(CNN) - National Public Radio says it is "appalled" with a senior executive at the organization after he was caught on undercover video slamming the Tea Party movement as "racist" and "scary," and saying that NPR would be better off without federal funding.
NPR spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm singles out Senior Vice President for Fundraising Ron Schiller in a statement: "The fraudulent organization represented in this video repeatedly pressed us to accept a $5 million check, with no strings attached, which we repeatedly refused to accept. We are appalled by the comments made by Ron Schiller in the video, which are contrary to what NPR stands for."
The videos were produced by conservative activist and filmmaker James O'Keefe, who gained notoriety for posing as a pimp and secretly taping damaging conversations with employees at the Association of Community Organizations for Reform (ACORN). He was also involved in a failed plot to embarrass a CNN correspondent on hidden cameras.
There are two NPR executives in the video, identified as Schiller and Director of Institutional Giving Betsy Liley. Neither executive works in NPR's news division. They are shown having lunch with potential NPR donors, who were really working for O'Keefe undercover. In the video, they pose as representatives of a Muslim organization that is considering making a $5 million donation to NPR.
Schiller, who announced last week that he is leaving NPR, makes repeated criticisms against the Tea Party, saying the group is racist.
"Tea Party people" aren't "just Islamaphobic, but really xenophobic," Schiller says. "I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it's scary. They're seriously racist, racist people."
He goes on to say, "The Tea Party is fanatically involved in people's personal lives and very fundamental Christian. I wouldn't even call it Christian. It's this weird evangelical kind of move."
In the video, Schiller says that NPR, which is partially funded by government money, would be "better off without federal funding."
"The problem is that if we lost it now, a lot of stations would go dark," Schiller said.
Schiller's remarks come only one day after NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller (who is unrelated to Ron Schiller) told an audience at the National Press Club that federal funding for NPR was essential.
"Government funding is critical because it allows taxpayers to leverage a small investment into a very large one," she said, according to prepared remarks. "It is seed money. Station managers tell me that 10 percent plays a critical role in generating the other 90 percent that makes their broadcasts possible."
A movement to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which helps subsidize NPR along with the Public Broadcasting System, is making the rounds among some congressional Republicans, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who released a statement Tuesday afternoon in response to reports of Ron Schiller's comments in the undercover video.
"As we continue to identify ways to cut spending and save valuable resources, this disturbing video makes clear that taxpayer dollars should no longer be appropriated to NPR," Cantor said.
"Not only have top public broadcasting executives finally admitted that they do not need taxpayer dollars to survive, it is also clear that without federal funds, public broadcasting stations self-admittedly would become eligible for more private dollars on top of the multi-million dollar donations these organizations already receive."
Tea Party representatives were also quick to decry Ron Schiller's remarks, using his suggestion that NPR would be better off without government money as an opportunity to call for defunding the organization.
"Mr. Schiller himself candidly admits in the video that NPR doesn't need federal funding, and welcomes the opportunity to slant their reporting without the oversight of the taxpayer," said Mark Meckler, national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, in a statement. "At a time when the country is upside down by more than a trillion dollars, can we really afford to provide huge subsidies to entities that openly state that they don't need the money? Let's take his advice and pass legislation that would defund the clearly biased news organization that is out of touch with Americans across the country."
- CNN Political Producer Shannon Travis contributed to this report.
Updated 4:35 p.m.
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