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It has not been a good week for NPR. On Tuesday, executive Ron Schiller, who headed up NPR’s fundraising efforts, resigned after being caught on tape calling Tea Partiers “racist” and saying that the Republican Party has been “hijacked” by the Tea Party.
The next day, NPR president and CEO Vivian Schiller resigned in light of the Schiller controversy. (NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik said on the NPR show Morning Editionthat he was informed by sources ” that she was forced out.”)
And on Thursday, a secretly recorded audiotape was released of NPR’s senior director of institutional giving, Betsy Liley, telling a person she believed was a potential donor that NPR could possibly shield the donation from the IRS, reports the New York Times.
Both the Ron Schiller and the Liley incidents were the result of stings set up by controversial Republican filmmaker-activist James O’Keefe, who has released secret videotapes of Planned Parenthood and social services grassroots organization ACORN, among others.
O’Keefe duped Liley into believing she was talking to prospective donors from an organization called the Muslim Education Action Center, which inquired about making a $5 million donation, and inquired about avoiding reporting the donation to the IRS..
Liley responded, “I think that is the case, especially if you were anonymous, and I can inquire about that.”
NPR responded with a statement, and after calling Liley’s suggestion to the faux Muslim group “factually inaccurate” proclaimed that “All donations — anonymous and named — are fully reported to the I.R.S.”
Liley was placed on administrative leave Tuesday as the case is being further investigated.
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