NPR: A rare bit of good news in a sea of depressing news
Long before social media, there was National Public Radio, which, perhaps not coincidentally, has sat for decades at the far-left side of the FM dial. Even though Congress established it, and it has always relied in part on taxpayer funding, NPR makes no secret about its political biases: It is a mouthpiece of the Democrat party and accepts unquestioningly all aspects of leftist ideology. That’s why it was wonderful to read that NPR is facing a significant budget decline and has laid off 100 people.
NPR’s origins lie in Congress passing the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 to establish the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (“CPB”), the parent company for both NPR (the radio outlet) and the Public Broadcasting Service (aka PBS, the television outlet). The act’s purpose was to support American education using public funds—although CPB, PBS, and NPR always hasten to remind people that most of their money comes from foundations, corporations, and “individual viewers/listeners like you.” However, “[t]hat is misleading, as it fails to account for local radio affiliates that get gobs of taxpayer money.”
Image: NPR logo (edited). Public domain.
Although the issue of funding public radio and television currently isn’t on the front burner, a 2017 article gives a little insight into how much taxpayer money flows that way:
President Trump’s experience is typical. His original 2018 budget would have ended federal grants for public broadcasting, but the budget Congress recently passed punts on the issue. It does not provide new funding for the CPB, but does allow for appropriations bills with advance appropriations for CPB to move in the Senate.
That means the CPB will receive a nearly half-billion dollars in advance appropriation included in the Fiscal Year 2017 Omnibus bill. (Emphasis mine.)
That’s real money. And what are we paying for?
According to the terms of the 1967 Act forcing the American people to pay for state media, we’re paying for objective intellectual fare: “The Corporation may not contribute to or otherwise support any political party or candidate for elective public office.” (Emphasis mine.) In other words, because taxpayers are funding this media, the output must be non-partisan.
The problem from the beginning, though, was that CPB, NPR, and PBS employed and catered to America’s college-educated classes. Since the 1930s (thank you, Franklin School of Economics), colleges and universities have been churning out generations of left-leaning students, with each generation a little more fanatical than the one that came before. We’ve gone from a classic liberalism that took on Jim Crow to the current Maoism that lives in the fantasy world of Critical Race Theory and transgender madness, while violently and loudly insisting that any counter-opinions must be silenced and, by the way, America is evil.
If you have skin-color diversity but lack ideological diversity, you might start with programming that celebrates actual American achievements and success stories and that only show a little left-leaning bias. For example, the venerable American Masters series did lean heavily on people beloved of leftists; e.g., Arthur Miller (communist), James Levine (alleged sex predator), Aaron Copland (progressive gay man), and Diego Rivera (communist). However, it also celebrated other fascinating and talented Americans, even if some were bad people; e.g., Arthur Rubenstein, the Algonquin Round Table, Buster Keaton, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, D.W. Griffith (a KKK supporter), Will Rogers, etc.
Eventually, though, once you move to the Mao stage of leftism, you end up with American Masters’ hagiography slavishly reporting on St. Anthony of Fauci and his heroic efforts to imprison and inject all Americans and destroy the American economy, even as he assiduously lied about and obscured the actual COVID origin story. This is purely political, given how corrosive Fauci was, but for the people working at PBS, all of whom are leftist college grads, there’s nothing controversial about him. His detractors are crazy, that’s all.
While American Masters is a PBS product, NPR is no better. Tucker Carlson had loads of fun focusing on the manic leftism that characterizes NPR:
Go to NPR’s home page, and you’ll see that everything is leftist. It’s obsessed with J6, of course, with this “investigation” on its home page. Transgenderism also matters to it…constantly and obsessively. It’s got a podcast dedicated to racial issues (hint: whites = bad). The venerable All Things Considered (which I listened to fanatically in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, until its open anti-Israel bias drove me to become a conservative), is also obsessed with All Things Leftist.
Given the way NPR, using public funds, relentlessly pushes the professional classes ever further left, celebrating Democrats, attacking Republicans, and supporting all leftist economic, social, national security, and other policies, it was so awesome to learn that it’s hurting financially and firing people:
On Thursday, NPR disclosed that they were stopping production on several podcasts as part of a larger series of cutbacks the nonprofit news organization has been forced to make as they confront a decline in revenue projected at $30 million.
According to the Washington Post, this week “the Washington-based audio and digital-news organization began laying off about 100 employees, or 10 percent of its staff.”
In a time of disheartening news, could anything be better than that?