“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, March 18, 2011

The NPR Sting

You have to marvel at how NPR's Ron Schiller's unguarded lunch comments prematurely ended his stint there, and took down the firm's CEO, Vivian Schiller (no relation), as well.

Here's the long version of the lunch video that did the trick. The scheme was concocted by the conservative ambush artist who outed Planned Parenthood last year for helping self-identified pimps of under-aged teen girls.

This video, following on the heels of the Juan Williams fiasco, evidently rendered CEO Schiller's position untenable.

But what really ought to be clear to anyone with any amount of intelligence is how vulnerable all people in positions of influence and power now are. No lunch is a private lunch any longer. Effectively, everyone wears a wire.

If you are the leader or a senior executive of a company or well-known non-profit, any meeting with anyone other than a close friend could be a trap. The video and audio transmitters which could be entrapping you would not be obvious.

Every little aside or casual remark by your guest could be calculated to elicit or provoke your embarrassing rejoinder, to be preserved, then blasted out on YouTube the next day or week.

Good or bad, it's true.

Ever since Virginia Senator George Allen was caught on video uttering an ethnically-questionable term to a heckler at a campaign rally, we've been living in this world of secret video entrapment.

How about Jesse Jackson's open mike remarks about Wonderboy a few years ago?

The NPR escapade is just the latest example of the new world in which we live. A world in which anybody with a public image is vulnerable to being lured into candid, embarrassing private remarks that could end up on the internet within days.

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