Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Utter, Craven Ignominy of NPR

 

I cannot believe this. I can’t believe what I just read and watched. The Daily Caller reports. 

In a new video released Tuesday morning by conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe, Schiller and Betsy Liley, NPR’s director of institutional giving, are seen meeting with two men who, unbeknownst to the NPR executives, are posing as members of a Muslim Brotherhood front group. The men, who identified themselves as Ibrahim Kasaam and Amir Malik from the fictitious Muslim Education Action Center (MEAC) Trust, met with Schiller and Liley at Café Milano, a well-known Georgetown restaurant, and explained their desire to give up to $5 million to NPR because, “the Zionist coverage is quite substantial elsewhere.” …

O’Keefe’s organization set up a fake website for MEAC to lend credibility to the fictitious group. On the site, MEAC states that its mission is combating “intolerance to spread acceptance of Sharia across the world.” At their lunch, the man posing as Kasaam told Schiller that MEAC contributes to a number of Muslim schools across the U.S. “Our organization was originally founded by a few members of the Muslim Brotherhood in America actually,” he says …

Schiller doesn’t blink. Instead, he assumes the role of fan. “I think what we all believe is if we don’t have Muslim voices in our schools, on the air,” Schiller says, “it’s the same thing we faced as a nation when we didn’t have female voices.”

I would say I’m at a loss for words, but I’m not lost for them at all. They’re right on the tip of my tongue. I just can’t use them on Ricochet. 

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  1. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Three posts on the same topic. That must be a record for Ricochet! I’ll just export my comment from the Member Feed:

    There are so many things here I don’t know where to start.

    This is exactly how they think. It’s not really a surprise to me, all you have to do is listen to their shows for a few hours and you can taste the adulation they hold for their own views and intellect, the contempt they have for ordinary Americans, and the general bigotry of the Tea Party and large elements of the Republican party…David Brooks, Mike Murphy and David Frum wing excluded of course. The only thing that surprised me was the implication that NPR would be freer to move leftward if they weren’t dependent on federal funding!

    Together with the Kaus/Limbaugh podcast, we are getting a lot of inadvertent honesty from lefties recently here at Ricochet.

    • #1
    • March 8, 2011, at 9:03 AM PST
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  2. flownover Member

    James O’Keefe is a gem. This is another great work of investigative reporting. The great gotcha of recent times.

    The Schiller character is just dripping with intellect and, I think, some Italian dressing from the rate at which he is scarfing up lunch. Gotta love the look and the champagne at the end in the limo. Priceless !! Simon Templar indeed !!

    Where is Sidney Reilly lurking now.

    These intellectuals are such sitting ducks. Falling over themselves to sell their elite souls to the Ikhwan. Surprised he didn’t make the [expletive deleted] little country joke. You just know this guy consumed the Vogue article about Madam Assad.

    Consider this, the Schiller’s are the Boris and Natasha of the Fifth Column. Did you see the takedown on Vivian the other day and her Soviet bonafides ? Whew ! Defunding is not the answer, maybe direct expulsion to the Columbia campus is.

    First ACORN, now this. Gosh I love this activism.

    nice post at powerline…

    • #2
    • March 8, 2011, at 9:06 AM PST
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  3. Kennedy Smith Inactive

    Schiller will be leaving NPR in the next couple of weeks, apparently. His family is just too awesome not to spend time with. Same thing they did with that woman who fired firebrand conservative Juan Williams. NPR is running scared at present. And O’Keefe is refining his technique. Nice coup. Timing is everything.

    Schiller does frame the issue unthinkingly neatly. To be fair and balanced, we need to hear from both women and the Muslim Brotherhood. Just to be fair. Your restraint is an inspiration to us all, Claire.

    Franco, I concur, if they want to be free of goverment funding to truly express themselves, let us oblige them.

    • #3
    • March 8, 2011, at 9:42 AM PST
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  4. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    As much as I appreciate insights like this, I’m reluctant to approve O’Keefe’s actions.

