Commentary Magazine


Republican Congressman Responds to NPR Sting Video

The Washington Examiner’s Byron York spoke to Rep. Doug Lamborn, who is spearheading the GOP battle to defund NPR, about his thoughts on the NPR sting video released earlier today.

“I am amazed at the condescension and arrogance that we saw in the sting video,” Lamborn told York. “They seem to be viewing themselves as elites living in an ivory tower, and they are obviously out of touch with ordinary Americans.”

Lamborn is amazed by this? Has he never tuned into NPR before? He didn’t need a sting video to tell him what he could have figured out by listening to All Things Considered for 15 minutes.

There’s no doubt that former NPR fundraising official Ron Schiller’s statements about politics were offensive and his comments about Zionists and the media were troubling. But other than highlighting that his actions as an NPR executive were unprofessional and inappropriate, these remarks don’t tell us much of substance.

The real issue from the video that the GOP needs to focus on is Schiller’s statements about how NPR can live without government funding (that is, if Republicans want to give attention to the sting tape at all — which may not be the best move). Lamborn noted in his comments to York: “The real crux of the video was when the guy … admitted that they could survive and would even be better off without federal funding,” said Lamborn. “That’s what I’m hoping happens.”

If Republicans decide to use the contents of the video in their fight against NPR, they will do best to avoid exploiting Schiller’s inflammatory statements for political purposes and concentrate solely on the funding issue.