Right Wing's Latest 'Smear Job': Ex-NPR VP Doesn't Like GOP Non-Shocker

The right's already having a heyday with James O'Keefe's latest 'sting' --  and clearly they're going to make it out to be a bigger deal than it is. This time, the conservative video maker posed as members of a fake Muslim Education organization started by equally fake members of the Muslim Brotherhood, and took a meeting with former NPR VP Ron Schiller.

The video shows the 'Muslims' 'trapping' Schiller into commenting on the war the GOP is waging against NPR, public media funding, and Muslims. And while sites like the Daily Caller are making a huge deal out of it, Schiller's remarks are really not all that shocking -- it's a pretty commonly held belief among liberals that racism and Islamophobia is a founding tenet of the Tea Party. (O'Keefe proved this point by forming the fake MEAC.) For instance, via Slate:

SCHILLER: The current Republican Party, particularly the Tea Party, is fanatically involved in people's personal lives and very fundamental Christian -- and I wouldn't even call it Christian. It's this weird evangelical kind of move... it's been hijacked by this group that...

"MUSLIM": The radical, racist, Islamophobic, Tea Party people?

SCHILLER: It's not just Islamophobic, but really xenophobic. Basically, they believe in white, middle America, gun-toting -- it's pretty scary. They're seriously racist, racist people.

Schiller has since left his job at NPR, and Dana Davis Rehm, senior VP of Marketing, Communications and External Relations there has released a statement. 

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.

Conveniently, Rep. Peter King began viciously anti-Muslimterrorism hearings this week, while NPR fights for its federal funding. So while it's a pretty lame smear job, it was clearly strategically timed.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at March 8, 2011, 6:15am

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