Barely two years after she arrived , Vivian Schiller has resigned from her post as CEO of NPR. David Folkenflik, NPR's own media reporter, has gone on record as saying she was "forced out" due to a series of political dustups: first the firing of conservative commentator Juan Williams , and most recently some anti-Tea Party (and funding) comments by Ron Schiller (no relation), then a fundraiser for NPR, caught on tape .
What we're looking at, at least in the latter case, is a new kind of political dirty trick: the ACORN-ing or Planned Parenthood-ing,  this time of a major news organization. In all three cases, conservative activists concocted video stings featuring outlandish characters--pimps, in the case of Planned Parenthood and ACORN, and in the case of NPR, members of the Muslim Brotherhood--to manufacture scandals out of thin air . Anyone who's watched Borat knows that people sometimes have regrettable reactions when presented in social situations with utterly bizarre, off-the-wall behavior, but the man responsible has already stepped down. Are these gotcha comedy techniques really grounds to get rid of a media CEO with a keen eye for the future of digital media and a formula for reporting the news that actually seems to be financially successful?
[Image: Julian Dufort]