Talk about shooting oneself in the foot. In PR, one doesn’t throw management overboard in the midst of a crisis. A cooling-off period is needed. That’s a lesson for the bonehead board of directors at National Public Radio who jettisoned President Vivian Schiller today in the wake of the hatchet job on VP-development Ron Schiller (no kin to Vivian) conducted by the king of political guerrilla warfare James O’Keefe.
The left could use some guys like JOK.
The sacking of Vivian Schiller is a gift from heaven for right-wing zealots who want to disconnect NPR from the federal funding pipeline. One of my favorites, Bill Wilson of Americans for Limited Government, has this to say:
“NPR CEO Vivian Schiller should have been forced to resign months ago after her outrageous firing of Juan Williams because he did not toe their orthodox liberal line. Her leaving now does not change the glaringly obvious fact that public broadcasting is nothing more than an expensive toy run by pseudo-intellectual snobs who despise the rest of us. Not one dime of taxpayer's money should be spent to fund public broadcasting.”
[Full disclosure: this snob just renewed his NPR membership.]
With the rising Republican tide, NPR is in the fight of its political life. All hands should be on deck. Last night, VS did her part, condemning RS for his statement that NPR would be better off without federal taxpayers and his stupid (but true) crack about the Tea Party and the GOP.
Shocked by the content of the secret videotape of RS, VS called his quotes “contrary to what NPR stands for” and "deeply distressing” to the NPR team. Good stuff. She was fired up. The New York Times reported that VS hurried back to Washington from New York to deal with the crisis. "Everyone's upset. I'm upset, who wouldn't be upset," she told the paper.
Remarkably, NPR’s board threw VS under the bus. Chair Dave Edwards issued a mealy-mouth statement, announcing that the board accepted the resignation of VS, with “understanding, genuine regret, and great respect for her leadership of NPR these past two years.”
That begs the question: if the board has such great respect for VS why did it abandon her?
NPR later reported that VS left only after the board decided that she had to go, which challenges the veracity of Edwards' statement. Vivian wasn't the one who was duped by O'Keefe and his bogus Muslim Education Action Center Trust.
Last night’s warrior is today’s scapegoat.
If it wants to remain on the public dole, NPR needs some backbone. This blogger can’t imagine the crew at Fox News throwing in the towel if Rupert’s gang was put in the same circumstances as NPR. As Sarah Palin likes to say, it’s time for NPR to “man up.”
The geniuses on NPR's board have established an Executive Transition Committee that will "develop a timeframe and process for the recruitment and selection of new leadership." More gobbledygook.
ETC better act fast. If the GOPers get their way, NPR might not be around much longer.