After conservative activist James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas released footage of a staged meeting with two executives from National Public Radio early Monday, NPR released statements Monday confirming the immediate resignation of Ron Schiller, NPR’s senior vice president for development and president of the NPR Foundation.
“While the meeting I participated in turned out to be a ruse, I made statements during the course of the meeting that are counter to NPR’s values and also not reflective of my own beliefs. I offer my sincere apology to those I offended,” Schiller announced in a statement. “I resigned from NPR, previously effective May 6th, to accept another job. In an effort to put this unfortunate matter behind us, NPR and I have agreed that my resignation is effective today.”
In addition, Vivian Schiller, NPR president and CEO, echoed Ron Schiller’s comments. “Ron Schiller’s remarks are contrary to what NPR stands for and deeply distressing to reporters, editors and others who bring fairness, civility and respect for a wide variety of viewpoints to their work everyday,” she said.
Vivian Schiller made national headlines last fall after announcing NPR had fired Fox News contributor Juan Williams over comments he made during an FNC opinion segment. O’Keefe acknowledged Tuesday that the undercover NPR sting stemmed from Williams’ dismissal.
“My colleague Shaughn Adeleye who posed as one of the members of the Muslim Brotherhood was pretty offended with what happened with Juan Williams and he suggested looking into NPR after that incident back in the fall,” O’Keefe told CNN. “My other colleague, Simon Templar, came up with the idea to have a Muslim angle since Juan Williams was fired due to his comments. So we decided to see if there was a greater truth or hidden truth amongst these reporters and journalists and executives.”
Williams himself responded to O’Keefe’s investigation, the candid comments made by Ron Schiller and NPR’s standards of balanced journalism.
“This was an act of incredible condescension,” Williams told Fox News Tuesday. “The rank hypocrisy of [Ron Schiller's] remarks was telling for me. They will say things to your face about how there’s no liberal orthodoxy at NPR, how they play it straight, but now you see it for what it is. They prostitute themselves for money.”
In addition, Williams called Schiller’s remarks about Jews dominating the newspaper industry “outright anti-Semitism,” and considered his anti-tea party bias as revealing NPR’s “real feelings.” This is how they talk behind the scenes, Williams says. “This is how they really feel.”
Tuesday evening, Williams appeared on FNC’s Hannity to discuss the matter further: