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The Schiller Syndrome

Vivian Schiller is the wretched NPR executive who trashed Juan Williams for statements she declared best relegated to his psychiatrist. I detected a whiff of the punitive psychiatry employed in the late Soviet Union in Schiller’s public comment on Williams. Soviet psychiatry’s favored diagnosis for those guilty of heterodox thoughts was sluggishly progressing schizophrenia. Is Williams a victim of this malady in Schiller’s view? She clearly thinks he needs therapy to address his misguided thoughts.
At the American Spectator, Jeffrey Lord raises the question whether Schiller was in fact a fan of the Soviet Union. Lord recalls Schiller’s role in the production of Ted Turner’s glowing three-part, seven-hour Portrait of the Soviet Union CNN series in 1988. Lord quotes Schiller: “At the time, Ted Turner went through this period of deep fascination with the Soviet Union…and they hired me to be a translator/production assistant/’fixer’–which in production terms is somebody in a foreign country who ‘makes it happen.’” Now she “makes it happen” at NPR.

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