We've already covered James O'Keefe's major NPR video of the day while highlighting our concerns. We've also covered NPR's response. Now, new video of the exchange between NPR executives and O'Keefe's fake actors has surfaced, and that's worth covering, too.
The Washington Times has gotten a hold of extra content not featured in the original release. In the new video, executives Ron Schiller and Betsy Liley can be seen discussing how their science editor covers climate change. The pair seems to suggest NPR's science coverage intentionally does not include comments from climate change skeptics:
Ms. Liley talks about a donor who would only give to NPR if the outlet did not talk to those who believe climate change is not happening:
"This funder said to us, ' you know you would like us to support your environmental coverage, but we really don't want to give you money if you're going to talk to the people who think climate change is not happening,'" Ms. Liley recounted.
She continues to say, "It is a complicated thing, though. There's a political question and there is a scientific question and we were talking to him about supporting the science desk. And so we've gone back to the science editor and asked how have you planned to cover this thing? Our coverage, if you look at our coverage, you would say that science coverage has accepted that climate change is happening and we're covering it. But in politics, our Washington desk, might actually cover it should it resurface as a political issue...this debate."
Schiller chimes in:
"The main point here is that it is not our responsibility to present the opinion of a non-scientist through our science desk. All educated scientists accept that climate change as fact. On the political side, however, where it is not accepted as fact, and the fact that debate is happening is news and it's really important news. And our point of view requires that we cover that debate, if for no other reason than to have Americans understand there are still people who believe that it is not fact."
We've reached out to NPR for comment on this video and have yet to hear back.
From the looks of the Times story, it appears it had access to the video and edited its own excerpts. Readers will notice that the Times video (featured in its original story) does not have closed captioning like O'Keefe's, and yesterday, a Times reporter even asked NPR CEO Vivian Schiller if she would accept donation's from an organization affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
To be sure, it isn't odd for a group such as O'Keefe's to tip a news outlet about a story.
On a side note, O'Keefe has theoretically released the full, unedited video. However, in order to view it one needs a upgraded Vimeo video account, available by subscription only.
Readers no longer need an upgraded Vimeo account to view the unedited footage.