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Should NPR's Vivian Schiller have been asked to resign?

NPR was roundly criticized for acting too hastily in its firing of commentator Juan Williams in October. And now, just one day after a sting video by conservative activist James O'Keefe surfaced, catching an NPR fundraising executive calling tea party members racist and xenophobic on film, the network has asked for the resignation of NPR's CEO too.

So did the network act too quickly this time? First, let's consider the case of Ron Schiller, the fundraising executive who made comments about the tea party and NPR's funding. Had Schiller not already been planning to leave NPR for the Aspen Institute, his comments as depicted in the video were unprofessional at best and damaging to NPR at worst, and certainly potential grounds for dismissal. Although set up as part of an undercover operation, Schiller made remarks that had no place in any business meeting, much less one involving a news organization like NPR. (As of Wednesday, Schiller is no longer going to be working for the Aspen Institute, either.)

Now, the tougher question: Should NPR's board have asked for Vivian Schiller's resignation? (The two executives are not related.) The answer is less certain. Schiller was reprimanded and fairly criticized for her handling of the Williams firing. She made comments over the affair that did not befit any leader, saying that Williams should have kept his remarks about Muslims between himself and "his psychiatrist or his publicist."

But Vivian Schiller has already been penalized for her handling of the matter, making a public apology and forgoing her bonus for 2010. Meanwhile, she has made clear that she had no prior knowledge of Ron Schiller's remarks, and "disavowed" them as soon as she heard about them. And she has by all accounts accomplished much since joining in January 2009, re-orienting NPR toward the digital age and putting it back into the black after being in financial turmoil.

In many less polarized settings, that would have been enough to keep her planted firmly in her job. She would have sharply criticized her employee's comments, sent him immediately on his way, and set up some kind of sensitivity training for her salesforce. The scandal likely would have swept right by her. Many leaders who've achieved less have survived much worse.

But in the politically charged world in which NPR now resides, the rules are different. Republicans are pushing to strip the network of its public funding, an effort that gained enthusiasm following the Williams controversy.

NPR has "the fight of its life on its hands," as NPR Ombudsman Lisa Shepherd wrote Wednesday on the Post's web site. And in that environment, a CEO whose reputation was stained from the Williams flap, and who apparently hired Ron Schiller, Shepherd writes, could be more of a distraction than anything.

Removing her likely won't solve many of NPR's problems--the organization is now without a permanent CEO, a news director and a chief fundraiser. And it's unclear that it will be enough of an olive branch to those wanting to end public financing. But maybe, just maybe, it will have some kind of "intended effect of easing the defunding pressure on public broadcasting," as Schiller told the New York Times.

What do you think: Should Schiller have resigned?

By Jena McGregor

 |  March 9, 2011; 4:23 PM ET |  Category:  Public leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Not to worry. Taxpaying landowners have now demanded that NPR, a branch of the Democrat Party, be cut off the government free ride list. And it's going to happen. Soon. Ain't it great?

Posted by: darncer | March 15, 2011 5:37 PM

these jounalists are americans, exposing the liberl elite for what they truely are. We all know that the ruling class believes the rest of us, (lower income democrats and all republicans)are simply un-educated simpletons that do not, or can not understand what it is they want us to swallow. NPR is horrible to listen to even for me, a simple artist, 4 years collage, and I believe myself to be open minded. These people exposing NPR should be commended. There is enough waste in America. We do not need NPR or cowboy poetry to be funded at this point in time. Washington is filled with waste from the seat behind the presidents desk at the white house, thgrough every single seat in congress and the senate. Public sevice?? Why not do these positions free for the country?? HUH?? why would'nt Ms pelosi give up her salary for this great country? why would'nt any sitting senator or congressman/woman do this as a free service to our country? Because they ALL are crooked, all liars. Starting with OBAMA... LIES...LIES ....LIES.. lETS GET HILLARYIiN OFFICE IN 2012.

Posted by: dannytwosuits | March 14, 2011 5:48 AM

There are other better people who are more qualified. There is nothing sacred about Schiller. Wouldn't you want their gov't funded jobs?

Posted by: rsjones7 | March 14, 2011 1:11 AM

No she shouldn't have been asked to resign. She was not responsible for what Ron said on that video tape and I agree with Klakey1: By responding so swiftly we really play into the hands of people like O'Keefe whose goal in life is to see people and programs that are unpopular on the right, done away with and to humiliate people in the process. The person who replaces her isn't going to be able to stop the right wing onslaught of dirty trickery and misinformation disemmination. It's time to stop playing into their hands and let NPR and others targeted by the GOP, do their jobs. We need to stand behind and FULLY SUPPORT people who have been targeted. Do you see the right distancing themselves from people in the party when they inevitabley say or do something dumb or are caught with their pants down? Not really. Because if they did, this kid wouldn't be running around doing what he is doing without repercussions. Isn't he at least on probation or something? And where is his money coming from?

Stand up to these people. This should not be happening. Stop trying to take the high road on everything. It's making Democrats and progressives look really soft and easily manipulated. We can't keep firing people everytime someone on the right catches them being flawed human beings. Take a cue from the Wisconsin Dems and do what it takes to represent your people...even if it fails in the short run. Don't just lay down and take it.

Posted by: Angel1011 | March 13, 2011 12:46 AM

If the steam tunnels on a Navy ship get flooded by the Bosun, the Captain walks the plank.

Posted by: tripferguson1 | March 12, 2011 5:35 PM

As long as the radical racist Schiller twins are gone, who cares how they left? They got what they deserved for their constant vile left wing racist language and actions. Their public funding should be gone too.

Posted by: Patriot12 | March 11, 2011 10:10 AM

Defund NPR and let them become apart of the leftist media of collusion with their Journolist meetings.
Let them stand on their own two feet and not cloak them selves with their phony propaganda of a "professional news organization"

Funding any "news" organization is not part of the Constitution.

Posted by: thejames1225 | March 11, 2011 9:47 AM

For telling the truth? I think not.

