New Republican Congress Should Stop Funding NPR

Juan Williams' firing sends a wake-up call just in time for the mid-term elections. Voters should demand to know if candidates will continue funding NPR. It's time to stop putting government funding into programs that compete with the private sector. Tax dollars, after all, should be used to fund initiatives that take care of the needy or provide services that the private sector can't or isn't willing to provide. Information radio in the United States is hardly something that our government should think is a top priority, especially when we have budget deficits, sky-rocketing unemployment, falling government revenue and critical public programs being cut. There is also a healthy and vibrant private sector news radio industry and, therefore, no need to prop up one funded with tax dollars. Government money given to NPR means government sponsored radio competing with the private sector - a uniquely un-American idea. If private sector citizens want to fund NPR then they should step up and do it with more commitment. Coercing the rest of us to pay for NPR's elite radio programming through our taxes is clearly a subsidy for the wealthy.

NPR and its executives are to blame for the reaction to this alarm bell going off. NPR's intolerance of conservative opinions is well-known. There are very few voices allowed on NPR programs that represent opinions outside the traditional liberal and elite viewpoints. When NPR does allow a conservative voice air-time, it is limited and usually preceded by a condescending question or commentary. Juan Williams firing by NPR was only a matter of time because the liberal executives running the shows at NPR never liked the fact that Williams was on Fox News. It's clear that NPR would rather play consistently to the left than reach a balanced audience. And for that, they deserve to be pushed away from the public trough.

As all conservatives already know, NPR consistently frames stories in a slanted way to aid and comfort its overwhelming left listenership. For instance, the current rising unemployment rate is not portrayed as an Obama Administration problem. It is usually reported by NPR without an Obama angle and more times than not, as a total spin job. Conversely, every month the unemployment rate went up during the Bush Administration it was portrayed as an announcement from the Bush White House or Bush Team followed by an evaluation of Bush's economic policies. The NPR diatribe was clear: unemployment is rising and Bush's policies are not working.

This past Labor Day, the traditional start of election season, NPR reported the rising 9.6 unemployment rate as a recovery in the making. And I'm not joking. Shockingly, commentators and story selections were spinning that a recovery was happening, just slowly. NPR even highlighted a story suggesting that more people were traveling for Labor Day and feeling good about the economy. But in fact, a recovery wasn't happening and the unemployment rate has risen.

Conservatives have seethed for years as NPR hosts mock conservative ideas, poke fun at conservative candidates' mistakes and run stories over several days when there is a negative story to tell about a Republican. Every conservative scandal receives multiple days of commentary and a thorough analysis, while Democrats caught in mishaps either get little coverage, no mentions at all or one hit.

My local NPR station in Los Angeles just yesterday ran a LIVE extended interview with one of the most liberal members of the County Board of Supervisors (15 days before the mid-term elections) where he lauded Senator Barbara Boxer's leadership on public transportation issues. He praised Boxer for something she hasn't even taken credit for. He went on to give additional credit to only Democrats for bringing a new rail line to the people of LA. The host of the interview never pushed back or asked a question of the Supervisor's claim that Boxer brought the rail line to LA - it was just assumed that Boxer delivered to the people. Boxer's new rail line, by the way, doesn't even extend to the airport - which happens to be the number one transportation concern for residents - so if she did bring this project to LA it's a colossal waste of tax dollars. Sadly, it was an expected and typical interview from NPR.

But thanks to Juan Williams being fired, the rest of us might be able to keep a little more money in our paychecks. Voters everywhere should ask their congressional candidates to commit to stop publicly funding NPR before they cast their ballots on November 2. My mom used to take the ball away from us when someone cheated. She would say, "If you can't play fair then you can't play at all". It's time voters took the ball away from NPR.