The latest James O'Keefe success story against NPR has taken a predictable pattern -- panicked press releases and firings, followed by denunciation of O'Keefe in a belated attempt to discredit him. Naturally, conservatives are crowing about it, but I wanted to give a little perspective to those Huffington Post readers -- whatever your political stripe -- who share my passion for free speech, honest debate, and fairness in the media.
Over the past year, the mainstream media has collaborated with the White House in an attempt to paint the Tea Party as racist. Remember the protests on Capitol Hill last March against ObamaCare, and the media's lie that members of the Congressional Black Congress had awful racial slurs hurled at them by Tea Party members that weekend? Did you know that there's video evidence that it isn't true?
Not just one video, either. Four of them. Yes. Four. Of. Them. There's not one shred of objective evidence that corroborates the "Tea Party N-Word" story. But the mainstream media has allowed the lie to live on as one of the central "proofs" of Tea Party racism. It's been debunked, but it's raised time and time again by those claiming "reality" as their mantle.
The mainstream media promotes the idea that the Tea Party is racist because they want to delegitimize an authentic, grassroots movement that stands up to big government. And the "Tea Party N-word" story ties all the other lies about the Tea Party together -- that it's violent, that it's extreme, that it's a "mob." If you want to see what a violent, extreme mob looks like, go to Madison to see the crazed throngs the media refuses to scrutinize.
James O'Keefe's NPR tapes show what conservatives already knew: that avowed radical religious extremist racists like the Muslim Brotherhood get better treatment from journalists than politically engaged Americans who believe in limited government. Jihadist high-rollers or the window-breaking drum circle thugs in Madison are handled with more respect in the press than the guilty-until-proven-innocent Tea Party or people at health care town hall meetings.
But here's the question that no one on the left -- except Jon Stewart -- is asking about the NPR sting: why did NPR roll over so quickly? Why did they fire Ron Schiller that same day, and why did NPR's board fire Vivian Schiller the next? Ron Schiller could have fought back. He could have emphasized that he was speaking in his personal capacity, and that he had no input into NPR's editorial process. But he didn't fight. Why not?
NPR's original excuse was that Ron Schiller was already planning to leave. But then he was made to resign immediately -- and he lost the job he was moving to, at the Aspen Institute. He had every reason to fight back, even though Ron Schiller was not the target of James O'Keefe's video -- NPR was. But NPR didn't back him. It didn't back Vivian Schiller. And it didn't even back itself. NPR ombusdman Alicia Shepard admitted, flat-out, to Piers Morgan on CNN: "[T]hat Ron Schiller video is a big black eye for NPR."
Maybe NPR knows there's more to come -- that O'Keefe has more evidence of high-level collusion with the radical left. (And indeed, he's just posted new audio of a phone call in which NPR fundraiser Betsy Liley suggests that the Muslim Brotherhood associates make their donation anonymously to shield themselves from unwanted government attention.) Or maybe NPR is trying to protect something much bigger than itself -- the pseudo-moral high ground from which the mainstream media broadcasts its false propaganda about Tea Party racism and shills for the Democratic Party.
James O'Keefe's work shows that exposing media bias is as easy as buying a camera and letting it roll. But you can't -- and won't -- make the mainstream media drop that bias. They will do almost anything to preserve the dogma of political correctness and the aura of self-righteousness that surrounds the left. That's why NPR threw its fundraiser, its chief executive, and itself under the bus. They sacrificed for the greater political cause -- so the mainstream media can keep spinning "Tea Party N-Word" and other myths.
That allowed O'Keefe to claim a big win -- a win the mainstream media would otherwise have done anything to deny him. A journalist/activist/prankster like James O'Keefe isn't given the same leeway as his left wing counterparts. So when the ACORN sting of O'Keefe and Hannah Giles showed workers in ACORN office after ACORN office ready and willing to help them hide a gaggle of child prostitutes from El Salvador, the media focused on how he was dressed during the title sequence. That's madness.
Or it's perfectly logical, if your goal isn't to report the truth but to decide what it will be, and who's allowed to tell it. That's why conservative activists will continue blockbuster undercover new media investigations. We are fighting back against the left and its accomplices in the mainstream media. We are resisting their longstanding propaganda attack on the Tea Party as racist, homophobic, Nazi, nativist and whatever fill-in-the-blank negative stereotype they can muster to marginalize millions of Americans.
This battle has been going on for two years now, and I believe the campaign to destroy the Tea Party -- a campaign Ron Schiller clearly took pride in -- is only making it stronger and more relevant. It may not feel that way at brasseries on the Upper East Side or at dinner parties in West Hollywood, but the tactics of empty name-calling are causing an anti-liberal backlash. They're running out of people to fire. And we've got plenty of film.