Radio

NPR CEO Resigns After Video Sting

|

National Public Radio President and CEO Vivian Schiller was reportedly forced out by NPR's board of directors in the wake of an embarrassing video sting released yesterday by conservative media stuntman James O'Keefe. Official statement here.

Will this of all things be the dynamite that blows up forcible taxpayer support of public broadcasting? As Jesse Walker wrote in our February issue, we've seen this drama several times before, and the third act always ends in more, not fewer, government strings attached. But if people (including NPR supporters sick and tired of these controversies) are interested in figuring out how to make a post-taxpayer NPR work, click on Walker's whole article for some practical suggestions.

As a friend just IMmed me, "I would actually start giving them money if they'd stop taking it from me." Someone should take up a collection!

Advertisement

NEXT: Who Trains the Watchmen?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. With all the revolutions currently springing up around the globe, I really thought it was going to be the oppressed rising up against King Friday that would eventually bring down public broadcasting.

    1. As a preventive measure against such an uprising, leading dissident Lady Elaine Fairchilde has been detained.

    2. meow meow HANG THE MOTHER FUCKER UPSIDE DOWN ON A MEATHOOK meow

    3. Did you know that Daniel Striped Tiger is the head of his secret police?

      1. And that little street car goes to Auschwitz!
        *ding ding*

  2. Replace her with Juan Williams!

  3. O’Keefe could still go after

    the Car Talk guys for over-hyping hybrid vehicles.

    Garrison Keilor for education fraud (All the children are above average? Please!).

    And Dianne Rehm, cause she stinks worse than a bucket full of ass.

    1. I’d knock out Rehm for nepotism. Ain’t her daughter running things?

    2. Yes, get someone who can talk at a normal speed.

  4. I think the feds could actually make some money from getting rid of PBS and selling the intellectual property assets. For example, I think that Sesame Street is worth several millions of dollars. All Things Considered…probably less.

    1. Fuck, I didn’t finish my point. Surely Nick or Disney or Somebody would pick up Sesame Street.

      1. The feds don’t own the shows.

        1. It’s owned by Sesame Workshop, which has about $330 million in net assets.

      2. Disney already own The Muppets. I can’t imagine the holocaust of taste of them owning Sesame Street too.

    2. Actually, Sesame Street makes over $10M a year from sale of toys and books. Any number of channels would snap them up in heartbeat.

      1. Just $10 million? That seems really low, actually. I mean, who doesn’t grow up with Sesame Street?

  5. Dora the Explorer/Diego > Bob the Builder any day of the week.

    1. I’d like to deport Dora and Diego to Guatemala. Those little bastards do nothing but yell during the whole show. Is it the new unwritten rule that kids don’t pay attention to anyone who isn’t yelling>

      1. When I read Dora books to my daughter, I can’t help speaking in the same volume and cadence as Dora.

        It’s EXHAUSTING.

        1. How the fuck do you think *I* feel? Oh man!

  6. I cannot understand why Public Broadcasting defenders are willing to publicize how little they depend on the Government in the same column state that Government funding is a necessity. Do these two-faced sales pitches work on people?

    1. They use the “But it’s only a tiny amount!” strategy to elicit sympathy for their cause and buttress their claims of persecution, and their entreaties are always accompanied with “That’s the price of one handle on one B-52 toilet!” They deal in individual sums instead of the grotesque whole, hoping nobody will bother to add it all up. And until recently, nobody has.

      1. |3.9.11 @ 10:55AM|#
        “They use the “But it’s only a tiny amount!” ”

        Last I checked, it was 25% of NPR’s total budget.
        If a single customer represents 25% of my revenue, that’s not a “tiny amount”.

        1. Where did you get that #?

        2. By “tiny amount” I meant, of course, the percentage of the annual federal budget that goes to the CPB. It’s only about $400 million. That wasn’t obvious?

  7. Winning. Your pathetic little minds can’t comprehend how much more money Vivian will make in the private sector.

    1. I’m okay with that. It won’t be MY money.

  8. I love this guy O’Keefe. He is actively attacking the soft underbelly of idiot liberalism like no one I’ve ever seen.

    Keep taking the scum down bro, but watch your back. These are vindictive SOBs and they’re going to be looking for payback.

    1. My fear is that Michael Moore will eat him.

      1. I love how screws-to-tits fucked up the guy seems to be.

        The love boat thing with the CNN reporter made me fall out of my chair laughing.

