National Public Radio once more makes a fool of itself

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At a time when the media is on the ropes defending itself against charges of bias, distortion, and outright falsehoods, National Public Radio leads with its glass chin and hits the mat again. A top NPR radio executive has resigned after being taped accusing Tea Party followers of being racist, stupid, uneducated, and hijackers of the Republican Party.

Unaware that he was being taped, convinced he was lunching with Muslim admirers, NPR’s Ron Schiller dumped on Jews, Republicans, Evangelicals, Tea Party folks, and Juan Williams. It was clear that he prided himself on being a member of the elite, those who claim a monopoly on intelligence, education, and goodness. The rest of us apparently are “gun-toting” and “scary” morons.

What is so sad about the continued stumbling of National Public Radio (NPR) is that for decades it has provided intelligent and sophisticated broadcasting on a variety of subjects. Somewhere along the way it became convinced of its own moral and intellectual superiority, and that led to the arrogance displayed by Ron Schiller and others NPR leaders, demonstrated so clearly by the firing of Juan Williams.

I’ve had mixed feelings for years about public funding for NPR and PBS. Why should tax dollars support any radio or television station? Yet, oh, how I enjoyed the news reporting of Jim Lehrer and Robert McNeil on PBS. Maybe they were liberal, but not so you’d notice it. I always had the feeling that they tried to balance the news. I find it hard to believe that they looked down on their listeners or believed that those who did not listen to them were morons and bigots.

Ron Schiller got himself taped fawning all over a bogus Muslim Brotherhood group in the hopes of winning a $5 million contribution. Fairly drooling over the dollar signs wafting across the lunch table, he dumped on Jews, called Republicans intellectual bankrupts, and generally portrayed the rest of us as the Great Unwashed. He also took another poke at Juan Williams, fired by NPR a while back when he expressed his honest thought that he gets nervous seeing people in Muslim garb board an airplane with him. Williams recognized that it was not a worthy fear and said so. NPR jumped on that statement to dismiss and demean him. The real reason was his connection with Fox News.

In line with the liberal line that America is a detriment in world affairs, a Schiller associate reminded the fake Muslims that America does treat minorities badly, citing the unfair internment of Japanese-Americans in WWII. Shame on us who see America as a beacon of hope and freedom for the rest of the planet.

Schiller was already planning to leave his job at NPR but resigned immediately when the tape was released by James O’Keefe, whose pimp-prostitute tape burned ACORN a few months ago. Vivian Schiller (no relation), the president of NPR, was forced out by the NPR board the next day. NPR has been reeling since the Juan Williams incident sparked outrage all over the country.

Ron Schiller is also heard on the tape telling his supposed Muslim friends that NPR doesn’t really need federal funding and would be better off without it. That statement comes at a time when newly strengthened Republicans in Congress are seeking to cut all funding for public radio and television programs. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting founded both PBS (television) and NPR (radio). PBS said that it had turned down a meeting with the bogus Muslim group after its credentials did not check out.

Of course liberals will scream their outrage at O’Keefe’s clandestine operation. What deceit! Look at the way he and a lady friend posed as pimp and prostitute and exposed an ACORN agent telling how to cheat the government. And now this. Funny, though, I didn’t hear much protest on the left when a reporter called the governor of Wisconsin pretending to be a rich donor. That incident elicited some embarrassing comments from the Republican governor and gave lots of ammo to his enemies.

Maybe this time NPR will stay down for the count, but I hope not. I enjoy its nonpolitical programming. I just hope it cleans up its act. If it is to receive federal tax dollars (which is a big if now), why not have it stay out of political matter entirely.


About Stan Latreille 66 Articles
Stan Latreille is a novelist, blogger, lawyer, former newspaperman, and a retired Circuit Court judge. He is the author of "Perjury" and is working on a new novel, tentatively titled "Absolution."