Posted by: jacksprat1 | March 11, 2011 9:46 AM

This is a sickening attack on civility in broadcasting. If NPR and PBS go away all that is left are the loud, violent, aggressive, smutty, increasingly abusive commercial programming. Even the children’s commercial programming is aimed only at selling junk and sugar to kids and panders to their worst instincts.
It is a shame that people over reacted and elected these Beckerheads, Palinites, tea baggers and evangelical nuts to important offices that have so much influence over all of the people.
The Reps. may get their way but they may be underestimating the board support, even in conservative areas, these public stations enjoy. When people come to their senses, the pay back will come in future elections.

Posted by: changeisconstant | March 11, 2011 9:42 AM


Posted by: vinyl45 | March 11, 2011 9:39 AM

NPR traditionally has been a wonderful source of intelligent discourse and creative programming. Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Car Talk, and other programming represents the best of radio.

Unfortunately, it's liberal bias as reflected in its programs, guests, analysts, reporters, and moderators, like Diane Rehm and Nina Totenberg--and now dramatically revealed by its own President--have undermined its credibility as a legitimate news organization. The days of gushing over Barbra Streisand or Madeline Albright while interrupting and grilling skeptically Newt Gringrich and other conservatives, need to end. The paradoxical treatment of firing Juan Williams for expressing his impolitic, but genuine anxiety about radical Muslim terrorism, while doing nothing while Ms. Totenberg "apologizes" for using the word "Christmas" or wishes "retributive justice" on former Sen. Jesse Helms to "get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it,"must go.

Quite obviously, a major shake is needed and justified, as its management and reporting have become the news. The Board needs to act quickly to bring in a CEO with sterling character, and a reputation for objectivity and professionalism. Then they need to commit themselves to objectivity and balance in reporting and discussions.

They need to find the David Broder of radio, and clean house. After that, they must establish a path to financial independence. People justifiably resent having their taxpayer dollars spent on hopelessly biased reporting and discussions. My guess is that if the NPR Board can use this as a teaching moment--a crisis is a great thing to waste--it can not only survive, but thrive, as more people like me who value many aspects of NPR will be willing to contribute, confident in knowing it has no political agenda or bias.

Posted by: kquinn714 | March 11, 2011 9:18 AM

NPR should not be receiving government money. It caters to an elitist left leaning crowd. There are plenty of other news outlets in which pepole may gather their news. It has run it's course' it is clearly the time for it to be National Liberal radio.

Posted by: bluedogdemocrat1 | March 11, 2011 9:15 AM

Whoa. Slow down. Take a breath.

If you do nothing else take a couple of minutes to read this. It clearly shows how each of the 50 members of NPR's Board of Directors stands with regards to their political leanings. Enough said.


Posted by: RobertR546 | March 11, 2011 9:09 AM

Yes, Schiller should resign for being spineless and not standing up to this hit piece. A real leader would have fought back and shown how the allegations have no substance.

Furthermore, a real leader would have done a piece exposing O'Keefe, who has a long record of unethical behavior. From his weird attempted sex with/entrapment of a female CNN reporter last fall (it backfired), to the Landrieu wiretapping incident, to the selective editing of tapes -- the guy has shown that he has no moral compass. I wouldn't him anymore than I would trust Baghdad Bob or Pravda.

Who funds O'Keefe? How does he make a living?

Posted by: steve1231 | March 11, 2011 9:05 AM

Re: Why do liberals have such an overdeveloped sense of shame? They don't have any shame. The most homophobic, mysoginistic, blame America first (ad infinitum) group of sheeple are regressives (aka liberal progressives). Should either have them resigned - NO!! They should have been fired before their next breath. Defund them along with most of the agencies formed by FDR and the the hundreds by BHO.

Posted by: BeanerECMO | March 11, 2011 8:55 AM

What bothers me is that the NPR Board of Directors has no spine, no backbone. The Board crumbles to the fetal position at any criticism. I believe they try to keep NPR under the radar because they fear the loud-mouthed right-wing conservatives. Does this fear date back to Jesse Helms? Probably. People who claim NPR reporting is left wing or liberal do not listen to NPR. Any radio/TV/print outlet they disagree with is left wing or liberal. That's their way. By not pushing back firmly, NPR has allowed itself to become the soft target. NPR does solid news reporting. Their thoughtful pieces are worthy of any publication from the NY Times to the Atlantic to the Wall Street Journal. However, these fine qualities are being let down by a Board that has no convictions and no guts to back up their convictions. So, after years of trying to keep a low profile they are learning the hard way that you have to protect the things you love. I guess the NPR Board of Directors doesn't love their own organization.

Posted by: sue1047 | March 11, 2011 8:26 AM

The two NPR execs merely stated what is obvious to any half-way rational person. They should not have resigned nor been forced out.

NPR is a valuable public resource. Does it occasionally ruffle some feathers? Sure. That's what responsible journalism is supposed to do.

Posted by: crminer | March 11, 2011 7:51 AM

By accepting tax support, NPR is subject to standards that are different than stock held or privately owned media. If they want to continue with their leftist/ socialist leanings, they should quit relying on public funding. If the NPR message and mission are so valuable, there should be sufficient donations to make them financially viable. The Left wingers just need to "pony-up".

Posted by: BERNIE41 | March 11, 2011 7:48 AM

Good riddance to an illiberal bigot.

Posted by: ecartr5 | March 11, 2011 6:25 AM

The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

No, she should have stood her ground and called them out. But nobody has the courage anymore to stand up to the right wing. But NPR has been walking a tightrope for a long time with corporate money. I stopped listening to it years ago when it didn't have the guts to stand up to Wayne Andreas and ADM in its long running coverage of the mule seed story, the one that resulted in farmers in India committing suicide by the thousands. what were the reporters words "there are 7,000 pages in this document," and something to the effect that there was too much in it to know exactly what? Excuse me, but that was his job to find out what.

Until we get the corporate money out of every corner of our politics and media we will not be able to consider ourselves a free people any longer. The bastards will continue to grind us down.

Posted by: timchambers1 | March 11, 2011 6:13 AM

No Schiller should not have been asked to resign. This "sting" operation is much to do about nothing. NPR is not an insidious organization that needs to be stopped before it destroys our democracy. Quite the contrary, it is a beacon of light in an otherwise dismal culture that we have become because of the radical right in this country. Stand tall NPR. Be the rallying force to help take back the country from the Tea-Baggers and their like.

