A newly released video from James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas indicates National Public Radio executives intended to accept a $5 million donation from a fictitious Muslim Brotherhood front group, the Muslim Education Action Center (MEAC) Trust.
NPR maintains they “refused” the check multiple times, but the video released today clearly shows NPR’s Senior Director of Institutional Giving, Betsy Liley, telling a member of the fictitious Muslim charity that NPR could help shield the charity from a government audit of NPR’s books by accepting the donation anonymously:
As the Daily Caller reports the video report details phone calls and an e-mail exchange between Ms. Liley and an undercover investigator identified as Ibrahim Kasaam:
When a man posing as Ibrahim Kasaam asked, “It sounded like you were saying NPR would be able to shield us from a government audit, is that correct?” NPR’s senior director of institutional giving, Betsy Liley, responded, “I think that is the case, especially if you are anonymous. I can inquire about that.” According to conservative James O’Keefe, whose Project Veritas organization conducted the NPR sting organization, the man posing as Kasaam made two follow-up phone calls to Liley after their lunch.
Liley said a $5 million donation would amount to about “10 years of support.”
Kasaam follows up by asking: “The fact that NPR is not only a tax-exempt organization, 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.”
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Following their phone calls, Liley checked with NPR’s senior management, and sent an e-mail to the man posing as Kasaam saying MEAC was cleared to make an anonymous donation of $5 million.
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That e-mail directly contradicts NPR’s public statements issued in the wake of O’Keefe’s first video. “The fraudulent organization represented in this video repeatedly pressed us to accept a $5 million check, with no strings attached, which we repeatedly refused to accept,” NPR spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm said in NPR’s official response.
So the bottom line is they were lying about turning down the check… I’ll repeat what I said the other day: cut the purse strings. Let NPR compete in the market place like everyone else.
NPR’s official response is here.
Update (Friday, March 11, 2011 @ 9:45 a.m.): NPR has released e-mails showing its top staff raised questions about accepting a $5 million donation from the fictitious Muslim Education Action Center. Frankly the e-mails are a point in NPR’s favor, they clearly show Vivian Schiller explained to “Kasaam” after his conversation with Ms. Liley that they couldn’t shield the groups donation from the IRS. Other e-mails show NPR’s counsel, Joyce Slocum, politely informing “Kasaam” that he’d have to prove his group was a genuine 501(c)(3) organization before NPR could accept their donation… Which would seem to bolster NPR’s claim that they “refused” the check multiple times.
- NPR hosts, journalists ‘appalled’ by Ron Schiller’s comments – The Poynter Institute