NOTE: Updates will be posted below the break as they come in. Check in for all the latest developments.
In the wake of a video sting showing NPR executives making disparaging comments towards conservatives, National Public Radio announced Wednesday morning that it had accepted the resignation of its president Vivian Schiller. "The Board accepted Vivian’s resignation with understanding, genuine regret and great respect for her leadership of NPR these past 2 years," said Board Chairman Dave Edwards.
The hidden-camera video, released Tuesday, showed NPR exec Ron Schiller, no relation to Vivian, calling the Tea Party "racist" and "xenophobic" and insisting that NPR would be "better off in the long-run" without the federal dollars that congressional Republicans have been seeking to rescind. A pair of NPR statements disavowed Ron Schiller's comments, and specifically rejected his claims regarding NPR funding.
Managing Editor's Note: NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell sent a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate committees with oversight of NPR stating that PBS does not deserve a dime of taxpayer funding and that a government that is broke should not be in the business of funding a left-wing playground.
A portion of the letter sent by Mr. Bozell to Congress follows:
Worried that ending taxpayer funding for National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) will result in Sesame Streets’ demise?
NPR’s former senior vice president for development was not. “Well frankly, it is very clear that we would be better off in the long run without federal funding,” said Ron Schiller. Yes, those words came out of the mouth of a senior vice president at NPR. In light of the current battle to end federal funding for NPR, Ron Schiller makes a compelling statement contrary to the views of his own employer.
What more do Congress and American taxpayers need to understand that funding this media outlet is unnecessary and, according to Schiller, potentially hurting its bottom line?
Only ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday highlighted claims by a NPR executive, caught in an undercover sting operation, that Tea Party members are "seriously racist" people. CBS's Early Show completely skipped the subject. NBC's Today allowed a brief mention during a news read.
GMA's Jake Tapper extensively highlighted quotes by the outgoing Ron Schiller: "The current Republican Party, particularly the Tea Party, is fanatically involved in people's personal lives and very fundamental Christian." In the tapes he can be seen adding, "They believe the term, white, middle-America, gun-toting – I mean, it's scary. They're seriously racist, racist people."
Tapper noted that shows such as Sesame Street and Frontline are award-winning. He explained, "Republicans say, then, fine. They should be just well and good without federal funding."
In the wake of a stunning video revealing the truly deplorable opinions of one of its executives, NPR has accepted the resignation of President Vivian Schiller while putting Ron Schiller (no relation) on administrative leave.
Fox News's Juan Williams, who was disgracefully fired by the radio network last year for having the nerve to voice his opinion, lashed out at NPR Tuesday evening on the "Hannity" show (videos follow with transcript and commentary):
National Public Radio further distanced itself Tuesday afternoon from embattled outgoing executive Ron Schiller saying that he would be put on "administrative leave" following the release of a video in which he bashed Tea Party activists as "racist" and said that NPR would be "better off" without federal funding.
It was unclear from NPR's first statement, released early in the day, which of Schiller's many comments the radio network had disavowed. The second statement offered some clarification, specifically addressing the claims that the organization would fare better without federal dollars. But it did not highlight or specifically denounce any of Schiller's comments regarding the Tea Party movement, the Republican Party, or the American people generally - though it did broadly condemn his comments.
Schiller's impending departure for a post at the Aspen Institute makes the move to place him on "administrative leave" mostly symbolic.
An admission by a top executive at National Public Radio that the organization would be "better off in the long-run" without federal funding may bolster ongoing efforts to rescind that funding. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., said Tuesday that he was "amazed at the condescension and arrogance" displayed by then-senior NPR executive Ron Schiller in a hidden camera video released by conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe.
The video showed Schiller telling two men posing members of an Islamic advocacy group that Tea Party activists are "racist" and "xenophobic." Schiller also claimed that NPR "would be better off in the long run without federal funding."
Republicans are prepared to oblige NPR on that score. Lamborn told Washington Examiner columnist Byron York on Tuesday that congressional Democrats and other NPR backers should "reconsider their support in light of these appalling attitudes that are displayed in the video."
In light of new revelations about NPR's top brass bashing conservatives in a hidden-camera investigation, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell and NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham issued the following statements calling on Congress to wake up and stop using tax dollars to fund National Public Radio.
Brent Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center (MRC):
As Lachlan noted earlier, NPR CEO Vivian Schiller claimed at the National Press Club that NPR isn't a left-wing sandbox. But the transparent fakery of this became even more transparent when she boasted that in a world drowning in punditry, NPR deals in fact, and then quoted leftist smackdown artist James Wolcott of Vanity Fair for honoring NPR as "The Sound of Sanity."
National Public Radio chief Vivian Schiller issued a flat denial Monday when asked whether NPR consistently puts a liberal spin on the news.
