[Between kids and phone calls, it took me way too long to write this post, although that proved useful at the end, as it was the AP’s republished news report that contained the real gem. Rather than re-write this post, I’m simply highlighting the explosive little factoid hidden in the AP’s execrably written article.]
This morning, I noted that the New York Times, in reporting on the NPR debacle, managed to ignore the anti-Semitism issue. I speculated that this was to protect its Jewish readers from getting suspicious about the whole Progressive/Democrat structure. What I forgot is that the MSM (especially the Times) also likes to keep from its readers the fact that Islamists are violently (in deed, not just word) anti-Semitic.
The AP’s coverage (as of 3:00 PST) displays exactly the same elusiveness when it comes to anti-Semitism. Also, interestingly, the AP was unable to find any conservatives to talk to about the sting and its implications. It got quotations only from NPR sources.
What the AP included and what it omitted are both telling, as are quotes from the players. Here’s the sum total of what the AP has to say about the O’Keefe video’s content:
NPR president and CEO Vivian Schiller resigned Wednesday under pressure, a day after an undercover video showed one of her executives on a hidden camera calling the tea party racist and saying the news organization would be better off without taxpayer money.
On Tuesday, conservative activist James O’Keefe posted a video showing NPR executive Ron Schiller bashing the tea party movement. The video shows two activists, working for O’Keefe, posing as members of a fake Muslim group at a lunch meeting with Ron Schiller, who is not related to Vivian Schiller. The men offered NPR a $5 million donation and engage in a wide-ranging discussion about tea party Republicans, pro-Israel bias in the media and anti-intellectualism.
“The current Republican Party is not really the Republican Party. It’s been hijacked by this group that is … not just Islamophobic but, really, xenophobic,” Ron Schiller said in the video, referring to the tea party movement. “They believe in sort of white, middle America, gun-toting — it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.”
[And buried in the article’s very last paragraph] Another NPR executive, Betsy Liley, was at the lunch with Ron Schiller. She said little in the video, although she can be heard laughing when one of the men says his group referred to NPR as “National Palestinian Radio.” She has been placed on administrative leave.
The article makes no mention of the way in which the stingers boasted about their Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah connections; no mention of their openly stated desire to bring Sharia law to America; no mention of Schiller’s contentions about Jewish control over print media; etc. Instead, the report limits itself to having Schiller attack a group — Tea Partiers — that the media assumes everybody wants to attack, and for precisely the same reasons Schiller did.
The report also helps Vivian Schiller look like a victim. As you noticed, O’Keefe is not described as a citizen journalist, or a muckraker, or even a provocateur in the Michael Moore mold. Instead, he’s a conservative activist. The article has more to say about O’Keefe, little of it complimentary. While it passes as lightly as possible over the way in which he brought ACORN down, it packs the highest number of details into describing his arrest:
O’Keefe, best known for wearing a pimp costume in hidden-camera videos that embarrassed the community-organizing group ACORN, posted the NPR video on his website, Project Veritas. The group said the video was shot on Feb. 22.
O’Keefe also pleaded guilty last May after he was accused of trying to tamper with the phones in Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office. He pleaded guilty misdemeanor charges of entering federal property under false pretenses and was sentenced to three years probation, 100 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine.
Not only is Schiller (per the AP) being hounded by a criminal activist, she and NPR are coming under “pressure” for what are apparently the most innocuous of sins — offending anti-liberal conservatives and using poor judgment in firing tactics (not, please note, in the decision to fire in the first place):
The shake-up comes at a critical time. Conservative politicians are again pressing to end congressional funding for NPR, money the organization said it needs to keep operating public radio and television stations in some of the nation’s smallest communities. The White House defended the funding, saying there remains a need for public broadcasting.
Vivian Schiller also faced criticism for her firing of analyst Juan Williams over comments he made about Muslims. She told The Associated Press that the recent remarks made by her fellow executive Ron Schiller were outrageous and unfortunate, and her staying on would only hurt NPR’s fight for federal money.
