NPR Fiasco Proves Right-Wing Dominates The Media

Fox News Investigative TeamI really didn’t want to do this. I really didn’t want to add to the hype that surrounds video pervert and propagandist James O’Keefe. But subsequent developments that have resulted from his escapade make it impossible to refrain from reiterating what is a much bigger problem than O’Keefe or a couple of bureaucrats at National Public Radio.

Ron Schiller, a fundraiser for NPR is the latest victim of O’Keefe’s Borat-like practice of pseudo-journalism. In a hidden video sting, O’Keefe captured Schiller saying that…

“The current Republican party, particularly the Tea Party is fanatically involved in people’s personal lives and very fundamental Christian. I wouldn’t even call it Christian. It’s this weird evangelical kind of movement. […] not just Islamaphobic but xenophobic, and they are, they believe in sort of white, middle America, gun-toting, I mean it’s scary. They’re seriously, racist, racist people.”

Setting aside the fact that that is indisputably true, what is more important to note is that it is irrelevant. Schiller is a fundraiser, not an editor. He had zero influence on the stories NPR broadcasts or their content. His private statements may have been indiscreet for an organization that is presently being attacked by Tea Party Republicans, but they play no role in NPR’s operations other than this effort to solicit a contribution. And analysis of NPR’s reporting shows that it has been exceedingly fair with regard to the Tea Party.

However, with only the video of a known liar and convicted criminal to go on, NPR responded by repudiating Schiller’s comments and terminating CEO Vivian Schiller (no relation). How is this different from the travesty that saw former Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod fired from her job over a similarly fraudulent video that was also heavily, and deceptively, edited?

Nevertheless, another allegedly progressive enterprise has kowtowed to a right-wing propagandist. If nothing else, this proves that the media is dominated by conservative forces who consistently control the narrative. Contrary to the spin from the right, NPR is anything but liberal and often it serves only to validate the dishonest mainstream press. They’ve had two correspondents working as paid contributors to Fox News. How many have they had on NBC or Democracy Now? And NPR’s Mara Liasson continues her employment, even after Fox News CEO Roger Ailes called them all Nazis.

The myth that public broadcasting is liberal has got to be buried once and for all. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is headed by Patricia de Stacy Harrison, a former chair of the Republican Party. And has everyone forgotten the irrepressibly corrupt Kenneth Tomlinson who was the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors and was run out of office just ahead of an indictment? Perhaps the Republicans in congress are right and defunding should be explored more seriously. I simply can’t continue to make excuses for these agencies that are too often used as political pawns without fulfilling their mandate to serve the public.

Even if NPR was disposed to unload Schiller, they should have waited a few months so that O’Keefe couldn’t hang another trophy on his wall. They are empowering a dangerous and dishonest cabal of right-wing activists and they seem to be completely oblivious and irresponsible. And to what end? Do they think that firing a couple of patsies will mollify their critics. All they have to do is listen to one of their harshest critics on Capital Hill, Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who said that, “Our concern is not about any one person at NPR.” These folks are out to destroy those whom they perceive as their progressive opponents and they will settle for nothing less. Yet the victims of this political massacre are behaving like battered spouses who are certain that the beatings will stop as soon as they no longer deserve to be beaten.

This reflects the moral buckling exhibited by the White House every time someone is targeted by conservatives or Fox News. Just ask ex-administration personnel like Shirley Sherrod, Van Jones, or Yosi Sergant. Did any of those terminations elicit a truce from the right? You have to wonder why liberals always seem to get the boot for off-the-cuff indiscretions while conservatives remain at their post to continue their deliberate insults and hate speech. Why is Vivian Schiller now unemployed when she didn’t have anything to do with the offending remarks, but Roger Ailes is still running Fox after calling NPR Nazis? And why is NPR correspondent Mara Liasson still working for Fox News? And why does Glenn Beck have a job at all? (But let’s not get into that bag of nasty right now).

