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March 17, 2011 1:16 PM   Subscribe

The US House of Representatives has voted to cut all federal NPR funding. To take effect, this would still need to make it through the senate, which most likely would not succeed.

For a view from the other side of the media-aisle, Fox News has their own take on the vote.
posted by pla (133 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, whad'ya know?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:17 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


To editorialize a bit (I saved it for the comments), I personally find NPR an extremely valuable, mostly nonpartisan source of news - Perhaps the only one available to most Americans. Losing funding for it might help in the long run, as Ron Schiller (sort-of) said, but in the short term would mean the loss of up to a third of local affiliate stations.
posted by pla at 1:18 PM on March 17, 2011


WOOO HEY GUY'S IT POLITICAL STUNTWORK YEAHHHH!

2012: We really tried to fix the government, but they won'tlet us! Boo hoo! Look at all the stuff we almost passed! Won't you vote more of us in so that won't happen?
posted by cavalier at 1:19 PM on March 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


In the Obamaesque spirit of national unity, perhaps we can have a compromise bill where FOX News and News Corporation can no longer hire or pay future presidential candidates to be on their media properties.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:19 PM on March 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


Partisan politics FTW!!!!!!!!
posted by eas98 at 1:19 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sweet, I can't wait to see how many jobs this creates. Thanks, Republicans!
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:20 PM on March 17, 2011 [42 favorites]


Wait Wait, Don't Cancel Me
posted by theodolite at 1:20 PM on March 17, 2011 [25 favorites]


No federal funding for Fox News.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:22 PM on March 17, 2011 [10 favorites]


"The growing reliance of the US House of Representatives on James O'Keefe as a moral compass doesn't speak well for it or our nation"
posted by weston at 1:23 PM on March 17, 2011 [22 favorites]


Ira Glass' take on this is, well, exactly right.
posted by Bromius at 1:23 PM on March 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


I have a solution! If we sterilize everybody now, we won't have to worry about future generations paying high taxes.

I'll be accepting keys to the city from 4:30 until 4:45 EDT.
posted by cloeburner at 1:23 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


56 percent of Republicans saying they don't want it defunded.

Way less than the 83% of Democrats, but still over half. I don't normally like to belittle even my most hated enemies, but these House Republicans are a bunch of know-nothing ass-clowns.
posted by charred husk at 1:23 PM on March 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


I can't get excited about this, because I am confident 1) this won't pass the Senate and 2) NPR would survive without any federal funding.

But I am real interested to know what will happen with the wholesale assault on funding of health and nutrition programs for low income women and children. Does anyone know what's up with that?
posted by bearwife at 1:23 PM on March 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Good thing we have a president to veto stuff like this.
posted by smackfu at 1:24 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's something bizarre about reading dispassionate, factual accounts of the Republican attack on NPR on NPR's own website. It's almost like a Monty Pythonesque scene with a journalist narrating their own disemboweling by a large grizzly bear.

I think that's part of why I like them so much.
posted by ghharr at 1:24 PM on March 17, 2011 [61 favorites]


Okay, so to review: NPR gets something like 1% of its funding from the government to begin with, and this will never pass the Senate so it won't even affect that.

Spectacular. Well, as long as they're spending their time on this, at least this means they're not doing any actual damage. Keep it up, I guess.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:24 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


So the point of this post is to highlight something that will most likely turn out to be nothing?
posted by reductiondesign at 1:24 PM on March 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Anthony Weiner's (D-NY) testimony from before the vote was incredible, hilarious, and true.

2 months in, and the House has done nothing to advance or even propose any sort of legislation to alleviate the jobs problem. Instead, they're grinding every old Republican axe in the book, knowing full well that none of it will pass the Senate or Veto Pen. (Although I will concede that they've been depressingly effective at setting the tone of the debates in the Senate)
posted by schmod at 1:24 PM on March 17, 2011 [22 favorites]


Harry Reid, in the article: Public radio and the top-notch journalists it employs are valuable resources to people of all ages across the country and I can't understand why Republicans would want to take that away from them.

If Reid says he "can't understand", then he is either an idiot, or lying. Republicans benefit from public stupidity. Simple as that. Perhaps he could share his reasoning as to why the Democrats consistently, constantly, and continually refuse to call them on this and all their other bullshit.

posted by aeschenkarnos at 1:25 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


One GOP member, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, voted present.

Ha!
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:25 PM on March 17, 2011


In related news ...

James O'Keefe Requests Nonprofit Status For Project Veritas
As his role in the recent NPR controversy continues to develop, conservative filmmaker and self-proclaimed muckraker journalist James O'Keefe is seeking nonprofit status for his Project Veritas organization. However, O'Keefe's past may play a detrimental role in his attempt for tax-exemption.

Currently, the Project Veritas website features a section where viewers can donate, however it states that donations are not tax-deductible due to its pending nonprofit status.

Marc Owens, a Washington tax lawyer who has monitored tax-exempt groups with the IRS, told the Chronicle of Philanthropy that its application for 501(c)3 status may not be accepted due to O'Keefe's criminal record and his public statement that he'd "do it again." | more ...
posted by ericb at 1:26 PM on March 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


For a view from the other side of the media-aisle, Fox News has their own take on the vote.

That article is more balanced than I thought it would be.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 1:27 PM on March 17, 2011


It really shows you how extremely extreme right the Republican party is when they hate even the centrist news agencies like NPR with such a passion.
posted by DU at 1:28 PM on March 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


What a sickening pack of grandstanding shitbags. Cavalier has it dead right - this is all part of the 2012 strategy. Gonna get on that jobs thing any second now, right guys?
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:29 PM on March 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Good.

