The damage control effort over at National Public Radio (NPR) is at such a state that they've consulted a piece from Glenn Beck's TheBlaze.com to argue it's the victim of a smear operation. On Sunday morning's "Weekend Edition," NPR delved into the report.
When a sting operation launched by conservative James O'Keefe recorded a top NPR Foundation fundraiser making disparaging comments about Republicans and tea partiers, NPR faced heavy public scrutiny. But a publication created by Glenn Beck, described by an NPR correspondent as a "sort of a conservative 'Huffington Post,'" used the full-cut video of the operation, released after the original edited video, to argue that O'Keefe may have cut the video to cast some comments out of context.
(Click here for the NPR story, which includes audio and transcript of the segment.)
The "Blaze" report pulls multiple quotes by the NPR executive, Ron Schiller, shows them in the video produced by O'Keefe and then shows the full-cut which casts the remarks in a different context. The report's conclusion is that while Schiller's comments are cause for concern, so too is O'Keefe's editing process.
Yet Scott Baker of "The Blaze" himself even admits that the "full cut" of one of Schiller's most controversial remarks, about the "racist" Tea Partiers, does not change the context but simply adds some background.
Schiller was actually quoting Republicans (who voted for Obama) who were concerned about their party and its acceptance of Tea Party members. Schiller's point was generally in line with what his sources were saying.
NPR correspondent David Folkenflik's conclusion was that while O'Keefe claims to be an investigative journalist, the sting "seems like part of his conservative activism to bring down institutions."
In what seems to be an unprecedented move for NPR, much of its audience might be surprised that they drew from a Glenn Beck publication, of all places, for its defense.