It needs to noted that the cheesy tactics of O’Keefe should never be given credibility. First of all, he has personally been exposed as a liar and a crook who deceptively edits his videos. And the process of acquiring his stories is devoid of credibility. It is relatively easy to sucker some chump in an organization of thousands to say something stupid, especially if he isn’t aware that he is being recorded. That puts him at a distinct disadvantage where his interviewer is able direct the conversation and to carefully phrase everything that is said, but the subject will be less guarded and more candid, not realizing that his words will be chopped up and used against him.

We need to strengthen our resolve against these sort of attacks. We need to support those who represent our values, just as those who represent the right are supported by their GOTea sippers. We have to stop being cowed into submission because we think someone on the right might not like something. They aren’t going to like anything we do anyway, so why bother attempting to placate them? What we really need are more leaders like those in Wisconsin who are unafraid of standing up to criticism and standing up for principles.

I agree with Eric Cantor. Our concern is not about any one person. It is about courage and commitment and loyalty. If we can’t get that from the folks at NPR or members of congress or the White House, then we need to start looking for it somewhere else. Our agenda is America’s agenda and that makes it our obligation to fight on. And we must never, EVER, allow jerkwads like O’Keefe, or his patrons at Fox News, to steer our course.


9 thoughts on “NPR Fiasco Proves Right-Wing Dominates The Media

  1. I’m glad you wrote about this. It is unbelievable to me that NPR reacted to this the way they did, instead of just laughing about this fraud and turning the story into what a discredited unbelievable joke he and his organization are.

  2. “…that it is indisputably true…”

    It is a indisputably a lie. It has been shown time and time again that the Tea Party movement is not a racist movement. The left has embarassed itself yet again. And you left out that this Schiller clown even spewed anti-semitic crap about the nation’s newspapers.

    • So all of those signs showing Obama as an African witch doctor weren’t racist? Signs referring to an African lion and a lyin’ African weren’t racist? Having the head of one of the largest Tea Party groups (Tea Party Express) making overtly bigoted comments wasn’t racist? Although that guy was removed due to the embarrassment he caused, his views were known and public prior to that, and he is still a Tea Party leader and radio host.

      If you want to argue that the Tea Party isn’t ALL racist, fine. Or even that you personally want to rid the Tea Party of any racist elements, that’s cool too. But to suggest that there are not racists prominently residing in the movement is evidence of a severe form denial and/or blindness.

      • “If you want to argue that the Tea Party isn’t ALL racist, fine…”

        Schiller made no attempt to say that SOME of the Tea Partiers are racist and some are not. He just lumped them all together in one big racist pot, and since you said his statements were “indisputably true”, that triggered my response.

        I will say this yet again: With any movement that involves rallies and protests, the nut factor is always there. That is the nature of the beast. But there are hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people involved in the Tea Party movement, and the vast, vast majority of them are perfectly normal people who are genuinly concerned about where this country is headed. Compare the nut factor with other protests (anti-war, anti-WTO, Madison, etc), and you see that the these Tea Party events are cakewalks in comparison.

        By the way, here’s another example of self-policing: Dale Robertson. He’s the moron who showed up at Tea Party events in Texas with that mispelled n-word sign – and the true Tea Partiers always told him to get lost.

        • That’s better. At least you now acknowledge that there are racists in the Tea Party, even amonst their leadership). I will also acknowledge that there are Tea Partiers who are not racist.

    • Scotty, You really must take pride in being stupid. Just like Bush to was thrilled at being a “C” student and bragged about it. You betcha we see the dumbing down of america thanks to the unbalanced and unfair Fox Republican Network that you and your nutty buddies embrace. You are down right blinded by the right.

      This morning on the history channel I watched a program on how Hitler rose to power and got people to vote for him. Yep I see the rise of republican fascism.

  3. It’s been like this since Reagan. We see what’s happening, but seeing it doesn’t stop it or change it. We are watching the final chapter in Democracy in America. It didn’t work.

  4. “..take pride in being stupid…”

    I take pride in being smart enough to debunk this garbage with facts in logic in stead of childish little insults.

    • I agree with you about the insults and wish people would refrain from that.

      However, you engage in that as much as anyone, and you NEVER use logic or facts. You just call me a liar without even attempting to form a coherent argument.

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