The Real First Amendment Threat Regarding NPR

Reason magazine:

These standoffs never end with public broadcasting getting defunded. The point of the exercise isn't to cut NPR loose; it's to use the threat of cutting NPR loose to whip the network into line.

(Emphasis supplied.) In case anyone actually cares about the First Amendment, this is what it is supposed to prohibit. It's not about determining what is on Fox or what it is on NPR. It is about preventing the government from determining what is on Fox and NPR. And that's why I join the Extreme Right in seeking the removal of government funds from NPR. NPR will be the better for it:

NPR can certainly survive without the [government] subsidies. It gets very little direct money from the CPB—less than 2 percent of its budget. [T]he network has been picking up other sources of support, just this month receiving a $1.8 million grant from George Soros' Open Society Foundations—already more than half the amount it got directly this year from the feds. As for the affiliates, nothing quite boosts a public radio station's pledge week like the possibility that those Republican meanies might pump CS gas into the Morning Edition compound and set the place on fire.

Precisely. Members of NPR can have a stronger say in what NPR's mission is. Not the government hacks. This could be a great thing for NPR.

Speaking for me only

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    First, let's end the faith-based (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:00:57 PM EST
    government funding programs, then go after NPR, if you want.

    As long as there are purse strings (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jondee on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:34:59 PM EST
    held by those with an agenda beyond, (and sometimes beneath), the goal of objectively presenting and examining the issues form 'all sides', the danger will always exist that phone calls will be made and content will be unduly influenced.



    Yes and that's not all that different (none / 0) (#33)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 02:47:39 PM EST
    at all from private funders who can influence heavily.

    The FCC is actually more of a threat to an NPR than say some congresscritter is these days.


    Both at the same time (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:53:42 PM EST
    It is the same concept....

    I'd take that deal....


    I kinda agree (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:31:31 PM EST
    NPR gets something like only 2% of its budget from the government....

    Let the wingers charge on in their jihad against NPR....Let them stand for support of bigotted commentary on Fox.

    I think the Left should invest no effort in this thing.  Watch them squirm if the Left simply says, okay, defund NPR.  Now, let's use the same standard when considering the funding of faith based initiatives....If any funds go to religious organization, then we cut them off if they step on any liberal comments.  If the Catholic Church fires a teacher for making pro-choice comments--then the funds get cut off.....

    Let the Right charge on here.

    NPR is not at all a liberal monolith.  In fact, some pretty right wing stuff is coming out of them recently....

    The 2% argument is a little misleading (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Slado on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:37:29 PM EST
    NPR gets funding from stations who get much more then 2% of their funding from federal money.


    The bigger point is they take federal money.  If it's 2% or 20% does it really matter?

    If it's really only 2% then drop it and do what you want.

    If it's 6% drop it (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:41:10 PM EST
    If it's 12% drop it.

    We are agreeing here.


    Oh I totally agree (none / 0) (#47)
    by Slado on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 04:22:35 PM EST
    I'm just saying it's a little disingenuous to claim only 2% of NPR is funded federally.

    It's more then that but she's not lying because it's not their primary source of revenue.

    Conservatives are demagoguing this issue but what do we expect?  They are pols after all.


    They already can (none / 0) (#11)
    by lilburro on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:42:49 PM EST
    do what they want.  That is the point.

    Technically, yes (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 02:33:10 PM EST
    But there's zero question that they've pushed themselves considerably rightward over the years in response to right-wing threats to cut off funding.

    Exactly (5.00 / 0) (#31)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 02:36:08 PM EST
    Doubt It (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 03:16:43 PM EST
    The shift rightward of NPR is due to the shift rightward of their listener base. The US has shifted to the right in the last 20 years, and NPR has followed the money.

    A lot changed at NPR (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by brodie on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 04:02:27 PM EST
    following the financial near-collapse of 1983 when the network nearly went dark.  Serious budget cuts a year later, led by anti-public radio conservatives in the Reagan admin and in Congress, then led to a huge diminution in fed funds to NPR, and the rather quick decision by new management to go to corporate underwriting.

