Blogs > HNN > Ripping the Veil Off NPR's Burqa

Mar 10, 2011 1:19 pm

Ripping the Veil Off NPR's Burqa

A recent conservative “sting” operation taped National Public Radio fund-raising executive Ron Schiller maligning members of the Tea Party as “white,” “gun-toting” and “seriously racist.” (This would be news to the chief Tea Partier I know, a black friend at my church who owns his own jewelery store chain and despises Barack Obama.) Schiller also slandered the paramount conservative movement of our time as "fundamentalist Christian" and "xenophobic" and claimed that it has “hijacked” the GOP. As fatuous and unmoored from reality as these statements are, Schiller has in fact received more attention for stating that NPR would be better off sans federal funding. But in my opinion, neither Schiller’s leftist dementia nor his surprising financial candor is the most remarkable revelation from this tape; rather, the most revealing and disheartening aspect of Schiller’s uncoerced confession is that he confided it to what he thought were Muslims.

NPR Reporters Headed to Staff Meeting

One should perhaps not be surprised, considering Schiller is educated not in history or religion or even political science, but in music—well, that’s what Philistines like me call “conducting, composition and arranging.” I doubt that Schiller has ever actually met a practicing Christian at places like Cornell or NPR, much less a “fundamentalist” one; likewise, he’s probably never seen anyone “gun-toting” outside of a movie screen. Schiller, who has a male partner according to his NPR bio, would seem to one of the ranks of gay liberals who detest Christians far more than Muslims, for reasons that, while they might be emotionally satisfying, are quite simply devoid of logic. (When I was still working as a college professor, a gay colleague remarked to me once that he “was more scared of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson than Usama bin Ladin.” When I pointed out that Southern Baptists did not fly planes into buildings, he somewhat backtracked but refused to recant his idiocy.) For in Schiller’s view of the world, like that of my former colleague, Baptists and other Christians who take the Bible literally are the real enemy—this despite the fact that the New Testament nowhere calls for any punishment of homosexuality (although it does, of course, list it as a sin in Romans 1:18ff, I Corinthians 6:9ff and I Timothy 1:8ff); on the other hand Muslims, whose Qur’an (especially Sura al-Nisa’ [4]:15) and shari`ah (Islamic law) still prescribe punishment—including death—for homosexuality, are seen as fellow misunderstood victims and thus potential political allies against the real oppressors, Christians and conservatives. NPR will brook no dissension from this line of dhimmitude (a dhimmi is, in Islamic law, a second-class Jew or Christian under Islamic rule and supervision), as Juan Williams discovered. But at least this sting operation has ripped the veil off NPR’s anti-Christian burqa.

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R. Craigen - 4/5/2011

Sorry, Mr. Scherban, it is you who is incorrect. True, Mr. Furnish produces only one example. That is one more than you base your senseless generalizations upon. Go over to PJTV's Tea Party TV and start counting colored, young and female advocates, leaders and spokespersons for the Tea Party. I'm leaving this to you because, as you'll discover, Tea Party advocates don't pay much attention to such things and don't spend energy counting minority heads -- pigeonholing people into classes and groups seems to be a peculiarly left-wing obsession.

At Tea Party TV or any other place the actual Tea Party message is presented (as opposed to anti-Tea Party pap being propagated) you'll find that there is no shortage of clear evidence to obliterate this ludicrous prejudice about the Tea Party being dominated by old white men. Blind adherence to this canard instead of engaging the actual issues raised by the Tea Party is proof in hand of the bankruptcy of Tea Party detractors. Ad hominem, when it comprises the sole basis of argumentation, amounts to capitulation on the substance of an argument.

Race, religion and gender, for your information, are not "Tea Party" issues -- they are completely irrelevant to what this group stands for.

As for what a single example proves -- well, it's clear you're not a mathematics student. My students learn the hard way that to prove a generalization one must demonstrate the lack of counterexamples. But to disprove a generalization one need only produce a single counterexample. This is what Prof. Furnish has done: If the Tea Party is basically racist etc what the H@#% is a black man doing involved? One such example is sufficient to poke a hole in such a bald generalization. He gets an A; you get an F, my friend.

Arnold Shcherban - 3/12/2011

Mr. Furnish is arrogantly sure that he destroyed the characterization of members of Tea Party (it is as much a political Party, as he's Muslim) as "white" by rendering an anecdotal example of one of those members being "black", instead, pretending he does not understand value and intent of generalization in a private conversation.
The undeniable fact, however, is that overwhelming majority of conscientious
members of Tea Party are white.
Then comes "gun-toting" charge, which is an euphemism for pro-gun, pro-NRA folks.
The next is "seriously racist"; many of them, definitely are, if judged by frequent "slips of tongue", and implications of their statements and suggested plans.
Then comes "Christian fundamentalists" accusation.
Here, perhaps, Mr.Schiller could have been more accurate by saying: "Duped by Christian and corporate fundamentalists" (but, again, it was a private conversation), as they actually are, the correction that hardly invalidates the essential meaning of Schiller's description.
And the last was "hijacked” by GOP.
Here I would exact by GOP's right-wing and its mouthpiece - FOX channel. It is a matter of public knowledge that GOP and Fox did channel money to "stimulate" Tea crowd.
Thus Schiller's resignation merely shows cowardly and opportunistic nature of Democrats and some progressives, not the invalidity of their statements under free speech protection.