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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Totally Non-Surprising NPR Surprise Video

The video sting operation which showed two senior NPR employees, including Ron Schiller, dining with purported members of a Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated group which was considering a large donation to NPR, is being presented by NPR and its supporters as some sort of horrific surprise.

In fact, the contents of the video and the positions taken by the NPR employees were not very surprising. 

Each of the controversial aspects of the video was in fact standard Democratic Party and/or left-wing ideological fare:
  • The nasty comments about how Tea Party supporters were racist is a mainstream Democratic Party position.  I would not even call it "left-wing."  From Barack Obama's obsession with bitter clingers, to Harry Reid comparing opposition to Obamacare to supporting slavery, to Sheldon Whitehouse's invocation of Kristallnacht, to the left-blogosphere's failed eliminationist narratives, on down the line, portraying the opponents of Obama's policies as crazed extremists is completely non-controversial in Democratic Party circles.  In fact, it is their strategy.
  • The nasty comments, agreed to by the NPR people, about pro-Israel bias resulting from Jewish domination of the media, were standard for the left-wing of the Democratic Party, which relentlessly pushes the Walt-Mearsheimer obsession with the "Israel Lobby," including leading liberal lights such as Glenn Greenwald who uses the term "Israel Firsters" and portrays Eric Cantor as having pledged allegiance to Israel, and mainstream Democratic media operations such as Media Matters pushing the Israel Lobby meme.
  • The non-pulsed reaction from the liberal NPR employees to soliticiting funds from a group they thought was devoted to the expansion of Sharia law also was not surprising.  Whether in Malmö, Sweden, on a boat in the Mediterranean sailing for Gaza, at a stone-throwing contest in the West Bank, or in boycotts of Israeli products, the willingness of leftists and Islamists to work together on specific issues (mostly related to hating Israel) is well-documented.
There really was nothing surprising about the surprise video.  Except that it all was caught on video.

If NPR really was so outraged about these comments, then it doesn't know its audience.

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  1. Which is why I was similarly unmoved by the Journo-list scandal. Like we didn't know what was underneath the mask?

  2. Maybe NPR and PBS should pay some attention to the appalling resolution passed in San Francisco (where else) which is essentially a condemnation of the Catholic Church's dogma on homosexuality and sex outside of marriage.

    Would these pinheads DARE to pass such a resolution vis-a-vis Islam? Hardly! But being biased against Catholics is considered to be okay, fine!

    Despicable morons.

  3. I had to listen to KABC's clueless morning duo this morning discussing this and their reaction was to dismiss it as typical salesman chameleon behavior. "Why is anyone surprised? They're SALESMEN!!!"

    Well, we conservatives weren't surprised. We have been complaining about NPR/PBS/CPB bias for many YEARS. And besides, this wasn't just a salesman but the NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR. What are all of the other big donors thinking now that they know they were just being told what they wanted to hear? Integrity is not to be expected when dealing with NPR. "Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever you say. Just hand over the money."

  4. I am quite certain that NPR was utterly outraged, not by the remarks by Mr. Schiller, but the fact that a racist, stupid, Tea-Party type recorded it! One is not supposed to treat one's rulers in such a manner.

  5. NPR (PBS, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, BBC and the NYT) is why FOX took off and can't be stopped, all things considered.

  6. These people are so steeped in their biases you could've put Borat at the table talking about greedy, hook-nosed Jews and the NPR lefties would've been nodding and chuckling along.

    I've said it before--the right can't write satire as fast as the left can live it.

  7. NPR famously converted playwright David Mamet

    David Mamet: Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain-Dead Liberal'

    "I took the liberal view for many decades, but I believe I have changed my mind.

    As a child of the '60s, I accepted as an article of faith that government is corrupt, that business is exploitative, and that people are generally good at heart.

    These cherished precepts had, over the years, become ingrained as increasingly impracticable prejudices. Why do I say impracticable? Because although I still held these beliefs, I no longer applied them in my life. How do I know? My wife informed me. We were riding along and listening to NPR. I felt my facial muscles tightening, and the words beginning to form in my mind: Shut the fuck up. "?" she prompted. And her terse, elegant summation, as always, awakened me to a deeper truth: I had been listening to NPR and reading various organs of national opinion for years, wonder and rage contending for pride of place. Further: I found I had been—rather charmingly, I thought—referring to myself for years as "a brain-dead liberal," and to NPR as "National Palestinian Radio."

