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March 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

NPR CEO Vivian Schiller resigned today (Wednesdy), one day after a secretly recorded video of the president of NPR came to light in which he attacked Tea Party conservatives as “gun-toting … scary … racist people.” The hidden-camera footage was taken by conservative activist James O’Keefe, whose similar sting of the political-action group ACORN effectively brought it down. This time his target was Ron Schiller (no relation to Vivian), claiming that the Republican Party has been “hijacked” by the Tea Party, which he described as “this weird evangelical kind of movement” that is “not just Islamaphobic but xenophobic.” In his sting operation, Keefe caught Schiller on videotape making those statements to two men who claimed that they represented a Muslim charity affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and wanted to make a donation of $5 million to NPR. That ploy didn’t work — Schiller refused the money — but Schiller’s remarks about conservatives were offered as evidence that the publicly supported broadcast network was biased against conservatives. Following the release of the video, Schiller, who had already announced that he planned to leave NPR in May, made his resignation effective immediately. NPR released a statement saying, “The comments contained in the video released today are contrary to everything we stand for, and we completely disavow the views expressed. NPR is fair and open minded about the people we cover. Our reporting reflects those values every single day — in the civility of our programming, the range of opinions we reflect and the diversity of stories we tell.” The Washington Post reported on its website that NPR held an emergency meeting with executives of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Tuesday night and it was decided that Vivian Schiller would be asked to step down. In an interview with the Post, she said that she had agreed to do so because “the organization is under tremendous amount of pressure because of the de-funding threat from Republican conservatives.