Last week, National Public Radio CEO Vivian Schiller took a break from her crusade for a government takeover of the media to swat a fly. With now-former NPR analyst Juan Williams suitably splattered across the evening news after politically incorrect comments he made on Fox News, Schiller can return to her real passion – the creation of a national network to ensure that in the future, you get your news from the government in general and NPR in particular.
Schiller could barely contain her rage at Fox News and at Williams last week, saying he should discuss his fear of boarding a plane with Muslim passengers with “his psychiatrist.” Those who understand what is at stake saw the Williams/Schiller dust up for what it really was – a declaration of war by one of the most powerful women in journalism against for-profit, non-liberal media. If Schiller and her liberal friends have their way, Fox and its viewers will pay the bill for her new government news network.
As Schiller explained in a speech to the NPR board of directors in 2009, it is public radio’s responsibility to fill the gap in journalism left by dying local television stations and newspapers.
Schiller, a former New York Times executive, is one of a few dozen power players working with the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and a leftist group called Free Press to “reinvent journalism.” That’s how the FTC describes it. The FCC calls what they are doing the “Future of Journalism.” Free Press, a think tank funded by leftist billionaire George Soros, among others, calls it “the new public media.”
It’s all the same thing, a plan to take over local news coverage from for-profit television, radio and print media, which Schiller and her friends claim is in danger of extinction. These “friends” get together regularly with the heads of the FCC and FTC to brainstorm the details in government and congressional meetings. These meetings include the leaders of all the country’s public broadcasting outlets, including PBS, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and American Public Media.