NPR executive calls Tea Party supporters ‘racist’

By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY


A large Tea Party group is calling on Congress to take away funding from NPR following the revelation that one of the news organization’s fundraising executives slammed the Republican Party and supporters of the small-government movement.

Ronald Schiller was recorded secretly by James O’Keefe, according to The New York Times. O’Keefe, who released the NPR video today, is the man behind the video that took down ACORN, in a secretly recorded video in 2009 that led to the grass-roots community organizing group being stripped of its federal funding.

In the latest video, Schiller tells people posing as Muslims that supporters of the Tea Party are "seriously racist, racist people" and that the Republican Party has been "hijacked" by the Tea Party.

Schiller also says NPR "would be better off in the long run without federal funding" and is heard laughing when someone jokes that NPR should be known as "National Palestinian Radio."

Dana Davis Rehm, NPR’s senior vice president of marketing, communications and external relations, denounced Schiller’s comments in a statement.

"We are appalled by the comments made by Ron Schiller in the video, which are contrary to what NPR stands for," the statement said.

James O’Keefe secretly recorded an NPR executive saying Tea Party supporters are racist.


By Patrick Semansky, AP

The conservative Daily Caller reported on the existence of the videotape this morning.

Schiller announced last week that he is leaving NPR. Rehm’s statement also said the people posing as the Muslim Action Education Center tried to get NPR to accept a $5 million check, which NPR refused to accept.

Tea Party Patriots, one of the largest umbrella organizations for Tea Party groups, point to Schiller’s comments as reasons why Congress should no longer provide federal subsidies to NPR.

"Mr. Schiller himself candidly admits in the video that NPR doesn’t need federal funding," said Mark Meckler, national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, calling NPR a "clearly biased news organization that is out of touch with Americans."

"At a time when the country is upside down by more than a trillion dollars, can we really afford to provide huge subsidies to entities that openly state that they don’t need the money," Meckler said.

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