Wednesday, 9 March 2011
O'Keefe's New Project: Muslim Brotherhood Meets NPR

Matthew Boyle writes in the Daily Caller where you can see the video (I recommend watching the video):

A man who appears to be a National Public Radio senior executive, Ron Schiller, has been captured on camera savaging conservatives and the Tea Party movement.

“The current Republican Party, particularly the Tea Party, is fanatically involved in people’s personal lives and very fundamental Christian – I wouldn’t even call it Christian. It’s this weird evangelical kind of move,” declared Schiller, the head of NPR’s nonprofit foundation, who last week announced his departure for the Aspen Institute.

In a new video released Tuesday morning by conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe, Schiller and Betsy Liley, NPR’s director of institutional giving, are seen meeting with two men who, unbeknownst to the NPR executives, are posing as members of a Muslim Brotherhood front group. The men, who identified themselves as Ibrahim Kasaam and Amir Malik from the fictitious Muslim Education Action Center (MEAC) Trust, met with Schiller and Liley at Café Milano, a well-known Georgetown restaurant, and explained their desire to give up to $5 million to NPR because, “the Zionist coverage is quite substantial elsewhere.”

On the tapes, Schiller wastes little time before attacking conservatives. The Republican Party, Schiller says, has been “hijacked by this group.” The man posing as Malik finishes the sentence by adding, “the radical, racist, Islamaphobic, Tea Party people.” Schiller agrees and intensifies the criticism, saying that the Tea Party people aren’t “just Islamaphobic, but really xenophobic, I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.”

Schiller goes on to describe liberals as more intelligent and informed than conservatives. “In my personal opinion, liberals today might be more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives,” he said.

O’Keefe’s organization set up a fake website for MEAC to lend credibility to the fictitious group. On the site, MEAC states that its mission is combating “intolerance to spread acceptance of Sharia across the world.” At their lunch, the man posing as Kasaam told Schiller that MEAC contributes to a number of Muslim schools across the U.S. “Our organization was originally founded by a few members of the Muslim Brotherhood in America actually,” he says.

Schiller doesn’t blink. Instead, he assumes the role of fan. “I think what we all believe is if we don’t have Muslim voices in our schools, on the air,” Schiller says, “it’s the same thing we faced as a nation when we didn’t have female voices.”

When O’Keefe’s two associates pressed him into the topic, Schiller decried U.S. media coverage of Egypt’s uprising against former dictator Hosni Mubarak, especially talk of the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence on the protests and future of Egypt. Schiller said that is what he is “most disappointed by in this country, which is that the educated, so-called elite in this country is too small a percentage of the population, so that you have this very large un-educated part of the population that carries these ideas.”

When the man pretending to be Kasaam suggests to Schiller that “Jews do kind of control the media or, I mean, certainly the Zionists and the people who have the interests in swaying media coverage toward a favorable direction of Israel,” Schiller does not rebut him or stop eating. He just nods his head slightly

The man posing as Kasaam then joked that his friends call NPR, “National Palestinian Radio,” because, according to him, NPR is the only media outlet that covers Palestinians’ perspective. Schiller laughed.

When the ersatz Islamists declare they’re “not too upset about maybe a little bit less Jew influence of money into NPR,” Schiller responds by saying he doesn’t find “Zionist or pro-Israel” ideas at NPR, “even among funders. I mean it’s there in those who own newspapers, obviously, but no one owns NPR.”

Liley chimes in at this point to add that, “even one of our biggest funders who you’ll hear on air, The American Jewish World Service, may not agree with us. I visited with them recently and they may not agree with what we put on the air but they find us important to them and, sometimes it’s not that easy to hear what we say and what our reporters say, but they still think NPR is important to support.”

Schiller added that “they [the American Jewish World Service] are really looking for a fair point of view and many Jewish organizations are not.”

Later in the lunch, Schiller explains that NPR would be better positioned free of federal funding. “Well frankly, it is clear that we would be better off in the long-run without federal funding,” he says. “The challenge right now is that if we lost it all together we would have a lot of stations go dark.”