NPR strains to offer "journalism that presents no particular bias," Schiller claimed in a speech at the National Press Club. And far from being the bastion of liberalism its critics insist, Schiller claimed that NPR gets "a tremendous amount of criticism for being too conservative."
To the former claim, one need only look through the NPR archive here at NewsBusters to find a litany of examples undermining Schiller's denial. She says that presented with the accusation of liberal bias, she always asks for examples, so here are just a few from the archives:
For the fourth time in the last five weeks Evan Thomas has taken a political position quite contrary to the other liberal panelists on PBS's "Inside Washington."
In Friday's installment, Newsweek's assistant managing editor not only took on regulars Mark Shields and Nina Totenberg but also ridiculed the New York Times (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Today's Supreme Court ruling in Snyder v. Phelps is proving to be yet another occasion for the media to falsely describe the homosexuality-fixated Westboro Baptist Church as a "fundamentalist" congregation.
The Associated Press, MSNBC and NPR.org have been among the news outlets using that tag for the Topeka, Kansas, organization that protests funerals of soliders, celebrating their deaths by claiming God killed them because he hates "fags."
But the AP's own style manual strongly cautions against the use of the term "fundamentalist," noting that the term "fundamentalist has to a large extent taken on pejorative connotations except when applied to groups that stress strict, literal interpretations of Scripture and separation from other Christians."
"In general," the AP manual adds, "do not use [the term] fundamentalist unless a group applies the word to itself."
Something has definitely gotten into Evan Thomas's water, as for the third time this month, he advanced a viewpoint on PBS's "Inside Washington" quite contrary to the other liberal panelists.
On Friday's installment, with lone conservative regular Charles Krauthammer taking the day off, the Newsweek columnist practically assumed his position as the voice of reason taking on the other guests regarding the budget situation in Wisconsin (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The folks on PBS's "Inside Washington" had some fun as the program moved to a conclusion Friday.
The topic of discussion was Barack Obama awarding Medals of Freedom Tuesday, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer was unimpressed by the President "indulging himself in thanking people he’s always liked" (humorous video follows with transcript and commentary):
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on Friday made the idiotic claim that House Republicans are stealing food from babies and pregnant women.
Later that evening, appearing on PBS's "Inside Washington," syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer demonstrated just how foolish Krugman's assertion was (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Jaws dropped across the nation’s capital at the audacious annihilation of the truth on the front page of the February 15 Washington Post. The top headline read “Obama budget makes deep cuts, cautious trades.” It’s another day at the Post, where every day is an April Fool’s joke.
Reporter Lori Montgomery didn’t exactly say “deep cuts” in her first sentence. She explained that Obama’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2012 made “surgical cuts and cautious trade-offs.” But two paragraphs later, the reporter admitted “the president’s offer to freeze funding for domestic programs would produce minimal savings in the short term.” That doesn’t match the “deep cuts” headline in large, bold type – because there are none.
On Thursday, National Public Radio's Morning Edition decided to revisit the censorship controversy over the National Portrait Gallery removing a video image of ants crawling on a crucifix in an ideological exhibit promoting homosexuality. (The show closes Sunday.) The irony or the outrage in this story is that the "villains" of this piece -- conservative Christians and Republican politicians -- were not allowed to speak. NPR reporter Neda Ulaby quoted only the two left-wing curators of the exhibit, a left-wing critic for the Village Voice, and a left-wing man protesting the apparently ruined exhibit.
The most outrageous part was this soundbite of co-curator Jonathan Katz: "It's no longer the same game that it was 15, 20 years ago, where you simply had to point out the homo and yell 'Kill it!'And the mob attacked. Now, you have to clothe your homophobia in something else."
A story this biased makes it worth pointing out that Neda Ulaby is a lesbian journalist and activist who found this NPR job through the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. The Advocate celebrated a list of openly gay people with cool careers and explained:
The pro-life group Live Action has posted an expose that should be deeply embarrassing to Planned Parenthood. In a visit taped on January 11, an office manager at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Perth Amboy, New Jersey greets a man and woman posing as a pimp and a prostitute by carefully explaining they want "as little information as possible" as they offer their contraceptive and abortion services, even as this pimp described bringing in underage girls as illegal aliens to be his sex workers. At NPR's blog The Two-Way, reporter Eyder Peralta picked this up and promptly mangled the facts.
The headline was "Group Behind ACORN Undercover Videos Sets Up Planned Parenthood 'Sting.'" Yes, "sting" may be what you call it when liberal journalists take a hidden camera to expose malfeasance, but if the videographers are pro-life, the word goes into quotes. Peralta began: "The same group that went undercover at ACORN offices back in 2009 is now going after Planned Parenthood." Wrong.
NPR was forced to correct: "An earlier version of this post stated Live Action was associated with James O'Keefe. They are not, and O'Keefe was not a part of this undercover video."
