New O’Keefe video: Sure, says NPR exec, we can hide a donation from a Muslim Brotherhood front group from the government; Update: Exec was wrong about our donations policy, says NPR; Update: NPR releases e-mails showing it questioned donation
posted at 4:50 pm on March 10, 2011 by Allahpundit
Just make the donation anonymous, and voila — no Islamist fingerprints!
Oh, also, they’re liars:
Kasaam follows up by asking: “The fact that NPR is not only a tax-exempt organization, but also receives direct contributions from the government — does that invite some sort of government oversight or government examination of contributions, et cetera?”
Liley answered: “They have audited our programs at times and, I think, as part of that, they can look at our audited financials. If you are concerned in any way about that, that’s one reason you might want to be an anonymous donor. And, we would certainly, if that was your interest, want to shield you from that.”…
Following their phone calls, Liley checked with NPR’s senior management, and sent an e-mail to the man posing as Kasaam saying MEAC was cleared to make an anonymous donation of $5 million…
That e-mail directly contradicts NPR’s public statements issued in the wake of O’Keefe’s first video. “The fraudulent organization represented in this video repeatedly pressed us to accept a $5 million check, with no strings attached, which we repeatedly refused to accept,” NPR spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm said in NPR’s official response.
Proof (or at least compelling evidence) that my theory about Vivian Schiller’s firing is sound? Maybe Liley came clean to management about her e-mail exchange with “Kasaam” after the first video was released and the board of directors figured immediate action was necessary to limit the damage. Although in that case, er, why would they issue any statements insisting that they “repeatedly refused” to accept Kasaam’s check? That only makes them look worse in hindsight.
Incidentally, O’Keefe’s post on this at his “Project Veritas” website ends with the words, “More to come . . .” Exit question: Why on earth would Liley believe that an Islamist group like the Brotherhood would blow a cool five mil on a media outlet that caters mainly to smug urban progressive moral relativists? Actually, wait. That makes sense, doesn’t it?
Update: Credit where it’s due: Instead of attacking O’Keefe, 22 NPR hosts and reporters have published an open letter condemning Ron Schiller’s remarks. Among the signers are Mara Liasson and Nina Totenberg.
Update: Dave Weigel previews the left’s spin on this: Yes, accepting a donation anonymously from the Muslim Brotherhood may be “not ideal,” but anonymous donations and the MB itself are all perfectly legal in the U.S. That’s great, but it was just a month ago that Bob Mueller and James Clapper went before a House committee to describe the Brotherhood’s support for terrorism and what a takeover in Egypt might mean. Granted, NPR quietly taking millions from a group like that wouldn’t be nearly as sinister as, say, Fox News taking millions from the Koch brothers, but still — maybe a little sinister, yes?
Update: John Hayward, a.k.a. Doctor Zero, wonders: Wasn’t the idea of private groups with political influence accepting money from shadowy, sinister donors a big issue in the midterms for Democrats?
Update: New damage control from a very busy NPR public affairs department.
NPR released a statement condemning Liley’s statements in the video.
“The statement made by Betsy Liley in the audio tapes released today regarding the possibility of making an anonymous gift that would remain invisible to tax authorities is factually inaccurate and not reflective of NPR’s gift practices. All donations – anonymous and named – are fully reported to the IRS. NPR complies with all financial, tax and disclosure regulations.”
Liley, who was caught on the initial videotape laughing at the suggestion that NPR was sometimes called National Palestinian Radio, was placed on administrative leave with Ron Schiller on Tuesday afternoon.
Update: Someone on Twitter asks a good question: Isn’t Liley NPR’s “Senior Director of Institutional Giving”? How could she possibly be wrong about their donations policy?
Update: A point in NPR’s favor: Newly released e-mails show Vivian Schiller apparently explained to “Kasaam” after his call with Liley that no, they couldn’t shield the donation from the IRS. They could keep it anonymous for public purposes, but not for the feds. Quote:
I spoke to Ibrahim. He says they ARE a 501c3. And then he added… “I think”. I told him we would need to know for sure AND we would need to look at the 990 as we do for any first time donor. He stressed that they want confidentially and I told him what Joyce told me – that it would not need to be reported in the public part of the 990 but it would need to be reported to the IRS, including the name of the donating institution. He had questions on all of the above which I said I simply don’t have the expertise to answer but that one of our lawyers could. He repeated again that they want to deliver the check. I said that’s very generous but we really need to sort out these issues first. He said is there a problem – and I said I don’ know till we can see the 990. He seemed a bit worried that there was some subtext to our hesitation.
Other e-mails show NPR’s counsel politely informing “Kasaam” that he’d have to prove his group was a genuine 501(c)(3) organization before they could accept a check. The big questions, then: Why didn’t NPR’s “Senior Director of Institutional Giving” set Kasaam straight on that? And why, as Weigel notes in his post linked above, was NPR set to accept a donation from a Muslim Brotherhood front provided they were willing to go ahead with it knowing the feds would see it?