Tuesday, March 8, 2011

NPR doesn’t want federal funding? Fine with me.

By Nick Sorrentino

I have long listened to NPR. I know all the shows. I enjoy “All Things Considered” most of the time. The Kojo Nnamndi Show is often very good. On occasion even Marketplace can hold my attention. They are well produced, informative shows. But lets get one thing straight. NPR has an agenda, a liberal one.

There would be nothing wrong with this if it were not for the fact that NPR is funded to a large extent by the American taxpayer. I often find myself cringing while listening to Dianne Rehm as she makes the weakest of attempts at being politically even handed. But I likewise cringe when I listen to Glenn Beck on commercial radio when he starts wandering down one of the dark conspiratorial pathways he is wont to. But Dianne Rehm is paid by the taxpayer to a large extent. Glenn Beck is paid by his advertisers. Rehm is paid by funds taken by force from people. Beck is paid by people who happily fork over their money to be associated with the pundit’s rantings.

I am of the opinion that the government has no business being in the business of broadcasting. Frankly I believe it should not be in the business of nearly anything not specifically enumerated in the Constitution. So when I heard that NPR’s Senior Vice President for Fundraising Ron Schiller stated at a recent fundraising lunch that NPR “would be better off without federal funding.” I applauded the statement. Then I learned of some of the other things he had to say. I was less pleased.

First however it has to be said that the lunch with potential donors was a set up. The potential donors were in fact in the employ of James O’Keefe the undercover conservative journalist who famously posed as a pimp and nearly single handedly brought ACORN down. O’Keefe was looking to embarrass Schiller.

Even the fact that the meeting itself was a ruse, still does not excuse what Schiller went on to say.

In the meeting which Schiller thought was with a Muslim group with very deep pockets he expressed his extreme displeasure with the Tea Party.

"Tea Party people" aren't "just Islamaphobic, but really xenophobic, I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it's scary. They're seriously racist, racist people."

This coming from a Senior Vice president of NPR is unacceptable, if not surprising.

We can however take some solace in the fact that Mr. Schiller will soon be gone from NPR. He announced his departure from the network last week and this is perhaps why Mr. Schiller felt so free to express his opinions about a very large and growing segment of America.

One should remember this incident the next time the Democrats start talking about the “Fairness Doctrine,” which would mandate equal time on private radio for left leaning shows in a medium that tends to lean right.

How many right leaning shows are there on NPR? None.

There is no need for a “Fairness Doctrine.” NPR is a federally subsidized mouthpiece for the left. It was refreshing to hear that the head of fundraising at NPR agrees with me that ending federal funding of the broadcaster is a good idea.

Ever fearful of losing the largess of the government however, NPR was quick to distance itself from the outgoing VP of fundraising. NPR’s spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm ( no relation to Diane Rehm) made it very clear in a statement today that in fact NPR really does need taxpayer funding.

I don’t know. I’m more inclined to believe the guy packing up his office.

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About Me

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Nick Sorrentino is the Editor of The Liberty and Economics Review and CEO of Exelorix.com a social media management company.