“I did not want to leave NPR. There’s a lot of pressure on NPR right now,” Vivian Schiller told AP.
NPR has long been a target of conservatives who claim its programming has a left-wing bias. The budget bill passed by the House last month would end funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supports programs distributed on NPR and PBS.
Vivian Schiller was criticized for last year’s firing of Williams after he said on Fox News that he feels uncomfortable when he sees people in “Muslim garb” on airplanes. She later said she was sorry for firing Williams over the phone and that he deserved a face-to-face meeting.
“We took a reputational hit around the Juan Williams incident, and this was another blow to NPR’s reputation. There’s no question,” she told AP.
Schiller said she and the board concluded that her “departure from NPR would help to mitigate the threat from those who have misperceptions about NPR as a news organization.”
Vivian Schiller is not the only one to offer laughable statements to defend her position. In this wired age, Dave Edwards, who chairs NPR’s board, makes it sound as if this is 1932 all over again, and the federal government is desperately needed to bring electricity to the Tennessee Valley, not to mention news to those dark corners of America without electricity, cable, computers and television:
“It is absolutely true that without federal funding, a lot of our public radio and public TV stations in the system could go dark, and that will happen in some of the smallest communities we serve,” Edwards said. “In some cases, public broadcasting remains that community’s primary connection with the outside world.”
Ron Schiller doesn’t do much better in his own defense:
“While the meeting I participated in turned out to be a ruse,” Ron Schiller said, “I made statements during the course of the meeting that are counter to NPR’s values and also not reflective of my own beliefs. I offer my sincere apology to those I offended.”
Let me see if I can translate: If Schiller, is not, as he appears in that video, an anti-White, anti-Semitic, anti-Conservative, pro-Muslim hater, he is instead a whore who will say anything to anybody to get money. That’s the kind of guy we need working on the federal dime.
(3:45 PST) You get the news in real time at this blog. As I’ve been working on this post, AP, without any acknowledgment that it did so, just republished its article, with substantial changes. The new version of the article isn’t much better than the old. While keeping, albeit in somewhat different form, the points I noted above, it adds a few new gems. For example, it helps make Chairman Edwards’ case that, without just a wee bit of federal funds, all sorts of local stations will have to close their doors:
The CPB is receiving $430 million in the current fiscal year and will get $445 million in fiscal 2012. It CPB handed out nearly $94 million in grants to more than 400 public radio stations — not all of which are NPR affiliates — in fiscal 2010.
NPR itself typically gets only about 2 percent of its budget from CPB grants, but many of its 268 member stations rely heavily on them. NPR affiliates get an average of 10 percent of their funding from CPB, and some small and rural stations receive more than 40 percent of their funding that way, although NPR could not provide exact figures.
About a third of NPR’s $161 million budget in fiscal 2010 came from its affiliates in the form of programming fees. NPR spokeswoman Anna Christopher said it’s difficult to say how a loss of CPB funding would affect stations’ ability to pay.
A cut in funding to CPB would hit public television stations harder than radio stations. By law, 75 percent of CPB’s grant money must go to TV stations.
AP then proceeds to undercut entirely both its and Edward’s claim that federal funds are the only thing keeping the pathetic little affiliates going to serve the poverty stricken in 1932’s Tennessee Valley time warp. You see, it turns out that those member stations were already in trouble — not because of funding, but because of Schiller herself. Notwithstanding Edward’s claim that NPR television is the only thing connecting Americans in the outback to civilization, it turns out that Schiller was busy trying to destroy local affiliates in favor of funding NPR’s national website:
Howard Liberman, a longtime broadcast communications attorney who represents NPR affiliates, said many stations were unhappy with Vivian Schiller and the release of the video was the last straw. He pointed to the Williams controversy and other moves by Schiller that have alienated stations, such as shortening the organization’s name from National Public Radio to NPR and trying to drive listeners toward NPR’s website. (Emphasis mine.)
Bottom line: NPR was planning on killing its own (and isn’t that what Leftist revolutionary entities always do?)
I very much look forward to the next batch of videos O’Keefe promises to release. They should be interesting.