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Old 03-09-2011, 01:13 PM
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Jeanfromfillmore Jeanfromfillmore is offline
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Default Catholic League: Defund NPR

Wow, even the Catholic Church wants NPR's cash cow taken away.

Catholic League: Defund NPR
By David A. Patten
An undercover video that captured National Public Radio’s top fundraising executive disparaging Republicans, Christians, evangelicals, tea-party members, gun owners, Jews, and Americans lacking elite educational backgrounds has touched off a strong backlash across the cultural and political spectrum, fueling renewed calls for Congress to yank NPR’s $90 million in annual taxpayer funding.

Conservatives issued new demands for NPR’s defunding after the secret video emerged that showed Ron Schiller, who was NPR Foundation president and vice president for development of NPR when the video was recorded Feb. 22, making remarks that various groups found to be offensive.

The video came from conservative muckraking activist James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas. O’Keefe is the same activist whose undercover video of ACORN spurred Congress to defund that group.

In the new video, recorded Feb. 22, Schiller is heard telling two men posing as Muslim donors with extremist ties that the grass-roots tea party movement has "hijacked" the Republican Party.

Schiller tells them that theGOP 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.”

The remarks appeared to confirm the worst fears of many conservatives that taxpayer-supported NPR harbors a deep bias against the values of fly-over country Americans.

In his meeting with the two undercover activists trained by O’Keefe, who said they were Muslims looking to distribute $5 million, Schiller traces many of the nation’s problems back to the fact that “the educated, so-called elite of this country is too small a percentage of the population.”

He also states that he perceives Zionist, or pro-Israeli, bias in American newspapers.

“I mean it’s there in those who own newspapers, obviously,” he tells his potential benefactors. “But no one owns NPR.”

Schiller, who was accompanied at the meeting by another high-level NPR fundraiser, described himself as “very proud” of NPR’s controversial firing of news commentator Juan Williams, despite the fact that NPR CEO Vivian Schiller — no relation to Ron Schiller — apologized for how the Williams matter was handled.

Also in the video, Schiller remarked: “The tea party is 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.”

The timing of the video’s emergence could hardly be worse for NPR. It already faces a tea-party-led push to yank its taxpayer funding, in part because of perceived left-wing bias. NPR quickly released a statement Tuesday saying it was “appalled” at Schiller’s statements.

According to NPR, Schiller announced last week that he was leaving the organization to join the Aspen Institute, a seminar and think-tank closer to his Colorado home.

That did not mollify Catholic League President Bill Donohue, who blasted Schiller’s remarks Tuesday and urged that all taxpayer funding of NPR be eliminated.

“This guy, he not only tolerates Jew-baiting, he expresses animus against Christians, he sides with the Muslim Brotherhood . . . He’s very proud that Juan Williams has been fired, yet at the end of the day, he considers liberals to be better educated and fairer than conservatives. That says it all in my mind,” Donohue told Newsmax.

Regarding Schiller’s suggestion that evangelicals are not to be called Christians, Donohue protested: “He must have thought they were like another species. I mean, I’m Catholic, and I consider evangelicals my brothers.”

In one of the most striking passages in the videotape, Schiller appears to suggest NPR would be better off without taxpayer dollars.

“Frankly, it is very clear in the long run we’d be better off in the long run without federal funding,” Schiller says. “And the challenge right now is if we lost it all together we’d have a lot of stations go dark.”

Schiller nods in agreement during the video as one of his prospective patrons refers to the “radical, racist, Islamaphobic, tea party people.”

Schiller then replies: “Exactly.”

Donohue told Newsmax that the controversy over the Williams firing, and now Schiller's remarks, indicate 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.

Donohue added: “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 had plenty of company Tuesday in expressing outrage over the NPR video:
• Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told Newsmax that, although 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.” 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,” Perkins said.
• The video provoked a sharp rebuke from tea party leaders. “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. “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.”
• Tim Graham, media analyst for the conservative watchdog Media Research Council, told Newsmax: “This is the latest outrage that underlines how desperately this system needs to be removed from taxpayer funding. This system has so much contempt for the middle America taxpayer that pays their lavish salaries, it is time for this to be defunded. It is way past time.”
• Virginia Republican and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sent an e-mail to The Daily Caller stating: “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.”

O’Keefe: More Controversial NPR Videos to Come
By David A. Patten
There’s more video where that came from, says James O’Keefe, the muckraking activist behind The controversial video-sting impresario tells Newsmax that he’s prepared to release yet more embarrassing revelations about NPR, but first he wants to gauge NPR’s reaction to the bomb he dropped Tuesday.

In an exclusive Newsmax interview, O’Keefe says he’s waiting to see whether NPR comes clean “about what is going on” before he doles out more video.