I can hear the jobs being created already.

Thanks, House!
posted by jefficator at 1:30 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


That article is more balanced than I thought it would be.

Fox, being a for-profit media entity, will usually defend media company rights. Its bad for the bottom line to endorse policies or behaviors that could hurt them as well.
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:30 PM on March 17, 2011


For a view from the other side of the media-aisle, Fox News has their own take on the vote.

That article is more balanced than I thought it would be.


Even a stopped clock doesn't have time to inject divisive rhetoric into an AP news bulletin twice a day...
posted by schmod at 1:30 PM on March 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


All NPR has to do is change their name to "Patriotic American Radio", and no one will touch their funding ever again.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:31 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


PR gets something like 1% of its funding from the government to begin with...

Yep.

CBS News
"And though NPR is widely seen as publicly funded, the majority of its funding does not come (even indirectly) from taxpayers. NPR doesn't receive direct federal funding for operations - the largest chunk of its money comes from program fees and station dues, as NPR's finances page lays out.

NPR does end up with some federal funding in an indirect sense, though it only makes up between one and three percent of the group's budget on a yearly basis, according to NPR CEO Vivian Schiller, who discussed the matter in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today.

Here's how Schiller breaks it down: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which covers both radio and television, gets $90 million per year in federal funding that goes to member public radio stations, not NPR itself. (This would be your local NPR affiliate.) She said any money NPR gets from the CPB comes via grants it has to apply for, and those grants only make up a tiny percentage of the overall NPR budget, which Schiller puts at $160 million per year.

(Looking at CPB's financials - page 17 specifically -- it appears the group got a $422 million total allocation from the federal government in FY2010, of which roughly $93 million went to radio.)

'NPR gets no allocation from CPB,' Schiller said. 'Zero. We are a private 501(c)3. We've had journalists call up and ask what department of the government we report to. That's laughable.'"
posted by ericb at 1:33 PM on March 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


But I am real interested to know what will happen with the wholesale assault on funding of health and nutrition programs for low income women and children. Does anyone know what's up with that?

Realistically? A whole lot of low-income women and children will suffer.
posted by odinsdream at 1:33 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wish someone would bust the Axe Grinders union. Axe Grinders make way more than the average American, and their benefits are unreal. Who else gets to write off Oxy and falafel as a business expense?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:34 PM on March 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


And in "upside-down" parallel world ...

Glenn Beck’s Website Reveals NPR Lunch Video Was Edited To Ruin NPR.
posted by ericb at 1:35 PM on March 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


All NPR has to do is change their name to "Patriotic American Radio", and no one will touch their funding ever again.

American Public Radio was taken.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:35 PM on March 17, 2011


All NPR has to do is change their name to "Patriotic American Radio", and no one will touch their funding ever again.

National Patriot Radio. You don't even need to change the logo.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 1:35 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


"And even though [someone] [does something bizarre] when we say it, this is NPR."

Click and Clack, you can drop this bit now. It's too close to reality to be funny any longer.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:36 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


What a sickening pack of grandstanding shitbags. Cavalier has it dead right - this is all part of the 2012 strategy. Gonna get on that jobs thing any second now, right guys?
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:29 PM on March 17


If by "jobs" you mean creating an environment where poor and lower middle class kids have no choice but to enlist in the military, then yes, they are all over it.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:36 PM on March 17, 2011 [15 favorites]


What's particularly unsettling about this is that a great number of these 87 new GOP tools in the House now are men (mostly men) who were kids and/or teenagers and/or in college when Reagan was in the White House.

That means that all of the assholes who ran screaming down my dorm halls in college, "REAGAN #1! REAGAN #1!" like a stampede of dimwitted elephants, and who gave each other high-fives when Reagan joked about nuking Russia in five minutes, or who swooned when Reagan got re-elected in a landslide over the hapless Walter Mondale and when Maggie Thatcher had a similar landslide over Neil Kinnock, or who threw riotous keggers when Reagan bombed the shit out of Qaddafi, are the exact same shitheads who are now elected legislators and are about to make all of the fucked up decisions about to come down the pike in the House, including this one.

Basically, Alex P. Keaton in 87-plicate. (And I'm not kidding: " 'People joked that I was an Alex P. Keaton when I was a kid,' said New Hampshire Rep. Frank Guinta, 40, referencing Michael J. Fox's briefcase-toting young Republican character in the 1980s sitcom 'Family Ties.' 'I was reading the Wall Street Journal at a young age. I was engaged in the markets.' ")
posted by blucevalo at 1:36 PM on March 17, 2011 [15 favorites]


I wonder if the perception that NPR and PBS are hugely funded by government grants isn't perpetuated by a grass-roots thing on the left.

What I mean is -- I remember seeing a flurry of Facebook and chain-email posts going around a few weeks ago from well-intentioned people urging me to write my congressperson and "don't let them take money away from Big Bird!" The argument was that Congress was inches away from passing this very thing -- and if they did it would take away ALL of NPR and PBS's funding and they'd cancel Sesame Street and things would be bad.

