Is NPR losing out to Christian radio?
October 18, 2002 7:09 PM   Subscribe

Is NPR losing out to Christian radio? It's that time of year again, our local NPR station is running their pledge campaign and they're not doing very well. His Radio and K-LOVE are on the rise and they don't have to suckle the government sow to run their businesses.
posted by jasontromm (55 comments total)
Did Rush Limbaugh write that article?
posted by crazy finger at 7:37 PM on October 18, 2002

Nah, but I suspect he's the one who got it posted.
posted by Grimgrin at 7:44 PM on October 18, 2002

Um...this is silly. The link doesn't provide so much as some market research, or any hard data on loss of listenership by public radio stations or a corresponding rise in radio listenership on the part of Christian stations.

I don't know why anybody would pretend to compare the two. Public radio has the public's interests in mind, and is fairly un-biased when compared to most mainstream media. Christian stations obviously have agendas.

Worse yet, the article that you link to makes some really ridiculous statements. My mother is a public radio commentator, both for our local affiliate and for Marketplace. To say that public radio stations have grown "fat and lazy while feasting on federal taxpayer handouts" only demonstrates that the writer has apparently never spent any time volunteering for one, or even set foot inside of one. I've volunteered a great amount of time for several, and I can assure that neither "fat" nor "lazy" are words that any rational human being would ever apply to a public radio station. Again, there's absolutely no figures to back this up. The writer makes no attempt to demonstrate the average percentage of income or dollar value of these "federal taxpayer handouts," relying instead of petty insults.

The author's overall thesis is ridiculous: that people don't want to be informed or entertained, that they want religion stuffed down their throats. "They're giving the boot to 'Car Talk's' Click and Clack and greeting each daybreak with evangelical teachings and preachings." What kind of a maniac would be opposed to "Car Talk?" I mean, you could just not find it interesting, but to actively lobby against it as a mouthpiece of the liberal media? That's just nuts. It's a show about cars, for chrissake.

Finally, I'd like to remind everybody that American Family Radio is a product of the American Family Association, a hotbed of whack-jobs if there ever was one. Their primary role in this world -- at least to this free-speecher -- is censorship. They have placed big ol' ads in national newspapers proclaims that "sex, violence, filth and profanity" is Hollywood's fault. They desire mandatory censorship of all such horrors such that they don't pollute our sensitive ears. They lead a boycott of KMart, because they own Waldenbooks, who the AFA likes to say is the world's biggest porn distributor. They support a boycott of Holiday Inn, because they offer porn on the TV in the rooms. A boycott of Levi Strauss and Wells Fargo, because the companies pulled their fiscal support of the Boy Scouts after the scouting organization banned homosexuals. They once went after Mighty Mouse, bizarrely claiming that he promoted the use of cocaine. (???) They went way after The Last Temptation of Christ, because they saw it as a prime example of the Zionist Hollywood conspiracy to eliminate Christianity. Even The Lion King isn't safe because -- so says the AFA -- Pumba and Timon (you know, the warthog and the meerkat) are gay. (???) Internet censorship? Not only are they, to my knowledge, the leading organizion pushing through COPA/CDA type laws, but they actually publish their own censorware! GLAAD hates the AFA, and for good cause -- the AFA is trying to legislate homosexuality off of the Internet.

I don't care how biased that paranoid conservatives claim that NPR is -- it can't compare to the AFA. For more information on these folks, see Like I said, they're total whackjobs. To even compare them to NPR is just silly.

I have no idea of what would lead you to link to this article, Jason, but it's just nuts. If you can find some real numbers to back this stuff up, we'll talk. But between now and then, I don't believe this Christian propaganda for a second.
posted by waldo at 7:56 PM on October 18, 2002

i'm from the left, and yes, i am whining about conservative bible-beaters gaining more popularity and power. that's just me.
posted by prescribed life at 7:58 PM on October 18, 2002

Isn't this Apples and Oranges? One is news? The other religious broadcasting?

This just in: Is NPR losing out to Clear Channel communications?
posted by malphigian at 8:03 PM on October 18, 2002

I have no idea of what would lead you to link to this article, Jason, but it's just nuts.

Ah, I can now answer my own question. Jason's website, "The Trommetter Times," has the slogan "A Christian Journal of Politics, Religion and Opinion."

posted by waldo at 8:12 PM on October 18, 2002

Continually amused by the commercialization of the Christian faith.

