Conservative activist James O'Keefe's sneaky, barely legal video scheme works again; NPR officials are “appalled” that exec would criticize a group that wants to put it out of business
When you think of NPR, you don't immediately think "scandal." But less than five months after Juan Williams' controversial firing, NPR finds itself at the center of another one.
Ron Schiller, NPR's senior vice president for fundraising, was caught in a hidden camera video slamming Republicans and the Tea Party and suggesting that NPR — which conservatives argued should be cut off from federal funding in the wake of the Williams incident — would be better off without it.
The video was published online by James O'Keefe, the guy behind those ACORN videos and others targeting progressives.
Here it is:
Schiller and another NPR executive met for lunch with two people from a fake Muslim organization that was supposedly considering a $5 million donation to NPR.
NPR, to its credit, never took the donation.
In a statement, they condemned Schiller's comments, noting that he left NPR last week:
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. We are appalled by the comments made by Ron Schiller in the video, which are contrary to what NPR stands for. Mr. Schiller announced last week that he is leaving NPR for another job.
On the tape, Schiller says the Tea Party "believe in white, middle America, gun-toting — it's pretty scary."
"They're seriously racist, racist people," he said.
Schiller also applauded the firing of Williams over his comments to Bill O'Reilly about Muslims.
"What NPR did I'm very proud of," Schiller said. "What NPR stood for is a non-racist, non-bigoted, straightforward telling of the news. Our feeling is that if a person expresses his or her personal opinion, which anyone is entitled to do in a free society, they are compromised as a journalist. They can no longer fairly report."
Ironically, it's Schiller who is out of a job for expressing his.