    How is this any different from tapping into someone’s phone line (which requires a warrant) or opening someone’s mail (a federal offense)? In either case, the targeted person is being denied knowledge of who is listening / reading, be it by stealth or by deception.

    We must not join the Left in embracing an end-justifies-the-means mentality.

    • #4
    • March 8, 2011, at 9:42 AM PST
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  5. The Mugwump Inactive
    Aaron Miller: As much as I appreciate insights like this, I’m reluctant to approve O’Keefe’s actions.

    How is this any different from tapping into someone’s phone line (which requires a warrant) or opening someone’s mail (a federal offense)? In either case, the targeted person is being denied knowledge of who is listening / reading, be it by stealth or by deception.

    We must not join the Left in embracing an end-justifies-the-means mentality. · Mar 8 at 8:42am

    I have to disagree with you, Aaron. We’re not under any obligation to fight fair in the culture war. We must expose the truth by any tactic necessary. The winner gets the country. If the left wins, we’ll see a thousand years of darkness (literally it seems: H/T James Lileks). Civilization itself is at stake.

    • #5
    • March 8, 2011, at 9:50 AM PST
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  6. Israel P. Inactive
    this, the Schiller’s are the Boris and Natasha of the Fifth Column.

    I searched the Daily Caller piece in vain for something about Ron Schiiler saying “no relation to Valerie Schiller who canned Juan Williams” so I supposed there must be one.

    • #6
    • March 8, 2011, at 9:55 AM PST
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  7. Profile Photo Member

    Is anyone really surprised or shocked? I’m delighted.

    • #7
    • March 8, 2011, at 9:57 AM PST
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  8. Kennedy Smith Inactive
    Aaron Miller: As much as I appreciate insights like this, I’m reluctant to approve O’Keefe’s actions. · Mar 8 at 8:42am
    I also disagree with you, Aaron. This is like going to the Koch protests and filming them saying alarming things by pretending to be a fellow traveler. I have often, for social reasons, soft-pedaled disapproval of offensive (ie, racist) things people were saying. But never encouraged them by going one better, or inferred I was open to taking money to help them spread that.This sort of mindset (and eagerness to implement it) among custodians of public trust should be exposed, and these means would barely even reach the level of a qualm.
    • #8
    • March 8, 2011, at 10:07 AM PST
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  9. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member
    Aaron Miller: As much as I appreciate insights like this, I’m reluctant to approve O’Keefe’s actions.

    How is this any different from tapping into someone’s phone line (which requires a warrant) or opening someone’s mail (a federal offense)? In either case, the targeted person is being denied knowledge of who is listening / reading, be it by stealth or by deception.

    We must not join the Left in embracing an end-justifies-the-means mentality. · Mar 8 at 8:42am

    This is only a slightly exaggerated version of their own public broadcasts on national Palestine Radio (I love it!). And why should we as taxpayers be deprived of their full views? This is what they say when they believe they are talking to representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood for godsakes!

    • #9
    • March 8, 2011, at 10:07 AM PST
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  10. flownover Member
    Israel P.
    this, the Schiller’s are the Boris and Natasha of the Fifth Column.
    I searched the Daily Caller piece in vain for something about Ron Schiiler saying “no relation to Valerie Schiller who canned Juan Williams” so I supposed there must be one. · Mar 8 at 8:55am

    Edited on Mar 08 at 08:56 am

    You’re right Israel, they aren’t related by blood, just spirit. And he has left NPR and went to hide out in the leftist sabbatical heaven, Aspen Institute with Walter Isaacson, Jane Harmon and the rest.

    • #10
    • March 8, 2011, at 10:09 AM PST
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  11. Roque Nuevo Inactive
    Aaron Miller: As much as I appreciate insights like this, I’m reluctant to approve O’Keefe’s actions.

