O’Keefe: More Controversial NPR Videos to Come
By David A. Patten
There’s more video where that came from, says James O’Keefe, the muckraking activist behind TheProjectVeritas.org. The controversial video-sting impresario tells Newsmax that he’s prepared to release yet more embarrassing revelations about NPR, but first he wants to gauge NPR’s reaction to the bomb he dropped Tuesday.
In an exclusive Newsmax interview, O’Keefe says he’s waiting to see whether NPR comes clean “about what is going on” before he doles out more video.
On Tuesday morning, O’Keefe released undercover video showing a top NPR executive, Ron Schiller, making disparaging comments about a broad swath of Americana, including Christians, Jews, evangelicals, Republicans, and tea party members.
Embattled NPR, which faces a tea-party led push to yank its taxpayer funding, quickly responded with a statement that it was “appalled” at Schiller’s statements. Schiller, who was NPR’s chief fundraiser, was president of the NPR Foundation and development vice president for NPR, at the time the surreptitious video was recorded in February.
“We’re not done releasing footage,” O’Keefe told Newsmax in an exclusive interview Tuesday. “We have more investigative material that we’re going to release.
“I’m not really going to comment on it yet, but I think it will be very interesting to see what happens with this story as it develops,” he promised.
News that O’Keefe is sitting on additional revelations could hardly be welcome at NPR, the publicly subsidized news and information outlet that is already under fire from conservatives in Congress who want to eliminate its funding, in part because of its perceived liberal bias.
According to NPR, which receives about $90 million in taxpayer funding a year, Schiller announced last week that he was leaving NPR to join the Aspen Institute, a seminar and think-tank closer to his Colorado home.
In the video, Schiller is seen at a luncheon meeting in Georgetown with prospective NPR donors who claim to represent a pro-shariah group called the Muslim Education Action Center. The prospective donors, who say they have $5 million to disburse, are actually grass-roots activists O’Keefe trained.
The videotape shows Schiller telling his prospects that the the grass-roots conservative tea party organizations have “hijacked” the Republican party. He states that the new GOP elements are “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.”
<Viv Schiller resigns – I guess she’s had enough. The Communist that she is has been exposed so now it’s time to run for cover — Everyone remembers Juan Williams, but what was not too much in the news was VIV’s history. —->
Schiller’s potential patrons state outright on their faux Web site that they support the spread of extremist shariah law. They also are heard telling Schiller that their organization has connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, an extremist group that has been linked to terrorism.
In the video, Schiller also defended NPR’s decision to terminate its association with commentator and columnist Juan Williams over comments Williams made on Fox News last year. Williams discussed his uneasiness about flying with people wearing traditional Muslim garb. Schiller said Williams had “lost all credibility.”
Conservatives widely interpreted that firing as an example of NPR’s left-wing bias, and cited it as a case of political correctness run amok.
“What NPR did I’m very proud of,” Schiller says.
NPR’s CEO later said after the firing that the matter was mishandled. “I deeply regret the way I handled it and explained it,” she said at the time.
Another NPR fundraiser, Institutional Giving Director Betsy Liley, also attended the Feb. 22 meal where Schiller made those remarks. She appears to compare America’s treatment of Muslims in the years since 9/11 with the internment of Japanese Americans in camps during WWII.
<Like NPR, PBS Met With Fictional DonorsBy ELIZABETH JENSEN
NPR was not the only media organization duped by the Republican provocateur James O’Keefe.
PBS confirmed Wednesday that like NPR, one of its executives attended a lunch with people who posed as members of the Muslim Education Action Center Trust, a fictional group. When those people had lunch with NPR executives, they falsely claimed that they wanted to donate up to $5 million to public media. The NPR executives were secretly videotaped at the lunch.
Anne Bentley, a PBS spokeswoman, said PBS’ senior vice president for development, Brian Reddington, attended a lunch with the fake donors in February. She said she had “no sense at all” of whether Mr. Reddington was taped during that lunch; when asked if PBS was concerned about a possible tape surfacing, she declined to comment.
Ms. Bentley said that Mr. Reddington came back from the lunch with “profound concerns about the organization” and began what she called a routine vetting process “when there is an appearance of a conflict of interest and to ensure they meet requirements of transparency and openness.”
“Attempts to confirm the credentials of the organization proved unsatisfactory and communication was halted by PBS,” she said.
“These are senior level executives,” O’Keefe says. “So I find it ironic that he’s spending time telling us, ‘Juan Williams lost all credibility when he expressed his opinion.’
“What about the guy who runs all of NPR’s development, and who is like Number 2 or Number 3 at NPR, what about when he calls 30 percent of the country racist, and Islamaphobic, and gun-toting, and crazy?” O’Keefe said.
“I mean, it seems to me that they’re in trouble because he’s simultaneously advocating you lose all credibility to express his opinion, and here he is expressing his opinion,” O’Keefe told Newsmax.
Asked to elaborate on the additional revelations he plans, O’Keefe confirmed the additional disclosures involve NPR, but would not say whether they stem from the same meeting involving Schiller and Liley.
“But stay tuned, and you’ll see,” he told Newsmax. “I want to see if NPR tells the truth about what is going on. I want to see how they tell the truth, and then we’re going to release more information. So we’ll see what happens.”
It’s not the first time O’Keefe has found himself at the center of a controversy related to undercover video. His secret video recordings of conversations with various chapters of the ACORN community-organizing groups directly contributed to the group being stripped of its federal funding.
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