National Public Radio announced early Wednesday that its CEO, Vivian Schiller, had stepped down. Schiller's resignation — apparently encouraged by the organization's board — came on the heels of a scandal that erupted Tuesday, when conservative activist James O'Keefe released a surreptitiously taped conversation in which an NPR executive called Tea Partiers racist, and said NPR would be better off without federal funding. Schiller, who had run NPR for two years, had also drawn heavy fire for dumping Juan Williams last fall after he made controversial comments about Muslims. With Republicans demanding that the government stop funding NPR, was ditching Schiller smart? (Watch an AP report about Schiller's resignation)
Firing Schiller was unfair, and dumb: O'Keefe has created a surefire "dirty trick" for conservative activists, says Anya Kamenetz at Fast Company. He uses "gotcha" techniques straight out of a Borat movie to get people to say embarrassing things, manufacturing "scandals out of thin air." But this isn't grounds for pushing out a CEO with a proven "formula for reporting the news that actually seems to be financially successful."
"NPR CEO Vivian Schiller "ousted" among political fallout"
This is a good first step: Schiller's departure is appropriate, says Richard Grenell at The Huffington Post. She led NPR on a misbegotten crusade to pocket federal funding while pursuing a leftist agenda. The government shouldn't sponsor liberal news, and it's about time the public wised up. NPR will survive, but "it's federal funding won't" — and that's a good thing.
"Vivian Schiller created this blow-back"
Schiller's ouster could backfire: Firing Schiller makes it look like NPR is "offering a sacrifice in the name of putting a quick end to the controversy," says James Poniewozik at TIME. But that would be a serious "P.R. misstep." It's not at all clear that getting rid of Schiller will quiet critics. It's just as likely that, "like so many such firings," this will simply embolden NPR's enemies.
"Video takes down the radio exec: NPR CEO steps down after sting"