The video: James O'Keefe, the right-wing prankster who tricked the community organizer ACORN into advising an extravagantly dressed "pimp," has struck again, this time targeting National Public Radio. O'Keefe's Project Veritas caught Ron Schiller, the network's senior vice president of development, telling two undercover activists posing as members of a Muslim education fund that Tea Partiers were "really xenophobic... seriously racist" people. (Listen to the audio below.) Schiller added that NPR could survive without government funding, saying that "in the long run," the network would be better off without it. Schiller has since left NPR to take a job at the Aspen Institute, but NPR spokesperson Dana Davis Rehm said the network was "appalled" by his comments, which were "contrary to what NPR stands for."
The reaction: Just yesterday, NPR head Vivian Schiller — no relation — was defending federal funding for the network, notes Moe Lane at RedState. This "comprehensive stomp-on-your-own-message" gaffe undid that in one fell swoop. "I'm almost impressed at [NPR's] own urge for self-destruction." The only thing to do now is to take Schiller's advice, says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, and strip NPR of its apparently superfluous federal subsidies. That way, "the gun-toting taxpayers won't be forced to pay for [NPR's] activities a moment longer." It's worth noting, though, that Schiller is a "professional fundraiser, not a journalist," says Dave Weigel at Slate. He's simply telling these potential donors what he thinks they want to hear, to elicit funds from them. In that context, his pandering is "actually sort of masterful." Decide for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- 10 things you need to know today: October 25, 2014
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Let us now praise Billy Joel
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
- Everything you need to know about the voter ID controversy
- Why the government should pay every American child an allowance
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
Subscribe to the Week