Another week, another bunch of dumb decisions by our Fearless Leaders. The House voted this week to cease federal funding for National Public Radio, arguably the least biased news outlet in America. Also arguably the only news outlet left in America that doesn’t just ramble off a bunch of people’s tweets and calls it “news” or outright lie.
The move should save the American taxpayer about $1.50, or enough to buy you one tall coffee at Starbucks.
I like NPR. Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell me and Car Talk are about the most consistently humorous thing on the air and Morning Edition is absolutely fantastic. Republicans claim defunding NPR will save us money, which I guess is technically true, except that it’s not. Defunding NPR is like putting out a house fire with a squirt gun: it will do nothing to the bottom line for anyone or the Treasury. Republicans don’t like NPR because they’re “liberal”. Which, if by “liberal” they mean “factual”, I can see how they have a problem.
Defunding NPR won’t cause it collapse in urban areas. Rural areas might be in for a world of hurt. I can’t imagine places in the middle of Kentucky, Utah, Texas or Oklahoma will have much coverage in the next few years. They’ll be left with Glenn Beck for their “news”. God help us all.
On one hand, this may strengthen NPR. They may take the opportunity to garner new revenue streams. And, I have to assume a news story has come across their way at least once where someone said, “Should we report on this? What if some government committee gets mad and wants to shut us down?” Not relying on the government in theory only improves the journalistic excellence of the organization.
As a Libertarian, I’m not too miffed either way. It just goes to further prove my point that Americans don’t mind taxes when they’re going to things that are actually useful and benefit us. When we spend all our money on bombs, wars, drug enforcement, company bailouts and time-wasting bureaucrats, people get mad. If money went to head start, higher education, public access and infrastructure (i.e., things that everyone agrees we can use), we’d all be happier to pay because we’d see the results.