Conservative activist James O'Keefe has struck again. In his latest undercover sting operation, he targets NPR's senior vice president for development Ron Schiller. In the video, two of O'Keefe's colleagues disguise themselves as representatives of a fake Muslim charity which they claim is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Over lunch, they say they want to make a $5 million donation to NPR and elicit a number of remarks from Schiller taking broad swipes at conservatives, in particular Tea Partiers.
"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," he says. "Tea Party people [aren't] 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."
NPR has quickly denounced Schiller's remarks in a statement issued on its website:
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.
This latest episode comes amid calls from conservatives to defund NPR—a campaign that began after NPR fired Juan Williams in October for his remarks about fearing Muslims on airplanes. That controversy resulted in the firing of Ellen Weiss, NPR's senior vice president of news. Weiss's departure has not quelled suspicions among many conservatives that the news organization has a leftward slant and therefore shouldn't be receiving federal tax dollars. Here are some reactions from around the web:
I Wonder If NPR Saw This Coming, writes Alana Goodman at Commentary:
The news organization is in a battle to save its federal funding, and obviously this video won’t help matters. It also looks like NPR may have known this video was coming. Current.org announced yesterday that Schiller has taken a new job at the Aspen Institute:
Not So Shocking "I suspect many if not most Reason.com readers will disagree with much of what Schiller and his colleague say, but they don't come off so bad," writes Nick Gillespie at Reason.
This Would be a Bigger Deal If Schiller Wasn't Leaving Dave Weigel says Schiller is caught "talking exactly like a conservative nightmare of what NPR sounds like," but writes at Slate: "Unfortunately for the stingers, Schiller just left NPR for the Aspen Institute."
Schiller Revealed More About NPR Funding Than Bias, notes Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:
The big news for me comes when Schiller, who thinks he’s meeting with representatives from the fictitious Muslim Education Action Center (MEAC) to discuss a $5 million donation to NPR to help MEAC “spread Sharia worldwide,” that NPR would do better without federal funding. Just before this, Schiller tells the two undercover reporters that federal funding only accounts for 10% of their direct funding, but a sudden end to subsidies for public broadcasting would close a number of their stations, which gives a little more clearer explanation of their financial dependence on taxpayers.