After conservative activist and secret videographer James O’Keefe released his first NPR ‘sting’ video the other day NPR officials were quick to point out that they had quickly and numerously turned down the $5million the fictitious Muslim group was pretending to offer.
Now O’Keefe has released new audio [below] purporting to show that in fact the donation got further up the chain than NPR execs claimed.
The secretly recorded audio is between NPR executive Betsy Liley, who was seen in the first video lunching with Ron Schiller, and one of the fake Muslim donors.
In the audio the fake donor presses Liley on whether the $5 million would be anonymous. From the Daily Caller:
Kasaam follows up by asking: “The fact that NPR is not only a tax-exempt organisation, but also receives direct contributions from the government — does that invite some sort of government oversight or government examination of contributions, et cetera?”
Liley answered: “They have audited our programs at times and, I think, as part of that, they can look at our audited financials. If you are concerned in any way about that, that’s one reason you might want to be an anonymous donor. And, we would certainly, if that was your interest, want to shield you from that.”
Liley mentioned a precedent at NPR — in more than $80 million in donations from universities.
“As I said, like this guy that I used to work with who gave – where I used to work for the university, I don’t know, $5 or $10 or $12 million, he was just entered into the database as anonymous,” Liley said. “I knew who he was and about five other people did, but there was no paperwork in any official place that identified him as that donor.”
In response NPR released a statement about the audio:
The statement made by Betsy Liley in the audio tapes released today regarding the possibility of making an anonymous gift that would remain invisible to tax authorities is factually inaccurate and not reflective of NPR’s gift practices. All donations – anonymous and named – are fully reported to the IRS. NPR complies with all financial, tax and disclosure regulations.
Through unequivocal words and actions, NPR has renounced and condemned the secretly recorded statements of Ron Schiller and Betsy Liley. Mr. Schiller is no longer with NPR and Ms. Liley has been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation of the matter.
No stronger statement of disavowal and disapproval is possible. NPR will not be deterred from its news mission and will ultimately be judged by the millions and millions of listeners and readers who have come to rely on us every day.
They also provided TPM with four pages pages of emails to back this claim up: In the emails now-former CEO Vivan Schiller, who resigned Wednesday, and her staff discuss “a potential donation from MEAC, the fake Muslim group created by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas to infiltrate NPR.”
In an e-mail dated March 3, sent by the recently resigned Schiller to Betsy Liley, who appears in the two O’Keefe tapes, and two other staffers, Schiller suggests that MEAC is behaving oddly and that she can’t accept a donation without further information — despite pressure from the group to take the money immediately. She also correctly notes that MEAC’s information would have to be provided to the IRS, resolving an issue that Lilely appears to have left unclear in a conversation with a phony Muslim donor depicted in the most recently released video.
Meanwhile, O’Keefe is ‘threatening’ to release more videos depending on how NPR reacts to this one.
One imagines no one at NPR will ever again answer a phone or take a lunch without first asking if they are being recorded.
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