Monday, March 14, 2011

NPR video presented misleadingly

Posted By on Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 10:27 AM

What a surprise. Conservative political hit man James O'Keefe presented his hit video on an NPR fund-raiser in a misleading way. The full context is far more less damaging (and lends more credence to the notion that NPR folded all too quickly on this hit job.)

A writer at the Poynter Institute had earlier made several of the same points in quoting from other reporting:

The Blaze story identifies several important differences that color viewers’ perception of what happened:

* Connections to the Muslim Brotherhood are decidedly less prominent in the unedited version.

* “In the raw video, Schiller also speaks positively about the GOP. He expresses pride in his own Republican heritage and his belief in fiscal conservatism.”

* The description of members of the tea party as “xenophobic” and “seriously racist” isn’t Ron Schiller’s; he is recounting the opinions of two top Republicans, although Schiller did agree with it.

* While the edited video indicates that Ron Schiller believes liberals are more educated than conservatives, in the raw video he “is hesitant to criticize the education of conservatives and the other executive, Betsy Liley, is outspoken in her defense of the intellects of Fox News viewers.”

* In the raw video, Ron Schiller “explains the risk to local stations in more detail and why NPR is doing ‘everything we can to advocate for federal funding.’ “

There’s a difference — though O’Keefe ignores it — between “a truth” and “the truth.”

All these surreptitiously recorded comments, whether uttered by a low-level office employee or a high-level executive, are portrayed as if they represent official policy of these organizations.

Again: It doesn't matter. The desired O'Keefe narrative has been received in the Fox/Limbaugh/Hannity/Drudge/O'Reilly echo chamber and duly memorialized as gospel. Sadly, NPR's timid response contributed to the impact.

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