    With corps and wealthy foundations now much more a role player behind the scenes, and with a conservative-minded Congress looking skeptically at the network for the next misstep, the people running NPR were inevitably going to start putting more conservative voices on air as a way to keep their new financial backers and the conservative cong'l wolves happy and fed.

    That's my understanding of how things got to where we are now.  


    Yeah (5.00 / 0) (#46)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 04:14:24 PM EST
    They have not had Federal Funding for 25 years. Corporate funding, grants and listeners have kept them going.

    The country has shifted right and so has the content, imo. Not sure what congress had to do with the rightward shift since 1985 though.


    Yes (none / 0) (#49)
    by Zorba on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 04:40:34 PM EST
    Both parties, as well as the citizenry, have shifted rightward.  As have the governments of Western Europe, apparently (Great Britain, France, Italy, Germany, even Sweden, to name a few- although at least the French are out on the streets protesting, unlike us).

    Well, perhaps (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by brodie on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 04:58:56 PM EST
    a public shift, but that's more an anti-gov't (GOP-driven) shift in attitude as opposed to a shift on specific issues.

    But I wanted to note the ca 1983 shift at NPR -- a real turning point for the network that caused huge shockwaves about whether it could survive and how it would need to quickly change in order to do so.  Iow, they decided, under new bottom-line oriented management (as opposed to public service- and programming-oriented, under previous management) to take care of their financial house first and foremost, and do so apparently the easy way while leaving a dozen years of public radio tradition largely in the dust.  

    By taking corp/foundation underwriting, they solved a number of problems quickly, while also increasing the amount of airtime devoted to fundraising from listeners.  And in doing so, 1983-4 marked the moment when NPR went from being considered something of a small, quirky "alternative" radio network, to one which was mainstream and noncontroversial in programming.  The network footprint began to grow as it stabilized its relationship with the power base in DC by placating it, then the audience grew.

    And Cokie Roberts doubling at ABC with David Brinkley on the Sunday morning windbag show was now the new normal at NPR.  The mainstreamed and corporatized Cokie paved the way for Juan and Mara.


    Yes (none / 0) (#58)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 07:38:46 PM EST
    Nice summary of their demise.... I used to listen to them before it became vanilla flavored milquetoast. Haven't tuned in in 20 years or more...

    In the early 70s the GOP strategized a complete takeover by  infiltrating institutions such as media, corporate, religious and educational institutions. The destruction of NPR was certainly part of that agenda.

    Powell Memo


    I used to listen to it a lot until (none / 0) (#69)
    by Harry Saxon on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 12:58:44 PM EST
    15 years ago, and I miss the cultural stuff but I know I'd miss the quality of reporting from the 80s through the early 90s if I started listening again, so meh.

    I still listen (none / 0) (#72)
    by Zorba on Sun Oct 24, 2010 at 03:25:16 PM EST
    to NPR, but for news I prefer the BBC (which has its own problems, but I like the way the BBC interviewers tend to, oh-so-politely [ostensibly], ask the tough questions of their interviewees that most American reporters do not).  I do like NPR for classical music and jazz.  But then, that's not news.

    Kinda my thoughts as well, (none / 0) (#40)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 03:36:24 PM EST
    although I think NPR realized it needed to broaden it's subscriber base and therefore became less left and thereby more inclusive.

    of course the question becomes (none / 0) (#41)
    by jondee on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 03:44:41 PM EST
    how did the listener base shirt rightward in the first place? If in fact it has.

    I'm thinkin' it had a lot to do with the work of all those coordinated and media influencing foundations and think tanks that popped up in the last two of three decades.


    two or three.. (none / 0) (#42)
    by jondee on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 03:45:32 PM EST
    'Twas that god among men, Reagan! n/t (none / 0) (#43)
    by lilburro on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 03:51:25 PM EST
    Yeah he made us feel good (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by jondee on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 03:56:02 PM EST
    about ourselves again (cue music and drop balloons)..

    Yeah (none / 0) (#35)
    by lilburro on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 02:52:50 PM EST
    There are just lots of people who seem to believe that NPR is somehow breaking the law.  

    In other news, I just went to Michelle Malkin's site and I think my brain exploded.


    No doubt, she wants to put (none / 0) (#36)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 03:03:35 PM EST
    all young male Muslims in Internment camps....