If only one percent of PBS and NPR's funding comes from the government, though, then those chain emails are just scare tactics, no?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:37 PM on March 17, 2011


Well, you know, NPR is about 1/6 of total domestic spending, so it makes sense to cut it. Pretty sure this will balance the budget in short order.
posted by Mister_A at 1:37 PM on March 17, 2011 [3 favorites]




What a sickening pack of grandstanding shitbags. Cavalier has it dead right - this is all part of the 2012 strategy. Gonna get on that jobs thing any second now, right guys?
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:29 PM on March 17


Honestly, it's bigger than elections. It's part of a campaign of attacks against unions, public funding, and the American working class in general. It's horrifying to watch, even from outside of America.
posted by Stagger Lee at 1:38 PM on March 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


Good thing we have a president to veto stuff like this.

White House Reaffirms Commitment To Funding NPR, Public Broadcasting.
posted by ericb at 1:39 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


EmpressCallipygos: "If only one percent of PBS and NPR's funding comes from the government, though, then those chain emails are just scare tactics, no?"

It's not life-threatening to NPR, PBS, or CPB, but I understand that defunding public broadcasting is a far more serious threat to the myriad local stations that depend on government funding to purchase programming for their area.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:41 PM on March 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


reductiondesign : So the point of this post is to highlight something that will most likely turn out to be nothing?

The point? Awareness, nothing more.

If you don't care about the target, then awareness about the House violating their own brand-new rules to take a vote on something that most likely can't pass the senate. Awareness that, after promising to fix the economy, the GOP has spent its time going after abortion and taking what amounts to loose change away from (what it perceives as) its political opponents. Awareness that if you like NPR, you might want to toss them a bone next time their quarterly pledge drive annoys you into changing the station.

Awareness, nothing more.
posted by pla at 1:43 PM on March 17, 2011 [10 favorites]


Everyone, use this as a good reminder to go donate some cash to your local public radio affiliate! They need money throughout the year, not just when it's fund-raising time. The vast majority of stations have a way to donate online and it will take less than five minutes of your time. Even a $5 "I'm thinking of you and supporting you!" donation would be very welcome, particularly if you haven't donated before. New people on the rolls matters a lot! Go donate!
posted by stoneweaver at 1:45 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you don't care about the target, then awareness about the House violating their own brand-new rules to take a vote on something that most likely can't pass the senate. Awareness that, after promising to fix the economy, the GOP has spent its time going after abortion and taking what amounts to loose change away from (what it perceives as) its political opponents. Awareness that if you like NPR, you might want to toss them a bone next time their quarterly pledge drive annoys you into changing the station.

Awareness, nothing more.


Well said.
posted by kafziel at 1:47 PM on March 17, 2011


I have never really understood the context of the Dark Ages...until the past few years...when it is all too clear how it can happen.
posted by zerobyproxy at 1:49 PM on March 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


The problem isn't with the cutting of funding to NPR itself, its the proposed elimination of funding to member stations, some of which rely more on public funding than others. When I saw Ira Glass speak at FSU recently he explained that our own local NPR and CPB affiliates rely on public funding to cover something approaching 20% of their total budget. Our station would likely have to shut down if it couldn't make up the gap through listener donations (which means more pledge drives crowding out content).
posted by saulgoodman at 1:49 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


....If people want to do something with that awareness --

here is a link to find out who your congressional rep is, and

here is a link to which congressperson voted how.

So people know who to call and tell to cut the damn shit already.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:50 PM on March 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


If only one percent of PBS and NPR's funding comes from the government, though, then those chain emails are just scare tactics, no?

It's worth noting that NPR gets its small chunk of federal money via CPB, which provides a lot more money to public television. I think defunding CPB as a whole would just about kill public TV. That's where the motivation for those scare emails generally is.

NPR, if they're smart, will use this idiocy to convince a lot of people like me to double their contributions this year. I know I will.
posted by rusty at 1:51 PM on March 17, 2011


What grinds my gears about the House Republicans stunts like this is that there's some really fucked up things going on in the country and world at this moment and they waste it on this shit. Cutting NPR has nothing to do with balancing the budget and everything to do with pandering to the teabaggers.

Meanwhile school budgets get cut so there will be more kids lacking the critical thinking skills and be part of NPR's core audience. So it makes sense to cut NPR when you're cutting school budgets because in a generation people will be too stupid to understand it anyway.
posted by birdherder at 1:58 PM on March 17, 2011


Apparently, tilting at windmills is easier than accomplishing anything constructive.
posted by zarq at 1:59 PM on March 17, 2011


This was a smart move.

When China stops buying US debt and we are forced to balance the budget by cutting defense spending because no one will lend us anymore money, the House has just taken the first step toward insuring that only poor Rachel Madow and Jon Stewart will be around to inform us.
posted by jefficator at 2:00 PM on March 17, 2011


Do they do anything when they are not running 30 minute fund drive talkathons? If they got defunded, would the money raising go on even longer?
posted by Postroad at 2:05 PM on March 17, 2011


What grinds my gears about the House Republicans stunts like this is that there's some really fucked up things going on in the country and world at this moment and they waste it on this shit.

A tactic well-honed by the GOP's 'Coordinated Talking Points®.' This week:
Some Republicans Chide Obama for ESPN Hoops Pick
President Obama’s interview with ESPN on his NCAA basketball tournament picks is getting slammed from some Republicans. They say it’s bad form given the deadly disaster in Japan, worsening violence in Libya and stalemate over the U.S. budget at home.

“How can Barack Obama say he is leading when he puts his NCAA bracket over the budget and other pressing issues?” Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman, tweeted Wednesday.

Fred Thompson, the TV actor, former Tennessee senator and onetime presidential candidate also chimed in on the blog of the conservative website of National Review.

The “difference between President Obama and the rest of us is that we aren’t calling a meeting of the White House communications staff to rehearse our bracket unveils for a national TV audience while ducking national-security issues, budget negotiations, Social Security reform meetings … you get the idea,” Thompson wrote.

