By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
The release of an undercover video in which National Public Radio’s (NPR) top fundraising executive is caught denigrating Christians, Jews, and tea party members, while espousing the Muslim Brotherhood, has prompted outrage and renewed calls for an end of the organization’s taxpayer funding. It has also resulted in the resignation of controverial NPR CEO, Vivian Schiller.
Newsmax is reporting that the video, which was produced by activist James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, captures NPR executive Ron Schiller in a meeting with two men posing as Muslim donors with extremist ties who claimed to be interested in donating $5 million to the company.
Schiller, who serves as NPR’s Foundation president and vice president for development, proceeds to tell the men that the Republican Party has been “hijacked” by the tea party movement.
He says the GOP is “not 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.”
He goes on to accused the tea party of being “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.”
Schiller also disparages what he perceives to be a Zionist, or pro-Israel, bias in American newspapers.
One of the most appalling statements made by Schiller is his belief that only the liberal far-left can produce “fair and balanced news,” and that the nation’s problems can be traced back to the fact that “the educated, so-called elite of this country is too small a percentage of the population.”
With NPR funding already on the chopping block, the company quickly released a statement saying they were “appalled” by Schiller’s statements, adding that he is leaving the organization to join a think-tank that is closer to his Colorado home.
But this announcement appeased no one.
“This guy, he not only tolerates Jew-baiting, he expresses animus against Christians, he sides with the Muslim Brotherhood… and at the end of the day, he considers liberals to be better educated and fairer than conservatives. That says it all in my mind,” said Catholic League president Bill Donohue to Newsmax.
Donohue believes the Schiller remarks and the recent firing of liberal commentator Juan Williams for expressing his fears of Muslim extremists, indicates a serious problem with NPR’s corporate culture.
“When patterns develop, when you see it over and over again, and it becomes part of the culture, then clearly you know there is something rotten from the top down,” he said. “When you’re asking that taxpayers to pay this man’s salary, and any pretense they have of objectivity is totally blown away, that is the end of the story.”
Donohue’s outrage is matched by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins who said that while Schiller is free to express his opinion, NPR “facilitates the advancement of that stereotyping and that type of maligning of a large portion of the American public with taxpayer dollars.” He said Americans for years “have said we’re tired of their left-wing agenda that’s being promulgated and being promoted on the taxpayer dime. And that’s what it comes down to.”
Tea party leaders were also offended by Schiller’s remarks. “Mr. Schiller himself candidly admits in the video that NPR doesn’t need federal funding, and welcomes the opportunity to slant their reporting without the oversight of the taxpayer,” said Mark Meckler, national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, in a statement. “…Let’s take his advice and pass legislation that would defund the clearly biased news organization that is out of touch with Americans across the country.”
One of the people who is spearheading the drive to defund NPR also expressed outrage. In an e-mail send to The Daily Caller, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said: “As we continue to identify ways to cut spending and save valuable resources, this disturbing video makes clear that taxpayer dollars should no longer be appropriated to NPR.”
Meanwhile, O’Keefe claims to have more videos involving NPR executives, but is refusing to release them until he sees how honestly the company handles the scandal.
“But stay tuned, and you’ll see,” he told Newsmax. “I want to see if NPR tells the truth about what is going on. I want to see how they tell the truth, and then we’re going to release more information. So we’ll see what happens.”
Apparently, NPR CEO Vivian Schiller (no relation to Ron Schiller) has decided not to stick around to see what comes next. The company announced this morning that she is resigning effective immediately. The statement gives no indication as to whether or not her resignation was caused by the controversy.
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