"You can tell we are Christians by our T-shirts... err, bumper stickers... err, jewelry... err, radio stations... err, love! That's right, love! We keep forgetting about that part."
posted by illusionaire at 8:27 PM on October 18, 2002

Christian radio is causing the demise of NPR? Donations may be down but given the economy the Bush jr. has given us that would be no surprise.
posted by MaddCutty at 8:33 PM on October 18, 2002

I guess US conservatives love bashing public media as much as Australian conservatives like bashing our national public broadcaster the ABC. The difference with the ABC, however, is its strength. The ABC operates numberous different radio stations in each city (just to list them off, I get JJJ (alternative youth network), Radio National, Radio Adelaide, Classic FM, and News Radio) as well as a public TV station. All publicly funded, with no commericals and no dontations expected, and renound for its quality of programming and relative freedom from bias.

Ooooh I can see the neo-libertarian Randites out there jumping up and down already, ready to abuse the concept of state-funded media. But, you know what? It works, and the public loves it. Whenever there is any suggestion of privatising the ABC, there is a massive public outcry - the government wouldn't dare. I only wish US citizens had access to public media of the quality of Australia's ABC. Support NPR, because it's all you've got.
posted by Jimbob at 8:50 PM on October 18, 2002

It's not all we've got. It's not even the best of what we've got. But then, I love pacifica.
posted by rhyax at 9:01 PM on October 18, 2002

Is pacifica a "community" station (ie. receives no government funding, listeners pay by subscription/donation) or a "public" station (ie. receives government funding)? Their website doesn't make it clear. But i hear what you're saying.
posted by Jimbob at 9:03 PM on October 18, 2002

You can tell we are Christians by our T-shirts...

My newest Sharpie-brand tee shirt. I shall wear it tomorrow. Thank you Metafilter, neverending producer of Hot Topic-worthy clothes slogans.
posted by kid_twist at 9:04 PM on October 18, 2002

NPR vs. Christian Radio?

Jeez (sorry), it's a Christian knockout.

Where I live, in Colorado, there are two NPR stations, and...hang on a minute, let me count- I am morbidly fascinated with these Armeggedon stations, and I listen - six or seven Christian stations.

And, last I heard, we listeners can listen to anything we want to.

BTW, where are the Buddhist/Jewish/Wiccan/Atheist/Muslim/Baha'i/Hindu radio
posted by kozad at 9:04 PM on October 18, 2002

Continually amused by the commercialization of the Christian faith

As a Christian, I actually find it quite sad. Not surprising in a consumerist culture like ours, but sad nonetheless.

As far as the article goes, it's just typical right-wing ranting devoid of facts or cogent argument. The naked contempt displayed by the supposedly Christian author toward NPR's leadership of this article is also somewhat telling, IMO. I am sooo sick of people invoking the Christian faith to forward their petty ideological goals.
posted by boltman at 9:28 PM on October 18, 2002

Also, I think NPR has the best news reporting and analysis of any non-print media outlet in the U.S. (including Pacifica, whihc is a little to ideological for my taste). What passes for "news" on conservative Christian radio is really more like "the latest outrage perpetrated against a Christian family by some big-brother-type government bureaucrat or militantly atheist public school teacher" mixed in with reports on how homosexually and abortion are destroying civilized society.
posted by boltman at 9:38 PM on October 18, 2002

Where are the Buddhist/Jewish/Wiccan/Atheist/Muslim/Baha'i/Hindu stations? I guess there are two possible likely explainations.

1. These religions don't have enough followers to reach the "critical mass" required for a radio station to be successful. This may be the case, but for a lot of those religions (ie. Jewish, Muslim, Hindu) there ARE quite large listener bases out there.

OR more likely:

2. These religions don't feel the need to evangelicize (sic - couldn't think of a better word) their beliefs as much, forcing them onto the population at large, or they practice their faith by traditional, spiritual means, instead of through corporatised mass media.
posted by Jimbob at 9:38 PM on October 18, 2002

NPR vs. Christian Radio?