A liberal commentator at the website Talking Points Memo fired back that it’s ridiculous to criticize the president for being a sports fan. “Maybe Obama would have been better off not talking about sports — that way, conservatives could stick to attacking him as an out-of-touch elitist,” he mocked.

In his ESPN interview, the president opened his remarks by asking for donations to Japan.

“One thing I wanted to make sure that viewers who are filling out their brackets — this is a great tradition, we have fun every year doing it — but while you’re doing it, if you’re on your laptop, et cetera, go to usaid.gov and that’s going to list a whole range of charities where you can potentially contribute to help the people who have been devastated in Japan, “Obama said. “I think that would be a great gesture as you’re filling out your brackets.”
posted by ericb at 2:06 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


NPR, if they're smart, will use this idiocy to convince a lot of people like me to double their contributions this year. I know I will.

I've been hearing about this for weeks from my local affiliate, and I'm sure NPR has been doing the same thing too.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:06 PM on March 17, 2011


As much as I love a good Weiner rant, does a speech like that -- heavily loaded with sarcasm -- get recorded in some sort of Congressional record? Perhaps they can italicize sarcasm? I just imagine some researcher years from now coming across that and becoming terribly confused as to why Weiner hated Car Talk so much?
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 2:14 PM on March 17, 2011


At times I think NPR is a bit feckless, but I acknowledge part of that is having to act like even the most idiotic Hose member is a serious and respectable member of government. I actually was pretty pissed at NPR for their recent firing of Ron Schiller, it quickly and absolutely kowtowed to the worst in society. I sure as hell would not want to work for NPR given how spineless they are in standing up and supporting it's employees.

I think it is more like 15% of funding they get from the feds... so if it indeed got cut I suspect NPR would survive. And in a dispassionate frame of mind that might be a good thing, as they would no longer live in fear of the feds cutting funds and could go full tilt apeshit when the government does do something idiotic, or when one party starts acting like a bunch of McCarthy frat boys drunk on Old Milwaukee. In the short to medium term it has been said that such cuts would cause a lot of stations to go dark, which would be a real loss to many smaller communities.
posted by edgeways at 2:15 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


President Obama’s interview with ESPN on his NCAA basketball tournament picks is getting slammed from some Republicans. They say it’s bad form given the deadly disaster in Japan, worsening violence in Libya and stalemate over the U.S. budget at home.

Now watch this drive.
posted by kafziel at 2:17 PM on March 17, 2011 [21 favorites]


I hereby resolve to give more money to:
  1. NPR
  2. Democratic candidates in 2012
posted by Zed at 2:22 PM on March 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


"The growing reliance of the US House of Representatives on James O'Keefe as a moral compass doesn't speak well for it or our nation"

I say this with absolutely no sense of humor or snark; if James O'Keefe is being used as a moral compass in any legitimate sense, we are doomed.

This is a person who has knowingly and repeatedly used falsehoods in an effort to destroy people's lives. If this is an example of where we are going to turn for guidance, we will not survive, but eat each other alive.

I realize that there are far worse actors in the background than O'Keefe, who have much more influence on the subtle levers of power, but he's an obvious and clumsy example of all that is wrong; he hasn't yet learned to be sneaky, and he should be pilloried here and now before that happens.
posted by quin at 2:26 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


The ESPN thing will do about as much damage to Obama as arugula or fancy mustard. That kind of stuff is really tuned out, aside from the birthers most Americans seem to consider the guy pretty likable. They should stick to policy attacks, where they can make some headway as long as they FUD hard enough.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:27 PM on March 17, 2011


I was wondering where to paste this as it is way to thin for a FPP:

Republicans are now complaining that gay marriage is a wedge issue against the GOP
posted by edgeways at 2:30 PM on March 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


That kind of stuff is really tuned out, aside from the birthers most Americans seem to consider the guy pretty likable.

While on that topic ...

Make-Believe Billionaire Candidate Donald Trump Is a Birther Now.

Donald Trump Would Spend $600 Million of His Own Cash on 2012 Campaign.
posted by ericb at 2:32 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Donald Trump Would Spend $600 Million of His Own Cash on 2012 Campaign.

Dude should call up Meg & Carly first. He might as well just burn a gigantic pile of cash.
posted by GuyZero at 2:33 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Trump to reality: "You're fired!"
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:34 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Maybe he could get his hair to run as Veep
posted by edgeways at 2:35 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


If Reid says he "can't understand", then he is either an idiot, or lying.

Or, like, he could be speaking rhetorically.
posted by empath at 2:35 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Republicans are now complaining that gay marriage is a wedge issue against the GOP.

More evidence of the existence of an "upside-down" parallel world.

In how many years will we start to see Republican, right-wingers attempting to rewrite their pasts, so as to avoid being seen as homophobes for their past words an actions and hoping to not be remembered as being on the "wrong side of history?"

For example, see: "Sen. Jesse Helms said Wednesday he was ashamed he had not done more to fight the worldwide AIDS epidemic and promised to keep it on his agenda until he leaves office next year."
posted by ericb at 2:40 PM on March 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


Thanks Republicans. Convinced me to make a $60 donation to my local Public Television/Radio station. Good work.
posted by jgaiser at 2:43 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


"The American people are not concerned about the economy around the world," he said sarcastically. "They're staring at their radio station saying, get rid of Click And Clack. Finally my Republican friends are getting rid of them. Kudos to you."

