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Right-wing sting snags NPR executive

March 8, 2011 at 8:16 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, March 8 (UPI) -- An NPR executive fell into a conservative trap when he told two men posing as donors the U.S. broadcaster would be better off without federal funds.

A videotape showing Ron Schiller, a fundraising executive who has already resigned from National Public Radio, with two men who claimed to be from a Muslim charitable organization was released Tuesday, The New York Times reported. The meeting and videotape was actually the work of James O'Keefe, a right-wing activist best known for posing as a pimp seeking advice from the community activist group ACORN.

In addition to suggesting NPR could do without public funds, Schiller called Tea Party activists "seriously racist racist people."

"In my personal opinion, liberals today might be more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives," he said.

NPR said Tuesday Schiller had been suspended. He notified NPR last week he was leaving to work for the Aspen Institute.

NPR pointed out in a statement Tuesday it had refused to accept money offered by what the men who met with Schiller called the "Muslim Education Action Center Trust."

O'Keefe told CNN he and the two men who carried out the sting decided to go after NPR because of its firing of Juan Williams, who was dismissed after he said on a Fox News show that he gets nervous when he sees men in Arab garb.

O'Keefe and three other men pleaded guilty in May 2010 to entering the office of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu while posing as telephone repair technicians in an effort to secretly record her staff.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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