Experts lay out deceptive edits, dubious ethics behind NPR sting video

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Was the 11-minute NPR sting video that blasted through the mediasphere on March 8 edited in a deceptive way? Two different analyses — the first published by The Blaze, a news and opinion website published by Glenn Beck, and the latest from David Folkenflik, NPR’s media reporter — find it was.

“It was clearly unethical — you don’t do that unless there’s no other way to get the story,” said Terence Smith, former media correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, in an appearance on CNN’s Reliable Sources with NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard. Host Howard Kurtz also interviewed James O’Keefe, the conservative activist who produced the video sting through his right-wing investigative organization Project Veritas. O’Keefe describes himself as a journalist and defends the use of hidden cameras. “Journalists have been doing this for a long time. It’s a form you use when people aren’t going to tell you the truth,” he tells Kurtz.

Huffington Post began pointing its readers to The Blaze and NPR’s analyses at noon today, generating 1,700 comments in three hours.

On the Media devoted three segments to the NPR crisis: an assessment of how the scandal that brought down an NPR president fits in the history of political attacks on public broadcasting; a discussion of whether pubcasting should receive federal funding; and a challenge by This American Life‘s Ira Glass to examine whether public radio is biased towards liberalism, as the field’s conservative critics allege.

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