    The Village Voice

  8. '"Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever you say. Just hand over the money."'

    I really think that's all it is, money grubbing. The hook wasn't lunch at a posh restaurant. The hook was $5M. The ideological expositions were for the benefit of the immediate audience.

    If a billionaire American patriot offered NPR $500M to make nice reports consistently over time about American patriotism, or offered Harvard's Kennedy School of Government something akin, NPR and Harvard would take the money and do it. Their ultimate concern is institutional longevity. That means they can be bought. At $20M, Al-Waleed bin Talal came cheap for Harvard.

    Yes, the ideological points made by the NPR staffers are standard leftist fare, but isn't that primarily because of who they [thought they] were speaking with? I believe so. The evil of leftism is not in its ideology (has Nancy Pelosi ever had a self-less thought in her life?) but in its concupiscence (lust to consume the world).

  9. NPR, that bastion of non-biased news coverage, just dropped another Dem donor into the CEO position to replace Schiller. But don't let anyone tell you they're biased, or anything.

  10. Professor, I think you are absolutely right to note that virtually all of the elements, i.e., the content of the remarks of NPR Senior Executive, Ron Schiller, and of his senior NPR sidekick, Betsy Liley, during that luncheon are really part and parcel of "standard Democratic Party and/or left-wing ideological fare" when it comes to Republicans, Tea Party members, and conservatives.

    It is also important to note that the context of the remarks – especially who they thought were speaking to -– really does compound the offensiveness of their statements.

    Take, for example, the following succinct description contained in the Russell Adams Wall Street Journal account published today, concerning the forced resignation of NPR CEO, Vivian Schiller, in the wake of the controversy.

    These two senior NPR executives believed they were speaking to representatives from the "Muslim Education Action Center" an affiliate organization of the "Muslim Brotherhood" whose representatives were saying:

    they were considering donating as much as $5 million to NPR because of what they describe as the substantial "Zionist coverage" by other news organizations.

    Mr. Schiller said during the meeting that the Republican Party had been "hijacked" by groups hostile to Muslims. One of the "Muslim Center" men asked "The radical, racist, Islamophobic, tea-party people?" Mr. Schiller responded, nodding, "And 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 people."

    Try, if you can, to imagine the same kind of incendiary content being leveled in a similar context, by someone who was politically to the right-of-center.

    If that were the case, it takes little imagination at all to figure out that virtually every progressive and liberal in America would now be screaming one phrase at the top of their lungs!

    "Hate speech!" they’d all be screeching, and demanding immediate Congressional action.

  11. Let us not forget Mr. Soros' money to make NPR hire journOLists who won't be biased or anything.

  12. To expand on one of Troichilus' points, had it been one of the Koch brothers offering the $5 million while making disparaging comments about liberals, does anyone believe for a minute that these two NPR senior executives would have been mouthing Tea Party arguments? Of course not.

    They weren't sales chameleons morphing into whatever life form necessary to close the deal but strident advocates of a particular agenda amplifying their benefactors' comments to assure them that they are committed to the same agenda. True believers.

  13. Seems like there are more "Borat NPR" episodes to come after that nice pilot, and now it comes out that there is at least one "Borat PBS" episode, too.

    Stay tuned and pass the popcorn. Rock and roll, James O'Keefe!!

  14. I don't know who was actually surprised or shocked by it. We all knew it was there. Having the evidence was icing on the cake.

    NPR is not shocked or angered about the comments. They are angry that they were caught. That's the source of their outrage.

  15. "I would not even call it left-wing."

    I would. It merely demonstrates that there is nothing moderate about mainstream liberalism: It is now distinctly left-wing.

  16. Ubiquitous evil is evil nonetheless.

  17. "They weren't sales chameleons morphing into whatever life form necessary to close the deal but strident advocates of a particular agenda amplifying their benefactors' comments to assure them that they are committed to the same agenda. True believers."

    Yes, superficially that is the case. Deeper down, it matters that they vetted the persons/organization (they thought) who invited them to a business lunch. Indeed in this sense they were attempting to assure their hosts that they were true blue, or true green and black in the case of the MB/Hamas.