It's the framing of the issue, as an issue, when in fact there is no issue there at all. There is no competiton here, only the invented competition of the lurking fascist state, which deems it necessary, not only to deride NPR because it's "liberal" (read impartial) but because its charter relies upon a certain portion of its operating costs from the taxpayer. The newly created non-issue, by way of this article's targeted demographic, is that you, the American Christian Folk are being sucked dry by liberalism. It's horrible, hateful propaganda I know, but it's just. Freedom of speech allows one to lie and then also sleep at night. Yet a lie is a lie.

The targeted demographic is one that is receptive, not to smaller global issues and their bigger sibling stories with news bits that include non-nationalist interviewees, but to readi-made sermons on morality called the "news" and ostensibly follwed by Family News in Focus and then back to the programming. That folks, is lurking fascism. That this article by Malkin, even sees the light of day, is evidence of lurking fascism.
posted by crasspastor at 9:42 PM on October 18, 2002

Or... 3. - These religions don't feel the need to build a little cultural wall around themselves, ensuring followers are exposed only to Approved (insert religion here) Family-Friendly Content, blocking out all outside cultural influences.

Sorry, I got a bit bitter there for a minute, but unfortunately it's the impression I get of a lot of evangelical Christians.
posted by Jimbob at 9:44 PM on October 18, 2002

I stopped listening to NPR sometime after September 11th when I jumped ship to join the freakazoid right wing (or so I've been accused of doing).

I've given NPR money in the past, but this past year I found myself frequently wondering what stories they were reporting on. NPR reports usually were at odds with the dozen or so international wire reports I'd read the day before, either they've got magic abilities and are the only one's telling 'the truth', or they're getting a whole lot wrong and not correcting themselves. I decided that it's much more likely they're screwing up. (Occam's Razor...)

I'll probably get flamed for this, but's ongoing reviews of NPR's middle east reporting is worth reading.

I also came to realize NPR is basically the same as Fox except that their slanted adjectives have more sylables. Just last week I gave NPR a listen for a few minutes, but upon hearing the absurd phrase "influential Pakistani Human Rights Council" I laughed and switched back to MP3s.
posted by joemaller at 9:57 PM on October 18, 2002

American Family Radio, (snip) operates more than 200 stations nationwide -- and has applications pending with the Federal Communications Commission for hundreds more noncommercial radio outlets.

K-LOVE Radio, (snip) owns or operates nearly 60 Christian stations nationwide, from Arkansas to California.

The growing Christian radio audience is bidding "adieu" to "Morning Edition" and saying "Amen" to gospel music hour. They're giving the boot to "Car Talk's" Click and Clack and greeting each daybreak with evangelical teachings and preachings.

Not because they want to, but because they are being forced to.

Christian and gospel album sales rose 13.5 percent last year, while other music suffered a 3 percent decline, according to Business Week.

Erroneously used out of context, both by Business Week, and TownHall. The stats originally came from SoundScan. A little searching and you find that they are in reference to Christian stores.

All in all the article is a bunch of bullshit, chest-thumping, by agenda driven, conservative, evangelists who have nothing better to do than rail against the "evils of society".

...they don't have to suckle the government sow to run their businesses.

Right, they just fleece the average Christian sow whose goodwill, and love of God opens their pockets easier than any pledge campaign.
posted by mikhail at 10:56 PM on October 18, 2002

Can I just say that as a Christian, I find NPR far more useful than mass-mediaized religion?

Two quotes:

"I don't see anywhere in the Bible where we (as believers) are ordered to rip off the secular media, poorly, in the attempt to win back segments of society."

(from a Slashdot Post on a Doom-like game called "War in Heaven".)

"The fact is that rumors, gossip, mythmaking, and news stories are not appropriate vehicles for the communication of nuances of truth..."

(from "My Name is Asher Lev", Chiam Potok, pg 1)

Paul Ford wrote a parody of how American culture tends to treat culturally endemic spiritual practices. I wonder if he realized some elements of society -- even adherents -- already unintentionally parody indemic spiritual practices.

<voice character="suave announcer">
"What's the power YOU need to climb that mountain? It's not the latest SUV, it's -- RUGGED FAITH!"

Barf. Contrast that with a program from "This American Life", putting you inside the head of a burn victim. That will teach you something about compassion and charity....
posted by namespan at 11:21 PM on October 18, 2002

joemaller: Funny, reading reviews of NPR's recent history of the middle east conflict series -- I completely disagree with them. NPR pretty faithful switched back and forth from people representing both sides (and a few making an attempt at being on no-side). That site, axe grinding away, chooses to pick on the comments from the pro-palestinian interviewees (ignoring the pro-israel ones) and make no distinction that it wasn't actually NPR reporters saying it.