If you put it that way, I'm against public radio as well.
posted by brundlefly at 2:43 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I couldn't give two shits about NPR losing funding- their coverage is always on a really low level and always lets the bad guys have the word and then basically goes "Well, the truth must be somewhere in the middle!". Oh, and their music programming is completely gormless.

It's other stations that receive funding that I care about. I have a show on one. Alongside one student station, we're the only ones around playing something that's not Top 40, country or Christian- I do my best to play music you wouldn't hear anywhere else. Without the station, my area would be culturally poorer as a result.

But yeah, that "Liberal bias on NPR" thing is total bullshit.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:43 PM on March 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


I personally find NPR an extremely valuable, mostly nonpartisan source of news - Perhaps the only one available to most Americans

Yep. I'm (more or less) right leaning, and I've always heard that NPR is this crazy left wing station, or Radio Communist America, or what-have-you. But a few years ago I figured it couldn't be any worse than the conservative AM echo chamber that people listen to around here, and so I checked it out. It's great! Even with all the craziness here in Wisconsin this month, I suspect that NPR and WPR were the only places that had people from both sides of the issues coming together and debating. There's nothing like hearing a former Republican senator and DNC delegate duke it out during my morning commute.

I think I probably need to throw a few bucks their way.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:44 PM on March 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


> Some Republicans Chide Obama for ESPN Hoops Pick

I lost a bet with myself that that was an Onion article.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:45 PM on March 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


NPR isn't too worried about the 15% cut they would get. But the affiliate stations that get some 30% of their funding through CPB, some of which which gets remitted to NPR, would be practically fatal.

I keep hoping that the Democrats are carefully calculating the amount of rope that they are feeding out the Republicans....for maximum effect when it comes time to let them hanf themselves. I am not even remotely sanguine that this is the case.

On a side note, I was highly amused that Fox News was unable to start operations in Canada...because it's illegal under Canadian law to broadcast lies. Unlike the U.S., where it is perfectly legal.

Yes, reality has a liberal bias.
posted by Xoebe at 2:45 PM on March 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


"The American people are not concerned about the economy around the world," he said sarcastically. "They're staring at their radio station saying, get rid of Click And Clack. Finally my Republican friends are getting rid of them. Kudos to you."

Could we just cut the 10 minutes of guffawing laughter in every hour of "Car Talk"?
posted by GuyZero at 2:47 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]



On a side note, I was highly amused that Fox News was unable to start operations in Canada...because it's illegal under Canadian law to broadcast lies. Unlike the U.S., where it is perfectly legal.


Holy shit, I didn't know Harper tried to repeal that.
Maybe that's why he's threatening to defund the CBC now. Vengeance.
posted by Stagger Lee at 2:50 PM on March 17, 2011


In how many years will we start to see Republican...

Generally, like Helms, the last year in office so they don't have to pretend to hold a given viewpoint anymore.

I swear to toast that at least half of the politicians who voted for DOMA and the like don't really give a shit. Hell, there are multiple stories floating around about just how blase GWB acted around folks who where gay... you know like the majority of people do. His kids are pro SSM.

So, just how much of the "march of progress" is held back by politicians playing to the worst in society even though they themselves may not hold those beliefs.
posted by edgeways at 2:50 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


In how many years will we start to see Republican, right-wingers attempting to rewrite their pasts, so as to avoid being seen as homophobes for their past words an actions and hoping to not be remembered as being on the "wrong side of history?"

Well, it would speed things up if Democratic presidents would come out loudly in support of gay marriage.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:53 PM on March 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


you think? I think it would entrench them even further. Right now I suspect if Obama said it was nice and sunny and everyone should go outside and enjoy it the House would immediately pass a resolution demanding greater air pollution to defend us against the socialist sun providing sunlight to everyone without charging for it.

I'm only half kidding.
posted by edgeways at 2:57 PM on March 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Do you know where the sun was born? I'm not saying it wasn't born here... I'm just saying how can we know?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:59 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


certainly not Americans.. unlike white-jesus
posted by edgeways at 3:02 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


GuyZero: "Could we just cut the 10 minutes of guffawing laughter in every hour of "Car Talk"?"

Oh gawd. It's the snorting that makes me lunge for the mute button.
posted by notsnot at 3:03 PM on March 17, 2011


I love NPR and do donate, but how is NPR getting money any different than if ClearChannel was given it. From the link above it says they are a private corporation. It seems like most people are against corporate welfare, how is NPR different.

Not trolling here just have always wondered.
posted by travis08 at 3:07 PM on March 17, 2011


It's a non-profit corporation.
posted by yeti at 3:18 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


ClearChannel is a for profit enterprise. NPR is a nonprofit. "Corporate welfare" is usually used to describe the government giving for-profit corporations profit.

ClearChannel's mission statement: "To provide outstanding entertainment and information products and services to our communities and effective solutions to advertisers."

NPR's mission statement:
The mission of NPR is to work in partnership with member stations to create a more informed public - one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.

To accomplish our mission, we produce, acquire, and distribute programming that meets the highest standards of public service in journalism and cultural expression; we represent our members in matters of their mutual interest; and we provide satellite interconnection for the entire public radio system.
posted by birdherder at 3:20 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just bought a public radio membership for my congressman in honor of his vote to defund.
posted by JohnFredra at 3:20 PM on March 17, 2011 [9 favorites]


NPR's mission statement:
The mission of NPR is to work in partnership with member stations to create a more informed public - one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.

To accomplish our mission, we produce, acquire, and distribute programming that meets the highest standards of public service in journalism and cultural expression; we represent our members in matters of their mutual interest; and we provide satellite interconnection for the entire public radio system...


