May 24, 2011
NPR's campaign finance nerve
This morning on NPR's Diane Rehm Show, the discussion was a bashing of the Citizens United case. What I heard centered on criticism of corporate-financed speech and how corporate entities may now finance independent ads on political races without disclosing donors.
You'd think just coming off the NPR scandal involving its ‘corporate' willingness to hide donations to promote political and religious causes (quid pro quo), all with the help of taxpayer money, that Ms. Rehm and her NPR ‘corporate' producers wouldn't so foolishly engage in such blatant hypocrisy.
Ms. Rehm was upset about the recent First Amendment advances in campaign finance law, thanks in large part to a series of Supreme Court decisions under the Roberts court. Money, money, money is ruining politics, Ms. Rehm and her corporate employer and benefactors want us to believe.
Ms. Rehm even cited the socialist senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, as an example of someone who's doing things right. She's obviously very up to speed on how socialists manage their campaigns. Her plug for Sanders was artfully careful to avoid the tax code restrictions on express advocacy by 501(c)(3)s such as NPR. I credit the lawyers at NPR for the well-trained Rehm. They know they have a big audience of Ben & Jerry types in the Green Mountain state, and they know how to plug candidates without crossing the law.
There's plenty of insider baseball about these issues at NPR. NPR senior correspondent Linda Wertheimer is married to the Washington dean of the anti-free speech campaign finance movement, Fred Wertheimer, who founded and heads Democracy21, an Astroturf nonprofit corporation that would have all campaigns financed by the government. Taxpayer-funded, monolithic leftwing-thinking NPR believes, what's not to love about that?