In the middle of a rather comical exchange on PBS's "Inside Washington" Friday evening, Washington Post columnist Colby King accused fellow panelist Charles Krauthammer of being "cranky" concerning President Obama's State of the Union address.
Not at all surprising to fans of the Fox News contributor, Krauthammer struck back and did so quite impressively (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Beware when the liberal media starts a "fact check" story on political speeches. Their "facts" often come directly from liberal policy wonks. On Wednesday's Morning Edition, NPR ran through a series of Obama claims without really saying he mangled a fact. Reporter Elisabeth Shogren suggested he was too optimistic about getting electric cars on the road with "this Congress" (ahem, not progressive enough). But reporter John Ydstie suggested Paul Ryan was wrong to suggest the stimulus failed, citing that "economists of both persuasions" agree Ryan was incorrect:
RENEE MONTAGNE, anchor: And the president also spoke of infrastructure projects, such as high-speed rail and expanding to most of the population high-speed Internet. John Ydstie, let's bring you back in. Investment was a big theme of this State of the Union speech. In the official Republican rebuttal, Congressman Paul Ryan had this to say about that.
"Bipartisanship" is one of those buzzwords that proponents of a policy will invoke whenever possible. But a rush to demonstrate that the policy appeals across party lines can often obscure partisans' real motives in endorsing it.
Since former Senate Majority Leaders Bill Frist and Tom Daschle teamed up to endorse ObamaCare this week, plenty of media outlets have touted the "bipartisan" backing of the law.
Daschle is of course a Democrat so his support isn't as newsy as Frist's. But when a credentialed Republican, a former Senate GOP leader comes out in favor of a piece of landmark liberal legislation, the keen observer is a bit suspicious. Why the ideological shift? In Frist's case - and this fact has amazingly gone unmentioned in reports by MSNBC, NPR, and Politico - it seems to be due to his significant financial stake in ObamaCare's preservation.
After days of relentless attacks by media across the fruited plain, Sarah Palin's unfavorable rating hit an all-time high this week.
A look at the assault by television and radio news organizations since bullets were fired in Tucson will give you an idea how the press accomplished their mission (image of Palin was found via a Google search and was not created by NewsBusters or the Media Research Center):
On Monday's Morning Edition, National Public Radio offered the latest entry in its year-long series "The Hidden World of Girls," which is subsidized by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts. Naturally, any series with this title might disappoint if it didn't explore lesbians in Islamic countries, in this case, Pakistan.
Apparently, though, the definition of "girls" is quite flexible. On the October 16 All Things Considered, NPR celebrated the journey of Adam "Theresa" Sparks, running to be the first transgender member of the San Francisco City Council.
For this story, reporter Habiba Nosheen told listeners that the names of the lesbians had been changed to protect them:
Long past the time when it was debunked that Tucson shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner might have been motivated by talk radio or TV, NPR was still entertaining the "vitriol" attack line, as anchor Scott Simon interviewed liberal St. Petersburg Times TV critic Eric Deggans on Saturday morning's Weekend Edition. Simon even bizarrely claimed that this kind of violence didn't happen when "63 million people watched Walter Cronkite every night."
First, that exaggerates Cronkite's nightly audience (it's more likely the networks might have attracted 63 million between the three of them). But does Simon really believe that in the Sixties and Seventies, there was never a mass shooting with six deaths in America? Or say, a Jonestown mass suicide of Americans (preceded by a congressman being shot there)? Or the shootings of JFK, RFK, MLK, Malcolm X, George Wallace, or two attempts at Gerald Ford? Facts were being mangled:
SIMON: People have observed over the past few years, for example, that, you know, this just didn't happen when 63 million people watched Walter Cronkite every night. But I don't know, hasn't colorful and even intemperate speech been a part of politics and journalism?
Mark Shields on Friday actually asked Charles Krauthammer if Sarah Palin unintentionally made last Saturday's shootings about herself and not the tragic event.
Krauthammer not only set the substitute host of PBS's "Inside Washington" straight, but also called for an apology from all those that shamefully tied the former Alaska governor to this awful tragedy (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi was complete enough in his reporting on the internal NPR review of the Juan Williams firing on Saturday that he included financial numbers that NPR released on the bonuses of NPR CEO Vivian Schiller. The decision to cancel her bonus over that Fox-loathing fiasco was a six-figure decision:
According to tax records released by NPR on Friday, Schiller received a bonus of $112,500 in May 2010, about 17 months after she was hired by the Washington-based organization. This was in addition to a base salary of $450,000. The bonus was included in her hiring package, NPR said.
The preceding year, before Schiller's arrival, NPR paid out $1.22 million in salary, bonuses and deferred compensation to Schiller's predecessor, Kevin Klose, who retired that year. It paid another $1.22 million to Ken Stern, its president, who was forced out. Stern's compensation was swelled by a early buyout of his contract, according to NPR.