As part of his big NPR sting operation (which was successful but perhaps not in the way he’d intended) James O’Keefe and company set up a fake website to buttress claims that the pair meeting with NPR fundraising execs belonged to the (fictitious) Muslim Education Action centre (MEAC) Trust.
The site, which now reveals its connection to O’Keefe’s Veritas project, was apparently enough to fool some anti-Muslim bloggers.
Namely, Pamela Geller, who you may recall, was the originator of the term Ground Zero Mosque, and spent much of the summer keeping it front and centre in the headlines.
From Salon’s Justin Elliot, who spotted the connection:
Pamela Geller, the blogger who deserves much of the credit for starting the “ground zero mosque” controversy, seized on MEAC’s website way back in January, pointing to passages on the website that promoted the bogeyman of sharia:
“We must combat intolerance to spread acceptance of Sharia across the world,” the site read. And added: “One path is continued confusion, hatred, intolerance and discrimination, and the other is the truth and beauty of the Quran. America has been struggling with which road to choose primarily because it does not know or understand the beauty of our holy teachings.”
So yes, Geller was using a fake website set up to entrap NPR as a way to justify her anti-Muslim stance. Hooray media.
Meanwhile! NPR is facing further calls for reduced funding in light of today’s debacle. Here is their most recent statement. Schiller has been put on administrative leave ahead of his already planned departure.
The comments contained in the video released today are contrary to everything we stand for, and we completely disavow the views expressed. NPR is fair and open minded about the people we cover. Our reporting reflects those values every single day – in the civility of our programming, the range of opinions we reflect and the diversity of stories we tell.
The assertion that NPR and public radio stations would be better off without federal funding does not reflect reality. The elimination of federal funding would significantly damage public broadcasting as a whole.
Prior to the lunch meeting presented in the edited video, Ron Schiller had informed NPR that he was resigning from his position to take a new job. His resignation was announced publicly last week, and he was expected to depart in May. While we review this situation, he has been placed on administrative leave.
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