    That's a stretch (5.00 / 0) (#12)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:48:12 PM EST
    The other stations are separate entities that had no control over the Juan Williams' firing....

    A blurb from the article you cite:


    Where does that leave NPR? If you add up the two indirect sources of federal money - grants through CPB and member station dues - taxpayer dollars still appear to add up to less than ten percent of its budget. And while that's not negligible, it's a lot less than many people seem to think.

    Now, Palin and Huckabee could counter that they are including member stations when they discuss NPR. (Though it should be noted that member stations are separate entities that both produce their own programming and take if from other sources -- and they aren't the ones that fired Williams.) If you include member stations under the "NPR" umbrella, then the CPB allocation -- and, if you want to get into public television as well, CPB in general -- would be fair game.

    I say charge on....Defund NPR.  Next on the list, any affiliated conservative organization that gets money from the Feds and gives money to Churches.....

    They want to broaded the web, so be it...Glass houses, stones, petards....

    And by broadening, I mean (5.00 / 0) (#14)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:52:29 PM EST
    the tax deduction for giving to Churches.  

    Take away their tax exempt status if they fire anyone for saying liberal things.....

    This can be fun......


    Federal student loans and grants to (5.00 / 0) (#18)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:59:59 PM EST
    BYU and Notre Dame....and all those Baptist schools...

    Bring it on!


    Abstinence only education should get defunded (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 02:02:29 PM EST
    if it fires someone for talking about condoms....

    Hypocrits feeding at the trough....Isn't that always the case with Republicans....


    Can we take this as far... (5.00 / 0) (#39)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 03:32:03 PM EST
    as defunding the DEA?  The authoritarian fever does have a religous fervor to it...prisons are their temples, chains are their crosses.

    Abstinence only education should get defunded (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by MO Blue on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 12:13:22 PM EST
    regardless if it fires someone for talking about condoms or not. Talk about a complete waste of taxpayer funds.

    I'm for (none / 0) (#23)
    by Zorba on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 02:15:37 PM EST
    all your suggestions, MKS.  Let's do it (as if they would......sigh).

    Hmm (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by CST on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 02:20:42 PM EST
    I'm offended by what Michelle Bachman has to say.  Can we cut off her federal funding?

    Via Markos, conservative (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 02:49:46 PM EST
    conservative Eugene Volokh states:

    A bunch of people have asked me whether NPR's firing of Juan Williams for his statement about Muslims on The O'Reilly Factor violates the First Amendment. The answer is "no." NPR is not a government actor, and thus not bound by the First Amendment; that it gets some funding from the government does not make it a government actor, just as private colleges' getting grants and other benefits doesn't make them government actors bound by the First Amendment. See Rendell-Baker v. Kohn, 457 U.S. 830 (1982) (so holding, even as to a school that got 90% of its money from the government).  Emphasis Added

    So, one smart conservative knows not to go there.....

    Let's put conservatives pet projects on the block.....

    Totally agree. (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 05:24:43 PM EST
    Get the government out of National PUBLIC Radio. Completely.
    I don't care if it represents 1/4 % of their budget. The chilling effect is noticeable.

    Next in line: Corporate funding....

    Where do you then (none / 0) (#52)
    by brodie on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 05:35:59 PM EST
    get the funding?  

    Listeners only?   How often and to what extent in down times can you tap them?

    Wealthy libs?  How often do they really pony up to fund alternative media?


    Read this (none / 0) (#53)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 06:16:27 PM EST
    Corporate influence on NPR programming

    I am for listeners only if that what it takes to restore NPR to what it once was - a voice for the public.

    Right now I care about alternate media such as those that present "Democracy Now!". They manage to stay on the air.

    NPR has loftier ambitions - as with PBS.
    They want to be part of the mainstream.
    I have little interest in them at present.
    For me, they no longer represent an alternative voice.


    I'm well aware of (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by brodie on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 06:37:37 PM EST
    the malign corp influence at NPR, as I indicated in some posts above.  I also noted how NPR, roughly in 1983, went from alternative to mainstream/corporate as they chased big sources of money to stay financially afloat.

