It's obvious that Ron Schiller isn't very conscientious when sharing his personal opinions with strangers. It might also be true that in his position as an NPR fundraiser — basically, a salesman — he was too willing to be conciliatory and agreeable to the attitudes of the people offering NPR money.
A secret tape of Schiller meeting with representatives from the Heritage Foundation might have played out very differently.
Regardless, he has quit, and so has CEO Vivian Schiller. NPR, it appears, is willing to cave at the first sign of controversy, which is too bad because as these things always go, more information has come out.
The unedited videos of the meeting between the two "undercover journalists" and Schiller are making the rounds. And while Schiller doesn't look that much better in the unedited version of the events that day, he doesn't come across nearly as anti-Republican nor pro-Muslim Brotherhood as he did in the edited version.
To see what I am talking about, take a gander at The Blaze. It is an interesting read, featuring a number of clips of unedited video from the sting and comparing them to the edited versions that caused such turmoil.
The Blaze’s Pam Key, who produces most of our original videos, is experienced in reviewing hours and hours of raw audio/video to find key sections that can then be used in proper context. Her review of the NPR exposé identifies a number of areas to examine.
Do these areas reveal problematic editing choices? Are assertions made in the video misleading? Are the tactics used by the video producers unethical?
Clearly the NPR executives, particularly Ron Schiller, show poor and, at times, despicable judgment. Do any of the revelations from the raw video ameliorate that? Do their wrongdoing justify any wrongdoing by the video producers?
And while NPR's cowering response to the video's allegations has certainly sent the message that it was caught red-handed, it now appears that maybe, no, this investigation wasn't as clear-cut as it had seemed. It now appears that the video was edited to promote a specific, pre-designed image of NPR.
If that is the case, then we expect our own Rep. Doug Lamborn to distance himself from this video, and to abandon the position he took earlier this week, which I blogged about here.
If he doesn't believe in government funding of NPR, fine. But if that's an ideological stance, he shouldn't need the latest splashy headline to prop it up.