      2. Literally!

    2. I love him to. He is so damned subversive. It has to be killing the libraltarians at Reason to watch a guy whose methods are so kickass take down all the worng institutions.

  9. So the current leftie narrative, boiled down to its essence, is that the O’Keefe tape was “heavily edited,” and did not actually represent the attitudes and/or views of either Ron or Vivian Schiller… and so that’s why both have been given the ol’ heave-ho?

    Just wanted to make certain I was following the argument as presented, is all.

    1. He has already released the unedited tape on his website.

      1. He has already released the unedited tape on his website.

        Aware of that, yes. My comment specifically dealt with the jarring incoherence of the leftie talking points, re: the tape in question… not the tape itself.

        1. Oh, got it. But what else is new? The truth is immaterial — getting the talking point out there so it can be repeated by a sea of angry left-wing myrmidons (and then seep into the MSM commentary by the standard Weigel/Klein/Sargent sources) is all that matters.

          1. Oh, got it.

            I probably could have phreased things more clearly, in retrospect. I have a new puppy gamboling and frolicking gaily at my feet, and he’s something of a distraction (to say the least).

            a sea of angry left-wing myrmidons

            A sudden, unwanted mental image of Rachel Maddow, Joy Behar, Chris Matthews and Andrew Sullivan, all tarted up in adorably coordinated battle armor… and, just like that: I’m now impotent for life. 😉

    2. No, the leftie narrative is that everything Ron said is correct, and that NPR should be backing him to the hilt.

    3. that and of course, “well duh the tea party is xenophobic. why should he get fired over that?”

  10. They deal in individual sums instead of the grotesque whole, hoping nobody will bother to add it all up.

    Ah. The “high-speed choo-choo” gambit, in other words.

  11. NPR isn’t PBS.

  12. NPR is not PBS.

    1. NPR is funded by PBS

      1. Everything starts with the CPB.

        1. Well I kind of mixed up my Acronyms. Its still early.

          1. It’s late where I live. Consider yourself defunded.

  13. I want to know when O’Keefe is going to go after the local Social Security office, the DMV, or drop a mike in on your average closed session city council meeting.

    1. Hookers ?
      Pimps ?
      Telephone repair men ?
      Anti-Tea Party Muslims ?

      1. Add college-aged left-wing activist to that list and watch shit get fun.

        1. Shhhh!

  14. As a friend just IMmed me, “I would actually start giving them money if they’d stop taking it from me.”

    I’ve been listening to NPR for the first time in years over the last couple weeks (we got a couple of new pups, and we keep it on in their kennel for soothing background noise). There’s actually some good stuff on there. I’d probably throw them a bone, too, if I wasn’t pissed off about funding them involuntarily via my taxes.

    1. This, right here. God help me, I even like All Things Considered and This American Life every now and then.

      But I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to give them a dime while my tax dollars are already going to them against my will.

      1. This American Life is a PRI production, not NPR. Supposedly less than 2% of their fees come from the government. So not much trickles down to This American Life – if you like the show donate to the show directly.

        1. 2% is 2% too much.

          1. If PBS/NPR/CPB were private the IRS could tax them….so cutting 2% is not enough.

            They should be taxed just like their private competitors are.

        2. Supposedly less than 2% of their fees come from the government.

          Government funding is a drop in the bucket, which is why it’s so vital that it be maintained!

    2. This, right here. God help me, I even like All Things Considered and This American Life every now and then.

      But I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to give them a dime while my tax dollars are already going to them against my will.

    3. I wonder how many lefties lend ideological but not financial support to the various alphabet-soup public broadcasting entities. If they all put their money where their mouths are, Bert and Ernie wouldn’t have to panhandle the adults.

      1. If they’re REAL lefties, they donate to Pacifica.

    4. Yes, recently I heard them admit that the Social Security trust fund was an illusion.

    5. NPR is actually a good network, and I’ve listened to them almost religiously for over a decade.

      Which is why I have special dispensation to make ruthless fun of their liberal biases and quirky academic whimsy.

    6. As long as the coverage has nothing to do with the middle east or something really embarassing to lefties, it is pretty good. The cultural stuff is real good.

      I look at NPR the same way PJ O’Rourke looks at the New York Times. It is like a senile old aunt that you go see in the home every month or so to relive old times. In his case the once a month visit is reading the style section or the odd book review. My monthly visit to NPR is listening to the odd Fresh Air or Morning Edition on the way to work once in a while.

