Ron Schiller, YouTube Thespian

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Schiller’s lines are simply too perfect, and his character too straight from central casting, to not conclude that he wasn’t in on the act. Rather than a joke on NPR, the short movie is a brilliant satire on the dark imagination of conservatives who believe the worst of their liberal adversaries. Only Hollywood makes our enemies made-to-order, right?

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would never jeopardize their nearly half-billion-dollar annual allocation by employing such a brazenly offensive character. Did you really fall for the stereotype of a hyper-partisan state-radio executive mouthing stale, anti-Semitic defamations and insulting “the very large uneducated part of the population” that subsidizes his employer?

Schiller’s publicity stunt of resigning from NPR has been interpreted as confirmation of the authenticity of the mockumentary in which he stars. But like Andy Kaufmann stuck in character, or Joaquin Phoenix in I’m Still Here, Schiller’s ability to remain in his role long after the cameras have stopped rolling has tricked observers into thinking it real. Just as Robert De Niro gained sixty pounds for Raging Bull and a contorted Daniel Day-Lewis broke ribs for My Left Foot, Ron Schiller was willing to lose his job for his art.

What is apparently further confusing some right-wing rubes is that Ron Schiller also plays a character named Ron Schiller. People get that Alec Guinness isn’t Obi Wan Kenobi, Mark Wahlberg isn’t Dirk Diggler, and Linda Carter isn’t Wonder Woman. Why can’t conservatives understand that Ron Schiller, devoted public servant, isn’t Ron Schiller, cinematic douche-bag? This blurring of conservative suspicions and objective reality is perhaps the real genius of James O’Keefe’s film.

Daniel J. Flynn is the author of A Conservative History of the American Left (Crown Forum, 2008), Intellectual Morons (Crown Forum, 2004), and Why the Left Hates America (Prima Forum, 2002). He has appeared on Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, Sky News, PBS, CSPAN, and other broadcast networks. He writes a Monday column for Human Events and blogs at

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  • posse101

    NPR radio…your tax dollars at work. working both hypocritically and unwittingly to destroy America, Jews, and Western Civilization. and WE'RE the ones that are supposed to be uneducated.

  • Chezwick_Mac

    My brother – a proud liberal – once encapsulated for me in an email the myopia that so characteristically afflicts the leftist world-view. After a back-and-forth in which a meeting of minds was impossible, his riposte was that "your truth is not my truth."

    I subsequently tried to explain that while there may be many "truths" in interpreting art, when analyzing sociological or economic data, there is really only one truth…the trick is finding it. If you can't fit the square peg in the round hole, you don't rationalize away the incongruity, you go back to the drawing board. Instead, liberals choose to live in a nether, nether world of stunning contradictions.

    Thus, the most rabid exponents of sexual freedom, gender equality, gay rights, and artistic freedom…have become apologists and enablers for the most profoundly anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-intellectual religious ideology on planet earth (I am of course referring to Islam). The contradiction is STAGGERING!

    Islam is antithetical to human freedom and gender equality…this is an empirical truth based upon all available theological and historical evidence. For a Muslim, such a truth does not necessarily generate a conflicted world-view. For a liberal, it certainly must. But rather than sort it out, the typical liberal prefers to negate the truth. Otherwise, a paradigmatic shift in his/her world-view would be in order.

    • intrcptr2

      Maybe you might suggest your brother start using Confederate dollars instead of US greenbacks; after all, if you both can get along with different truths, different monies should be no problem, right?

      Or does he already stop at green lights and drive through red ones?

    • Bill

      Chez, Enjoyed your post. Allow me to add, the liberal left can align with Islam because they both have a common enemy – society based on traditional Judeao-Christian values.

  • Anthony

    I cancelled my my subscription to the Aspen Institute because of their hiring of him. As mentioned in the article, how could he make it past the interview process even at NPR

    Even though it has been announced that Aspen accepted his decision not to work there, it is clear he would be a good fit if he hadn’t gotten busted spewing sheer liberal madness on video tape.

    The Aspen institute touts itself as an international, non partisan policy think-tank. Clearly, Schiller’s type know their own. You know, the wink and nod types.

  • Pierce

    Many years ago I made out a will. In the will I bequeathed a large sum to VPR an little sister to NPR. At the time I thought what a great thing Public Radio was.
    In my later years I came to realize that NPR was not worthy of my donation (too liberal), so in keeping with my conservative roots I withdrew my pledge.
    It now would appear that I did the right thing, and I do not regret one iota my decision.

    • K-Bonds

      Smart move! NPR is not worthy of anything, except the classical music that they play…other than that they can disappear altogether and no one will notice. Make the donation instead to FOX news, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Monica Crowley, etc.

  • tagalog

    The remark of Schiller about Tea Partiers being racist, racist people is seared, seared into my brain. I still have the hat, the hat. The incident is nearly as bad as rape rape.

    • intrcptr2

      Does such rhetoric make him a dumb-dumb?

      Just wondering though, are we using French idiom here (Doubling is dimunitive) or Hebrew (King of Kings is the supreme)? It's not really like any English I know of…

      • Supreme_Galooty

        Is "fioux-fioux" a French diminutive?

  • BDD

    Not to mention, Mr. Shiller played the part perfectly…a man completely devoid of any masculinity.

    • k-bond

      And a man without a single shred of decency,

      • BDD

        Well said.

  • Supreme_Galooty

    Mr. Flynn, my compliments on a wonderfully amusing article. Your take on this episode covers all the basic facts with excellent humour. Watching the sanctimonious hoisted with their own petard in an unguarded moment is precious. One KNOWS that they think/believe/feel the way they do, but one cannot prove it, and they will deny it if asked directly. Thanks again, Mr. Flynn. And kudos to Mr. O'Keefe. Again….

  • Moohammella

    Schiller is just another gutless-coward-whitie. Expecially so now that Obama says the same thing.

  • Yetwave

    It's no surprise that Schiller said what he did. Afterall, he is confirmed drinker from the NPR fire hose.
    What made his resignation at NPR a fait accompli and sealed his doom, even for a tin-eared idiot like himself , was his statment “It’s very clear that we [NPR] would be better off in the long run without federal funding.” Without the tax dollars sucked from the pockets of the rubes whom Schiller detests, NPR would be off the air.

  • Jim_C

    I'm having a hard time understanding the controversy–did Schiller make any statements that were factually incorrect?

    • Jasmine Davis


  • Lula Dilibero

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  • BS77

    Having ANY tax payer funded media feels wrong. Once you have a bureaucracy running the press or radio, tv or movies, you have the potential for "PC propaganda, spin, exaggeration and plain lies."

  • Shavon Amer

    Check out complete movies for absolutely free