NPR Executive Ron Schiller Resigns After Calling Tea Party 'Racist'

Ron Schiller - NPR PR Portrait - 2010

He says his videotaped comments are “counter to NPR's values and also not reflective of my own beliefs.”

NEW YORK - An NPR executive resigned Tuesday night after being caught on tape calling Tea Partiers “racist” and saying that the Republican Party has been “hijacked” by the Tea Party, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The departure of Ron Schiller, who headed up NPR fundraising efforts, came after an NPR spokeswoman had said that the news organization was “appalled” by his comments and said they were contrary to what it stands for.

Schiller made the comments to men posing as members of an Islamic civic group. He had previously announced that he would soon leave NPR for another job at the Aspen Institute.

"While the meeting I participated in turned out to be a ruse, I made statements during the course of the meeting that are counter to NPR's values and also not reflective of my own beliefs," Schiller said in a statement, according to the Journal. "I offer my sincere apology to those I offended."

Vivian Schiller, president and CEO of NPR, also issued a statement on the early departure. "Ron Schiller's remarks are contrary to what NPR stands for and are deeply distressing to reporters, editors and others who bring fairness, civility and respect for a wide variety of viewpoints to their work everyday," she said, according to the Journal.

Vivan stepped down Wednesday.

The two Schillers are not related.