“Let’s take a breath and put this NPR fracas into perspective,” advises pubcasting newsman Bill Moyers in Salon, writing with his Public Affairs Television colleague Michael Winship. The two say that NPR walked into a trap “perpetrated by one of the sleaziest operatives ever to climb out of a sewer,” activist filmmaker James O’Keefe, who caught NPR’s Ron Schiller in a hidden camera sting. The two call O’Keefe “a product of that grimy underworld of ideologically-based harassment which feeds the right’s slime machine.” They point out that in the wake of the Juan Williams firing, Fox News chief Roger Ailes called NPR execs “Nazis” — and then, while apologizing for that remark, characterized them instead as “nasty, inflexible bigots.”
“Double standard? You bet,” the column says. “A fundraiser for NPR is axed for his own personal bias and unprofessionalism but Ailes gets away scot free, still running a news division that is constantly pumping arsenic into democracy’s drinking water while he slanders public radio as equal to the monsters and murderers of the Third Reich.”
NPR and its member stations need independent funding, unconnected to any government agency, so that they can act as true independent media.
Remember when NPR refused to accept Harry Shearer’s funding credit for his film “The Big Uneasy” last August, because they were fearful of reaction?