The damage control effort over at National Public Radio (NPR) is at such a state that they've consulted a piece from Glenn Beck's TheBlaze.com to argue it's the victim of a smear operation. On Sunday morning's "Weekend Edition," NPR delved into the report.
When a sting operation launched by conservative James O'Keefe recorded a top NPR Foundation fundraiser making disparaging comments about Republicans and tea partiers, NPR faced heavy public scrutiny. But a publication created by Glenn Beck, described by an NPR correspondent as a "sort of a conservative 'Huffington Post,'" used the full-cut video of the operation, released after the original edited video, to argue that O'Keefe may have cut the video to cast some comments out of context.
(Click here for the NPR story, which includes audio and transcript of the segment.)
As NewsBusters has been reporting, liberal media members have been out in force the past few days defending NPR.
On this weekend's "The Chris Matthews Show," New York Times columnist David Brooks said, "I thought it was really biased ten years ago, but now I think it’s pretty straight" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NPR's On The Media is a weekly show produced by WNYC in New York. When there's a NPR scandal, they are not fair and balanced. They are liberal warriors. They have stated repeatedly that liberal bias is a "canard" that causes "false balance." So it's not surprising they went into major Self-Defense Mode this weekend.
BOB GARFIELD, co-host: Joyce Slocum, NPR’s General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs, was named interim president and CEO. She says that the political fallout from the sting will not change NPR’s journalism.
JOYCE SLOCUM: Knowing our newsroom and our journalists as I do, I think that they are going to continue to do as they have done and that is to take great care to ensure that their coverage is balanced, that they’re bringing a variety of voices to any given issue…
In response to this week's shameful exposure of bias at NPR, a couple of its hosts on Friday had an on air discussion about whether or not the radio network does indeed have a political leaning.
Shortly after "On the Media" host Bob Garfield said, "If you were to somehow poll the political orientation of everybody in the NPR news organization and all of the member stations, you would find an overwhelmingly progressive, liberal crowd," Ira Glass of "The American Life" maintained the outlet had no left-wing bias whatsoever (audio follows with partial transcript and commentary):
After the public shaming of NPR this week, Nina Totenberg was given the option of taking a day off from PBS's "Inside Washington" so that she wouldn't have to face the music concerning the so-called "news organization" she works for.
Demonstrating admirable spunk, Totenberg showed up to "defend the product" her radio station produces only to have Charles Krauthammer say in the midst of a lengthy discussion about the issue, "If the product is so superior, why does it have to live on the tit of the state?" (video of entire segment follows with transcript and commentary):
Sue Schardt, director of the Association of Independents in Radio and a non-board member of NPR's Distribution/Interconnect Committee, has a firm grasp on arguments against the organization receiving federal funding. Criticisms of NPR "do have some legitimacy," she noted, and "we must, as a starting point, take on board some of this criticism."
Scardtnoted during the board's Feburary 25 "public comment" period that "we unwittingly cultivated a core audience that is predominately white, liberal, highly educated, elite."
As a consequence, Schardt added, while the journalism NPR produces may be of high quality, the organization really only serves, by her telling, 11 percent of the United States. In light of that fact, she added, "we need to carefully consider whether we warrant public funding and, if so, what the rationale would be."
An NPR correspondent recently went incognito for a sting operation aimed at exposing U.S. border agents who target Muslims for "interrogation" at the Canadian border.
Employing the same tactics used by James O'Keefe to bring down top NPR executives, counterterrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston draped herself in a headscarf, drove to the northern border, and recorded her encounter with a U.S. border agent. [Click here for audio.]
"An agent from Customs and Border Protection was sitting in what looked like a little toll booth," recalled Temple-Raston on the March 10 Morning Edition, who gave the agent no indication that he was being recorded. "He asked me to remove my sunglasses and peered into the car. I was wearing a headscarf and so was Kathy Jamil. He asked why we'd been to Canada."
Since an undercover sting video was released on Tuesday showing National Public Radio executive Ron Schiller calling conservatives "seriously racist people" – for which he resigned – CBS News has failed to utter a single word about the controversy on its broadcasts. That despite NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller (no relation to Ron) also being forced out on Wednesday.
In contrast, ABC had a full story on Wednesday's Good Morning America and it led World News that night. On NBC Wednesday, Today only featured a news brief on the scandal, but a full story was featured on the Nightly News.
It is a bloodbath over at National Public Radio. First the pinhead Ron Schiller resigns after initially being defended by NPR and then, by the end of the day Tuesday, being given the Shuffalo to Buffalo. Then Vivian Schiller, no relation to Ron Schiller, resigns the next day as chief executive officer and president of NPR. Ron Schiller was caught on tape saying NPR did not need its subsidy from the federal government to survive, but I guess the board of directors of NPR is taking no chances. Off with both of the Schillers' heads.
Actually, NPR and its affiliates are among the most overstaffed and extravagant operations in media. In the 1990s, when I did "The Editors" — a television show from Montreal that appeared on public television stations (because of my presence, one had to be an insomniac to catch the show in Washington on WETA, a lamentable situation insisted on by Sharon Percy Rockefeller, the president of WETA and a Public Broadcasting Service board member) — the Montreal production company did the show for a pittance of what public television paid. I believe a Washington production would have outspent us by a 10-1 ratio. NPR is no different. Ron Schiller, who was NPR's fundraising chief, said it would survive the cuts, and doubtless it could. I say cut its subsidy. It has been in more scandals of late than Charlie Sheen. Off with all their heads.
It certainly wasn't at all surprising that comedian Jon Stewart was displeased about NPR getting exposed by James O'Keefe as the liberal shills most Americans knew this supposed news organization was.
But during Wednesday's "Daily Show," the host used the occasion to slam Fox News while calling the disgraced radio network "p--sies" for not fighting back (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
Demonstrating how the mainstream media are an obstacle to any efforts to make any cuts to any federal spending, NBC and ABC on Wednesday night resorted to citing Sesame Street characters as potential “casualties in a war over culture and spending cuts,” without any regard for how the Children’s Television Workshop is a huge generator of revenue from corporate donations and product sales, as NBC’s Lisa Myers went so far as to exploit the kids of the nation:
With American children already falling behind, public broadcasting supporters fear Bert and Ernie could become a casualty of the political wars.
With House conservatives hoping to eliminate funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds PBS and NPR stations and production projects, Myers warned: “Officials say some stations would go under. Also at risk, programming like Sesame Street.”
Andrea Mitchell joined Democratic Representative Steny Hoyer in sticking up for NPR as the NBC correspondent, on her MSNBC show, declared: "Nobody is suggesting that their journalism has been at all biased."
On Wednesday's Andrea Mitchell Reports she regretted that outgoing NPR executive Ron Schiller's controversial comments about its own funding and the Tea Party were going to make it harder for Hoyer and his ilk to keep funneling tax dollars its way. Mitchell whined: "We're talking about pennies on the budget, so this isn't really a cost-saving move, but now it's become so politically fired up" and then added, "Nobody is suggesting that their journalism has been at all biased."
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):