...promote socialism.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:24 PM on March 17, 2011


It's a non-profit corporation.

Exactly.

'Public Broadcasting' definition (worldwide).

Public Radio in the United States:
A public radio network, National Public Radio (NPR), was created in 1970, following the passage of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 which established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting [CPB]. This network (generally exclusive of Pacifica Radio, described below) is colloquially though inaccurately referred to as Public Radio. Independent local public radio stations buy their programming from distributors such as NPR; Public Radio International (PRI); American Public Media (APM); The Public Radio Exchange (PRX); and Pacifica, most often distributed through the Public Radio Satellite System (PRSS). Around these distributed programs, stations fill varying amounts of local programming.

Public radio stations in the U.S. tend to broadcast a mixture of news and talk radio programming along with some music. Some of the larger operations split off these formats into separate stations or networks. Public music stations are probably best known for playing classical music, although other formats have been used, including the time-honored "eclectic" music format that is rather freeform in nature common among college radio stations; jazz is another public radio programming staple, dominating the airwaves in the major markets L.A. and New Jersey, KKJZ 88.1 FM and WBGO 88.3 FM. Also, XM Satellite Radio provides a station of public radio programs licensed from all three content providers.

Local stations derive most of the funding for their operations through regular pledge drives and corporate underwriting. Some stations also derive a portion of their funding from federal, state and local governments and government-funded colleges and universities (in addition to receiving free use of the public radio spectrum). The local stations then contract with program distributors and also provide some programming themselves. NPR produces some of its own programming such as Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and All Things Considered. PBS, by contrast, does not create its own content. NPR also receives some direct funding from private donors, foundations, and from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Some other public networks, such as Pacifica Radio, are almost entirely member-funded and do not receive significant sponsorship from corporations or governmental sources; Pacifica Radio is known for a general body of programming of (what is considered) a mainly leftist social and political viewpoint, with many programs, especially news and public affairs shows, critical and/or challenging of trends and issues in mainstream government, society and corporations.
posted by ericb at 3:34 PM on March 17, 2011


In the Obamaesque spirit of national unity, perhaps we can have a compromise bill where FOX News and News Corporation can no longer hire or pay future presidential candidates to be on their media properties. are awarded all the money taken away from everybody else.

We extort, you subside.
posted by flabdablet at 4:16 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Gah, I've been trying to figure out what to do with this. My initial reaction was to write to both NPR and my local station telling them that they wouldn't see a cent from me this year since their leadership appears to be both unprincipled (pushing out employees for having opinions) and incompetent (failing to investigate the evidence -- newsworthy evidence, even! -- before acting). But I know that a lot of my local station's programming doesn't come from NPR, and to the extent that I think NPR's federal funding is part of the problem (forcing them to kowtow to the wingnuts who can go after their pursestrings) withholding private donations seems like it would just make them more dependent on that funding.

Curious how others are coming to a decision about whether to withhold/continue/increase their support of NPR right now.
posted by bjrubble at 4:19 PM on March 17, 2011


NPR needs to go private, yesterday.

That, and what Atrios said -- I like NPR, but it's hard to want to fight for them when they just crumpled like a cheap suit over another edit-job by weasel-faced O'Keefe.

And there is some really shitty programming on NPR that takes the shine off of the good stuff. Maybe an overall change would make them less complacent.
posted by bardic at 4:39 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


And there is some really shitty programming on NPR that takes the shine off of the good stuff. Maybe an overall change would make them less complacent.

This is a both unavoidable and subjective. The CBC has some turds too, but if they had something better, they'd put it on. Plus someone listens to it.
posted by GuyZero at 5:05 PM on March 17, 2011


I've donated to the local NPR and PBS affiliates in the last week. Because I like seeing my money go to support the goals they espouse. I'd prefer my tax dollars go there, too. But none of these shit bags bothered to actually ask me.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 5:06 PM on March 17, 2011


Anthony Weiner and Jon Stewart used to be roommates. I wonder if Jon ever loans him a writer or two for an hour to polish speeches like that. The "kudos" at the end sounded just like Jon.
posted by MarvinTheCat at 5:23 PM on March 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va:

"This bill is about making sure that we are spending taxpayer dollars the way that the people that earn them would spend them"

Good, so we can end funding for the wars in the middle east and various drug laws that Americans don't support, then?
posted by lumpenprole at 5:23 PM on March 17, 2011 [13 favorites]


Anthony Weiner and Jon Stewart used to be roommates.

Hah, I didn't know that. I was just imagining Weiner hosting The Daily Show earlier after watching this video.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:42 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sweet, I can't wait to see how many jobs this creates.

Not to mention the billions it will save!
posted by tumid dahlia at 5:49 PM on March 17, 2011


This has sort of been clarified up thread, but just to make the funding mechanism clear: CPB funds both individual stories and projects that NPR, APM, PRI and PRX creates (I want to say the Kitchen Sisters, possibly) but primarily provides a significant portion of the budgets of large and small member stations. Those stations give some of that money back to NPR in exchange for programming, the same way your local broadcast TV station affiliates with NBC. The most significant difference between those media, of course, is diversity of voice: outside of most major urban markets, you're going to have a hard time finding a show that talks about important issues in minority communities like Tell Me More or Tavis Smiley (or shows hosted by people of color at all,. for that matter); you'll have a hard time finding international news which parallels the BBC World Service or the reporters NPR routinely puts in places like Libya and Egypt; you'll even have a hard time finding cultural commentary as relevant and interesting as the recent ATC series on cultural fragmentation.

