Rodney Ho at the Atlanta-Journal Constitution was the first reporter to interview NPR CEO Vivian Schiller on Juan Williams’ firing.
She claims it was not the first time Juan Williams stepped over the line.
Q: So did Juan really get fired over just those Muslim comments? [He said he was uncomfortable with Muslims dressed in traditional garb on airplanes during a Fox News telecast yesterday.]
A: There have been several instances over the last couple of years where we have felt Juan has stepped over the line. He famously said last year something about Michelle Obama and Stokely Carmichael. [The quote on Fox News last year: Obama "has this Stokely-Carmichael-in-a-designer-dress thing going" and that she'll be an "albatross" for President Obama.]. This isn’t a case of one strike and you’re out.
Q: So this is obviously not an isolated incident.
A: There’s so much misinformation on the blogosphere, it’s nuts. This has been an on-going issue. When he does that, when anybody does that, it undermines their credibility as a journalist or in Juan’s case, a news analyst for NPR. Those two things cannot go together…
Q: Mike Huckabee is now saying NPR has discredited itself and should have federal funding revoked.
A: Yes, I heard that. This has become a political issue. My God, I’m shocked!
Q: Could NPR live without federal funding?
A: Let’s go on a sidebar. There’s a misperception about federal funding and public radio. There’s the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. They receive $90 million a year and a vast majority goes to member public radio stations. Those stations pull in more than $1 billion collectively a year. It’s significant and important but not even close to the lion’s share of revenues for public radio. NPR gets no allocation from CPB. Zero. We are a private 501(c)3. We’ve had journalists call up and ask what department of the government we report to. That’s laughable. Have you listened to our shows? We do apply for competitive grants from the likes of the Ford Foundation and the Knight Foundation. As a result, some money from CPB does come to us when we win grants. Depending on the year, it represents just one to three percent of our total budget.
Q: What is your annual budget?
A: $160 million a year from station fees and dues, corporate underwriting, philanthropic contributions from individuals and corporation and earned income and earnings from our endowment.
If NPR CEO Vivian Schiller is so unappreciative of the government contributions to NPR then she shouldn’t miss the cash if Republicans move to defund the far left news outlet.