Posted by: JudgeRoyBean | March 11, 2011 4:36 AM

Mr. Schiller should have been fired for being stupid (athough he told the truth, he did so in an inappropriate venue). Ms. Schiller should not have been fired at all; she did nothing wrong.

Criminal Scott Walker, briefly governor of Wisconsin, has been caught making underhanded deals with the Koch brothers and ... nothing. If ever there were a man who needed to be fired, Walker is the man. His impeachment is due in about 9 months; too bad it couldn't be much sooner.

Posted by: gsross | March 11, 2011 12:29 AM

I quit listening to NPR over their crude handling of the Juan Williams fiasco. I am not a conservative, but very much objected to clear bias. I said I would not listen again until Schiller was fired. I look forward to being able to turn NPR on again, but must confess I have been very impressed by BBC in the interim :-).

Posted by: taxpayer2 | March 11, 2011 12:18 AM

If she hired Mr. Schiller and promoted Ms. Weiss, or recommended them, then yes, she should be fired because it is obvious she cannot select good people or manage them. In the NCAA they call that institutional control. If she is in charge, she is responsible for setting the tone and apparently failed to set a proper one.

Posted by: Ashland | March 10, 2011 10:25 PM

NPR are spineless. They are much more polite about the Tea Party than I could ever ever be. Schiller should be congratulated and promoted,

Posted by: ajh619 | March 10, 2011 8:44 PM

I listen to NPR almost daily... That does not mean I agree with NPR all the time or even the majority of the time...
Their staff and their editorial bias is way, way over into the Socialism column...
They never met a federal entitlement or tax and spend program that they did not like...
They never met a centrist, conservative politician that they liked...
And they certainly never met a gun owner that they liked - no matter what the pesky Bill Of Rights says...

Still, they are educated, personable, erudite, and hard working... In fact they have so much talent I see no reason that they should not support themselves without dipping into the public treasury...

And no, Ms. Schiller should not have been asked for her resignation - she should have been fired point blank!

dr. o

Posted by: ad4hk2004 | March 10, 2011 7:56 PM

I only listen to NPR because it is about the only credible source of news - other than the NY Times and Washington Post. But for goodness sake!!! Does nobody on the fundraising staff ever think of Googling these groups to find out if they even exist? This is just sloppy and stupid and now a great institution is suffering because somebody failed to do some due diligence. Because of that, the buck stops with the CEO as it should. She is responsible for hiring and managing these incompetents. She has to go. Please NPR get some people in there who are savvy, professional and can zip of their loose lips.

Posted by: fedupwithlies | March 10, 2011 7:22 PM

Along with FIRING THE CEO NPR should be stripped of its FEDERAL funding of which I am contributing!!
I've stopped listening to this garbage of a station when they fired Mr. WIlliams.
Eddie Garcia
Nashville, TN

Posted by: MusicMan5 | March 10, 2011 6:51 PM

Yes, the resignation is appropiate. What isn't appropiate is the mindless trash commented by writers like Loretoguy posted 3/10/11 @ 4:27 PM. I'm far from conservative, but we will never make progress when every offense from either side is immediately thrashed as a defensive posture. Hate is hate from either side.

Posted by: flipstick49 | March 10, 2011 6:49 PM

NPR called a spade a spade. This is not the first time the Tea Party can come under criticism for being racist and xenophobic because THEY ARE. Sad that she had to resign for someone in her organization stating the truth.

Posted by: calidem1 | March 10, 2011 6:45 PM

Amazing ... a news (?) network like FOX steams along with "Hitler-types" and O'Reilly freaks ... and they go after NPR ! I think it is okay to call "Racists" ... RACISTS ! The Repubs, folks, are forging the way toward a pretty good imitation of the "Reich" ... punish all those against ... protect and reward the Rich who support you ! !
What ever happened to my USA ... the Country I loved ... and respected ? ?

Sick ... Sick ... Sick ..................................

Posted by: loretoguy | March 10, 2011 6:18 PM

Yes. NPR needed to wipe the slate clean.
(I love NPR - wake to it and drive home to it.)

Ron Shiller was Vivian's hire and occupied the top rung of NPR's fundraising ladder.

His comments were not "the truth" as some here assert. He got duped and espoused a childish, inaccurate, stereotypical, reductive and bigoted set of opinions. (Remember, Jimmy Carter has on multiple occasions said he respects the Tea Party and attributes his victory to "people like that.")

If Shiller had smeared the left with the same broad brush, many comments here would not be so magnanimous.

He got duped and basically described a percentage of national listeners as personal enemies. That percentage is probably larger than understood by many here. His giddy blabbing offended many listeners and embarrassed his employers.

To remain a credible news source NPR needs to at least appear impartial. Following last year's firing of Williams and Ron Shiller's bearing out the suspicions of many, the board did the right thing by letting her go.

Posted by: dogwolf | March 10, 2011 5:56 PM

It's hard to tell what went on behind closed doors that led to what NPR itself called the "ouster" of Ms. Schiller. But Ron Schiller let the cat out of the bag with his comments and made it clear that NPR really is a leftist sandbox. The staff are perfectly entitled to have whatever neo-Sandinista views they want, but they are not entitled to the federal funding channeled to them through member stations. NPR might be able to make a go of it as a liberal radio voice, the way MSNBC is trying on cable TV; but the pretense of centrism and fairness is gone.

Posted by: dicklobb | March 10, 2011 5:41 PM

No, she should not have resigned. Teabaggers are the racist lackeys of the Koch brothers and the brainles pawns of corrupt hypocrites like gingrich.

'Course some are simply insane, like Bachmann.

Posted by: jimdim | March 10, 2011 4:50 PM

Should she have resigned? NO The rouge employee who was leaving anyways, and the pitiful way the man was entrapped to make the comments to begin with are below commenting on.

