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Entries in National Public Radio (2)

Tuesday
Mar082011

Former NPR Exec. Blasts Tea Party, GOP in Hidden Camera Video

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- National Public Radio is finding itself in the spotlight once again after a hidden camera video emerged Tuesday of former executive Ron Schiller blasting Republicans and the Tea Party in a meeting with two members of a fictitious Muslim group.

Schiller, then-president of the NPR Foundation and senior vice president for development, calls the Tea Party "xenophobic," "seriously racist people," who are "fanatically involved in people's personal lives."

He goes on to say that the Republican party has been hijacked by the Tea Party and laments the demise of intellectualism, particularly in the GOP.

Schiller was accompanied by Betsy Liley, NPR senior director of institutional giving, on the lunch with members of the "Muslim Education Action Center," a fake group set up specifically to target NPR. The two members who met with Schiller and Liley established a purported connection with the Muslim Brotherhood early on in the lunch.

The setup was the brainchild of conservative James O'Keefe, who has become famous for his hidden-camera videos, most recently targeted at Planned Parenthood.

The video became public Tuesday but Schiller, who joined NPR in September 2009, left the organization last week to work for the nonprofit Aspen Institute.

"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," NPR spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm said in a statement. "We are appalled by the comments made by Ron Schiller in the video, which are contrary to what NPR stands for."

Schiller is not related to NPR president and chief executive Vivian Schiller.

The controversy comes as lawmakers are embroiled in a heated debate about whether to cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which partially supports NPR and the Public Broadcasting Service.

Schiller is seen in the video saying that NPR would be better off without federal funding, and even if it were to be stripped, the organization and most of its member stations would survive.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov192010

Republicans Target NPR Funding 

NPR fired news analyst Juan Williams after he said he gets "nervous" seeing "people who are in Muslim garb" on airplanes. Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- House Republicans' attempt to cut federal funding for National Public Radio fell flat on Thursday, but the war of words against the publicly-funded radio network continues to fester. On Thursday, Democrats defeated a proposal by House GOP members to terminate NPR's federal funding, a move prompted in part by the recent firing of Juan Williams for comments he made about Muslims.

"While the network has the right to present whatever point of view its executives wish, taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize it," Republican Study Committee chairman Tom Price of Georgia said in a statement. "Without taxpayer funding, NPR will simply compete for listeners on a level playing field, just like any other media organization."

Under the Republican proposal, NPR would not be allowed to apply for grants issued by federally funded agencies like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and National Endowment for the Arts, which, in the last fiscal year totaled $2.5 million or 1.5 percent of the network's operating budget. Moreover, local public radio stations would not be able to use money they receive from CPB to buy programming from NPR. That funding constitutes, on average, about 10 percent of a station's budget.

Conservative ire toward NPR isn't a new phenomenon. In fact, Republican lawmakers for decades have attempted to yank public funding away from both NPR and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), citing liberal bias. But the recent war of words has escalated to a level unseen in recent history. Fox News' chairman Roger Ailes went as far as to liken NPR executives to Nazis. Ailes later apologized for the use of the word.

NPR became the subject of Republican backlash when it fired news analyst Juan Williams in October, after the conservative commentator said he gets "worried" and "nervous" seeing "people who are in Muslim garb" on airplanes.

Only about two percent of NPR's funding comes from federally funded organizations. Forty percent of the revenue is generated through station programming fees while 26 percent comes from sponsorships.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio