(Updating to add NPR comment)
A conservative filmmaker says he's caught the NPR's foundation senior vice president on video saying liberals are more fair and balanced and conservatives are anti-intellectual. In James O'Keefe's video, Ron Schiller notes he's only giving a "personal opinion," but he does so while meeting as an NPR executive with two men who portrayed followers of the Muslim Brotherhood anxious to give $5 million to NPR.
Schiller also says NPR would be better off in the long run without federal funding.
Schiller joined NPR last year as its chief fundraiser after leaving a VP position at the University of Chicago.
He's leaving NPR, too. Last week, the Aspen Institute announced it is hiring him.
Update 1:55 p.m. NPR's response:
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.
Schiller's leaving NPR has nothing to do with the video, according to NPR.
My frustration reaches a boiling point. What's wrong with calling a spade a spade?
I hope this latest embarrassment motivates NPR into admitting they have a problem and doing something about it.
I doubt they will though. Their anti-intellectualism is too deeply rooted in liberal and academic prejudices.
Yes, Ron Schiller is a fund-raiser not a commentator, but you can hear the man every morning and every evening on NPR in the lack of intellectual rigor that permeates NPR programming.
Listening to Ron Schiller wax on about how Christian fundamentalists have hijacked the Republican Party - to two purported Muslim fundamentalists is jaw-dropping.
Is NPR so isolated from reality that they cannot hear themselves speak?
Yes, they are.
If I am asked out to lunch by two guys who are purported to be representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood and they are "anxious to give $5 million to NPR," I would be smelling a set-up of some flavor long before I got to the restaurant.
I would also assume that the restaurant's Executive Chef had an ample supply of crow on hand to serve, along with a side order of Cole-Haans.
As a former colleague of mine used to say in cases like this, "Dumb, dumb, dumb."
I don't love everything about NPR, but there's no evidence whatsoever of a lack of intellectual rigor at NPR.
Why is it "jaw-dropping" to hear the NPR people talk about Christain fundamentalists hijacking the Republican Party? This is news to you? You need to get out more.
It's also true what Schiller said about Republicans appealing to the uneducated. "Uneducated" is an over-simplification, but that IS the Republican base. How else would they succeed in marketing their ideas to people whose best interests are not served by those ideas?
// Their anti-intellectualism is too deeply rooted in liberal and academic prejudices.//
Huh? Isn't that counter-stating your "point"?
I neglected to add that it would not matter if it was the Muslim Brotherhood, or the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, I'd still be skeptical of being set-up.
We don't know that NPR knew BEFORE they went to lunch that they (supposedly) wanted to contribute $5 million to NPR. We don't even know that they knew they were supposedly with the Muslim Brotherhood.
We also don't know if they were just being polite in some of the things they said and did, like laughing and saying "oh, that's a good one" about the National Palestinian Radio thing. I've heard that before, so I'm sure that NPR staff have heard it too. So I think they were just being "polite" as most of us would do as human beings, in laughing at the joke.
My tea party friends still give me grief because I once wrote that they had an obligation to call out the racists among them at rallies and such. So I'll apply the same standard here.
If someone you're having lunch with starts talking about the Jews controlling the media, there is no polite any more than there's polite when someone holds up a picture of Barack Obama as a monkey.
The only appropriate response is repudiation. Otherwise you're guilty by association.
I don't buy that Schiller's actions are indicative of an organizational bias (there's some evidence that public radio's audience isn't so much liberal as it is educated, some have suggested, and there are many educated Republicans among the audience). It *is* however indicative of massive stupid judgment.
It also pretty much makes the CPB funding question less an intellectual exercise and roots it solidly in the usual us vs. them realm with which more and more issues in America are placed for discussion.
Point taken, Bob. I'm unable to see the video as it's blocked here at work.
I can't watch the video right now, but I have a question. Many of O'Keefe's other videos were later shown to be heavily edited to put the subject in the worst possible light. How do we know he didn't do that here?
"you can hear the man every morning and every evening on NPR in the lack of intellectual rigor that permeates NPR programming."
Compared to what alternatives? Newshour on PBS, perhaps, but only by a smidgen. Certainly nothing that I've heard or seen on cable or broadcast television comes even close.
You're right, Bob. *I* would not have been polite. And they shouldn't have been. But some people are less comfortable with conflict - especially, perhaps when they're stuck at lunch with the people who are offending them.
Schiller did repudiate at least one thing the supposed Muslims said, if I remember correctly.
"The only appropriate response is repudiation. - Bob Collins"
"Otherwise you're guilty by association - Bob Collins"
No Bob, otherwise you're a jerk.
"I don't buy that Schiller's actions are indicative of an organizational bias (there's some evidence that public radio's audience isn't so much liberal as it is educated.
The more time one spends in academia, the more one absorbs liberal academic culture. Because of this, it is safe to say, the more time one spends in school, the less educated one becomes.
Schools do a great job of training specialists but do a horrible job of developing intellectual rigor.
I refer you again to the NYT article Social Scientist Sees Bias Within At least one academic area is dealing honestly with their problems.
"Compared to what alternatives? - bsimon"
Are you suggesting that intellectual sloppiness is okay as long as it's less than the alternatives?
My kids tried that argument once, I still made them clean their rooms.
Funny how this 'prank' is getting the politcal sides heated, just opposite of the WI governors phone call though.
GregS - "The more time one spends in academia, the more one absorbs liberal academic culture. Because of this, it is safe to say, the more time one spends in school, the less educated one becomes."
I'd love to see the data and research that supports this statement. I think it is only "safe to say" that it takes a grotesque leap in logic to follow this line of thinking.