NPR has changed drastically since the last right-wing shake up in 2005, a shadow of its former self. Its reporting has gone soft, nothing that comes close to actual reporting, just fluff, afraid to ruffle anyone on any subject, too bad right when the country needs the "4th estate" more than ever.

The resignation action indicates the board does not want to make any waves, nor will it defend any employee on any grounds. If its mission is truly what they say it is then it should make at least a feeble attempt to save itself from the oncoming train wreck that will leave it in ruins

Posted by: johnm12 | March 10, 2011 4:27 PM

This is getting silly.

Resign? No.

The right wing is laying booby traps for NPR and PBS in hopes of eliminating their funding. NPR should tell the Tea Party and their ilk to go Cheney themselves.

Facts are stubborn things. And it takes a self-honest, clear-headed, reasonable person to accept the let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may view of the world that NPR/PBS offers. Those in the right wing - especially at the fringe where the Tea Party dwells - possess none of these properties. No wonder they confuse honest, reality-centric reporting for liberal bias.

Truth be told, reality itself has a liberal bias.

Posted by: dhilleub | March 10, 2011 4:18 PM

why is this even an issue? stupid article. tell the eds. to give you a better assignment than this article. bozos.....

Posted by: fngVP | March 10, 2011 3:59 PM

Why does no one mention the anti-semitism in Mr. Schiller's remarks? Mel Gibson is a social pariah for having made similar statements. Vivian's lack of judgment in hiring this guy is enough cause for her to resign.

Posted by: qoph | March 10, 2011 3:37 PM

No she shouldn't have resigned. Nor should the Board have asked her to.


Mr. Schiller qualified his remarks by indicating they were his own. What he said, although impolitic, was the truth supported by ample evidence.

By asking for Ms. Schiller's resignation, the Board showed the worst sort of spinelessness. They also allowed those targeting NPR to frame the issue. They also gave weight to the notion that Mr. Schiller's comments were untrue.

This does nothing but give ammunition to those who target NPR.

If you cave at the first sign of controversy, then you really have nothing to buttress the journalistic integrity so essential to your mission.

The NPR Board screwed up. Not by terminating Ms. Schiller, but through cowardice in the face of manufactured controversy.

Until NPR has the courage of their convictions, then these things will continue to happen and continue to tar and feather the network as cowards.

Posted by: rauhuff | March 10, 2011 3:28 PM

Teabaggers attack NPR and try to cut their funding, then use a fake Muslim group to ambush NPR execs, and then wonder people consider teabaggers anti-intellectual racists.

Teabaggers are disgusting human beings trying to undermine the pinnings of our society by going after public education in all forms and inciting civil unrest through racist tactics. They hate our President for having a Kenyan father; they hate Hispanics and label them all "illegals"; and they view American Muslims as 5th columnists in a world-wide jihad.

Posted by: LeoNoVA | March 10, 2011 3:04 PM

you miss the point; the firing of the CEO derives from a permissible political bias endemic to NPR. it's not about whether he political views and judgments about individual holding those views are correct or not. it's about the appropriateness of a publicly-chartered organization with a primary mission to report on the political process of the nation should permit was has been an obvious and long-standing bias. If NPR chooses to forgo public funding, receives no special treatment on use of signal spectrum and does not refer to itself as a public-service organization, then i think it is entirely up to NPR as to whether they should permit or even promote a particular point of view.

Posted by: tds15 | March 10, 2011 2:59 PM

Liberals, hold your head up, for god's sake. Stop being so cowed by these immature bullies. You are doing the right thing; stand up for what you believe in and tell all partisan hacks to go to hell!


In other words, when right wing jerks do something despicable, the liberal response is to throw their own under the bus. This needs to stop.

Neither Schiller did anything wrong, except that Vivian Schiller should not have denounced what Ron Schiller said.

Ron told the truth about the Tea Party, end of story - bunch of racist, xenophobic SOB's. That should have been proudly proclaimed, not punished. The right wing is going to defund CPB anyway, so why give them the satisfaction of seeing the liberals shoot their own in the process?

It's way past time that liberals recognized that the reactionary right is in a war to the death and will stop at nothing until we are a country where 95% of the population is in thrall to their so-called 'betters', just like the wonderful 1890's.

Posted by: kg1957 | March 10, 2011 2:33 PM

While Republicans are using the "we're broke" strategy to kill whatever programs they've hated since Reagan (even though they don't begin to scratch the surface of the budget problem) the NPR board simply used this as an excuse to do something they've wanted to do since the Juan Williams incident.

That said, those who cry "leftist" at NPR are simply proving their ignorance of what NPR reports and stands for. I doubt they listen at all. They're just parroting back with they read on their favorite echo-chamber blogs.

Ever since CBS handed the news department over to programming back in 1973, broadcast journalism has been in a deep death spiral. NPR wisely picked up the ball of great journalism and ran with it.

The fact that NPR is not beholden to ratings or sponsors is what keeps it able to provide us with actual journalism--(something most people don't recognize because our nation has been without it for so long.)

I'll gladly shell out my annual pledge to my local station, as well as the tiny, tiny, miniscule portion of my tax dollars that fund the CPB. Honest, unbiased reporting is well worth it, and you can't dependably find that anywhere but NPR.

(and if you still think NPR is biased, try listening sometime...you'll be pleasantly surprised!)

Posted by: BrentWalkerLittleRock | March 10, 2011 2:22 PM

With the comments made by both of the radical left wing Schillers, America now knows who the real racists are in our society!

Let Soros and the Movondotogres fund NPR. They can hire Rachiel Madcow and keep up their liberal anti American, pro Al Queada attacks on someone else's dollar.

Posted by: Patriot12 | March 10, 2011 2:18 PM

The resignation made NPR look weak and vulnerable and gave weight to this idiotic 'amateur'.

Posted by: SpecTP | March 10, 2011 2:08 PM

In the Washington political climate Schiller probably had to go. The real problem is that no one at NPR has the guts to say that tax benefits should be taken away from commercial broadcasters first.

Every hemorrhoid remedy and cereal commercial are huge tax write offs for the advertiser at the expense of the American taxpayer--directly supporting the commercial cable/broadcast networks in a much larger way than public broadcasting. At least NPR has a reputation for delivering solid accurate news that few others can claim. NPR has proven its worth beyond any commercial broadcaster.

