NPR plays damage control, distances itself from Ron Schiller

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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Despite previously denouncing the remarks and behavior of one of its senior executives, National Public Radio is now attempting to separate itself as much as possible from NPR foundation’s nonprofit President Ron Schiller. Conservative James O’Keefe’s associates captured Schiller making several disparaging remarks toward Tea Partiers and Jews in an undercover video released Tuesday morning.

The radio network now says Schiller “informed NPR he was resigning from his position to take a new job” at a time “prior to the lunch meeting presented in the edited video.”

“His resignation was announced publicly last week, and he was expected to depart in May,” NPR’s Dana Davis Rehm said in a statement. “While we review this situation, he has been placed on administrative leave.”

NPR has provided no date as to when Schiller actually told NPR he was leaving. The public statement that his new employer, the Aspen Institute, released about his hiring didn’t come out until nine days after O’Keefe’s associates met with him in the undercover sting.

NPR has also yet to make a public mention of their director of institutional giving Betsy Liley’s involvement at the now infamous lunch. The news organization has not responded to The Daily Caller’s requests for comment on her involvement.

NPR has started trying to walk back Schiller’s remarks that NPR would be “better off” without federal funding “in the long term.” In response to Schiller’s remarks, Republicans are ramping up their calls to defund NPR.

“The assertion that NPR and public radio stations would be better off without federal funding does not reflect reality,” Davis Rehm said. “The elimination of federal funding would significantly damage public broadcasting as a whole.”

Though NPR has repeatedly referred to the released tape as edited, O’Keefe posted all his raw unedited video on his website. The full video shows that O’Keefe’s editing didn’t take Schiller’s or Liley’s remarks out of context.