Personally, I found those particular reports quite balanced, and wasn't left feeling like either side was wrong, or right, just sort of generally hopeless about the whole situation, and generally enlightened to the complicated and intricate history.

Comparing NPR's mild left-leaning to Fox's open agenda is excessive, if you want the equivalent to Fox on the left, you need to look at Pacifica or Indymedia. I'd recommend avoiding all of them tho :)
posted by malphigian at 11:47 PM on October 18, 2002

Only one way to settle this.... GOOGLEFIGHT!

And Google says:
NPR: 752 000
Christian Radio: 1 390 000

And the winnah is:
Christian Radio in a 2-1 decision
posted by PenDevil at 11:47 PM on October 18, 2002

I'll probably get flamed for this, but's ongoing reviews of NPR's middle east reporting is worth reading.

Yeah, so is the page "about CAMERA".

"How you can help:

You can help fight anti-Israel media distortions..."

Yeah, that doesn't sound partisan.
posted by Dick Paris at 11:52 PM on October 18, 2002

First off, Waldo's allegation that "Car Talk" is "about cars" is patently absurd.

Seriously, this is an old tactic, a media manipulation gem from the Atwater 80's and before: If you want something to be true, say that it is. In this case, the wished for not-yet-truth is "Christian radio is on the rise...knocking off National Public Radio stations from the airwaves left and right... Caught napping, NPR radio executives and their media cheerleaders are crying foul." Well, I'd doubt that this is any more accurate than the pulled-from-the-air figure of NPR's "300 member affiliates."

Go to They claim 680 member stations (plus 140 worldwide affiliates). And they list 'em. And link to 'em. And offer phone numbers, frequencies, and a handy dowloadable PDF list of 'em.

The intent of this piece is to convey the feeling that "people are talking about the threat to NPR from the ever-growing radio of the religious right!" And it works. People, right here, are talking about it.

[disclosure: I work for NPR frequently. I like 'em. I've never heard anybody there worry about Christian Radio, not once. But most importantly of all, they're generally not "fat."]
posted by adameft at 12:15 AM on October 19, 2002

CAMERA left me with a bad taste in my mouth. So bitter and hateful it feels like rough sandpaper scraping your face.

I thought a hilarious quote from "" was:

"Israel has not, of course, used its F-16's against "populated civilian" targets. It has routinely responded to the murder of its men, women and children with attacks, not on people but on Palestinian buildings, the vast majority evacuated beforehand, very often with Israeli forewarning. "

So .. it's the Palestinian Civilian's fault for living beside a "Israeli Target". Let alone jets were used a month or two ago in the assassination of a prominent Palestinian bomb maker which results in a missile or bomb killing a few civilians.

It's like they don't view Palestinians as PEOPLE.

I don't know how one can complain about bias and then support something like this. It's just strange.
posted by abez at 12:19 AM on October 19, 2002

First off, Waldo's allegation that "Car Talk" is "about cars" is patently absurd.

Care to back that up?

The topic: Automobiles.

The show: Humorous mechanic Bostonian brothers who take calls from those with "car problems" in Ithaca, Madison and Santa Fe.

Don't listen to it all that much, but great show, intelligent callers driving capricious vehicles. Lefties perhaps know the least about cars as their noses are in the books, but what a great bridge in fostering humor about everybody's expensive headache.
posted by crasspastor at 1:23 AM on October 19, 2002

waldo: What kind of a maniac would be opposed to "Car Talk?"

For the answer to this question, and more, listen to the inexpressibly brilliant "Fiasco!" episode of This American Life.
posted by moss at 1:45 AM on October 19, 2002

And a MeFi member for all of 10 days, yet!

Nice first post, creep. Got some news for ya: I really doubt trying the Big Lie around here is a way to make friends & influence people.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:14 AM on October 19, 2002

I read the story in the nytimes about a month ago. [I'd link to it but people would whine about the whole registration thing]. ok, here it is.

That story painted a much clearer picture of the situation. It is all about <90Mhz on the FM dial. In some markets NPR would use low power repeaters that were not licensed. The christian stations would apply for the license at that frequeny. NPR would get tossed off the air since it wasn't licensed.