If we need to make cuts, lets stop taxpayer welfare for national commercial broadcasters and cablecasters first.

Posted by: eaglepeak | March 10, 2011 1:40 PM

Who cares about Schiller?

The answer is simple: Take away NPR's public funding and then they are free to do whatever they any and hire/fire whoever they want.

In other words, they can join the rest of the dying liberal media.

Also, if you don't want to sound like a d**k on someone's hidden video camera, here's a quick tip: Don't say things that a d**k would say.

Posted by: etpietro | March 10, 2011 1:23 PM

Schiller, like all liberal power elite, truly believes conservatives are not human, should not be allowed any rights, should be rounded up and gassed.

Until 50% of all university professors, newsmen, union leaders, and nonprofits in America are conservatives, people like Schiller will continue their unchecked campaign to demonize and marginalize conservatives.

Such hate espousing liberal demigods, as both Schillers, should be removed from all positions of influence in this country immediately.

Posted by: 2xy4k9 | March 10, 2011 1:13 PM

Why do liberals have such an overdeveloped sense of shame? What did Robert Shiller really say? He thinks the Tea Party is racist. Big deal. So does most of the country. They think he's a communist who wants to murder babies and enslave Americans. You think they're going to apologies for their opinions? Of course not; they want to become "journalists" on Fox news.

James O'Keefe is a blatantly partisan hack whose sole purpose is to try and embarass American citizens that he believes are his "enemies." His methods are crude, underhanded and deceitful. He lies and misleads to try and get someone to say the wrong thing in a candid moment, which he then broadcasts to the world.

And NPR is the one who has to apologize? You've got to be kidding. This guy is an unmitigated slimeball. Nobody should be afraid of or apologize to this a-hole.

NPR is the only source right now for in-depth news that's not a complete partisan tool or a shareholder value-serving fast-food news service. It is one of the last remaining news organizations that does news the old fashioned way, like Cronkite and Murrow. They actually know what "jounalistic standards" are and try to adhere to them. The other news outlets gave up that idea a while ago; it's all about profit for them.

Liberals, hold your head up, for god's sake. Stop being so cowed by these immature bullies. You are doing the right thing; stand up for what you believe in and tell all partisan hacks to go to hell!

Posted by: Buddydog | March 10, 2011 12:54 PM

Oh hardly, what has this nation come too? Since when is expressing a personal opinion, especially one that is the truth about the reactionary crazies of the Repugs, the Christian thuggery, or the heartland dunces? The nation is obviously doomed to mediocrity at best; fascist thuggery more likely, and economic slavery for sure! Frankly, I'm grateful to be old enough to only be angry, not have to endure the stupidity and avarice of the American peoples!

Posted by: CHAOTICIAN101 | March 10, 2011 12:52 PM

It's nice to see the WP covering this NPR story a little, CBS News has yet to mention a single word about the video or NPR top management (the Schillers) resignations.

Posted by: geo82170 | March 10, 2011 12:52 PM

She should not have resigned. What we have here is right wing yellow journalism being used to destroy good people and organizations to further a right wing agenda. That agenda is not in the best interests of the American people!! One day all of this will come back on the right and then they will scream that it is NOT FAIR! They wil be right but when you are attacking you must expect that those being attacked will return the favor. The right has many more of its Vitters and Ensigns that need to have the light of day turned on them and someone will do that.

Posted by: Freethotlib | March 10, 2011 12:48 PM

I read the Washington Post because the POV here--in news, opinions, and comments--is such a unique perspective: the Post offers its content to a well-educated, insulated, elistist readership for the most part, one that is as atypical of its general population service area as the content of the NY Times is of its general population. Out here in flyoverland (Garrison Keillor's Lake Woebegon), our press has less of a monied basis. Your base frees it from the influence of everything except your own internal delusions.

The point is, then, that the "liberal" perspectives in the comments in this thread really demonstrate the extreme isolation of such viewpoints from virtually all other geographic areas of the country.

NPR suffers the same problem: because its center is 'in Washington,' and because it came of age in the era of 1st-generation feminist activism and when political liberalism was largely successful in replacing core liberal values with Democrat Party vote-buying and entitlement expansion, its management cannot begin to see the issues at large in the Nation. Except, perhaps, through the bottom of their latte cups, hoisted high with the pinkie offput.

So, yes, the Schillers should have been fired. And, at least 40% of the content-maker management on site should come from West of the Ohio and East of the Sierra Nevadas, and the Whole Operation should be moved to St. Louis. Perhaps the NPR BOD should consider hiring Bill Kling as CEO, and giving him total power to clean house. Resident JAPs of either gender could be long gone in one shot and replace with MPR-type objective-moderate liberals. For at least the next forty years.

Posted by: jfhanson | March 10, 2011 12:28 PM

Yes. Nonprofit organizations have what is called a 'double bottom line'. This means that you must not only manage your organization's business functions - which it appears Ms. Schiller did very well by increasing NPR's digital footprint and improving its financial position - but you also have to manage the many stakeholders that are essential to your organization's success. In this case, managing the politics of NPR would be key especially with the reality of the new political climate.

It seems to me that the Board of Directors needs to do a self assessment in relationship to its oversight role of the Chief Executive. This controversy has been an occasion for people to bring up what seems to be long held concerns about Ms. Schiller's performance in handling the "soft" side of her role as the Chief Executive. Had these issues been addressed by the Board the may been able to avert this situation.

Posted by: mykaneawu | March 10, 2011 12:26 PM

Anyone who thinks NPR is not a leftist rhetoric spewing organization must live on Neptune. Anyone who thinks MSNBC, NBC, CBS don't also lean to the left might reside on Neptune as well.

And, if you think FOX doesn't lean to the right, you're in space too. The difference is really very simple. NPR gets some funding from the taxpayer! End of story!!

Posted by: rogerherd | March 10, 2011 12:13 PM

No, Vivian Schiller should not resign. She did nothing wrong and said nothing wrong. In fact she has been doing a great job at NPR! NPR does a great job of reporting the honest truth so it is no wonder that the GOP wants to stop funding it.