    However, let us consider:

    1- Would they have agreed to meet with a Koch rep, or a Koch? It's speculative, but I offer that a sufficiently weighty sum would have given appeal if for no other reason than to enjoy a tony lunch off their budget and on the enemy's. And which of us hasn't led on a table partner in order to keep the tone friendly?

    2- They entered the restaurant thinking (they thought knowing) they were meeting MB reps. Now I estimate that nowhere in their circle of trusted friends are jihadis, in the same way that nowhere in the circle of trusted friends of poverty hustlers and communism protagonists are people lacking means to feed, cloth and shelter themselves or leisure time to spread confusion and foment discontent. Poverty hustlers and communism funders live in gated or otherwise sealed communities. The sales pitches for their homes make that point.

    3- Therefore, their protestations of solidarity with MB reps and their agenda, which is jihadi (I hope we can agree on that), lack sincerity. And lacking sincerity, they can be bought. And being purchasable, their ultimate concern is not ideology but finance, and in this case, for an institution which employs them to that end.

    Their ideology has a price in dollars. Their uprightness is no sterner than that. Do you know how much AQI had to pay their families for VBED drivers in Iraq? And elsewhere to this day? It's huge. That's one reason they need the drug money, which is a major way they get the money to pay their "true believers," who even then are jacked up on drugs with their hands duct taped to the steering wheel and the charge detonated remotely.

    It ain't ideology, primarily. It's money, name and fame -- and raw power, tyranny -- satisfying the impulse of concupiscence. Ideology has a role, but it follows money. That's why the globalists have made a mess. They're for sale. They cannot be relied on by anyone for anything beyond the wishes of their most recent high inputer.

    For me, the wonder is that these "super-smart" NPR divas (a) let themselves get punked, and (b) didn't figure out from their speech patterns and body language that their hosts were not MB/jihadi stalwarts. I mean, they had constant signals to that effect. And didn't see/hear them. And the female was sitting across from the camera's lens and mic! It tells me, removed from the post-graduate orbit for forty years, that my Ivy League confreres, who I assume produced these NPR chaps, reared some really useless articles and failed to weed out self-promoters into the bargain.

  18. NPR has succeeded in at least one thing: I don't think anyone would claim that it is dominated by those hateful, nefarious Zionists.

  19. "It tells me, removed from the post-graduate orbit for forty years, that my Ivy League confreres, who I assume produced these NPR chaps, reared some really useless articles and failed to weed out self-promoters into the bargain." - David R. Graham

    Yeah, and we elected one of them as President!

    But seriously, I doubt that NPR would have courted the Kochs' or any other conservative donor group as Mr. Graham contends in his earlier comment, for a couple of reasons.

    First financially, it would have alienated too many of their individual lefty intellectual donors and private leftist foundations. Second ideologically, it just isn't left-wing cool to diss foreigners, even if they are quasi-terrorists, when you can diss fellow Americans instead. You know, it is so much more acceptable to be xenophiles than xenophobes. Back in the day, that was known as being a traitor to your countrymen, but I guess it just passes as suave and sophisticated at NPR.

  20. @Pasadena Phil March 9, 2011 6:59 PM

    Heh. I hadn't actually considered that possibility (one of the Koch Bro's showing up at NPR) bearing propaganda-enabling gifts - shiver me timbers!

    All I was suggesting was the importance of viewing this tape in context. And, I was saying consider the obverse, and just imagine the reaction!

    For example, if (in the unlikely event) some identifiably right-of-center "establishment" figure was caught on tape making the same sorts of vile statements -- spewing his or her ideological guts to a lefty poseur, and generalizing about all those nasty Democrats, especially the hateful socialist-leaning neo libs and progs that had taken over the party, to someone he or she assumed was bearing big gifts, and those tapes suddenly all were exposed to the public, I believe that every liberal and progressive in the country would go right off their meds. "Hate speech, being bought and paid for!" they’d all shriek in unison 'till they collectively went hoarse! The drumbeat of demands for immediate Congressional action and investigations to stem the tide of hatred and vituperation would ensue, "thoughtfully" articulated by all of the usual suspects in the mainstream media. We'd simply never hear the end of it!

