The Corporation for Public Broadcasting might still not have hit bottom in the James O’Keefe hidden camera scandal as evidence emerges that PBS might have fallen prey to the same prank.
A spokeswoman for PBS told the New York Times’ Media Decoder blog that their senior vice president for development, Brian Reddington, had met with the same phony Muslim group that lured NPR executives into a trap with talk of a $5 million donation. Given the impact of the NPR tape, which forced resignations from both CEO Vivian Schiller and the executive captured on camera, Ron Schiller (no relation to Vivian), the prospect of another video featuring PBS execs could be a giant shoe waiting to drop.
According to the Times, PBS doesn’t know if they’ve been taped or not, but given O’Keefe’s MO it seems a very strong possibility. The PBS rep said that their executives were not fooled by the so-called Muslim Education Action Council, however, and came out of their meeting with “profound concerns about the organization.” After a closer review of the group’s legitimacy they broke off communication.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.