Posted by: Hawkestreet1 | March 10, 2011 11:52 AM

123njord wrote:
I am a so-called Tea Party supporter(without Republican or corporate control and influence) who is middle of the road right leaning and am very put off by NPR's extreme liberal ideology and also overall Jewish community control and influence.

Okaaaay... So you're a "middle of the road" tea party supporter who thinks Jews control the media. And 2 people at NPR lost their jobs because one thinks the Tea Part is racist and xenophobic? Fascinating.

Posted by: jb1151 | March 10, 2011 11:49 AM

No. Why should she?- the fund-raiser- yes. I would also say she should have gone further and said not only was she not going to resign- but she was going to pursue legal action agains the jerk for filming secretly and without permission. Maybe she wanted out and this gave her a playform to leave an try to look "noble"- which missed- but she should have stood her ground. She should also, as a member of the media chastised her brethren for being so quick to assume facts not in evidence, and to condemn even before the facts were all addressed.
Maybe it's good- maby NPR needs a stronger hand at the wheel.

Posted by: poppysue85 | March 10, 2011 11:36 AM


Posted by: Hollyhock | March 10, 2011 11:25 AM


Posted by: Hollyhock | March 10, 2011 11:24 AM

This is silly. Everyone knows that NPR favors leftist reporting. That an executive merely spoke the truth about NPR's agenda should hardly surprise anyone. And in some ways, it's refreshing that someone there was honest about it. For the Board to pretend otherwise fools only themselves. So, cut the funding and they can hire another leftist CEO and maybe try to be honest about their agenda.

Posted by: dncandme | March 10, 2011 11:17 AM

Schiller is irrelevant. Not one cent of taxpayer money should go to fund the liberal, elitist NPR. ZERO.

Posted by: hill_marty | March 10, 2011 10:57 AM

In order to save its federal funding, NPR (and PBS) must agree to have the money it receives allocated by state population, and that their national programming must also reflect that proportional mix. No more dominance by WGBH in Boston, WNET in New York or the other bastions of the Ivy League establishment, whether they like it or not. Let's see some more diverse sources of programming; I am certain some of those stations in "flyover" country can produce, intelligent, stimulating fare. Let public broadcasting be truly public, not dominated by coastal elites.

Posted by: VPaterno | March 10, 2011 10:45 AM

When you take Government money, it inevitably leads to reduction of your freedom. You change your behavior to maintain the subsidy.

Liberals at NPR would be better off giving up their Government subsidy so they can broadcast what they really think.

The issue will then be setted by the market place. Is there a commercial market for what liberals really think?

The answer is likely to be yes, but its a smaller market than the current NPR audience.

How much smaller remains to be seen.

One thing that hasn't been discussed in talking about funding NPR is corporte support. Ending the Government's subsidy and NPR publicly showing its true liberal colors is likely to cause substantial cutbacks in corporate donations.

So, NPR will become more dependent on left wing ideological donations, which in turn will push its broadcasting fiurther to the left.

Posted by: jfv123 | March 10, 2011 10:30 AM

It was not necessary to fire Schiller but if only Wall Street had similar standards. No one on Wall Street was fired for doing much worse than Schiller including ruining the country. Can't anyone stand up to the Right Wingers?

Posted by: interactingdc | March 10, 2011 10:27 AM

I hope she will be able to get extra appts with her psychiatrist!

Posted by: robeste | March 10, 2011 9:39 AM

I depend on NPR and other news outlets such as the BBC for better news coverages with less agenda and entertainment. Most news programs have leanings either left or right. However, I feel that NPR should not be given tax payer dollars and in light of this latest revelation which I have suspected for some time I will no longer be a contributor.
I am a so-called Tea Party supporter(without Republican or corporate control and influence) who is middle of the road right leaning and am very put off by NPR's extreme liberal ideology and also overall Jewish community control and influence.

Posted by: 123Njord | March 10, 2011 9:11 AM

"It is also a reminder for any chief executive to be careful who they hire. A poor subordinate will never make a chief look good."

That's not true at all...for one all they have to do is not make the CEO look bad, like this guy did. That's 90% of the battle. If they then on occasion make the CEO look brilliant they have a lifetime career.

I mean seriously careers are made and broken on one spectacular piece of news.

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | March 10, 2011 9:10 AM

We're seeing more and more evidence of the close association between the far-left and the radical Muslim jihadists.

Posted by: fury60 | March 10, 2011 9:08 AM

It's obvious after watching this video that NPR has some racist at the top of it's organization and there not very fair and balanced.

Posted by: geo82170 | March 10, 2011 8:59 AM

It's a hard call to make. A manager is ultimately responsible for her staff. After the Williams incident there should have been training on what kind of conduct is acceptable. It has to be fair across all boundaries. You can't say that it is ok to make negative comments about one group and not about another. Most of us have been through some type of sensitivity training at work and we know that while we are at work we keep our opinions to ourselves or risk the consequence of losing our job. You never know how someone will react to a personal opinion. It doesn't matter that you may feel that your opinion is the right one, it is still your opinion and that is inappropriate conduct in the workplace, or when you are representing your company.

If she instituted conduct training after the Williams incident and still had an employee careless enough to bahave inapproprately then the responsibility falls on the employee and she should not have to resign. If she did not attempt to make a cultural change that promotes a fair healthy non-threatening work place then yes she should have resigned. If nothing was learned from the Williams incident, then that shows a lack of adaptability, and that is not a good thing when it comes to being a leader.

Posted by: jmiller15 | March 10, 2011 8:58 AM

"It is also a reminder for any chief executive to be careful who they hire. A poor subordinate will never make a chief look good."

...it's not enough to be careful who you hire, all that says is that you have done your due-diligence.

You also have to keep track of where your employees are mentally while they still work for your organization.

You can't wait for one of them to set a schoolbus on fire and then deny any support for what they've done. You're supposed to be in regular communication with these people, especially your senior staff. If they go out on assignment for you thinking that it's ok to blow up their own ship? That's your fault.