When one of O’Keefe’s associates asked, “How confident are you, with all the donors that are available, if they should pull the funding right now that you would survive?,” Schiller answered this way: “Yes, NPR would definitely survive and most of the stations would survive.”

That is precisely the opposite answer Schiller’s boss, NPR CEO Vivian Schiller (no relation), gave at a press conference Monday in Washington. “We take [federal defunding] very, very seriously,” she said. “It would have a profound impact we believe on our ability – of public broadcasting’s ability – to deliver news and information.”

At the Café Milano lunch, Schiller said he’s “very proud of” how NPR fired Juan Williams. “What NPR stood for is non-racist, non-bigoted, straightforward telling of the news and our feeling is that if a person expresses his or her opinion, which anyone is entitled to do in a free society, they are compromised as a journalist,” he said. “They can no longer fairly report.”

With that, Schiller once again directly contradicted NPR’s public statements. At her Monday press conference, Vivian Schiller apologized for the way it handled the Williams matter. “We handled the situation badly,” she said. “We acted too hastily and we made some mistakes. I made some mistakes.”

Juan Williams responds.

UPDATE: NPR chief executive officer, Vivian Schiller, resigns.

Posted on 03/09/2011 6:31 AM by Rebecca Bynum
9 Mar 2011
Send an emailArtemis

I'm a big fan of NPR, and believe they are one of the few mainstream news outlets with the abililty to do in-depth investigations into controversial subjects without corporate interfence.  Would any auto-maker pay for commercials on a network tv program that was even slightly critical of Islam?

But I no longer recognize them.

When they accept the offer of $5 million from people who say they want to promote the views of Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Hizb'Allah, and when top management make clearly antisemitic statements, they are moving beyond what is merely disagreeable into what is completely unacceptable.

The firing of Vivian Schiller must be the beginning, not the end, of the changes at NPR.  They are destroying a national resource.  I do not want to see public funding pulled for NPR, I do not want to see the destruction of NPR.

9 Mar 2011
Send an emailAlan R

Supplementary video ( 6 mins) of last October:

'Fox News' Bill O'Reilly talks with Juan Williams.

O'Reilly calls Vivian Schiller "stone cold dumb".

9 Mar 2011

     A correction to Artemis--the two NPR people didn't accept the money. The two conservatives representing themselves as members of the Muslim Brotherhood repeatedly offered them a check for five million, which the two fund-raisers wisely refused.

     Their comments were not anti-Semitic. In fact, they were reasonable, and rightly supportive of a Jewish funder who did not always agree with them, but who funded them anyway.

     Yes, the Israel Lobby and the neo-cons are real, and indeed do have a great deal of power concerning the way the Israel/Palestine conflict is covered in media. This is simply a fact. The American Israel Public Affairs Council (AIPAC) refers to themselves as "America's pro-Israel Lobby" on its website. Are you saying they're lying or deliberately misrepresenting themselves?  They are quite frank about trying to influence media converage of Israel, and they have every right to do so. But trying to pretend they don't exist is juvenile and uninformed.

     Your articles, and your political orientation, is a classic example of the moral collapse of conservatism. Here we have all these structural problems in American society, and what are you obsessed about? Americn Muslims, who make up a tiny minority of the population, and who lack any kind of political or cultural clout whatsoever. 

     You operate out of precisely the same sensibility of the rightwing and nationalism parties in Europe about a hundred years ago--the only real difference is the religouis group targeted. Fundamentally, one senses that you are running away not just from America's problems, but from your own. The bigot always suffers from unresolved personal issues--so he/she must project their anger only some Other, always one that is weak and cannot retaliate.

     Oh, and by the way--the Constitution you pretend to protect is pretty strong on freedom of religious conscience. The real patriots are the ones who are trying to keep us out of religious war, and who are defending freedom of worship. I know, you try to get around that by saying that Islam isn't a religion. But how come no scholars of comparative religion agrees with that assessment, our of the thousands that study world religions?