    How is this any different from tapping into someone’s phone line (which requires a warrant) or opening someone’s mail (a federal offense)? In either case, the targeted person is being denied knowledge of who is listening / reading, be it by stealth or by deception.

    We must not join the Left in embracing an end-justifies-the-means mentality. · Mar 8 at 8:42am

    Not sure you understand the ethics here, or, if not, then I’m not sure I do.

    As far as I know, we have the right to record our our own conversations. That means we don’t have to get anyone’s permission to do so. If we put a mini digital recorder in our pockets, or a spy-cam in our ties, it’s our right to do so because it’s our conversation. That’s the difference between this and tapping someone’s phone. Does this sound reasonable to you?

    Also, I don’t get your reference to “ends justifies the means” ethics. Why is this so characteristic of the left?

    • #11
    • March 8, 2011, at 10:17 AM PST
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  12. Lane Seymour Inactive

    Claire, this is the gift that keeps on giving. You’ll be in further disbelief when you hear NPR’s “news” item on the Schiller sting. They started broadcasting it Tuesday morning shortly after the Daily Caller “outed” them. It just gets better!

    • #12
    • March 8, 2011, at 10:22 AM PST
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  13. Profile Photo Member

    To be fair, the NPR Foundation refused the $5 million gift — repeatedly. They were obviously uncomfortable enough with the organization.

    And to be clear about what this actually shows, Schiller’s statements do not reflect anything like editorial policy as much as the typical toady and craven stance of someone that begs for money professionally. For all we know he was simply telling his prospective donor what he thought he wanted to hear with no particular conviction.

    The most interesting and I believe relevant part of the tape is the tacit acknowledgment of what we all know to be true — NPR will be just fine without its federal subsidy.

    • #13
    • March 8, 2011, at 10:33 AM PST
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  14. Ottoman Umpire Inactive
    Roque Nuevo

    Aaron Miller: As much as I appreciate insights like this, I’m reluctant to approve O’Keefe’s actions.

    As far as I know, we have the right to record our our own conversations. That means we don’t have to get anyone’s permission to do so. If we put a mini digital recorder in our pockets, or a spy-cam in our ties, it’s our right to do so because it’s our conversation. That’s the difference between this and tapping someone’s phone.

    I’ve researched this some years ago, and it hinges on the expectation of privacy. It is illegal in most states to record conversations, even when you’re one of the parties, if there’s an expectation of privacy. This applies to in-person conversations as well as conversations over the phone.

    There is generally no expectation of privacy, though, in a busy restaurant, cafe, park, or office hallway. Even in these circumstances, one of the parties can assert an expectation of privacy by saying something like, “this is confidential” or “this is private.”

    I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve obtained one’s advice on this.

    • #14
    • March 8, 2011, at 10:35 AM PST
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  15. Fredösphere Member
    Fredösphere Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Add my name to column of people not happy with the ethics of this sting operation.

    But, to add weight to the counter-argument, isn’t it the case that the Left is vulnerable to these stings because it has a far, far, far bigger say-one-thing-in-public-and-another-in-private problem? And isn’t the reason because they are so much farther away from the Big American Middle than the Right–which they are desperate to disguise?

    • #15
    • March 8, 2011, at 10:42 AM PST
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  16. Bereket Kelile Member
    Bereket Kelile Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I think I agree with Aaron’s sentiment. There’s a fine line in these situations that can cause it to backfire on you, which is why I don’t think this is a strategy that we should rely on very much. However, when the game is already fixed then you can’t hamstring yourself by trying to play fair. I hope people take away from this video a suspicion of what NPR believes is fair and objective reporting. It didn’t seem like the VP was coaxed into making those comments in which liberalism is equated with intelligence and intellectual sophistication. How can they really leave their bias at the door when they have a worldview that is going to slant how they observe news?

    • #16
    • March 8, 2011, at 11:04 AM PST
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  17. Ursula Hennessey Contributor
    Aaron Miller: As much as I appreciate insights like this, I’m reluctant to approve O’Keefe’s actions.