It has nothing to do with people's distaste for NPR. Because religious programming can qualify as "community radio" with the FCC. To me, it looked like NPR didn't file the right paperwork and the christian stations took advantage of the oversight.
posted by birdherder at 5:25 AM on October 19, 2002

I am not to concerned with the the battle between Christian radio and NPR. Frankly, I do not think there is one in the first place. NPR is not trying to compete with Christian radio or Opie & Anthony. Moot argument.

All I know, the radio network that offers a Rubber Radio gets my vote.
posted by lampshade at 6:37 AM on October 19, 2002

First, does or does not NPR take money from the public purse to spread it's particular belief system?

Second, I find that NPR tends to attract a monoculture of depressed psuedointellectuals whose raw nerves are soothed by the deadpan delivery of liberal conspiracy theory.

And finally advice. Never initiate idle chat with a business associate with "Did you catch NPR this morning?"
posted by paleocon at 10:34 AM on October 19, 2002

Thanks for the link, birdherder.

For me, this issue is yet another reason why tax-deductible, so-called "community" status should be yanked out of the paws of religious institutions.

Was that too harsh?
posted by Dick Paris at 10:42 AM on October 19, 2002

I suspect the "battle" alluded to exists only for the most zealous of the Christian right who believe that secularism is an evil wherever it appears. People who tune out Car Talk because it doesn't provide a dose of that Old Time Religion are a) not likely to listen to a station that carries it in the first place b) Missing the point of the program and c) probably already seeing a Christian Scientist Mechanic who won't intervene unless it is God's will that their Datsun runs again.

Okay, the last bit was unnecessary and too harsh by half, but I am tired of some Evangelicals picking this particular fight.
posted by Verdant at 10:49 AM on October 19, 2002

disclosure: I work for NPR frequently.

And this would explain, Adam Felber, why I so often hear day old MetaFilter posts on Weekend and Morning Edition, hmm? Wait, wait, don't tell me--we're all public radio interns! Don't forget to put it on your resumes when you send them to Adam!
posted by y2karl at 11:28 AM on October 19, 2002

And paleocon, if you're going to trot out trite Agnew-isms--nay! George Wallace-isms!--among the kneejerk dittohead cliches that you seem to prefer to original thoughts, it's pseudointellectual.
posted by y2karl at 11:42 AM on October 19, 2002

Isn't being provided religious tax exemption the same thing as getting government funding?
posted by mortimer at 11:43 AM on October 19, 2002

I'm not surprised by this piece. I mean, it is a Michelle Malkin column. Funny, how the very people who complain about NPR's "bias" can only themselves provide invention, derision, and resentment as an alternative. Do you think Ms. Malkin grew up wanting to be a professional troll?

But I am amazed that anyone can be genuinely offended by NPR; they're like, tofu, or something: nutritionally complete, but just a little bland. But then, maybe Americans could have real public radio if it weren't for the my-way-or-the-highway attitudes of people like Malkin.

Anyway, thanks for reminding me to support public radio, jasontromm.

Second, I find that NPR tends to attract a monoculture of depressed [sic] psuedointellectuals

Mmmm ... conservative debate ...
posted by octobersurprise at 11:56 AM on October 19, 2002

adameft:First off, Waldo's allegation that "Car Talk" is "about cars" is patently absurd.
crasspastor:Care to back that up?

Another hopelessly progressed case of Humor Impairment. Tragic really.

adamgreenfield: And a MeFi member for all of 10 days, yet!

Jeez, seeing a guy in the mid 14k's calling out n00bs just makes me feel old.

Now, as to the main issue: of course NPR and christian radio are comparable. Same medium, Same mostly talk-based format, Almost-the-same funding method, opposite ideological slants. But just because they're comparable doesn't automatically make them in competition; any station that's willing to represent a sizable community should be able to survive as community-supported. The more the merrier, I say.

