NPR has its first response out to James O’Keefe’s latest stunt, a hidden camera video featuring a phony Muslim advocacy group discussing a possible donation, and they are not happy with how their executive handled himself in the film.
“We are appalled by the comments made by [NPR foundation president] Ron Schiller in the video, which are contrary to what NPR stands for,” David Folkenflik, NPR media correspondent, posted on Twitter, attributing the comments to the news organization.
NPR added: “The fraudulent org… in this video repeatedly pressed us to accept a $5m check, w no strings attached, which we repeatedly refused.”
Schiller, who had already accepted a new job at the Aspen Institute, was not leaving because of the video, the network said, adding he was “surprised” by its emergence.
In the video, posted this morning by O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, Schiller criticizes the Tea Party movement as “seriously, seriously racist people” and remains largely silent as phony members of the Muslim group denounce Jewish and Zionist control of media.
Update: NPR emailed the following statement to TPM from spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm, SVP of Marketing, Communications & External Relations:
“The fraudulent organization represented in this video repeatedly pressed us to accept a $5 million check, with no strings attached, which we repeatedly refused to accept. We are appalled by the comments made by Ron Schiller in the video, which are contrary to what NPR stands for. Mr. Schiller announced last week that he is leaving NPR for another job.”
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.