Government funding is the seed money that makes those local stations economically viable and each dollar of government funding raises another six in donations. In short, it's a dirt cheap way to get a group of diverse voices to pretty much everybody in the country.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 6:15 PM on March 17, 2011


l33tpolicywonk: "In short, it's a dirt cheap way to get a group of diverse voices to pretty much everybody in the country."

You say that like it's a good thing. Most people in this country don't want to be challenged in the slightest. Hearing a voice other than one that's identical to their local peer group is utterly foreign to, well, at least the 28% who think Sarah Palin is anything other than a waste of skin.
posted by notsnot at 6:26 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hopefully increased federal attention will finally lead to an investigation of the cover-up of the Lake Wobegon murders.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:32 PM on March 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


heh
posted by clavdivs at 6:33 PM on March 17, 2011


you're going to have a hard time finding a show that talks about important issues in minority communities like Tell Me More or Tavis Smiley (or shows hosted by people of color at all,. for that matter)

Wouldn't it be even nicer if NPR hired people of color to do something besides being the token black guy?
posted by gjc at 7:12 PM on March 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


gjc : Wouldn't it be even nicer if NPR hired people of color to do something besides being the token black guy?

Uhh, you did hear that they fired the token black guy for his racist views, right? ;)
posted by pla at 7:30 PM on March 17, 2011


Gjc: given the ridiculous names of NPR reporters, not only are a fair number persons of color, but at least a third are Martian.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:33 PM on March 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's fun to say "Lakshmi Singh" with a Sean Connery accent.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:11 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Some Republicans Chide Obama for ESPN Hoops Pick

Just watch, next the GOP will insist on eliminating federal funding for any school who's team Obama chose.

The current GOP is about two steps away from becoming America's Hutus. An entire political party is making decisions not on what's best for the country, but on the basis of resentment and tribal identity.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:17 PM on March 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Looking at CPB's financials - page 17 specifically -- it appears the group got a $422 million total allocation from the federal government in FY2010, of which roughly $93 million went to radio.
The Administration continues to invest in the Nation’s military servicemembers and their families and provides them with the training, equipment, and infrastructure needed to maintain military readiness. The President's 2012 Budget for the Department of Defense (DOD) reflects that commitment, proposing $553 billion - an increase of $22 billion above the 2010 appropriation.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. . . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:19 PM on March 17, 2011 [9 favorites]


1. The NPR audience is a largely white upscale/SWPL crowd. Why should the rest of us be forced to underwrite it? Shall tax dollars support Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, too?

(By the same token, I am angry that I must subsidize Fox News via hidden fees in my cable bill.)

2. Compared to BBC Radio Four, NPR is a laughing stock. How many dramas or documentaries has it produced? How many comedies or panel games? Where is the NPR equivalent of Just A Minute or The Archers?
posted by Yakuman at 9:34 PM on March 17, 2011


Comparing NPR to Fox News is like comparing Alan Alda to Pauly Shore.

Bitching about NPR's flaws and missteps is like excoriating Alan Alda for muffing a line that Pauly Shore was lucky enough to remember.
posted by vverse23 at 9:43 PM on March 17, 2011


So one person at NPR says bad stuff about Republicans once and it's an issue while right-winger pundits and Fox News say nasty things about non-Republicans constantly and repeatedly... Now it has turned into an emergency house vote.

The Republicans are just doing this to make this incompetent Tea Party "ideology" into a martyr. Why? not sure, but I think it's add up to being able to drive things further to the extremes and make petulant horse shit like this more acceptable and therefore more common. It'll further justify and perpetuate white-reactionary-protectionist-xenophobic-victimization and accompanying Stockholm Syndrome.
posted by hellslinger at 10:51 PM on March 17, 2011


But I am real interested to know what will happen with the wholesale assault on funding of health and nutrition programs for low income women and children. Does anyone know what's up with that?

oh SNAP!
posted by Michael Pemulis at 11:12 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yakuman, did you seriously just deploy the exact same arguments those "white, upscale" folks in the GOP are going to use to de-fund all of the programs for non-white non-upscale people?

And for the record, I spend about a month a year in the UK. The NPR equivalent of The Archers isn't on the air, because that show is wall-to-wall terrible. It's like Jersey Shore for old people.
posted by dvorak_beats_qwerty at 11:26 PM on March 17, 2011


Republicans are now complaining that gay marriage is a wedge issue against the GOP

"In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy." - G. Orwell
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:09 AM on March 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


"This bill is about making sure that we are spending taxpayer dollars the way that the people that earn them would spend them"

These guys are such transparent culture-warriors that comparing them to the Taliban wouldn't be that far off the mark.

The agenda they are pushing has fuck-all to do with the budget: on the same day that they railed that we can't afford 400 million for public broadcating they overwhelmingly voted to continue spending 2 billion dollars a week in Afghanistan.

Since last year's elections,Republicans on federal and state levels have pushed for restricting public health care, loosening restrictions on child labor, dismantling collective bargaining rights, and overturning environmental protections. "Jobs, jobs, jobs" is just cover - they already have jobs.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:28 AM on March 18, 2011


This is a serious question -- does anyone yet have a libel or slander suit against O'Keefe?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:16 AM on March 18, 2011


In related news: Citing 'Punk'd,' James O'Keefe Questions Calif. Recording Law In ACORN Sting Suit.
posted by ericb at 7:22 AM on March 18, 2011


Latest James O'Keefe NPR Tape Immediately Proves A Dud.
posted by ericb at 7:24 AM on March 18, 2011


Is There Legal Tension Between James O'Keefe And Hannah Giles?
"Still dealing with the legal fallout from their undercover ACORN sting from 2009, Talking Points Memo reports that lawyers for James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles are busy responding to a California lawsuit that claims the two conservative activists broke state law by secretly tape recording ACORN workers and then releasing the recordings without permission, according to a report from Talking Points Memo.

