Vivian Schiller, the NPR president and CEO who resigned March 9, stated in a late March interview that she plans to stay in journalism despite the recent controversy.
What needs to be emphasized here and now is that Schiller’s NPR frequently provided a platform for extremists in a forum where they were sheltered as experts.
One glaring example of this that escaped the eyes of media watchdogs occurred less than a month before Vivian Schiller’s exit.
On NPR’s Morning Edition show on February 15, 2011 Foreign Affairs correspondent Jackie Northam interviewed Arab American Institute (AAI) leader Jim Zogby.
Zogby stated: “We need to have a revolution here. And we need a revolution in our approach to how we deal with the Middle East. We cannot have a policy where we treat one group of people as the only people who count and the other group of people as pawns we move around on the board.”
What’s worse is that Northam did not ask Zogby to clarify what he meant by a “revolution.” The NPR website staff changed the meaning of Zogby’s comments by editing it to: “We need a revolution in our approach to how we deal with the Middle East.”
Listen to the entire interview for yourself, here.
Zogby offered two distinct comments in the audio: (1) “We need to have a revolution here.” And (2) we need a revolution in our approach to how we deal with the Middle East.” He clearly paused and even very briefly chuckled between the two separate ideas.
For example in the same story NPR quotes him without direct quotes in the following sentence:
But, he says, the foreign policy elite in the U.S. is too entrenched.
“Foreign policy elite” is Zogby codespeak for both AIPAC specifically and the pro-Israel camp in general. The term compares with the rhetoric utilized by anti-Semitic extremists who refer to the U.S. federal government as ZOG (the Zionist Occupied Government).
These comments also differ little than Helen Thomas’s outbursts. That should come as no surprise though, Zogby’s AAI issued a shameful defense of Helen Thomas.
Zogby doesn’t deserve an open platform on NPR. He belongs in the same dustbin of exposed extremists where Helen Thomas now finds herself. NPR doesn’t deserve federal funding. Schiller doesn’t deserve another position in journalism. America deserves better.