    How is this any different from tapping into someone’s phone line (which requires a warrant) or opening someone’s mail (a federal offense)? In either case, the targeted person is being denied knowledge of who is listening / reading, be it by stealth or by deception.

    We must not join the Left in embracing an end-justifies-the-means mentality. · Mar 8 at 8:42am

    I agree, Aaron.

    • #17
    • March 8, 2011, at 11:15 AM PST
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  18. Risky Inactive

    What a wonderful piece of video. I can’t wait to see this hit the fan on TV. I wonder if they’ll have to quit?

    I appreciate Aaron’s sensitivities to fair play, his decency is beyond question as always, but this is war…with crosshairs and all that. Paules is right…winner gets the Country. I don’t want these worms to get it. NPR’s disdain for their fellow Americans on the Right and their would-be willful symbiosis with a group such as the Muslim Brotherhood, need be exposed. This is information that would not be disclosed (or exposed) without a hidden camera.

    NPR’s core philosophy is more stealthy than this video…and we help finance it.

    • #18
    • March 8, 2011, at 11:28 AM PST
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  19. Profile Photo Member
    Fredösphere: isn’t it the case that the Left is vulnerable to these stings because it has a far, far, far bigger say-one-thing-in-public-and-another-in-private problem?

    Excellent point. It reminds me of Obama’s “bitter clinger” comment at an elite liberal fundraiser in San Francisco. The contempt these leftists have for Americans who differ from them politically is jaw-dropping.

    Contrast that with the phone-tapping of Gov. Walker — all they found was that he sounded the same in a ‘private’ phone call as he does in his public statements.

    • #19
    • March 8, 2011, at 11:35 AM PST
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  20. Kennedy Smith Inactive
    Risky: I wonder if they’ll have to quit? · Mar 8 at 10:28am

    Why yes. Not to worry, though, he’s landed on his feet. Via Byron York’s twitter feed (a phrase painful to write): “By the way, NPR announced on 3/3 that the exec, Ron Schiller, is leaving. Will become senior official at Aspen Institute on 4/1.”

    I have no idea what the Aspen Institute is, but imagine expense accounts are involved. You bunch of prissy ninnies. Geez Louise.

    • #20
    • March 8, 2011, at 11:40 AM PST
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  21. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: I cannot believe this. I can’t believe what I just read and watched.

    Are you really surprised?

    • #21
    • March 8, 2011, at 11:44 AM PST
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  22. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The issue isn’t NPR being leftist bigots. If there is a market for leftist bigotry, fine. The issue is paying for it with tax dollars. If the federal funding for NPR is cut, I will send a hundred bucks to two stations, because I love classical music on the radio. I resent my tax money supporting reporters who hold me in contempt.

    • #22
    • March 8, 2011, at 11:44 AM PST
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  23. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    What’s obvious is that these guys–who are in the news business!–just had no idea what the name “Muslim Brotherhood” means. They were thinking, “Well Muslims are nice, and we like brotherhood.” No instant mental connection to any of the associations that name should raise. Nor did they have the knowledge to realize that it had to be a sting simply because no one connected to the MB in the US ever proudly announces it.

    • #23
    • March 9, 2011, at 1:01 AM PST
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  24. Ursula Hennessey Contributor
    Aaron Miller:

    We will always be at a disadvantage for exercising moral restraint. But it’s worth it.

    We cannot preserve good through evil. We cannot give the next generation a noble nation without acting nobly ourselves.

    Well said, again, Aaron.

    • #24
    • March 9, 2011, at 1:08 AM PST
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  25. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Good points. I agree that the conversation was public and official, rather than personal, so an expectation of privacy would have been unreasonable.

    Sorry to hijack your thread, Claire.

    I’m sure NPR execs are familiar with the name “Muslim Brotherhood” and believe it’s an admirable advocacy group for a victimized minority.