    Alternative media, so-called, is nice and neat and simple, and at first glance might be preferable to most of us on the left.  The question is how to pay for it.  And whether going entirely or predominantly listener sponsored is the way to do it, particularly in a down economy that might remain down for years to come.  Also, will listeners put up with the constant on-air appeals for money, or begin to rebel and go elsewhere.

    Pacifica has one or two positives going for it, as with one show, DN, but the relatively small network itself is hardly a credible example of what to do right given its recent serious management and staff morale problems.  And, last I heard, even with DN and Amy and no corporate underwriting, the network is losing not gaining listeners.

    So I wonder about the efficacy of relying so heavily on listeners to pay the bills.

    As for public broadcasting, I would prefer they return to original missions as opposed to being just another mainstream outlet (minus all the comm'ls).  But it may be necessary to re-think how they are funded, though politically at the moment this is problematic.  Clearly corp underwriting is anti-mission in its effect, but relying so much on listeners wouldn't seem to be sufficient to provide a stable year-to-year foundation.    


    Agreed (none / 0) (#56)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 07:17:18 PM EST
    ...it may be necessary to re-think how they are funded.

    I also agree about what you said about Pacifica.


    Another thought... (none / 0) (#57)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 07:26:48 PM EST
    You also wrote:

    I also noted how NPR, roughly in 1983, went from alternative to mainstream/corporate as they chased big sources of money to stay financially afloat.

    This reminds me of what happened to Jazz.

    Jazz musicians, to "stay financially afloat", to put bread on the table, also began to chase "bigger sources of money". They did this by adding more and more commercial elements to their music to the point where the portion of it that is recognizable as Jazz is negligible.

    It is the plight of the artist trying to make a go of it in this world.

    As with an individual artist, a perniciously funded NPR survives as a corporate entity, but its identity has been lost in the process.


    Why shouldn't the people want a radio station? (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by NealB on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 11:06:48 PM EST
    And how else we going to fund it?

    NPR is boring. Nobody (well one other person I know) listens to it. Still, if We the People want to have a public radio station, we should have one. Though nobody much listens to NPR, I see nothing wrong with continuing to support a public radio station. How much does that cost, really, in the big scheme of things? A couple of million, maybe a few hundred million dollars a year? This is little to pay for a radio station we can tune in to once in a while on our lunch breaks to learn something interesting about why wind farms in Iowa help preserve vital species in prairies hundreds of miles away. And they keep the dramatic music intervals short and to a reasonable volume. Once in a while dull, boring, nobody listens to it NPR is just right. People would miss it if it was gone.

    To me, NPR stopped being (5.00 / 0) (#65)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 07:06:38 AM EST
    NPR when the commercials for the corporate sponsors started following various segments.

    Money Money Who's got the money? (3.50 / 4) (#60)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 09:39:05 PM EST
    Well, let me see.....

    Soros gives NPR $1.8 million and Williams is sacked.


    I wonder why no one here has mentioned that.

    So your saying that Mr. Williams (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 10:18:41 PM EST
    was targeted in an attempt to please Soros because he donated money to NPR?

    Yep, he sounds like that Chicago politician Obama:

    From NPR(dot)org

    What is your history with Human Rights Watch?

    Mr. GEORGE SOROS (Founder, Open Society Foundations): I cut my teeth in philanthropy with Human Rights Watch, so I know them very well. And it's very unusual for an organization to be able to grow and not lose its initial zeal, so to speak, and its quality. It's an American organization.

    And that has become a drawback, because America has lost the moral high ground for promoting human rights. So I want the organization to become truly international with maybe the American members in a minority.

    Click Me

    Ohh, that sounds so scary!  What if he included people like Muslims, Buddhists, and other low forms of humanity.



    "International" (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by jondee on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 10:45:23 PM EST
    you know what that means: first step toward world government, ungodliness, socialism, the mongrelization of the races and the permanent contamination of our precious bodily fluids. Just like it says in Revelations. Courtesy of Mr Soros.

    Would it be unfair to say that with (none / 0) (#67)
    by Harry Saxon on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 11:52:03 AM EST
    a track record of postings at his blog about how Obama isn't a real Amurikan, he's demonstrated how to be a John Bircher without joining the John Birch society?