      *It should be noted, however, that O’Rourke has even canceled his monthly visits to great auntie Times after she went nuts and started swearing at everyone and exposing herself in response to the Gifford shooting.

  15. By the way, one of my favorite sidelights to this story has been Dave Weigel’s predictable insistence that this is a non-story and that what Schiller said/did on video is “really just brilliant lobbying” and nothing to see here, move along folks!

    How fucking shameless IS he?

    1. I don’t care. It’s about principles, not personalities and hurt feelings and vendettas.

  16. The budget is already cut TO THE BONE, people. The ONLY option left is raising revenues.

    1. Tax the rich! They got more than they need!

      1. Like yachts? What about the people who build yachts, who maintain, navigate, fix, clean and insure yachts? Should they lose their jobs because the rich don’t need yachts or the money it takes to buy an maintain them? I hope you’re joking.

        Michelle Obama’s Food Police.
        http://libertarians4freedom.bl…..olice.html

    2. Re: TRTB,

      The budget is already cut TO THE BONE, people.

      It’s just unfortunate that it happens to be a really big boned budget.

    3. I’ve got a better idea: how about we start amputating bones we don’t need. We can start with CPB, throw in the DEA, ATF, Dept. of Education, HHS, and work our way forward from there.

  17. I love NPR. Listen to it every day and call in to every pledge drive and tell them I want to donate $100 bucks, but the IRS had already sent them my donation. That usually gets a chuckle from the other end of the line, but the laughter stops when I demand my signed book or whatever goodie-bag they are giving for the $100 donation that hour.

    Oh, and I repeat this process about every 5-10 minutes when the fund drives are going and I’m driving with nothing to do.

  18. I never listen to NPR. I don’t have too. The Marxist idiots next door will regurgitate everything they heard on the way to work to each other all day long, like a closed loop of birds vomiting into each other’s mouths.

    1. like a closed loop of birds vomiting into each other’s mouths.

      It saves them the trouble of eating their young, until the necessity of self-preservation demands it.

      1. I’ve seen their young. Two generations of idiots is enough.

    2. Groupthink is necessary to the liberal way of life. It’s all a part of being part of the “community”. If you’re not sharing the mind meld, you’re some sort of alienated anti-social person.

      1. Yes, hence their love of mass transit. The anomie of car travel prevents one from exchanging long protein strings with “teh poor” and “teh downtrodden”.

        1. It also keeps people from easily escaping corrupt political districts.

  19. When is everyone going to stop giving credence to James O’Keefe videos?!?! They’re heavily edited, yet someone gets fired or an entire organization gets obliterated by his lies. STOP IT!!!

    1. That kind of behavior is unethical, and it ought to be illegal!

  20. James O’Keefe videos?!?! They’re heavily edited

    @Esoteric [pointing to MH posting, above]: Just call me Kreskin.

    1. I tip my cap to your prescience, O Great One.

  21. So manny Schillers, so little time.

    1. manny Schillers

      A possible contender for a band name? (grins)

      1. I meant to do that.

  22. Oh, good. MelodiousHound is falling for O’Keefe Trap #14(a):

    (1) Claim that the video is heavily edited and misleading, thus drawing more attention to the video and demands that the whole thing be released.

    (2) O’Keefe releases entire video, which makes his target look even worse and discredits his critics.

    1. The guy is just fucking awesome. Take the politics out of it for a moment. His ability to take down organizations is just incredible. Some nobody with video camera has irrepairably damaged ACORN and now NPR. As someone who can’t help but respect real subversives, I just stand in awe.

      1. He also leaves a classical warning to all parties anywhere anytime.

        Imagine that every conversation is taped.

        Imagine that every email is cc-ed to all.

        Imagine that your curtain in the bathroom is always pulled back.

        And it will ALL be posted to Youtube by people who REALLY hate your guts.

        So for god’s sake, watch what you write, watch what you say, and seriously, dude, haul your flabby arse to the gym already!

        1. Don’t say stupid shit you will later be ashamed of and you don’t have anything to worry about. Seriously, he is not out just picking random people. He is going after people who work and represent powerful entities and taping them when they are acting in their official capacities. I don’t think it is too high of a bar to expect ACORN people not to assist in white slavery or NPR fund raisers to insult half the country.

