Ron Schiller, the lead NPR executive/victim in the James O’Keefe ambush video escapade is not only out at NPR, he won’t be moving on to the Aspen Institute as planned. And as we expected, conservatives do not look at Vivian Schiller’s exit as a reason to stop trying to defund public broadcasting. PBS says it was also approached by the sham organization that had lunch with R. Schiller, and some are coming to public broadcasting’s defense.
The Aspen Institute says it was informed by Mr. Schiller that he would not be reporting for duty, saying he thought that course of action was in Aspen’s best interests. According to numerous reports, he has also exited NPR.
PBS said it was approached by the same bogus Muslim advocacy – going by the name Muslim Education Action Center — as was NPR. After a conversation with them, PBS was unable to confirm the group’s validity and never pursued the matter any further.
Conservative media watchdog Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center (you may also have heard his name as founder of the Parents Television Council) fired off a letter to the congressional Commerce Committee leaders, Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Fred Upton (R-MI) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) saying that Schiller’s exit was not enough and defunding efforts should continue. He wrote, “The resignation of Vivian Schiller doesn’t change a thing about NPR. They are still a radical left-wing toy for the likes of George Soros and they still don’t deserve a dime of taxpayer funding. A government that is broke should not be in the business of funding a left-wing playground.”
Bozell was echoed by Americans for Limited Government. They wrote, “NPR CEO Vivian Schiller should have been forced to resign months ago after her outrageous firing of Juan Williams because he did not toe their orthodox liberal line. Her leaving now does not change the glaringly obvious fact that public broadcasting is nothing more than an expensive toy run by pseudo-intellectual snobs who despise the rest of us. Not one dime of taxpayer’s money should be spent to fund public broadcasting, which is nothing more than an elitist soapbox.”
However, Craig Aaron of Free Press came to NPR’s defense, saying, ““We shouldn’t let the sideshow of hidden-camera stings and gotcha politics get in the way of the real issue here: A vital local public service needs public support to continue its role in providing news, culture and educational programming. In light of the ongoing political attacks on public broadcasting, its supporters, from across the political spectrum, must not back down or try to appease those who aim to skew the coverage of NPR or silence independent local voices and coverage of issues that commercial media too often ignore.”
On Capitol Hill, Eric Cantor (R-VA) said, “Our concern is not about any one person at NPR, rather it’s about millions of taxpayers. NPR has admitted that they don’t need taxpayer subsidies to thrive, and at a time when the government is borrowing 40 cents of every dollar that it spends, we certainly agree with them.”
In opposition, Eric Blumenauer (D-OR), founder of the Congressional Public Broadcasting Caucus, said, “Not only do our local public broadcasting stations provide us with valuable information, but they also directly support 21,000 jobs in hundreds of communities across America. These jobs would be at risk if small stations that rely on federal funding were forced to close their doors.”