that most other Jewish organizations are not.
Schiller then goes on to defend the firing of Juan Williams, saying that because he expressed an opinion, he was “compromised as a journalist” — despite the fact that NPR also employed him as an opinion journalist. But perhaps Schiller can now agree that he’s been compromised as an NPR exec after this exposé of his own views on American and world politics? Or does that not apply to everyone in the journalistic organization?
Some of you may be angry with Ron Schiller, president of the NPR Foundation and Senior VP of Development, but put that aside for a moment. I believe we should help Schiller to reach his policy goals — of stripping NPR and public broadcasting of its federal subsidies. He might have to hold more of these kinds of meetings to cover the hole that will blow in NPR’s budget, but at least the gun-toting taxpayers won’t be forced to pay for Schiller’s activities a moment longer.
Update: Dave Weigel notes that Schiller has left NPR just recently to go to the Aspen Institute.