I can't fault the board at all for this. I just hope they aren't stopping with her dismissal.

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | March 10, 2011 8:50 AM

...Ted Turner, you're outta here. Ted Leonsis? Time to hit the ice.

Roger Alies?
Don't let the door hit you where the Good Lord split you.

Anyone else? Pack your bags if you're even on Google.

Greatest idea EVAH!

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | March 10, 2011 8:44 AM

"She should have been fired. When the CEO of a news organization becomes the news, it is all over. "

Right, so Jobs should be fired and Bloomberg should fire himself.

Makes perfect sense.

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | March 10, 2011 8:42 AM

...I think that NPR has a very admirable news model: taking donations directly from listeners instead of selling air-time to advertisers and kowtowing to them, or living in the pockets of a media mogul.

It's a good model.
They ought to run with it.

They simply need some revenue-sharing arrangement to support their far-flung media empire.

They really ought to take a lesson from this and realize just how valuable certain types of news are to their listening audience. And I don't even understand what sense it makes to even *meet* with this guy and not take his money. He hands you a $5M check and you turn it down? How stupid is that? If you don't like his connections then why are you even meeting him?

The whole debacle was just stupid and if anything showed a serious problem with their fundraising organization.

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | March 10, 2011 8:40 AM

She should have been fired. When the CEO of a news organization becomes the news, it is all over. The entire NPR organization is full of bigots. If you do not agree with them 100% you are labeled a racist. Funding must be stripped from these bigots and see if they can stand on their own 2 feet.

Posted by: youngm1 | March 10, 2011 8:33 AM

"Her drive to force NPR into the limelight over the Juan Williams affair, and then hiring a fundraiser with obnoxious, off-the-wall views cemented the idea that she doesn't have the right stuff to run an American company."

..I don't think that his views were obnoxious and off the wall. I think that they were simply not what they needed in terms of someone who was willing to meet representatives of "a Muslim charity founded by the Muslim Brotherhood" and relate those views.

They weren't so much "bad" as wholly inappropriate for both his role and for public dissemination.

And I totally agree: they had to cap this gusher. Now. And send a strong message to the remaining staff. And they had to do so despite the possibility that it would be seen as unwise or catering to right-wing interests. One could even argue that the board was overly lax in even allowing this situation to develop just as the CEO was.

Bottom line it was either her head or the entire organization. Right now. Today.

And she can walk away from this knowing that she's cut her losses. In her position I'm not sure that I wouldn't have offered to resign first. She will definitely find another position that's at least as good as her current one. NPR could be in deep crap. It is facing the real possibility of having to go private in a world full of liberal private media outlets.

But most of all it is facing the decision that should have been made by now. To either take Federal funding or not. And to commit once that decision has been made. So if they have already made that decision then clearly not only did that guy have to go but anyone who kept him on board when he had such strong opinions and was not enough to not keep his mouth shut.

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | March 10, 2011 8:31 AM

Asking for her resignation made sense if you believe that she was responsible for having that guy be their chief fundraiser and letting him think that it would be wise to make such statements to prospective donors, whether they were or were not filming them secretively. Which is another issue entirely, and one that NPR should pursue in the courts, but still.

It does not make sense if you don't think that.

The fact is that NPR presents itself as an agency which needs federal funding from a Congress with a substantial Tea-Party representation, not to mention GOP representation. A simile is perhaps not the most apt tool for analyzing this, but allowing her staff members to go around making statements like this whether on or off the record is tantamount to a captain allowing their staff to run a ship on the rocks.

That's the situation they are in as long as they say they want Federal funding. And that's what she has to deal with, and NPR as a whole, and the NPR listeners. Their main problem is that they say in public that they need federal funding while apparently at least some of the upper management thinks they would be better off without it AND seriously disparages federal pols in conversations with private citizens.

Is the reality worse than this? We don't really know.

Is there anything that would send a stronger message to the staff? I doubt it.

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | March 10, 2011 8:23 AM

If she overreacted on the Williams flap then it doesn't appear that she'd condone Schiller's comments. If that's the case, given her accomplishments, why fire her?

Posted by: cib2 | March 10, 2011 8:06 AM

Someone has to take responsibility for this debacle, so it all fell on Schiller. Before she took over NPR, this was a quiet operation that made no news. Her drive to force NPR into the limelight over the Juan Williams affair, and then hiring a fundraiser with obnoxious, off-the-wall views cemented the idea that she doesn't have the right stuff to run an American company. Very bad leadership decisions, IMO

Posted by: edwardallen54 | March 10, 2011 6:37 AM

Schiller and these other closet haters all need to go and stop wasting tax payer dollars on cultural media. people are starving, out of work. our schools are failing miserably due to no discipline and no home structure, gas prices are off the charts and rising, Obama is afraid of his own shadow and won't help freddom seekers in Libya, Iran, or anywhere else and wants the world to solve the problem, racism and discrimination of anyone non-ethnic in this country is rampant, so there are far more things to worry about financing and fixing than an anti-semetic, pro-jihadist media outlet that takes money from people and uses it to bash them.

Posted by: doyouktt | March 10, 2011 6:21 AM

Seems like entrapment to me. Where is it written that reporters are not allowed to have their own opinions and voice them off the record?

Why is it that the right-wing operatives who condicted this sleazy exercise in gotcha journalism can tell bold faced lies to setup their victim, but the head of NPR must fall on her sword for simply having expressed an off the record opinion?

Do we really believe that she said anything more out of the mainstream than what Rupert Murdoch says in private to his friends?

Frankly, I'm outraged that the board of NPR rolled over without a fight. It implies an admission of guilt, when she hasn't done anything wrong.

What people say informally and in private should be held to a much lower standard that what they say on the record. People occasionally say regrettable things. Ever cell phone has a camera or recorder in it now.

Short of going on a drunken "I love hitler!" tirade, she should not have lost her job over it.

Posted by: rwolf01 | March 10, 2011 4:55 AM

No, people should not have to resign for telling the truth to a known felon. They should receive an award.

Posted by: xclntcat | March 10, 2011 4:42 AM

Shiller's brand of liberal bigotry and morally bankrupt political correctness, we can do without.

