A Week Later, NPR Decides to Fight After All
Now, on Monday’s Morning Edition, NPR spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm was quoted by the organization’s media correspondent David Folkenflik as saying O’Keefe “inappropriately edited the videos with an intent to discredit” NPR, and noting that Schiller made “egregious statements.” Folkenflik also spoke with the Poynter Institute’s Al Tompkins, and Thompkins described the differences between the two-and-half hours of unedited O’Keefe video and the more provocative eleven-and-a-half minute video:
One “big warning flag” Tompkins saw in the shorter tape was the way it made it appear that Schiller had laughed and commented “really, that’s what they said?” after being told that the fake Muslim group advocates for sharia law. In fact, the longer tape shows that Schiller made that comment during an “innocuous exchange” that had nothing to do with the supposed group’s position on sharia law, David reports.
Tompkins also says that O’Keefe’s edited tape ignores the fact that Schiller said “six times … over and over and over again” that donors cannot buy the kind of coverage they want on NPR.
All judgment over the quality of the video and the validity of the anti-NPR case aside, this is some pretty odd defense strategy. If NPR was going to point out that the video was questionable, what took them so long? Hasn’t the damage already been done? Who’s running strategy over there, and why play dead for a week only to come back to fight the next?