The conventional wisdom is, new media is a powerful insurrectionist-like force. The Left proved to be quite capable of employing it to damage Bush, protest the war and bring Obama to power. Now, what with the union's problems in Wisconsin and elsewhere, NPR's Schiller pulling a cut and run
and Obama under siege almost daily, the Right's efforts in new media seem to be coming into their own.
The institutional Left is not accustomed to coming under fire, given their cozy relationship with the mainstream media. Today, there's a new sherrif in town thanks to new media efforts. Given that activist James O'Keefe hinted at more shoes to drop in the NPR campaign, it's unclear if what may still be to come from O'Keefe influenced Schiller's decision in any way. Schiller did mention O'Keefe's group offering NPR a 5 million dollar donation, no strings attached. That suggests there must have been other communications between the two parties. Stay tuned.
Ron Schiller's prospective employer, the Aspen Institute, did not respond to multiple requests for comment yesterday.
But Ron Schiller's gaffe followed last fall's dismissal of NPR political analyst Juan Williams, for which Vivian Schiller came under harsh criticism and NPR's top news executive, Ellen Weiss, resigned.
"It is with deep regret that I tell you that the NPR Board of Directors has accepted the resignation of Vivian Schiller as President and CEO of NPR, effective immediately.
"The Board accepted her resignation with understanding, genuine regret, and great respect for her leadership of NPR these past two years.
"Vivian brought vision and energy to this organization. She led NPR back from the enormous economic challenges of the previous two years. She was passionately committed to NPR's mission, and to stations and NPR working collaboratively as a local-national news network.
"According to a CEO succession plan adopted by the Board in 2009, Joyce Slocum, SVP of Legal Affairs and General Counsel, has been appointed to the position of Interim CEO. The Board will immediately establish an Executive Transition Committee that will develop a timeframe and process for the recruitment and selection of new leadership.
"I recognize the magnitude of this news – and that it comes on top of what has been a traumatic period for NPR and the larger public radio community. The Board is committed to supporting NPR through this interim period and has confidence in NPR's leadership team."
We'll have much more on this as the story develops.