NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller resigned Wednesday at one day after James O’Keefe a conservative activist made public a video in which an NPR executive slammed Republicans and the Tea Party movement during a hidden camera session.
In the video, the NPR executive bashed the tea party movement as “racist” and “xenophobic” and said NPR would be better off without federal funding. “The Board accepted Vivian’s resignation with understanding, genuine regret and great respect for her leadership of NPR these past two years,” said Dave Edwards, chairman of NPR’s Board of Directors.
The incident “became such a distraction to the organization it hindered Vivian Schiller’s ability to lead the organization going forward,” Dave Edwards added. The short period in which Schiller was chief executive has included a few notable controversies–including one from October that she was still fielding questions on before the latest flare-up.
Ms. Schiller said she had a conversation with NPR’s board members on Tuesday late evening, about twelve hours after the release of the embarrassing video, and then spoke with Mr. Edwards later in the same evening. She declined to give details about the conversations.
In the video, the NPR fund-raising executive, Ronald Schiller, who is not related to Ms. Schiller, is actually telling people posing as Muslim philanthropists that the Republican Party had been “hijacked” by the Tea Party and that Tea Party supporters were “seriously racist, racist people.” Mr. Schiller, who was already scheduled to leave NPR and accept anotherjob at the Aspen Institute, said on Tuesday that he would leave as soon as possible.
Schiller, on the video, noted that “very little” of NPR’s funding comes from government sources. He also said that “in the long run we would be better off without federal funding.” That’s one statement that a large number of conservatives would agree with.