The Daily Caller, helped along by conservative hack Matthew Boyle, furthers their reputation as the Pravda of right-wing web magazines with this report, New video: NPR was going to accept Muslim Education Action Center donation and hide it from the government
New video released Thursday afternoon indicates National Public Radio intended to accept a $5 million donation from fictitious Muslim Brotherhood front group Muslim Education Action Center (MEAC) Trust – and that the publicly funded radio network might have helped MEAC make the donation anonymously to protect it from a federal government audit.
When a man posing as Ibrahim Kasaam asked, “It sounded like you were saying NPR would be able to shield us from a government audit, is that correct?” NPR’s senior director of institutional giving, Betsy Liley, responded, “I think that is the case, especially if you are anonymous. I can inquire about that.” According to conservative James O’Keefe, whose Project Veritas organization conducted the NPR…
The video is over 40 minutes long and like the ACORN videos and the Planned Parenthood videos is highly edited. Liley is shown to be guilty of equivocating on the level of anonymity such a donation would get. There is an amateurish narration throughout the video telling people what they are seeing and hearing as though just the raw audio by itself might leave viewers uncertain that anything peculiar was going on. Liley does seem over her head as far as how much anonymity donors to NPR could get and starts talking about anonymous donors at a university she used to work at. No smoking gun. No wrong doing by NPR. NPR has released e-mails showing that Liley passed along information about these potential donors to higher ups and NPR’s legal department, NPR Emails Show CEO Refusing Donation from Phony O’Keefe Group
In an e-mail dated March 3, sent by the recently resigned Schiller to Betsy Liley, who appears in the two O’Keefe tapes, and two other staffers, Schiller suggests that MEAC is behaving oddly and that she can’t accept a donation without further information — despite pressure from the group to take the money immediately. She also correctly notes that MEAC’s information would have to be provided to the IRS, resolving an issue that Lilely appears to have left unclear in a conversation with a phony Muslim donor depicted in the most recently released video.
“I spoke to Ibrahim,” she writes. “He says they ARE a 501c3. And then he added… “I think”. I told him we would need to know for sure AND we would need to look at the 990 as we do for any first time donor. He stressed that they want confidentially and I told him what Joyce told me – that it would not need to be reported in the public part of the 990 but it would need to be reported to the IRS, including the name of the donating institution. He had questions on all of the above which I said I simply don’t have the expertise to answer but that one of our lawyers could. He repeated again that they want to deliver the check. I said that’s very generous but we really need to sort out these issues first. He said is there a problem – and I said I don’t know till we can see the 990. He seemed a bit worried that there was some subtext to our hesitation.”
Neither video or audio provided by O’Keefe show the part of the conversation where Liley informs them of the IRS reporting requirement or where she told them she was passing along the information for further investigation by NPR. What is really the big issue here is where the money is coming from. It is coming from a Fake Muslim organization. The Right’s “Evidence” Against NPR Doesn’t Support The Accusations
Over the course of the call, Liley requests a written letter from the MEAC with more details about the donation and suggests that NPR’s legal team and the MEAC hammer out a gift agreement. She also gently prods “Kasaam” to reveal more information about the MEAC’s history and legal structure, requests a 990 form, and notes, unprompted, that “At Perdue, we’ve turned down some significant gifts.”
The takeaway was that the discussion over a donation was in the preliminary stages at best, and NPR had not committed to accepting MEAC’s offer. There is no evidence in the tape to suggest that NPR ever planned on accepting the gift — much less that they were going to “hide it from the government” as the Daily Caller blithely suggests.
Would there be any controversy is say the right-wing American Family Association (designated hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center) or from Pam Gellar’s hate group Stop the Islamization of America. While on the subject of Gellar. Apparently she found O’Keefe’s fake web site for the Muslim Education Action Center (MEAC), NPR sting also nets … Pamela Geller? – Several notoriously anti-Muslim bloggers were taken in by a fake radical Islamic website set up by James O’Keefe
To summarize: A fake website about Muslims created by right-wing bloggers confirmed everything right-wing bloggers believe about Muslims.
UPDATE: I had a rather cryptic email exchange with Geller. Asked whether she knew about the hoax in January, she said:
“I am very pleased at the results of the MEAC operation and not in the least surprised about what it revealed about NPR.”