    Great article in the Oct. 18th New Yorker magazine about the roots of the current Tea Party movement in extreme movements on the right like the J.B. Society, lots of food for thought, IMHO.  


    Yiu can try to (1.00 / 0) (#70)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 24, 2010 at 08:22:11 AM EST
    distract, but facts be facts.

    NPR gets money and Williams gets fired.



    "Facts be facts" (none / 0) (#71)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 24, 2010 at 08:38:27 AM EST
    Soros gave money to NPR (along with dozens/hundreds of other organizations).  Williams was fired.  Those are the only "facts".

    Everything else is just a winger fairytale.


    PPJ is just being a good 'dittohead' (none / 0) (#73)
    by Harry Saxon on Sun Oct 24, 2010 at 05:37:32 PM EST
    or he thinks alike the genius himself, Mr. Beck:

    From mediamatters(dot)org:

    BECK: Is it a coincidence that on the day that George Soros gives Media Matters a million dollars to boycott me, to intimidate Fox -- George Soros, who also gives $1.8 million to NPR, Juan Williams' employer. On the same day he issues this statement, they fire Juan Williams? Is that a coincidence? Really? Look, this is what the First Amendment is for.

    Click Me


    Maybe they're just not big fans ... (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Yman on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 10:02:40 AM EST
    ... of baseless conspiracy theories.

    I have been reading (none / 0) (#2)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:10:33 PM EST
    that NPR is one of the only news agencies that has actually been expanding.  maybe that is what Rush and his ilk is worried about.

    My understanding was that (none / 0) (#3)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:12:45 PM EST
    the "government hacks" already have no say in what NPR's mission is, at least that's what NPR's CEO said yesterday AM.

    iow, "the threat of cutting NPR loose" doesn't really exist, as far as NPR is concerned.

    Has the CEO said something more recently that would lead one to believe she's changed her tune?

    Maybe (5.00 / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:31:41 PM EST
    you can explain that to DeMint and Cantor and Gingrich and . . .

    I assume by your response that NPR hs not (none / 0) (#10)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:42:33 PM EST
    changed it's tune, that it still says that the gvt has no say in what its mission is.

    I don't know (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:54:34 PM EST
    But why did you not answer my point about DeMint, Cantor and Gingrich?

    Because it's immaterial to my point. (none / 0) (#21)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 02:06:21 PM EST
    According to NPR's CEO, NPR is not beholden to gvt funding. Therefore, if this is true, any threats of cutting that funding will have no effect on NPR's mission.

    It will be interesting to see if NPR CEO Vivian Schiller changes her tune, or loses the "NPR CEO" part of her title, or...


    If your point is to ignore the (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 02:09:51 PM EST
    actual events that have occurred on this issue, then well played sir!

    Vivian Schiller's aspiration is your point? What about Demint? Does the government's attempt at coercing NPR crack your awareness at any point in this discussion?

    I assume not. Which makes discussing the First Amendment with you rather pointless.


    or does not actually have a say in NPR's mission.

    If they don't, then the "actual events" you want to discuss (DeMint et al) are not about the 1A, but instead, imo, are pure politics - those "actual events" will have no practical effect on NPR, but will rouse the DeMint et al base and, in turn, also those who oppose the DeMints of this world.

    Regarding funding of NPR, etc, I've long felt that while such funding may have been reasonable, back in the day, today not so much.


    I wonder what will happen (none / 0) (#28)
    by CST on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 02:32:03 PM EST
    to the member stations.  The only way to cut off indirect federal funding of NPR is - I assume - to cut off funding for the member stations.

    I wonder if they could survive that.  Or if they would just force them to itemize and spend their federal dollars on something else.  In which case, nothing would change but the paperwork.


    I'm not sure, I think NPR applies for, (none / 0) (#32)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 02:36:46 PM EST
    and often gets, competitive grants from various foundations and those foundations get those grant funds from the gvt.

    I don't know how the member stations figure into all this.


    Ah, I just read about member stations. (none / 0) (#48)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 04:33:38 PM EST
    Yes, they would likely just make sure their accountants show that their fed monies got spent on something other than NPR dues.