Posted by: carlbatey | March 10, 2011 1:43 AM

Of course she shouldn't have resigned. They should have made a real statement and simply fired her. As they say, the buck stops at that desk. When people she hired do what this guy did, there must be consequences. She gets paid the big bucks for success, she also earns the wrath if things go wrong. That's what being the boss means.

Posted by: Marin823 | March 9, 2011 11:09 PM

NPR should be cut off from any federal funding just like many other media who are on the federal dole. They claim only 2% of their funds come from the taxpares. If that is a fact they can solicit their supporters for the addtional funds they require to operate. Shiller was the victim of another ploy but should have resigned anyway.

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Posted by: zhengeee555 | March 9, 2011 9:37 PM

For telling the truth? Nah, there's far too little of that in today's society. Maybe he doesn't deserve a medal but he shouldn't have to resign.

Posted by: AHappyWarrior | March 9, 2011 9:35 PM

The problem with liberals is they have a sense of shame. When they get caught in a sting, they apologize and resign. Republicans ignore the revelations and shamelessly act if nothing happened, like Gov. Walker ignoring being caught by a liberal blogger yukking it up with his rich backer.

Posted by: csintala79 | March 9, 2011 9:23 PM

I am a liberal Democrat, but there is no longer a need for Federal financing of public radio or TV. Before cable TV and the internet, there were very limited choices of broadcast TV stations. It was valuable for the govt to support stations that focused on education, science, history, etc. Now we have History Channel, Science Channel, 3 different cable news (Right wing, middle, Left wing), etc. These are available on even the lowest cost cable or satellite package.

I still like the news on public TV stations, but it time for those of us that like public television and radio to support them directly.

I am a Dem, but believe we no longer need federal funding of public radio or TV.

Posted by: MissouriBoy | March 9, 2011 8:53 PM

Vivian Schiller presided over, through acquiescence if not encouragement, a culture of hate, bias and bigotry at NPR, on the tax payers' nickel. NPR's last request for a donation was sent back absent money, with an admonition that I wouldn't contribute another penny to them until Vivian Schiller was gone.

Good riddance. Yes, the former New York Times executive should have been asked for her resignation (SHE WAS FIRED, as she should have been).

Posted by: bbwk80a | March 9, 2011 8:29 PM

So, like the rest of us, NPR can downsize...what was the bonus? What are the salaries? I live in Washington on $25,000.00 a year and...as you know...the poverty level for a family of 4 is $24 thousand a year... so, now is the time for serious listeners to contribute and for NPR, WAMU to cut expenses and ...reduce salaries?

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | March 9, 2011 8:07 PM

I listen to WAMU all day and watch 26 for news. I learn better by listening than by reading..old eyes. I really did not want to know that Mr. Williams is frightened of being on a plane with passengers wearing long dress. He should have kept that to himself. But, my feeling is that some Americans who are curious and enjoy being educated by others ie:learning about other cultures, wars, living conditions by radio beats flying! It is easier to watch tv news...lots of pictures...so some people earn better and easier with pictures and no words. Obviously, some folk do not need to represent NPR...pathetic!

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | March 9, 2011 7:36 PM

The villain in this piece is the deceptive group who perpetrated the hoax. He is a nasty tea party creep. The NPR Board should have seen this for what it is and supported Schiller. The so-called tea party is racist and irrational. That the NPR Board would do this is reprehensible and puts them on that level.

Posted by: cbaer2 | March 9, 2011 6:47 PM

NO. Primary reasons are: 1. She wasn't the culprit. 2. The Tea Party show evidence of racism, both against Muslims and black people. 3. The pressure to shut NPR has NOTHING to do with this event and everything to do with ending any communication to the US populace that isn't filtered by Conservatives.

This is just another nail in the coffin of free speech.
This is about filtering what you hear, read or see so that you will not get any unbiased information.

Face it: everything you hear, read or see is filtered now and getting more filtered every day.

This individual tapped a senator's phone lines and wasn't punished. How can that be?

I want one person to disguise themselves as Conservatives and see if the leaders thereof aren't trying desperately to filter our information. Start with Roger Ales and Rupert Murdoch. Then try the Koch brothers.

They removed Thomas Jefferson from textbooks in Texas for Christ's sake.

Posted by: twilightblue | March 9, 2011 5:59 PM

I am with Klakey1. The conservatives have won another round.

When will people figure out that our politics is being driven by a goofy minority empowered by an unquestioned monolithic media machine with an agenda that is very good at moulding opinion.

Posted by: chitownhustler | March 9, 2011 5:54 PM

Last November, Fox News Chief Roger Ailes called NPR leadership a bunch of "Nazis."

No one at Fox demanded his resignation.

Ailes, rather than resigning, issued a non-apology by explaining that he should have said they were "nasty, inflexible bigots."

I'm just saying ....

Posted by: fhschecker1 | March 9, 2011 5:47 PM


Schiller reached a point where her mistakes kept NPR in a bad light. No organization can afford to retain an executive who becomes a focal point for bad news, as this will impede its mission. For NPR, that mission is delivering the news as a non-profit entity.

The loss of NPR's chief fund raiser and news director are painful reminders as to why executives should practice circumspection and discretion. In today's 24/7 news cycle, a brilliant career can be robbed of its substance by trivial controversy.

It is also a reminder for any chief executive to be careful who they hire. A poor subordinate will never make a chief look good.

Posted by: WilliamTerdoslavich | March 9, 2011 5:17 PM

Should Vivian Schiller have resigned. In a word, no. All that accomplished was to reward a right-wing propagandast and criminal, and those who lap up his lies, all to the harm of NPR, news reporting generally, and, down the road, the country. I hope that whoever replaces Shiller has more backbone.

Posted by: klakey1 | March 9, 2011 4:56 PM

Should Vivian Schiller have resigned. In a word, no. All that accomplished was to reward a right-wing propagandist and criminal, and those who lap up his lies, all to the harm of NPR, news reporting generally, and, down the road, the country. I hope that whoever replaces Schiller has more backbone.

Posted by: klakey1 | March 9, 2011 4:54 PM

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