Ron Schiller now out at Aspen Institute

posted at 12:21 pm on March 9, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

First, Vivian Schiller got her walking papers from NPR’s board.  Now Ron Schiller, who resigned effective immediately from his position at NPR yesterday in the wake of the undercover sting video, won’t get his position at the Aspen Institute after all.

It’s hard out there for a Schiller today, as Jim Romanesko reports (via Katrina Trinko):

Aspen Institute communications director Jim Spiegelman says in an e-mail: “Ron Schiller has informed us that, in light of the controversy surrounding his recent statements, he does not feel that it’s in the best interests of the Aspen Institute for him to come work here.”

It had been suggested by Dave Weigel and others that Schiller actually represented what organizations want in a rainmaker — the ability to pander to anyone willing to write big checks.  Apparently, the Aspen Institute disagrees, or at the very least wasn’t impressed enough to talk Schiller out of resigning before he even got started with them.

The question of whether this Schiller was pushed or jumped is murkier than it was in Vivian Schiller’s case, but in the end it doesn’t matter; the outcomes are the same.  The decision to cut ties to both — regardless of who made those decisions — underscores the fact that the video communicated reality, both in the situation and at NPR.

Update: Jeff Dunetz has NPR’s interview with its own media correspondent David Folkenflik reasserting that the board ousted Vivian Schiller:

David Folkenflik: Well the board of directors of NPR have put out a statement saying they accepted Vivian Schiller’s resignation. I’m told by sources that she was forced out — that this was, I guess, the final shoe dropping, you could say.

The most immediate back story of course is, as you mentioned, Ron Schiller, the former senior vice president for fundraising, seemingly disparaging conservatives, something NPR executives have said is not part of our core, in fact not any part of our DNA — that we’re supposed to be a place of civility, open-mindedness, where people can hear themselves reflected in our coverage and on our air.

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Aspen Institute Taps Ronald Schiller as New Director of Arts Program
March 3, 2011 Washington, DC

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The Aspen Institute has appointed Ronald J. Schiller as the new director of the Aspen Institute Arts Program and Harman-Eisner Artist-in-Residence Program. Currently president of the NPR Foundation, Schiller starts his new position on April 1, 2011, serving as the program’s second director, following Dana Gioia’s departure to serve on the faculty at the University of Southern California. He will be based out of the Institute’s Aspen, CO offices.Read More

“Ron Schiller embraces and lives the values that we share as a community,” said Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson,

“I am very pleased that he has agreed to join us to help us build a strong and vibrant arts program, the kind of program that we believe is central to the Institute’s origins and to its mission.”

Sidney Harman, Institute trustee, chairman of the Committee on the Arts and co-benefactor of the Harman-Eisner Artist-in-Residence Program said: “With the appointment of Ron Schiller, we are positioned to further integrate the arts––all the arts––into everything we do. The arts should be, and will be, organic/intrinsic in all Aspen Institute activities. We expect that with Ron’s engagement, the Institute will take leadership in proselytizing the arts throughout America and the world.”

Michael Eisner said “In a wonderful essay, Maxwell Anderson states ‘the arts make the longest reach toward permanence, create the most enduring monuments, project the farthest, widest, deepest influence of which human prescience and effort are capable.’ We have so much to contribute to society through our arts program, and I am thrilled that Ron is joining us in this leadership role.”

Aspen Institute Trustee Mercedes Bass, with whom Schiller works on the American Academy development committee, applauded his appointment, saying “I am delighted that Ron is joining us, bringing his passion and experience as an artist, as a leading administrator, and as an accomplished fundraiser.”

Are we to really to believe that the entire upper management of The Aspen Institute are this clueless? Dense? Dumb?

Or should we just take them all at their word and judge them accordingly?

After all they are smarter than you or me, just ask them!

DSchoen on March 9, 2011 at 8:37 PM

NPR’s interview with its own media correspondent David Folkenflik reasserting that the board ousted Vivian Schiller:

NPR would be terribly foolish not to claim they fired her.

NPR is begging the Republican House for $90 Million in funding. The video shows that NPR and both Schillers hate Republicans. For NPR to insist that they didn’t fire Vivian would be to blow salt in the eyes of the very Republicans they want to give them $90 Million. Even NPR is smarter than that.

RJL on March 9, 2011 at 9:36 PM

NPR: Beg! Beg! Beg!

As for Mr. Schiller: revenge is a dish best served cold. Enjoy the rest of your pathetic life, RACIST!

Khun Joe on March 9, 2011 at 11:17 PM