Saturday, March 12, 2011

When does cut funding = freedom of speech?

When NPR loses it's government funding. A case can be made for it:

Defund public broadcasting and set it free
[...] This week's brouhaha has underlined the single biggest problem with public broadcasting from the fan's point of view: namely, that with taxpayer financing, no matter how small, inevitably comes political considerations and even outright interference.


What did Sting teach us? If you love someone, set them free. Should NPR lose its federal funding tomorrow, we would see the mother of all pledge drives, and I would be first in line to contribute. As a friend told me this week, "I would actually start giving them money if they'd stop taking it from me." NPR has one the best media brands in the country; you don't think George Soros would be willing to up his annual contribution to cover the shortfall?

De-coupling from the federal government would allow NPR to sell advertising. Its executives could talk as much trash as they want to about Republicans and Tea Partiers, and few people would care.

We no longer would be subjected to this perennial sideshow and obsequious tip-toeing around political sensibilities. And best of all, at a time when governments at every level are out of money, we wouldn't force taxpayers to fund the listening habits of people who hate them. [...]

I've had my say about this already:

Defund NPR now... and make them more honest

On NPR recently, someone complained that NPR is like a sweater; if you cut government spending, the sleeves will fall off. Well, guess what? Short sleeves are IN this year! I'm sure NPR would adapt, and learn to do more with less like everyone else. Or perhaps even raise revenue in new ways.

In the long run, I think it would work out better for everyone.

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