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NPR executive slams tea party on hidden camera

Mar 9, 2011 8:40:00 AM - thestate.com
The latest round of conservative attacks on public broadcasting got fresh ammunition with the release of a hidden-camera video of an NPR executive calling the tea party racist and saying the network would be better off without federal money anyway.

The video was posted Tuesday by James O'Keefe, the same activist whose undercover videos have targeted other groups opposed by conservatives, like the community organizing group ACORN and Planned Parenthood.

It drew swift reaction from Republicans in Congress, who are renewing efforts to cut funding to public broadcasters. NPR and PBS have long been targets of conservatives who claim their programming has a left-wing bias. Similar efforts in the 1990s and 2005 were not successful, although public broadcasters take the threat seriously.

National Public Radio said in a statement that it was "appalled" by the comments from Ron Schiller, the president of NPR's fundraising arm and a senior vice president for development.

Schiller informed NPR he was resigning from his position before the video was shot, NPR spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm said Tuesday. He was expected to depart in May, but in a statement Tuesday night he said that his resignation would be effective immediately.

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