James O’Keefe Tried to Scam PBS Too

But PBS smelled something funny
Wingnuts • Views: 31,574

Admitted criminal and right wing attack dog James O’Keefe didn’t just target NPR with his phony Muslim organization scam; his cronies also contacted the Public Broadcasting System.

According to PBS spokeswoman Anne Bentley, they had an initial conversation with O’Keefe’s “Muslim Education Action Center,” but put an end to discussions when they couldn’t verify the group’s credentials.

NPR could have saved themselves a lot of grief by doing the same thing. Maybe NPR and PBS should start sharing information about attempted right wing stings.

UPDATE at 3/9/11 2:14:40 pm

More information at the NYT’s Media Decoder blog: Like NPR, PBS Met With Fictional Donors.

Anne Bentley, a PBS spokeswoman, said PBS’ senior vice president for development, Brian Reddington, attended a lunch with the fake donors in February. She said she had “no sense at all” of whether Mr. Reddington was taped during that lunch; when asked if PBS was concerned about a possible tape surfacing, she declined to comment.

Ms. Bentley said that Mr. Reddington came back from the lunch with “profound concerns about the organization” and began what she called a routine vetting process “when there is an appearance of a conflict of interest and to ensure they meet requirements of transparency and openness.”

“Attempts to confirm the credentials of the organization proved unsatisfactory and communication was halted by PBS,” she said.

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