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NPR Puts Ron Schiller On Ice After James O'Keefe Video

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Newscom

Rehm also distanced the news organization from Schiller's filmed statements, which included his assertion that the Tea Party was made up of "seriously, seriously racist people." He also remained silent while actors posing as prospective donors described a Jewish conspiracy to control the media. This was the second time today NPR condemned Schiller's remarks, putting out a statement earlier saying the organization was "appalled" by his conduct in the video.

"The comments contained in the video released today are contrary to everything we stand for, and we completely disavow the views expressed," Rehm said. "NPR is fair and open minded about the people we cover. Our reporting reflects those values every single day - in the civility of our programming, the range of opinions we reflect and the diversity of stories we tell."

While the video contained a number of embarrassing passages, perhaps the most directly damaging was Schiller asserting that NPR could survive -- and indeed, might be better off -- without federal funding. Republicans in Congress were already fighting to defund the network before the video emerged and already GOP lawmakers, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor, are using the footage to bolster their position. The latest statement from NPR addressed these attacks directly.

"The assertion that NPR and public radio stations would be better off without federal funding does not reflect reality. The elimination of federal funding would significantly damage public broadcasting as a whole."

Update: NPR confirms to TPM that NPR institutional giving director Betsy Lilely, who appeared in the video as well, is on administration leave.