    • #25
    • March 9, 2011, at 1:17 AM PST
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  26. Fredösphere Member
    Fredösphere Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member
    Kenneth: I am tempted to agree with Aaron, except for the fact that the NPR execs participated in this meeting in their official capacities as representatives of an organization which receives taxpayer dollars. Same with the ACORN sting; same with the Planned Parenthood sting. That makes it the public’s business. · Mar 8 at 11:48am

    Hmmm. Interesting point. I’m wavering. Kenneth, you’re making me go all squishy.

    (I bet you hear that a lot.)

    • #26
    • March 9, 2011, at 1:19 AM PST
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  27. Sisyphus Coolidge
    Sisyphus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I have to say, I am amazed at the concern on the part of some here for the “privacy” of speech of people conducting public business in a public place. All of the O’Keefe videos I am aware of have been targeting individuals dealing with the public. Having been in such positions, I know full well that I cannot expect honesty or confidentiality from people I meet in such a capacity.

    What I love is that these people are so stupid that O’Keefe himself, at this point a national figure who everyone has seen over and over, can walk into any situation unrecognized and play these people over and over again. This is beyond bozo.

    NPR was 99% going to be defunded by the time the 2012 budget was settled, anyway. This is the nail in the coffin. Looking forward to hearing from Conor how the tape was edited and the context lost on this one. I’m not sure that DC can name Jerry Brown a special prosecutor on this while he’s Governor of California.

    Having lived in DC forever, I cannot tell you how happy I am these clowns are finally being outed.

    • #27
    • March 9, 2011, at 1:24 AM PST
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  28. TeeJaw Inactive
    Aaron Miller:

    We cannot preserve good through evil. We cannot give the next generation a noble nation without acting nobly ourselves. · Mar 8 at 11:19am

    Evil? You find it evil to expose the truth about NPR? To expose them with their own words? Oh, my.

    • #28
    • March 9, 2011, at 1:30 AM PST
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  29. Sisyphus Coolidge
    Sisyphus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: What’s obvious is that these guys–who are in the news business!–just had no idea what the name “Muslim Brotherhood” means. They were thinking, “Well Muslims are nice, and we like brotherhood.” No instant mental connection to any of the associations that name should raise. Nor did they have the knowledge to realize that it had to be a sting simply because no one connected to the MB in the US ever proudly announces it. · Mar 8 at 12:01pm

    The fact that these guys do not make the connection is not a surprise to me, these are marketing flaks, not newsmen. The ad sales guys at the Washington Post are not foreign affairs or jihad experts. Sadly, the general public is not keyed to this stuff, and the Post guy and the NPR guy are less likely than the general public to find education on a “pariah” like Fox. In the internal culture, they are the elite and the places where they talk about Islamism in threatening terms are bigoted skanks.

    The fact that the check wasn’t accepted immediately is somewhat encouraging, but there had to be a vetting process slowing things up.

    • #29
    • March 9, 2011, at 1:36 AM PST
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  30. flownover Member

    I agree that the race to the high moral ground is unfounded. We are not talking about criminal acitivity here, just criminally obtuse elitism and really poor management by a “national institution”. We are playing defund the idiot because we want to rid ourselves of idiots.

    Schiller is a victim of his education and the bad move from the National Glee Club Organization to NPR. They obviously were taken by his glee at the chance of doing something political and hired the wrong guy. So, as we are shareholders in this business of NPR, we disapprove and are glad that O’Keefe brought it to our attention.

    There is no moral high ground in refusing to fence with your opponent. It is immoral to break the laws, none have been broken any more than if O’Keefe had dressed up again as a telephone repairman and listened in to the fundraising drive as Mary Travers wailed in the background. It’s public television, we all have a right to hear what’s going on wherever these swells are breaking bread with the bad guys (even if they’re ours).

    • #30
    • March 9, 2011, at 1:56 AM PST
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