House Republicans tried to cut off funding for NPR on Thursday, but the lame-duck Democratic majority easily overrode them. Still, the vote won't end a growing conservative campaign against NPR — Fox News chief Roger Ailes recently called NPR executives liberal "Nazis" who are intolerant of other views (he has since apologized to the Anti-Defamation League but not, apparently, to NPR). Republican Whip Eric Cantor suggested Republicans would revisit the issue next year when they take control of the House. Is NPR still in danger? (Watch a Fox News report about NPR's position)
NPR may have to learn to live without taxpayer money: NPR dodged a bullet this time, says John Eggerton at Broadcasting & Cable, but next time it might not be so lucky. Republicans are determined to eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which indirectly supports NPR. And when the GOP-controlled House meets in January, they'll have "bipartisan cover," since even President Obama's commission on fiscal responsibility wants this spending "phased out."
"GOP push to cut NPR funding fails"
Right idea, wrong rationale: "NPR should be defunded, but not because it's liberal," says Jonah Goldberg at National Review. The federal government simply should not be "in the news business," and it certainly should not be subsidizing one set of views over another, whether left-wing or right-wing. But yanking NPR's taxpayer money won't change anything, as it has "spent decades" hardening its "budgetary bunkers" to survive the loss.
"Taking the public out of NPR"
The Republicans are only making themselves look petty: It's perfectly reasonable to say government shouldn't fund journalism, says Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic, but the GOP's attack on NPR is "absurd." Republicans insist it's about slashing unnecessary spending, yet eliminating the piddly sum NPR gets from the federal government (a small percentage of NPR's $161.8 million budget) will do nothing to cut the massive federal deficit. Clearly the GOP is more interested in riding crowd-pleasing fads than "facing up to fiscal reality."
"NPR derangement syndrome"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- How U2 became the new Nickelback
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- America's most surprising banned books
Subscribe to the Week