Brent Bozell: New Revelations Justify Defunding NPR

By Michael W. Chapman | March 8, 2011 | 5:20pm EST

NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Wikipedia Commons)

(CNSNews.com) – A video showing a senior official of National Public Radio (NPR) apparently making controversial comments about the Tea Party, the Republican Party, and Evangelical Christians reveals the nature of NPR and is reason enough for Congress to end all federal funding to the organization, said Brent Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog group.

Bozell issued a statement on Tuesday, after the undercover video of NPR Foundation Senior Vice President Ron Schiller and NPR Senior Driector of Institutional Giving Betsy Liley was posted by the group Project Veritas on YouTube and picked up by several news outlets.

“NPR hates Middle America, plain and simple,” said Bozell in his statement.  “This week’s utterances from NPR officials underline that these taxpayer-funded bureaucrats loathe most of the taxpayers who feather their comfortable nest. Their contempt for ‘scary’ Middle Americans belies their ridiculous claims of concern for rural stations and their absurd declaration that somehow NPR is the epitome of fairness and balance.”

No wonder the radical left-wing billionaire George Soros has funneled $1.8 million into NPR,” said Bozell.  “They are doing his bidding and calling it ‘news.’”

In the video, NPR’s Schiller and Liley are seen having lunch at a café in Washington, D.C., with two men who are posing as representatives of a fictitious group called the Muslim Education Action Center Trust.

At one point, NPR’s Ron Schiller says, “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 move.”

He also says, “The current Republican Party is not really the Republican Party. It’s been hijacked by this group, that is -- ,” and then he is interrupted by one of the men, and then Schiller continues, “and not just Islamaphobic but really xenophobic. I mean, basically, they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America, gun-toting. I mean, it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.”

When asked by one of the men about the political situation in Egypt, Schiller says, “Well, to me, this is representative of the thing that I, uh, I guess I am most disturbed and disappointed by in this country, which is that the educated, so-called elite in this country is too small a percentage of the population so that you have this very large uneducated part of the population that carries these ideas.”

Schiller also says, “Now, I’ll talk personally, as opposed to wearing my NPR hat. It feels to me as though there is a real, anti-intellectual move on the part of a significant part of the Republican Party. In my personal opinion, liberals today might be more educated, fair, and balanced than conservatives.”

As for National Public Radio and its taxpayer funding, Schiller says, “Well, frankly, it is very clear that we would be better off in the long run without federal funding.”

Tim Graham, the MRC’s director of media analysis, said in the statement: “NPR and its $600,000 salaried executives increasingly seek out funding from far-left elitists like George Soros and gratefully accept lobbying help from MoveOn.org. They willingly go to lunch with people who they think want to be told that the country is dangerously conservative, under-educated, and needs the progressive College of Public Broadcasting to enlighten them.”

“If the Senate and the president are serious at all about deficit reduction, they should start where the cuts are easiest,” said Graham. “The House’s vote to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is long overdue. There is nothing in this ballooning federal budget more deserving of a zero than the elitists in public broadcasting.”

In reaction to the video, NPR’s senior vice president of marketing, communications and external relations, Dana Davis Rehm said, “We are appalled by the comments made by Ron Schiller in the video, which are contrary to what NPR stands for.  Mr. Schiller announced last week that he is leaving NPR for another job.”

Schiller is planning to become director of the Aspen Institute Arts Program, which is based in Washington, D.C., Aspen, Colo., and on the Wye River in Maryland.

CNSNews.com is a division of the Media Research Center.

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