          1. Right, he’s handing them pieces of dental floss (and not even that, he’s handing them the teenie tiny ones mounted on the plastic things that you get in the checkout line), and they’re garroting themselves on them in self-inflicted acts of professional suicide. Then they claim that their reputations have been murdered by some punkassed college boy. No pity parties from me.

            1. If he were going out and catching people away from work with their guards down, I would say he was being an asshole. But he is not doing that. These people were all at work doing work related stuff. Fuck them.

    2. Hey, everyone edits videos, you don’t think 60 minutes edits their interviews? Besides, O’Keefe didn’t lie, the Marxists at NPR did talk crap against the Tea Party and they were ready to take money from Muslim radicals.

      OBAMA WANTS “COMMON SENSE” GUN CONTROL. SO DID THE KLAN.
      http://libertarians4freedom.bl…..ntrol.html

  23. http://hotair.com/archives/201…..institute/

    Apparently the Aspen Institute has canned Shiller now to. I guess they didn’t get Weigel’s memo that this whole thing was no big deal. The Rat fuckers.

    1. I guess they didn’t get Weigel’s memo that this whole thing was no big deal.

      Really? where did he write that at?

      1. Weigel’s thoughts from Slate the day the story broke

        “Schiller is a professional fundraiser, not a journalist. His pandering to the group is actually sort of masterful. I’ve asked NPR about the editorial line he assigns to the network and will update when I get a response. (A quick aside: The video starts and ends with a shot of an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act sign outside the NPR building; the sign actually marks the site of some lawn restoration on NPR’s block.)”

        http://www.slate.com/BLOGS/blo…..s-npr.aspx

        Nothing to see here. Just some fundraising going on.

        1. Schiller is a professional fundraiser, not a journalist. His pandering to the group is actually sort of masterful.

          So he’s kind of like a hooker in an expensive suit?

          1. At least whores take their paychecks from private citizens.

  24. As a friend just IMmed me, “I would actually start giving them money if they’d stop taking it from me.” Someone should take up a collection!

    Every time someone brings up donating to NPR/PBS I tell them that they already pay for it so there is no need to donate. The subject does not come up much…i have only told poeple this once or twice.

  25. I thought everything the gentleman had to say was right on the money.

  26. NPR CEO Resigns After Video Sting

    Or: Video killed the radio star.

    1. +1979

    2. Thread winner.

  27. “The Board accepted Vivian’s resignatio?n with understand?ing, genuine regret and great respect for her leadership of NPR these past 2 years,” If Schiller provided great “leadershi?p” why fire her? If she is replaced by another with similar views what’s the point?

  28. This should not be a political issue. NPR is the only radio programme with the best Journalist?s in the Country. She fell on her sword and resigned because something happened on her watch. Vivian Schiller has more honor and integrity in her thumbnail than does all of James O’Keefe, Faux News and the GOP combined.

  29. I was watching PBS yesterday and some public TV apologizer said that the cost of PBS was about 1 dollar per person in America.

    Great! If it’s that cheap then get 30 million liberals and others public TV and radio lovers to pay $10 for the public TV they love so much. Otherwise, let them run commercials like everyone else.

    TEACHER WAS WILD: PROFESSOR FIRED FOR PREVIOUS CAREER IN PORN.
    http://libertarians4freedom.bl…..d-for.html

  30. Ya’ll are crazy! I can’t believe people are jumping in to defend O’Keefe. But I respect your opinions (crazies), and I encourage you to school me! Look, I wrote two poll about this this week:
    Does NPR have a liberal bias?
    Should NPR have reacted differently?

    The first one is pretty objective, the second one is damn biased, I had a point to make. Please go vote if you feel moved to, and slam my conclusions in the comments if you disagree! Alright, now return to your regularly scheduled crazy programming!

  31. Should NPR have reacted differently to the recent controversy?

    This article links to sites that demonstrate O’Keefe’s blatant lying through his video editing. I see that some of you disagree with that assessment and support O’Keefe. I actually think Schiller’s assessment of Tea Partiers as xenophobic is pretty right on…

  32. I can’t believe people are supporting O’Keefe on here! You all are crazy! I actually concur with Ron Schiller’s assessment of Tea Partiers as xenophobic bigots. I do not, however, think NPR handled the situation well. Conservatives never would have folded like they did; they should have stood their ground, attacked O’Keefe and defended their employee. Softies.

    Should NPR have reacted differently to the recent controversy? Vote now!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.