Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me!

Heads are rolling at "National Public Radio" (more aptly, Nationalist Corporatist Radio) because some of the Best & Brightest got caught on sting-camera, suggesting that the Tea Party does not lack representation from the racist and know-nothing communities:
The resignation comes at a dicey time for NPR. On Tuesday, a video featuring former NPR executive Ron Schiller (no relation) came to light. In the video, the work of conservative activist James O'Keefe, Schiller is heard demeaning tea party supporters as racists and "gun-toting" Christian fundamentalists who had "hijacked" the Republican Party. Schiller also said that NPR would be "better off in the long run" without federal support.

Vivian Schiller had already taken significant heat for NPR's dismissal of commentator Juan Williams last fall, after Williams confessed to apprehension when seeing Muslims on airplanes. Williams' ouster became a cause célèbre for conservatives — and helped spark the O'Keefe project. NPR's top news executive, Ellen Weiss, resigned in January as a result.
Well, this seems to call for fair, one-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand sort of commentary, so here goes. On the one hand, whoever says the Tea Party includes among its supporters a fair number of racists, toters of guns, and fundamentalists (suitably defined, I suppose) is speaking the truth. Such a statement has all the usual shortcomings of any generalization, and certainly does not apply to every individual Partier, but there it is.

On the other hand, it is delicious to see a few high-ranking smugistas at NPR fall afoul of the unanimously-accepted American Law of the Gaffe: some things simply cannot be said, and truth is no defense. Live by the sword of prissiness, die by the same. Gotcha!


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, by now everyone, journalists in particular, should know better than to speak with strangers without thinking about the consequences. On the other hand, did these views really surprise anyone?

NPR remains, in many areas, the only place where people can hear classical music, something I wish got more notice.


Dr. Harl Delos said...

Schiller is right that the NPR network would be better off in the long run without federal funding.

APM, the organization that distributes "Prairie Home Companion", doesn't get federal funding, and despite being at a disadvantage competing to NPR, they seem to do just fine.

It's the individual broadcasting stations that, at least in some cases, need federal funding.

Schiller violated Charlie Sheen's Law. It's OK to assault women, to engage in massive violations of drug laws, etc., but when you call your boss a jerk, that will get you fired. Schiller's sin wasn't attacking the TEA party, it was attacking the federal dole.