9 Mar 2011
Send an emailChristina McIntosh

 The poster calling himself 'pilgrim soul', above,  is so very eager to defend the poor persecuted Muslims  - carefully ignoring the fact that in Ethiopia, and Egypt, and Pakistan, and northern Nigeria, and Indonesia, it is not mobs of thousands of raging Christians burning down mosques and homes, but rather, hundreds and even sometimes many thousands of raging, hysterical Muslims burning down churches, attacking monasteries and homes, robbing, raping, and murdering...CHRISTIANS).

He indulges in some pop psychology about bigotry  - the 'bigots', naturally, being those who object to Islamic teaching and Muslim aggression.

'the bigot always suffers from unresolved personal issues - so he/ she must project their anger onto some Other, always one that is weak and cannot retaliate'.

Funnily enough, that sounds EXACTLY like what the Muslim mobs (or smaller groups of Muslim attackers) are doing in Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, northern Nigeria, Iraq, and even in Muslim-dominated districts of Ethiopia (within which Muslims do not have an absolute majority).  They project their rage onto helpless non-Muslim minority groups.  The Egyptian army attacked a *monastery* with *tanks* and *machine guns*...firing upon and terrorising unarmed *monks*, whilst howling 'victory!' and 'allahu akbar'!

It is also precisely the way in which, in Muslim-dominated countries - or, as we see in Ethiopia, in Muslim-dominated *regions* -  the Muslims have *always* behaved toward those non-Muslims who were fewer and/ or weaker than themselves, those over whom they could exercise power. For more, see Mark Durie's relentless analysis of the severely abusive nature of the Muslim-dhimmi relationship -  in which Muslims are the abusers and dhimmis the abusees -  in 'The Third Choice'.  It makes for sickening reading.  

How, I wonder, would 'pilgrim soul' care to describe and analyse the behaviour of the Muslim jihadis who zoomed into a Thai marketplace on motorbikes and back-shot a Thai Buddhist monk?  Not the first time that unarmed Buddhist monks have been murdered by Muslim assassins in southern Thailand, either.

The attempt by 'pilgrim soul' to represent the situation of the proliferating and aggressive Mohammedan colonies within the Western world, as analogous to that of the Jews in the 1930s, is ridiculous and bizarre.

The Muslims have the OIC - flush with petrodollars - to back them up with an enormous propaganda campaign.

The Jews in 1930s Europe were a far smaller component of the world's population, and there was NO part of the world where they ruled.  Today, all they have is minuscule Israel, with a very large and aggressive Arab minority within its borders..who are treated far better by the Jews than any Arab Muslim entity ever treated the Jewish minority populations that once existed within dar al Islam.

Whereas the Muslims within the West belong to and identify with (and are frequently funded by) an ummah of some one billion plus people, controlling no less than 57 whole nations and a vast swathe of territory, and a massive voting bloc at the UN...and it might as well be added that there is NO Muslim-majority polity, or even region within an otherwise non-Muslim polity, within which non-Muslims can be truthfully said to be entirely free or safe.

10 Mar 2011
Send an emailArtemis

A few corrections to PilgrimSoul:

At no point do I see the NPR executives "wisely refuse" to accept the $5 million that the two supposed Muslim Brotherhood representatives offered.  At 1:04 of the video, they say, "We have set aside $5 million" and Schiller nods in agreement.

Secondly, their comments about Jews were not "reasonable" by my standards.  At 7:15 of the video the Muslim Brotherhood representatives say, "The extent to which the Jews do kind of control the media", and Schiller nods.  At 8:00, the representatives say, "I'm not too upset about maybe a little bit less Jew influence of money into NPR," and again Schiller nods.  At 8:29, Schiller says, "I mean it's [Jewish influence] there in those who own newspapers obviously, but no one owns NPR."

PilgrimSoul says, "You operate out of precisely the same sensibility of the rightwing and nationalism parties in Europe about a hundred years ago"

I am not a rightwing by any standard.  It is precisely because of my belief in the equal rights of men and women and persons of different ethnicities and religions that I am against the Islamic ideology.  Islam is a racist, sexist, and extremely intolerant ideology.

PilgrimSoul then descends into ad-hominem attacks which are not worthy of reply.