The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘National Palestinian Radio’ Sting Shows That Liberals Still Blame America First

Posted on | March 9, 2011 | 10 Comments

During James O’Keefe’s undercover video sting of (now ex-)National Public Radio executive Ron Schiller, “Ibrahim Kassan” — pretending to represent a Muslim Brotherhood front group that wanted to make a large donation to the NPR foundation — made a number of provocative statements about Jewish control of the media:

“Jews do kind of control the media or, I mean, certainly the Zionists and the people who have the interests in swaying media coverage toward a favorable direction of Israel,” the man posing as Ibrahim Kassam said as Schiller concurred. . . .
“The Palestinian viewpoint — since NPR is one of the few places that has the courage to really present it — there is kind of a joke, we used to call it National Palestine Radio,” said Kassam while Schiller laughs and the second executive featured in the tape, NPR’s director of institutional giving Betsy Liley, replies, “That’s good, I like that.”

As Philip Klein of The American Spectator points out, “Schiller chimes in, saying that Zionist influence doesn’t exist at NPR, but ‘it’s there in those who own newspapers obviously.’ ” Was that a shot at Pinch Sulzberger of the New York Times?

Jack Shafer of Slate attempts a defense of Schiller, saying that ” rich people . . . have a lot of crazy ideas” and “we’d last about 15 seconds in the fundraising business if every time a potential donor said something crazy or offensive, we told them to shut their pie hole.”

Nice try, Jack. But O’Keefe’s sting also involved setting up a Web site for the group “Kassam” supposedly represented, so that Schiller knew going into that lunch meeting that the agenda of the “Muslim Education Action Center” was to “spread acceptance of Sharia across the world.”

Or at least if Schiller didn’t know what “MEAC” was about, he had no excuse for not knowing. This goes back to what O’Keefe’s sting was intended to demonstrate: While NPR was so sensitive about “Islamophobia” that it fired Juan Williams for expressing concern about Islamic terrorism, NPR was willing to accept donations from an organization that was unabashed in its radical Islamic enthusiasms.

So now the news is that NPR CEO Vivian Schiller (no relation to Ron Schiller) has resigned:

“The Board accepted her resignation with understanding, genuine regret, and great respect for her leadership of NPR these past two years,” board chairman Dave Edwards said in a statement.

But as Jeff Dunetz of Yid With Lid notes, the CEO’s “resignation” was actually a firing, as NPR’s media reporter David Folkenflik said: “I’m told by sources that she was forced out — that this was, I guess, the final shoe dropping, you could say.”

What have we learned? A few years ago, it was often said that “9/11 changed everything” and, in some sense, I guess it did. But the change for most Americans — a long-overdue wake-up call to the threat of Islamic jihad — was different than the change for liberals like these NPR executives. For liberals, 9/11 was a morality tale about America’s alleged sins against the Muslim world, in which America’s ally Israel was the villain and al-Qaeda terrorists were in some sense justified in hating America. (“Chickens coming home to roost,” so to speak.)

More than 35 years ago, Jeanne Kirkpatrick described the essence of liberalism’s foreign policy instincts:

They said that saving Grenada from terror and totalitarianism was the wrong thing to do – they didn’t blame Cuba or the communists for threatening American students and murdering Grenadians – they blamed the United States instead.
But then, somehow, they always blame America first.
When our Marines, sent to Lebanon on a multinational peacekeeping mission with the consent of the United States Congress, were murdered in their sleep, the “blame America first crowd” didn’t blame the terrorists who murdered the Marines, they blamed the United States.
But then, they always blame America first.
When the Soviet Union walked out of arms control negotiations, and refused even to discuss the issues, the San Francisco Democrats didn’t blame Soviet intransigence. They blamed the United States.
But then, they always blame America first.
When Marxist dictators shoot their way to power in Central America, the San Francisco Democrats don’t blame the guerrillas and their Soviet allies, they blame United States policies of 100 years ago.
But then, they always blame America first.

Some things never change.

UPDATE: Jeff G. at Protein Wisdom points out that NPR is “an entity so practiced at building and maintaining improbable cultural narratives,” yet has now lost control of its own narrative. Permit me to suggest that the secret of NPR’s narrative-control operation was their exclusion of dissent from the discourse. But you already knew that, right?

UPDATE II: Oops: PBS Got Stung, Too.


Comments are closed.