Ron Schiller Called Tea Party Supporters ‘racist’
March 7, 2012 by staff
Ron Schiller Called Tea Party Supporters ‘racist’, NPR says it has placed Ronald Schiller on administrative leave, after a secretly taped video released today shows the advertising executive denigrating Tea Party supporters and calling them “racist.”
Among other things, Schiller also said the news outlet “would be better off in the long run without federal funding.” He says several times that he is giving his personal views.
NPR chief executive officer Vivian Schiller, no relation to Ronald Schiller, also said that the comments “in no way shape or form reflect what NPR does.”
A statement from NPR spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm said “the assertion that NPR and public radio stations would be better off without federal funding does not reflect reality. The elimination of federal funding would significantly damage public broadcasting as a whole.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., says NPR should no longer receive federal funds because of a video that shows an NPR executive calling Tea Party supporters “racist.”
“As we continue to identify ways to cut spending and save valuable resources, this disturbing video makes clear that taxpayer dollars should no longer be appropriated to NPR,” Cantor said in a statement.
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A large Tea Party group is calling on Congress to take away funding from NPR following the revelation that one of the news organization’s fundraising executives slammed the Republican Party and supporters of the small-government movement.
James O’Keefe, a conservative activist, posted the secret video of NPR’s Ronald Schiller today on his Project Veritas website. O’Keefe was behind a secretly recorded video of ACORN, which led to the grass-roots community organizing group being stripped of its federal funding in 2009.
In the latest video, Schiller tells people posing as Muslims that supporters of the Tea Party are “xenophobic” and “seriously racist, racist people” and that the Republican Party has been “hijacked” by the Tea Party.
Schiller also says NPR “would be better off in the long run without federal funding” and is heard laughing when someone jokes that NPR should be known as “National Palestinian Radio.”
Dana Davis Rehm, NPR’s senior vice president of marketing, communications and external relations, denounced Schiller’s comments in a statement.
“We are appalled by the comments made by Ron Schiller in the video, which are contrary to what NPR stands for,” the statement said.
The conservative Daily Caller reported on the existence of the videotape this morning.
Schiller announced last week that he is leaving NPR, where he was senior vice president of fundraising.
Rehm’s statement also said the people posing as the Muslim Action Education Center tried to get NPR to accept a $5 million check, which NPR refused to accept.
Tea Party Patriots, one of the largest umbrella organizations for Tea Party groups, point to Schiller’s comments as reasons why Congress should no longer provide federal subsidies to NPR.
“Mr. Schiller himself candidly admits in the video that NPR doesn’t need federal funding,” said Mark Meckler, national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, calling NPR a “clearly biased news organization that is out of touch with Americans.”
“At a time when the country is upside down by more than a trillion dollars, can we really afford to provide huge subsidies to entities that openly state that they don’t need the money,” Meckler said.
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