A week after James O’Keefe’s hidden camera “sting” operation targeting an NPR fundraising exec was widely disseminated, the House of Representatives has voted 228-192 to bar the organization from receiving federal funds. (NPR’s CEO was axed the day after the video hit.)
Those who voted in favor of defunding NPR generally shied away from citing the prank or the general content of NPR, often decried as “left-leaning” by opponents, as a mitigating factor. One Iowa congressman, however, seemed to imply it was in part a reason:
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) compared to the current move to strip NPR of federal funding to previous battles to strip ACORN and Planned Parenthood of the same, both of which were sparked by sting videos by conservative activists.
“Of all of the data that we’ve seen, we still had not absorbed the culture of NPR until we saw the video of that dinner,” Rep. King said.
House Majority leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) also insinuated the controversy that followed the videos influenced the haste with which Republicans chose to attack NPR:
“The problem is, we’ve seen NPR and it’s programming often veer far from what most Americans would like to see as far as the expenditure of their taxpayer dollars,” he said. “That’s the bottom line.”
Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) addressed the issue sarcastically on the House floor in the clip below, remarking:
“I’m so relieved that we had this emergency session, that we waived the rules of the House that required 72 hours [notice] so we finally get these guys off my radio.”
One Republican congressman, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) opted to vote “present” on the bill. Amash explained in a lengthy Facebook diatribe that he really, really wants to defund NPR, but the vote in the House today was “unconstitutional.”