On Tuesday morning, O’Keefe released undercover video showing a top NPR executive, Ron Schiller, making disparaging comments about a broad swath of Americana, including Christians, Jews, evangelicals, Republicans, and tea party members.

Embattled NPR, which faces a tea-party led push to yank its taxpayer funding, quickly responded with a statement that it was “appalled” at Schiller’s statements. Schiller, who was NPR’s chief fundraiser, was president of the NPR Foundation and development vice president for NPR, at the time the surreptitious video was recorded in February.

“We’re not done releasing footage,” O’Keefe told Newsmax in an exclusive interview Tuesday. “We have more investigative material that we’re going to release.

“I’m not really going to comment on it yet, but I think it will be very interesting to see what happens with this story as it develops,” he promised.

News that O’Keefe is sitting on additional revelations could hardly be welcome at NPR, the publicly subsidized news and information outlet that is already under fire from conservatives in Congress who want to eliminate its funding, in part because of its perceived liberal bias.

According to NPR, which receives about $90 million in taxpayer funding a year, Schiller announced last week that he was leaving NPR to join the Aspen Institute, a seminar and think-tank closer to his Colorado home.

In the video, Schiller is seen at a luncheon meeting in Georgetown with prospective NPR donors who claim to represent a pro-shariah group called the Muslim Education Action Center. The prospective donors, who say they have $5 million to disburse, are actually grass-roots activists O’Keefe trained.

The videotape shows Schiller telling his prospects that the the grass-roots conservative tea party organizations have “hijacked” the Republican party. He states that the new GOP elements are "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.”

Schiller’s potential patrons state outright on their faux Web site that they support the spread of extremist shariah law. They also are heard telling Schiller that their organization has connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, an extremist group that has been linked to terrorism.

In the video, Schiller also defended NPR’s decision to terminate its association with commentator and columnist Juan Williams over comments Williams made on Fox News last year. Williams discussed his uneasiness about flying with people wearing traditional Muslim garb. Schiller said Williams had “lost all credibility.”

Conservatives widely interpreted that firing as an example of NPR’s left-wing bias, and cited it as a case of political correctness run amok.

“What NPR did I’m very proud of,” Schiller says.

NPR’s CEO later said after the firing that the matter was mishandled. “I deeply regret the way I handled it and explained it,” she said at the time.

Another NPR fundraiser, Institutional Giving Director Betsy Liley, also attended the Feb. 22 meal where Schiller made those remarks. She appears to compare America’s treatment of Muslims in the years since 9/11 with the internment of Japanese Americans in camps during WWII.

“These are senior level executives,” O’Keefe says. “So I find it ironic that he’s spending time telling us, ‘Juan Williams lost all credibility when he expressed his opinion.’

“What about the guy who runs all of NPR’s development, and who is like Number 2 or Number 3 at NPR, what about when he calls 30 percent of the country racist, and Islamaphobic, and gun-toting, and crazy?” O’Keefe said.

“I mean, it seems to me that they’re in trouble because he’s simultaneously advocating you lose all credibility to express his opinion, and here he is expressing his opinion,” O’Keefe told Newsmax.

Asked to elaborate on the additional revelations he plans, O’Keefe confirmed the additional disclosures involve NPR, but would not say whether they stem from the same meeting involving Schiller and Liley.

“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.”

It’s not the first time O’Keefe has found himself at the center of a controversy related to undercover video. His secret video recordings of conversations with various chapters of the ACORN community-organizing groups directly contributed to the group being stripped of its federal funding.
NPR’s Vivian Schiller Resigns

By Don Irvine | March 9, 2011

Embattled NPR president and CEO Vivian Schiller has resigned.
NPR Board of Directors Chairman Dave Edwards released this statement:
“It is with deep regret that I tell you that the NPR Board of Directors has accepted the resignation of Vivian Schiller as President and CEO of NPR, effective immediately.
“The Board accepted her resignation with understanding, genuine regret, and great respect for her leadership of NPR these past two years.
“Vivian brought vision and energy to this organization. She led NPR back from the enormous economic challenges of the previous two years. She was passionately committed to NPR’s mission, and to stations and NPR working collaboratively as a local-national news network.
“According to a CEO succession plan adopted by the Board in 2009, Joyce Slocum, SVP of Legal Affairs and General Counsel, has been appointed to the position of Interim CEO. The Board will immediately establish an Executive Transition Committee that will develop a timeframe and process for the recruitment and selection of new leadership.
“I recognize the magnitude of this news – and that it comes on top of what has been a traumatic period for NPR and the larger public radio community. The Board is committed to supporting NPR through this interim period and has confidence in NPR’s leadership team.”
The NPR blog reports that Schiller was forced out.
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