That said, that 'almost-the-same funding' caveat does stick in my craw. It's well past time for the government to cut its support for NPR. Not because of any bias, but simply because it's entirely unnecessary. The internet has opened up to (nearly) everyone a virtually-inexhaustible plethora of news and commentary sources. Spend some time clicking through Daypop, Newstrove or even Yahoo News to see what I mean. And that's just the official media, there's a whole gamut of independant media outlets ranging from IndyMedia to Free Republic, not even to mention the multitudinous webloggers, warbloggers, warbloggerwatchers and straight-up wackos commenting away. In short, you can easily find an impartial news source, whatever your definition of impartial happens to be. So, what's really the point of having the government sponsor something that seems to occur naturally so readily? Heck, given how often I've heard it repeated that NPR only gets 2% of its funding from the Feds, it seems pretty obvious that NPR would be fine without it too.
posted by boaz at 12:38 PM on October 19, 2002

And this would explain, Adam Felber, why I so often hear day old MetaFilter posts on Weekend and Morning Edition, hmm?

I can't speak for them (though I'd be surprised if they didn't drop by occasionly)... but as I've said before, WWDTM definitely has MeFi bookmarked over at the home office. And I use it fairly often when studying up for a taping.

Still, the "Wait Wait" folks have about 30 sources they cruise regularly, a dozen magazine and newspaper subscriptions, and a direct AP feed. So I wouldn't call MeFi the MOST frequent or indispensible source, but to me it's the most entertaining...

we're all public radio interns!

No, no, of course not. Now go get me some coffee, wouldja, hon?

[crasspastor - I was kidding about CarTalk.]
posted by adameft at 1:03 PM on October 19, 2002

I listen to WBUR in Boston, and I would swear I've noticed a distinct rightward lurch in their programming in the last year and a half -- dating from around the time they got a new manager and then canned the left leaning Christopher Lydon (who was arrogant but very sharp). Programming has become less imaginative and more status quo oriented since, I feel.

It made me wonder about the CIA boast (made in the late 60's) to the effect that they controlled all or most major media celebs. I'll have to look up the details of this to refresh my memory. But it made me think "sure..why not? If you have practically unlimited amounts of money and time and staffers, this could be easily accomplished. Now every time I hear some public radio talk show where, say, General Wesley Clark is stumping for an attack on Iraq, I think "National Government Radio"........
posted by troutfishing at 1:36 PM on October 19, 2002

simply because it's entirely unnecessary

I'm not so sure of that. Most of the sources you cite either rely on other sources to collect the news they redistribute or merely comment on news provided by other souces. None of them--useful though they may be--really replace organizations with the bucks and the staff and the experience to report on the news from the field. I distrust media megaconglomerates as much as the next person, but there are economies of scale. I don't have time to be a 24 hr journalist any more than I have time to churn my own butter and I doubt Glen Reynolds (or anyone like him) does either. Besides, if there's room in the mediasphere for alt-ish news sources and there's room for tax-exempt Christian radio, there's certainly room for (very) minimally state-supported NPR.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:45 PM on October 19, 2002

Thank you, birdherder for the link you provided-- I had vague memories of this topic showing up on Metafilter before.

From the link: It knocked two NPR affiliate stations off the local airwaves last year, transforming this southwest Louisiana community of 95,000 people into the most populous place in the country where ''All Things Considered'' cannot be heard. In place of that program -- and ''Morning Edition,'' ''Car Talk'' and a local Cajun program called ''Bonjour Louisiana'' -- listeners now find ''Home School Heartbeat,'' ''The Phyllis Schlafly Report'' and the conservative evangelical musings of Mr. Wildmon,

God, I weep for that community.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:42 PM on October 19, 2002

And I'd even give them money if they 86'd the execrable Rewind.
God, that show is awful. And we have to hear it about a zillion times a week in Seattle because the local affiliate is its home.

btw paleocon: it's = it is, its = the possessive form of it. ;þ
posted by y2karl at 2:43 PM on October 19, 2002

Spellbitch. Mmm.. liberal debate.

And yet the initial question goes unanswered. Does or does not NPR consume tax dollars in its unquestioned dissemination of the liberal world view?
posted by paleocon at 3:31 PM on October 19, 2002

Where are the Buddhist/Jewish/Wiccan/Atheist/Muslim/Baha'i/Hindu stations? I guess there are two possible likely explainations.
Or... 3. - These religions don't feel the need to build a little cultural wall around themselves, ensuring followers are exposed only to Approved (insert religion here) Family-Friendly Content, blocking out all outside cultural influences.

HaHAhahaHA! To absurd to say anything else.
posted by HTuttle at 3:52 PM on October 19, 2002

Does or does not NPR consume tax dollars in its unquestioned dissemination of the liberal world view?

