Let NPR Support Itself


Okay, enough is enough.  Today right wing blow-holes like Eric Cantor are bloviating about how their felonious ambush faux journalist James O’Keefe brought down another so-called bastion of the liberal media, PBS as Vivian Schiller, former President and CEO of National Public Radio (NPR) resigned.

The right has been carping about federal funds in support of PBS/NPR for decades. In a now-famous 1969 appearance in front of the U.S. Senate, PBS’s soft-spoken, gentle child program host Mr. Rogers made an impassioned plea credited with temporarily saving the embattled network.

Despite the fact that Federal funds constitute a paltry proportion of total PBS funding, conservatives have groused roundly about it as if de-funding Public Broadcasting will solve the nation’s problems.  The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) distributes programming through National Public Radio (NPR) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)  Since 2001, CPB has received nearly $4 billion in taxpayer money (that’s over 10 years, folks). Considering that the size of our current national debt is $14 Trillion, this amounts to a pack of gum.

PBS raises most of its operating revenues by private and corporate donations. According to Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), “NPR boasts that it only gets 2 percent of their funding from taxpayers and PBS gets about 15 percent, so these programs should be able to find a way to stand on their own,” and while this may be disputable by those without a right-wing iron in the fire, I gotta’ agree with this brain-dead douche-bag for several reasons.

First, the right has had this chronic Public Broadcasting burr up its ass forever. It was festering back when I was a lowly local NPR station intern in the ’70s. It’s smoldered ever since…the right’s perennial old saw to drag out whenever they had little else to bitch about (like during Reagan’s reign, when they rode rough-shod over the captive nation, wreaking havoc). The commie, pinko public broadcasting service, a federally funded, one-sided, left-wing subversion of the American Way.

I used to say that we should let CBP/PBS/NPR stand on its own to shut the right up, already…as if that’s likely to happen. The media landscape has changed much since their early accusations of government-subsidized media bias actually had a shred of credibility…long before the death of the Fairness Doctrine, Rupert Murdoch’s perversion of cable TV, Fox News, Sinclair Broadcasting, ComCast, Clear Channel, etc., etc.

I now realize that de-funding Public Broadcasting won’t shut them up. Nothing will. No…the reason that Public Broadcasting should be on its own is so the right can no longer fuck with it. Without public funding, its management will be free to air programming it feels is best for us. No longer will creative program execs have to seriously entertain half-witted, lame-ass complaints about animated characters being homos or commies. The creative freedom alone will be worth its weight in bake sales and car washes.

The right has far too much on its plate. There are simply too many people to hate in this world. Let’s help them out by removing the “plank from their eye.” EVEN THOUGH 69 % OF AMERICANS FEEL THAT PUBLIC FUNDS FOR PBS SHOULD NOT BE CUT, halt the public funding of Public Broadcasting. Let it stand on its own legs…those of its listeners. Without interference from the tight-assed, hypocritical, mentally constipated twits that Federal funding permits, we all will enjoy a higher quality product.

They have their Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. We can certainly settle for Big Bird, American Experience, Frontline and Ken Burns. Polls show that Fox makes viewers dumber. I’m happy with my PBS…and will be happier yet if the right can lo longer fuck with it.

The WH had this to say

Vodpod videos no longer available.

White House says NPR funding ‘a worthwhile and …, posted with vodpod

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8 Responses to Let NPR Support Itself

  1. Brian says:

    What would an independent NPR look like? Would it be a non-profit? Would it be a for profit company? My wife mentioned the other day that she listen to NPR on her way to work, about a 20 minute drive, and actually felt smarter as she walked in to work. Does changing the equation that has developed such an excellent resource alter the final outcome? The free market arguement, that an independent NPR/PBS would allow the “creativity” to flourish is troubling.

    I remember watching George Bush on PBS news hour in 06 or 07 for 15 minutes almost entirely uninterupted. I fear that a realigned PBS would end a terrific venue for the topics of the highest concern. It is pretty obvios that the free markets creativity produces nothing of this quality.

  2. Paul Sonderman says:

    Well, if it could exist without commercials, it would be great. One of its advantages is its ability present serious programming without interruption. I’d hate to see it become commercial TV/radio. Could it become a subscription service? Who knows?

    I consider public radio akin to an audio book. I love the way it lets one’s imagination work. If we refuse to read, it’s nice to have radio that excels at story-telling and TV that doesn’t merely pander to the lowest common denominator.

    NPR/PBS is a gem. It deserves better than it gets but is probably much better than we as a nation deserve. We’ve become a coagulation of monosyllabic nincompoops, argumentative,bias-based, desensitized, over-stimulated and intellectually lazy.

    The “free market” argument for public broadcasting is not intended to unleash its creativity. It’s plenty creative. No, this argument is a smoke screen for regressives who want reduce everything traded publicly to mere commodities, so as to parcel them out to the lowest bidder.

    Such minds aren’t worthy of NPR.

  3. Diane Fields says:

    Glad you are back Paul,
    I’m in agreement with you on this one.
    I think that PBS/NPR/CPB are creative enough to find funding through private sponsorships, and will probably offer better programing in the long run. Advertising has already entered into the mix. PBS has been running tasteful ads from their sponsors for years.
    I would not mind more of the same!

  4. Paul Sonderman says:

    I’ll support it whatever they decide. There’s simply no substitute. I subscribe to Sirius/XM but still listen to NPR and watch PBS more regularly than I do any other network (besides movie channels). Love my PBS.

  5. Diane says:

    They have it … They have been raising money for maybe 40 to 50 years. Glad you and I have their back:)
    miss you on FB but proud of you Lent sacrifice…
    I gave up …… all things Brown 🙂

  6. Paul Sonderman says:

    Thanks, Diane. Traffic has been good, so it’s been encouraging. I’ll be back before you know it! Ooo…brown is may favorite food color!

  7. Mars Foliano says:

    Hi Paul,

    I am afraid of what might happen to NPR in the future. Any harm to the organization and its product will affect my mental well-being. You see most things I watch, read, and listen to seem to directly reduce my brain matter. Pretty soon there won’t be much left. Like Brian’s wife above, I do somehow feel smarter after spending a half hour a couple of times a day listening to NPR.

  8. Paul Sonderman says:

    Me, too, Mars. I listen every day. I have XM/Sirius, which I’m addicted to but despite the variety there, still find myself listening to NPR via satellite (at least some of the rime) and every non-satellite receiver I own never strays far from public radio. DVR has made it possible for me to never miss anything worth seeing on PBS… Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Need to Know, Independent Lens.

    When I think of the companion PBS/NPR has been throughout my life, I really can’t imagine a world without it. These repubs are truly not about making our quality of life better. They’re willing to sacrifice all in order to advance/enforce their cynical, myopic, bitter world view.

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