New NPR video: Does it show executive discussing hiding donation from fake group from federal audit?
Conservative activist filmmaker James O'Keefe struck again today, posting audio of phone calls with NPR executive Betsy Liley which seems to show her discussing ways to keep a donation from a group connected to the Muslim Brotherhood from federal audit.
BUT - because O'Keefe has a history of manipulative fimmaking, there's lots of questions remaining in the wake of this release.
Did Liley remember that the men mentioned in passing during a lunch that their group was founded by people who used to be in the Muslim Brotherhood? Was she just describing the kind of confidentiality available to anyone who gives money anonymously to charity? Is there anything odd about this conversation beyond the fact that O'Keefe now says his fake group admitted ties to the Muslim Brotherhood?
In fact, NPR officials say they never accepted a fake check from the fake group, despite repeated attempts by O'Keefe's people to make it happen, because they couldn't verify the fake group's fake credentials.
NPR's biggest mistake -- besides their chief fundraiser launching into an awful tirade about conservatives -- seems to be taking a meeting with members of O'Keefe's fake group before they had checked them out. PBS officials seem to have made the same mistake, but there's no video of them released....yet.
Nearly two dozens journalists at NPR also signed and relased a letter denouncing their former head of fund-raising's secretly videotaped comments as "offensive" words which "have done real damage to NPR," while assuring the public they will continue striving for fairness. (Full disclosure, I contribute commentaries to NPR as a freelance commentator on TV issues.)
Jack Shafer at Slate has a great column on how NPR's board seems to have ousted a number of executives there amid controversy. But they didn't fire CEO Vivian Schiller after the Juan Williams debacle and claim that they didn't demand Schiller fire her vice president of news Ellen Weiss -- though the CEO did get rid of her, anyway.
And what worries me most -- I've already seen GOP U.S. Rep. Mike Pence and The Wrap website refer to O'Keefe as a journalist, despite his use of tactics most journalists would find unethical. how long before this becomes the new face of cutting edge "reporting"?
O'Keefe's video is below: