Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Republicans Threaten NPR, Ignore Their Own Funding Hypocrisies

In an article by Keach Hagey for Politico regarding NPR, Hagey explored the threat Republicans pose to public broadcasting.
National Public Radio is facing the most serious threat to the "public" part of its identity since Newt Gingrich’s days as speaker, thanks to a resurgent, tea-party-inspired Republican House with budget cuts on its mind and recent stumbles that have left the broadcaster vulnerable to its ideological critics on the right.

By far the greatest and most galvanizing of these issues was the firing of Juan Williams. But some Republicans also are seething over NPR’s announcement of a $1.8 million grant from the Open Society Foundations, founded by financier George Soros, just a few days before Williams was fired.
Republicans, such as Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Reps. Darrell Issa of California, Eric Cantor of Virginia, and Trent Franks of Arizona have all come out against the organization, with Franks going one step further.
“Open Society Foundations is essentially another name for George Soros, who is a committed leftist, one-world-government ideologue,” Franks told Politico, adding that NPR’s acceptance of the grant is “evidence of an underlying, hardcore left-wing bias that begs my ability to articulate.”

This is interesting when you consider the money that flowed into the campaign coffers of people like DeMint and Franks.  Franks had trips funded by The Heritage Foundation and Club for Growth, both conservative think tanks.  Other critics of NPR which were not mentioned in the article by name, like Michele Bachmann, have received campaign contributions from commercial broadcasters, which would definitely see a benefit from elliminating public competition.

It is insteresting to hear these individuals claim NPR is a partisan entity undeserving of public financial support when they themselves are being funded by what some may consider right-wing sources, making their argument inherently biased.

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