Exercises for the student:

1) define "the liberal world view." 1A) demonstrate how NPR perpetuates this "view" and 1B) how this "view" necessarily damages the body politic or propogates "liberal views", especially given repeated conservative claims that free, intelligent minds aren't influenced by broadcast messages, anyway.

2) explain the difference between tax-exemption and direct monetary grants and how one organization is necessarily more deserving of one over another.

Extra credit:

Granting, for the sake of argument, the above assertion, explain why "the liberal world view" should not, after all, be propogated as one among many in a pluralistic society.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:10 PM on October 19, 2002

Btw, my local PBS affiliate (and perhaps yours too) isn't airing Counting on Democracy, Greg Palast's investigation of voting rights violation in the 2000 election. My PBS affiliate also refused to air Armisted Maupin's Tales of the city series when it ran several years ago. Now maybe my affiliate is just responding to the wants of local viewers and that's exactly how it should be, but neither one sound like decisions calculated to advance the liberal agenda to me
posted by octobersurprise at 8:29 PM on October 19, 2002

BTW, boaz: just so you feel a little more sprightly this morning, I had my first MeFi login circa August 2000. (I'm not sure what number that would put me at.)

I'm not as much of a n00b as my current ID number might indicate. At least, I don't think so.

At any rate, even had I joined yesterday, I would still have had the discretion to avoid using my first post to spread a blatant untruth, y'know?
posted by adamgreenfield at 9:10 PM on October 19, 2002

i wish we could screw up the gumption to just ignore obvious and absurd trolls such as this. but damn it's tough.
posted by glenwood at 10:21 PM on October 19, 2002

HaHAhahaHA! To absurd to say anything else.

Fantastic reply. I look forward to your contribuions in future discussions.

In my experience, evangelical Christians are by far the worst for cultural exclusion. Even the Iranian muslim in my department comes to parties (although obviously doesn't drink) and listens to normal radio stations. The fundie Christians I work with, on the other hand, live in their own little world, and occasionally take time out to openly abuse women in De Facto relationships for "living in sin".
posted by Jimbob at 12:53 AM on October 20, 2002

This whole tax-exempt = state-supported argument is a bit misleading even at best. After all, NPR is both tax-exempt and state-sponsored. If those Christians are getting away with something, NPR's getting away with something more. But that's not all; I ran across an interesting explanation of the situation on NPR's annual report:
NPR receives no direct general operating support from any national or local government source. NPR does compete along with other producers for specific project grants from federally funded entities such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Science Foundation, and the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities. (Such grants typically account for less than 2% of NPR’s revenues in any given year. CPB provides public radio stations with direct general support, which accounts, on average, for about 13% of a station’s total revenue and may be used to help cover its NPR membership and program fees.)

In FY 2000, member stations provided 40% of NPR’s operating revenue in the form of program fees ...
So, focusing on NPR's admittedly low level of federal support obscures the bigger picture, that the affiliates are also being paid by the government, at a much more generous rate, to run NPR's programs. At least now I understand why NPR supporters aren't willing to drop that '2%'.

adamgreenfield: I had my first MeFi login circa August 2000.

Well, since it sounds like it took you more than one try to get it right yourself, perhaps a little more patience with those still learning the terrain is called for.
posted by boaz at 8:45 AM on October 20, 2002

paleocon: First, if you have a problem with organisations that espouse their 'belief system' with the aid of government funding, perhaps you'd prefer to start with cleaning your own house first (i.e., 'faith-based initiatives').

Second, I find that 'Christian Radio' tends to attract a monoculture of depressed binary thinkers whose raw nerves are alternately soothed by the constant reassurance that they are God's chosen, and rubbed raw by the relentless 'reports' of atheists and Satanists plotting to take over their community, close their churches, and confiscate their guns.

And finally advice. Never initiate idle chat in Tennessee with a business associate with "Did you catch TBN this morning?"
posted by at 11:51 AM on October 20, 2002

perhaps you'd prefer to start with cleaning your own house first
for the record, I'm opposed to Bush's "Faith-based initiatives" it violates
the 1st amendment and opens the church up to government control
posted by jasontromm at 12:35 PM on October 22, 2002

and they don't have to suckle the government sow to run their businesses

Jesus Christ. Um, I mean . . .
posted by mikrophon at 1:05 PM on October 25, 2002

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