What's interesting is that O'Keefe and Giles, who performed as an undercover team in the ACORN tapes, have different sets of lawyers and apparently very different sets of defenses." | more ...
posted by ericb at 7:26 AM on March 18, 2011


Empress, two former ACORN employees are currently suing O'Keefe. Katherine Conway-Russell from Philadelphia and Juan Carlos Vera from San Diego. Neither are public figures.
posted by zarq at 7:29 AM on March 18, 2011


The NPR Video and Political Dirty Tricks.
posted by ericb at 7:30 AM on March 18, 2011


If I were the guy that got fired from NPR, I'd seriously think about suing, too. What he did seems to be a clear case of libel.
posted by empath at 7:33 AM on March 18, 2011


I mean, if you make a public pronouncement that a person said or did something on video, and provided a forged video as proof, and that person lost his job over it, I don't see how you can't be sued for that.
posted by empath at 7:35 AM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


ericb: "In related news: Citing 'Punk'd,' James O'Keefe Questions Calif. Recording Law In ACORN Sting Suit."

People who appear on non-news television shows sign a release which allows the production company to broadcast their footage. Heck, they sometimes even make people sign a release if they're appearing on a news broadcast. You can't just put a show like Punk'd on the air without permission from those who were taped. Actor Michael Vartan reportedly refused to sign a release after his Punk'd segment was filmed, and the show couldn't air it.

Unless the ACORN folks were somehow duped into signing releases, that seems unlikely to be a successful defense.
posted by zarq at 7:39 AM on March 18, 2011


The thing with "Punk'd" is that it also made clear, within the thing you broadcast, that "it was all a joke!" They don't just show you Justin Timberlake freaking out becuase he thinks everything he owns is getting reposessed because of a tax problem -- they also show you at the very end where Ashton Kutcher comes out and says he got punk'd and Justin Timberlake laughing with relief and what-not.

Apples and oranges.

Empress, two former ACORN employees are currently suing O'Keefe.

Good. So the NPR CEO can also file his own suit, then, I hope.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:58 AM on March 18, 2011


Ending The Afghan War Would Save Taxpayers 40,000 Times More Money Than Defunding NPR
posted by homunculus at 9:29 AM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but do you know what that would do to Halliburton and XE's bottom line?!
posted by entropicamericana at 9:31 AM on March 18, 2011


Just stopping by to express my immense disapproval of the current House. That is all.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 10:39 AM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


GOP Congressman: NPR Defunding ‘Does Not Actually Save Taxpayer Dollars’.
posted by ericb at 11:52 AM on March 18, 2011


Rep. Anthony Weiner Rips House Bill to Defund NPR.
posted by ericb at 2:23 PM on March 18, 2011


It is not just national GOP that are absolute fuckheads:

MN GOP want to essentially make it illegal for people on welfare to have any cash.

fuck those fucking fuckers, with a big spiny cucumber.
posted by edgeways at 3:28 PM on March 18, 2011


So I emailed my congressman (Francisco Canseco-R, TX) about this very thing, specifically why he chose to vote the way he did, and to express my dissapointment at how congress is wasting time on this b.s. rather than dealing with the bigger problems in our country. Wanna see the reply?

Thank you for contacting and letting me know of your support for the funding of public broadcasting. I always appreciate hearing from you.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provides some funding for NPR and PBS, has received almost $4 billion in taxpayer money since 2001, including $430 million in 2011 alone. According to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, public funds account for just over 15% of the revenues for public broadcasting in 2008. With our national debt greater than $14 trillion and our budget deficit for 2011 at $1.6 trillion, we simply cannot afford to subsidize radio and television with borrowed money.

The House recently passed a continuing resolution to fund the government for the remaining seven months of the fiscal year at $100 billion less than the President’s 2011 budget request. This resolution is not only a step in the direction of fiscal responsibility; it is a step toward a much needed economic recovery. With our nation in a fiscal crisis, we cannot afford for the government to irresponsibly spend taxpayer dollars we don’t have, as we are borrowing approximately 40 cents of every dollar we spend. One of my top priorities in Congress is to put our nation back on a sustainable fiscal path by cutting spending and reigning in the size and scope of the Federal government.

Again, thank you for contacting me. In the future, if there is anything else with which I may assist you, please feel free to contact me. To keep track of what is happening in Congress, I encourage you to visit my website at http://canseco.house.gov/, my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/RepCanseco, or follow me on my twitter site http://twitter.com/RepCanseco.

Sincerely,
Francisco “Quico” Canseco
Member of Congress


So, good to know the budget crisis is being solved $430 million at a time, when the deficit is many trillions. If I were to prioritize my household budget like this, it would be like using all of my money to maintain a Ferrari, deciding I was spending waaay too much money, and then trying to solve my budget problems by eliminating spending on microwave popcorn.
posted by nasayre at 7:27 PM on March 18, 2011


best vote in years.
posted by clavdivs at 7:27 AM on March 20, 2011


How Many Teachers' Salaries or Years of Funding NPR Does Launching a Tomahawk Missile Cost Us?
posted by homunculus at 12:23 PM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


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