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Wed March 9, 2011
Update: Latest On Aftermath Of NPR Exec's Comments
Originally published on Wed March 9, 2011 7:03 am
(Since we first published this post, there's been a major development — NPR CEO and President Vivian Schiller has resigned. Go here to follow that news.)
Our original post:
A few updates on the story of what NPR's then-senior vice president for fundraising, Ron Schiller, said to men posing as members of a fictitious Muslim Education Action Center Trust (he slammed conservatives, mused that NPR might be better off without federal funds and didn't react when he was told the fake organization had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood; we posted about all that extensively yesterday):
-- On Morning Edition, NPR's Larry Abramson summed up the story and looked at the calls by some in Congress to cut federal funding for public broadcasting. His report is introduced by ME guest host Ari Shapiro:
-- The Christian Science Monitor looked at the issue of whether NPR could "thrive without federal funds?" It writes that:
"Government grants make up only about 10 percent of the public radio economy, said NPR CEO Vivian Schiller (no relation to Ron Schiller) in an appearance Monday at the National Press Club. But that cash is a 'critical cornerstone' of NPR funding, she said. 'This money is particularly important for stations in rural areas. Their government funding is a larger share of revenue — 30 percent, 40 percent, 50 percent or more,' said Ms. Schiller."
-- Political activist James O'Keefe, whose Project Veritas set up the fake organization, invited Ron Schiller and NPR institutional giving director Betsy Liley to lunch with the men and then secretly videotaped their conversation, says that "the idea for the sting stemmed from an incident in October when NPR fired analyst Juan Williams after he said he got scared when people wore Muslim garb on airplanes," CNN reported. O'Keefe spoke with the cable news network yesterday. The men working with O'Keefe told Ron Schiller that their organization wanted to give NPR $5 million. No such deal came close to being struck, NPR says.
-- As we reported late last evening, Ron Schiller (who last week, in what NPR says was an unrelated development, announced he was taking another job), agreed to make his resignation effective immediately.
-- Vivian Schiller said several times yesterday that the things Ron Schiller said were appalling and do not reflect NPR's views. Last evening, for example, NPR issued this statement from her:
"Ron Schiller's remarks are contrary to what NPR stands for and deeply distressing to reporters, editors and others who bring fairness, civility and respect for a wide variety of viewpoints to their work everyday."