    You are saying that NPR cannot (none / 0) (#25)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 02:21:24 PM EST
    be intimidated by the GOP because that is what the NPR CEO says....

    Well, I hope that is true....

    But, you miss the point--regardless of whether their efforts to intimidate NPR will be successful, they are trying to do just that.....It is about DeMint's et al intention.  This is seen by the Right as a way to tame or get back at NPR, or ideally put it out of business.....


    As I replied to BTD, (none / 0) (#27)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 02:30:34 PM EST
    I am not sure DeMint's intention is what you think it is.

    It seems pretty clear (5.00 / 0) (#30)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 02:35:30 PM EST
    There has been an avalance of conservative criticism of NPR across the board--as liberal or ultra-liberal, which is actually quite untrue....

    The reason conservatives are going after NPR is its reputation for being liberal, not because of this one incident with Juan Williams....He is just the excuse....



    This is seen as an opportunity (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:39:46 PM EST
    to get NPR to be more conservative--to intimidate NPR into being less "liberal."

    It is an effort at controlling content via Republican itimidation....

    Eff 'em....

    Take your money and get lost....


    Hmm (none / 0) (#13)
    by lilburro on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:49:52 PM EST
    I would rather see the 1st Amendment defended in the sense you wrote about yesterday.

    Huckabee proposes the cutting of government funding to NPR because of its speech decisions regarding Juan Williams. This would be a patent violation of the First Amendment.

    It would provide a much needed national education on the 1st Amendment IMO.

    It's all perfectly in keeping (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by jondee on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 03:03:54 PM EST
    with the Right's m.o: make a big base-rallying bluff; another sound and fury signifying nothing -- other than another attempt to make the mouthpieces appear relevant and on the side of the people and against "big government"..

    How pathetic is it when Limbaugh and O'Reilly's schtick becomes the closest the Huckabees and Gingriches get to well-reasoned argumentation?  


    Sure (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 01:52:51 PM EST
    Who's gonna do it?

    I'd rather call the bluff on the funding issue right now.


    Hopefully (none / 0) (#20)
    by lilburro on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 02:02:33 PM EST
    some super dumb conservative organization.  I would just prefer to see the 1st Amendment issue hashed out esp. as people seem to spend time recently wailing about how they are losing their rights and this is just another example.  I was duly informed yesterday by a conservative that as a federally funded entity NPR is especially supposed to support free speech and thus shouldn't have fired Juan Williams.  ??  I get your point that the funding will never go away but if NPR even tried to make that happen it would be spun as a conservative victory.

    I'm not (none / 0) (#54)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 06:29:38 PM EST
    sure about that 2% quote of the amount of funding from the government...

    In a report on NPR's website in 2009 it lists funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as 11%.

    In addition to that there is another 5% from "local and state governments".

    Add to that 20% from "corporate underwriting" (imo something that walks hand in hand with government sponsorship).

    Imo, anyone listening to NPR can immediately feel the quality of control the government has on its programming. NPR claims to be insulated from direct government or corporate influence.
    But self-censorship in anticipation of grants is pernicious and unavoidable and extremely noticeable and irritating.

    Different entities (none / 0) (#59)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 08:49:45 PM EST
    The percentages you are quoting pertain to Member Stations.

    Member Station Finances

    Stations receive support from several sources - listener contributions, corporate sponsorship, in-kind and direct support from universities (for those licensed to a college or university), foundation grants and major gifts, grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and in some cases state and local governments.

    Contributions from listeners have been the largest source of revenue for many years, and generally are the most reliable revenue source regardless of the economic climate. Sponsorship from local companies and organizations (also known as Corporate Sponsorship or Business Support) is the second largest source.

    NPR Finances

    NPR's revenue comes primarily from fees paid by our member stations, contributions from corporate sponsors, institutional foundation grants, gifts from major donors, and fees paid by users of The Public Radio Satellite System. We receive no direct federal funding for operations. The largest share of NPR's revenue comes from program fees and station dues paid by member stations that broadcast NPR programs. npr

    ax all public funding (none / 0) (#64)
    by cpinva on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 11:25:57 PM EST
    for all "faith based" programs as well. it isn't good for them either.

    don't hold your breath...................