Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tale of Two Stations

In his wood-paneled office at Spokane Public Radio headquarters, General Manager Dick Kunkel — a large man with a white beard — lets out a deep laugh.

"We held our heads in our hands and said, 'My God, I can't believe they did it again during Pledge Drive,'" Kunkel says.

Last fall, during the fundraising campaign, "it" was National Public Radio's sudden firing of analyst Juan Williams and the public outcry that followed. (Williams had admitted that seeing Muslim garb at the airport made him nervous.) And more recently, just before Spokane Public Radio's spring pledge drive began, a video prankster secretly recorded NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller calling the Tea Party activists "seriously racist." The lack of context was deceptive — the full video shows Schiller was paraphrasing someone else — but Schiller resigned immediately.


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