When I followed up and asked again, she responded: “Surely even you realize that if I had explained what was going on at the time I put up my post, there would have been no operation to expose npr at all.”
Gellar might be telling the truth for once. She just sounds like she is lying. If Gellar and the other Republican sites who did posts about MEAC were in on the con, that means every post they wrote about them was a hoax and their commenters, worked up into an Islamophobic hate fest, were duped.
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship got to a point I wanted to make today before I got around to posting. Once again there are two standards at work. One for the rabid Right ( there are no more moderate conservatives given voice in conservative media. Like moderate conservative politicians, they have been driven out of the tent, relegated to RINO status) and another standard for, let’s say non-kool-aid drinkers, Bill Moyers and Michael Winship on the right’s latest assault on public broadcasting
If you would see how this integrity is upheld, go to the NPR website and pull up any of its reporting since 2009 on the Tea Party movement. Read the transcripts or listen to its coverage — you will find it impartial and professional, a full representation of various points of view, pro and con. Further, examine how over the past few days NPR has covered the O’Keefe/Schiller contretemps and made no attempt to cover up or ignore its own failings and responsibilities.
Then reverse the situation and contemplate how, say, Fox News would handle a similar incident if they were the target of a sting. Would their coverage be as “fair and balanced” as NPR’s? Would they apologize or punish their outspoken employee if he or she demeaned liberals? Don’t kid yourself. A raise and promotion would be more likely. Think of the fortune Glenn Beck has made on Fox, spewing bile and lies about progressives and their “conspiracies.”
And oh, yes, something else: Remember what Fox News chief Roger Ailes said about NPR executives after they fired Fox contributor Juan Williams? “They are, of course, Nazis,” Ailes told an interviewer. “They have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism. These guys don’t want any other point of view.” When the Anti-Defamation League objected to the characterization, Ailes apologized but then described NPR as “nasty, inflexible” bigots.
Double standard? You bet. 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. (both internal links were added by me)
For a refresher on why Juan Williams was fired see the exact conversation here. Talk about being a shameless hypocrite. If someone had said the what Williams said about the Southern Christian Leadership Conference or the NAACP, Williams would have gone off on O’Reilly. But Muslims are the safe target for vitriol. Made safe by the usually cadre of conservative xenophobes. How difficult could it be to use qualifiers like radical fundamentalist Muslims such as al-Qaeda are a threat. That is something we can all agree on. The one billion Muslims in the world, the world’s second largest religion and all it’s adherents are a threat. Williams and Fox have no problem making that ridiculous assertion. Saying that such assertions are ridiculous makes you a Nazi. These are the people after NPR because someone in NPR’s fund rising department expressed the personal opinion that tea nuts are ethnocentric. This is the part of the text message where a reasonable person types OMG.
Jack Shafer wrote a piece about the NPR non-scandal which reminded me of an old post he did on NPR and Cokie Roberts, Perfectly Obvious Cokie – Behold how little substance NPR’s Cokie Roberts can pack into four minutes of airtime.
Don’t despise Roberts’ journalism just for what she says but for how she says it. The most irritating of her collection of tics is declaring a specific news topic “interesting,” “very interesting,” or “really interesting.” Yet her declarations almost never signal the approach of anything notable: It’s her way of squid-inking the waters so she can say something completely superficial and escape before the listener can think it though. Examples:
“It’s interesting, Harry Reid is also somewhat crossways with the president on the issue of earmarks.”
—March 2, 2009
“Well, you know, what is interesting is when you talk to Republicans in Congress, they say, look, we know we’re not voting with [Obama].”
—Feb. 23, 2009
“Senator Gregg is an interesting choice for commerce secretary.”
—Feb. 2, 2009
“Each side [is] trying to make bi-partisanship a partisan issue. You know, I’m being more bi-partisan than you are. And that’s an interesting dynamic to see play out.”
—Jan. 25, 2009
“But one thing I found really interesting is [Bush] said he didn’t feel isolated in this job, which you’ve heard from other presidents.”
—Jan. 12, 2009
“But Bob Gates is a very interesting character.”
—Dec. 1, 2008
Yes, America, behold the raging blatant
liberalism mediocrity, that is the of trademark of one of NPR’s most venerated news analyst.