Skip to comments.Let NPR Pay Its Own Way (The Juan Williams case shows why we don't need state-run media)
Posted on 10/22/2010 7:20:39 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Liberals tend to prefer Thomas Jeffersons vision of religious liberty to the one actually enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution, so heres one for them, from his bill for religious freedom in Virginia: To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. NPR has fired Juan Williams for the sin of confessing that he sometimes feels fear when he sees a Muslim in obvious religious garb seated near him on an airplane. Williams made his confession on Fox News, a private network. Those who find the opinions expressed on Fox News abhorrent are free to turn it off, depriving it of viewers and transitively of ad dollars. But those of us who believe that NPR propagates a worldview we do not share, and that it furthermore has treated Williams abhorrently, are nevertheless compelled to keep on providing 16 percent of its member stations operating revenue.
Petty, as tyrannies go. But were with Jefferson on this one: The network formerly known as National Public Radio has dropped the Public from its name, and it is past time that Congress dropped the public from its funding. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) was created in an era when Americans had only a handful of radio stations, three television stations, a few magazines, and one or two newspapers to choose from. Today we live in an age of surplus media: thousands of television channels, C-SPAN (the privately run organization that does a better job of what it is public broadcasting is supposed to be doing), YouTube, satellite radio, podcasts, blogs, and a smorgasboard of web offerings ranging from dizzying aggregators to nonprofit investigative news sites is there a commercial market that needs subsidies less?
NPRs supporters argue that what it provides is not media, but news and journalism that consumers would otherwise be unable to find anywhere. NPR itself does not receive any direct federal funding, but its supporters howl whenever Republicans try to defund the CPB, because 40 percent of NPRs revenues come from station programming fees, and many of its member stations, especially in rural areas, are dependent on CPB largesse. In this sense, NPR is sort of like Amtrak: Self-sufficient in urban areas where it has lots of listeners but dependent on taxpayer subsidies to broadcast its programming nationwide.
If listeners in Dubuque want NPR content, let them pay for it. We are tired of kicking in contributions so that coastal liberalism may find an audience in Ogallala. NPR offers many fine programs, but it is towering arrogance to imply, as some supporters of public funding do, that residents of Big Sky would be left stranded on an island of ignorance if forced to do without Morning Edition. If its really that important to them, they can increase their yearly contributions to Yellowstone Public Radio. If not, why should taxpayers in other parts of the country make up the shortfall?
This isnt a new question, but the networks treatment of Juan Williams has reminded us that it hasnt gone away, and shouldnt. The context of Williamss remarks on the Fox News Channels OReilly Factor make clear that he wasnt saying that fear of all or even of conspicuously dressed Muslims was justified, only that he occasionally felt it. Williams said that people should resist letting these feelings turn us against all Muslims, because if you said Timothy McVeigh, the Atlanta bomber, these people who are protesting against homosexuality at military funerals very obnoxious you dont say first and foremost, We got a problem with Christians. Thats crazy. (Never mind that McVeigh was an avowed agnostic who declared that science is my religion; the point stands.)
NPR has refused to supply a compelling explanation for why these remarks constitute a firing offense. NPR president Vivian Schiller said only (and later apologized for saying) that Williams should have kept these kinds of sentiments between himself and his psychiatrist or his publicist. So we are left to guess. It has not escaped our notice that the left-wing Media Matters for America has for a long time been pressuring NPR to forbid its correspondents to appear on Fox News, nor that the same donor one George Soros just gave exceedingly large donations to both Media Matters and NPR. Hmm.
If NPR wants to behave like every other liberal news organization, complete with a slavish obeisance to left-wing pressure groups, fine. Those organizations dont rely on taxpayer funding, and neither should NPR.
Schiller was hired by Ted Turner, helped prepare a congratulatory documentary on the Soviet Union, stayed for years at CNN, was hired by the New York Times, and the rest is history.
Didn’t Mrs. Ray Kroc give them a billion or two?
NPRs Financials 2009
Total Revenue $153,000,000!! $62,000.000 plus from station programming fees........ 1-3%? yeah right!
And the NEA just is another conduit for our tax $$$ into NPR/PBS - I bet these were not in that new math 2% public funding comment of NPR...
These groups just seem to be so commingled to hide real money sources.
Directly from the NEA web site
American Documentary, Inc. (aka P.O.V.)
New York, NY
To support the selection, acquisition, packaging, and promotion of films for broadcast on the public television series P.O.V. (”point of view”). As the longest running PBS series devoted exclusively to the art of independent, non-fiction film, P.O.V. brings documentary artworks rarely found in the mainstream media to national audiences.
ETV Endowment of South Carolina, Inc. (aka Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz)
To support the production of new programs for the weekly radio series Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz. National Public Radio will distribute the programs to listeners on 247 stations in the United States and in Puerto Rico and Guam.
From the Top, Inc.
To support the production of the public radio series From the Top. The weekly, hour-long radio program features performances by young classical musicians ages eight to 18.
Minnesota Public Radio, Inc. (aka Minnesota Public Radio|American Public Media)
St. Paul, MN
To support the production, acquisition, and national radio broadcast of classical music programming. In 2010-11, programs such as Performance Today, SymphonyCast, and Pipedreams will reach as many as two million listeners each week.
National Public Radio, Inc. (aka NPR)
To support the Music Discovery Initiative
National Public Radio, Inc. (aka NPR)
To support the production and distribution of segments from the NPR radio series 50 Great Voices. The series identifies and celebrates influential vocalists of the recorded era.
Newark Public Radio, Inc. (aka WBGO Jazz 88)
To support the production of JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater, a weekly radio series of jazz concerts. The series is produced by WBGO/Newark, distributed by NPR, and reaches approximately 170,000 listeners each week throughout the United States.
Oregon Public Broadcasting (aka OPB)
To support research and script development for the documentary film series Superheroes by Michael Kantor. The series will explore the history of the comic book and the evolution of its main characters
Sound Portraits Productions, Inc. (aka StoryCorps)
To support production of “StoryCorps” radio segments for weekly broadcast on NPR’s Morning Edition. A collaboration of Sound Portraits Productions, the Library of Congress, and public radio stations, “StoryCorps” is a nationwide project aimed at inspiring Americans to record one another’s stories in sound.
Symphony Space, Inc.
New York, NY
To support the production of the public radio series Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story, and the distribution of related CDs. Distributed through Public Radio International, the series will present leading stage and screen actors reading both classic and new short fiction by established and emerging authors of diverse cultures.
To support the production and national broadcast of the radio series Fresh Air with Terry Gross. The award-winning daily journal of contemporary arts and culture is broadcast on 510 NPR stations and is heard by more than 4.5 million people each week
You would think that the:
1: lack of enumerated power to fund public broadcasting.
2: The 1st amendment prohibition on laws inherently infringing upon the right to free speech.
Would prohibit the Federal government from taxing us to pay for someone else’s speech to blanket the airwaves, Instead of leaving us more of our own money to pay for our own speech. Basically the Federal Government is interfering with our right to free speech by favoring some speech with public funding but inherently not all speech.
Of course we must remember as with most things the Federal Government did in the 1960’s the limits of the federal constitution were meaningless.
Not only should NPR be defunded and asked to pay back all public investments, all public broadcasting should be likewise abandoned. Theses expenditures were never constitutionally authorized for the federal government to fund them in the first place.
If liberals want public broadcasting then tell em to do it in their own state with their own state Tax dollars.