    As for your conclusion, I think you are correct.

    "They weren't sales chameleons morphing into whatever life form necessary to close the deal but strident advocates of a particular agenda amplifying their benefactors' comments to assure them that they are committed to the same agenda. True believers."

    If I read it correctly, you were not saying that Ron Schiller and Betsy Liley were endorsing the long term ends of the Muslim Brotherhood, but rather, that they were trying to assure this faux MB duo of a broad common agenda moving forward in taking on the hated ones . . . the Islamophobes, xenophobes, Republicans, especially the new-fangled gun-toting Tea Party types and fundamentalist Christians, particularly the Evangelicals, and the supporters of Israel, Jewish or otherwise . . . did I forget anyone from the Schiller tableaux? And, they were politely ignoring all that talk of Sharia law that their potential benefactors had addressed . . . the camel’s nose in the tent, as it were.

  21. Well, the comments have opened a useful aetiological question: which precedes, finance or ideology? I think this question is determinable and is not of the "chicken or egg" variety. I cannot recall specifics and will not search for them, however, memory suggests that Marx himself settles on finance as the causative factor not only of the Revolution and its aftermath but also of the dialectical dynamic of historical development.

    And finance for Marx is not mere money. It is the entire existential phenomenology of a personality and the groups to which it belongs by choice or circumstance. Marx was a theologian. [Someone can have fun with that unusual assessment.]

    And let us hear the plaints of the "protesters" in Madison. The new death threat making news this morning mentions 300,000 lives to be destroyed by the public union legislation now seeking birth in the WI legislature. Meaning?: loss of money. Ideology provides tactical and public relations assets to people resisting that legislative birth or attempting to abort it. However, their complaint is for money in their pockets. And that would be four sets of pockets: employees' pockets, union officers' pockets and, from compulsory union dues, politicians' and bureaucrats' pockets. It's rice bowls. Finance.

    Now, ideology enters the picture shortly after finance paints it, just as occurred with Marx, And it supplies enormous assets. One does not minimize the power of those assets. They are what one sees and hears most clearly. But they are not the causative factor. That is finance.

    I will go so far as to assert that ideology is always, knowingly or unknowingly, a diversion. The thing afoot is some sort of looting.

    I rest.

  22. NEW -- National Public Radio: Part II

    "The following video contains conversations between Project Veritas undercover investigator, Simon Templar, and Betsy Liley, NPR's Senior Director of Institutional Giving."

    Project Veritas

  23. @viator . . . Interesting.

    By the way, it now seems that Betsy "Oh, that is funny" Liley is on "administrative leave" at NPR pending an "investigation."

    (See bolded portion in quote posted below).

    I don't recall that fact having being reported previously, but maybe I missed it.

    NPR has also outlined the basic "errors" she committed in her follow-up discussions with the ersatz MB financiers, especially the one about "invisible" donations.

    From the NPR website:

    And NPR says Liley, who is now on administrative leave, made several errors during the conversation. NPR spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm has sent this statement to NPR staff and stations:

    "The statement made by Betsy Liley in the audiotapes released today regarding the possibility of making an anonymous gift that would remain invisible to tax authorities is factually inaccurate and not reflective of NPR's gift practices.

    "All donations — anonymous and named — are fully reported to the IRS. NPR complies with all financial, tax and disclosure regulations.

    "Through unequivocal words and actions, NPR has renounced and condemned the secretly recorded statements of Ron Schiller and Betsy Liley. Mr. Schiller is no longer with NPR and Ms. Liley has been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation of the matter.

    "No stronger statement of disavowal and disapproval is possible. NPR will not be deterred from its news mission and will ultimately be judged by the millions and millions of listeners and readers who have come to rely on us every day."

    (my emphasis added)

    Based on the actual timeline with the "unrelated" Schiller duo, my guess would be that the "investigation" of Betsy Liley could result in a preliminary finding of "You're fired! perhaps as early as sometime on Friday, in hopes that the story will only catch the Saturday news cycle.

    But we'll see.

  24. Not original with me, but it's just too amusing not to repeat. (First seen by me as a comment on YouTube)

    NPR = "National Private Radio"