Skip to comments.The World Without NPR
Posted on 03/26/2011 8:02:07 AM PDT by Shout Bits
Last week The House voted to defund NPR by cutting the Gordian ties between Washington and the radio network. A metaphor for everything Washington, nobody knows how much government nectar flows to NPR or in what form estimates vary from $4MM to $90MM, not to mention its dubious tax exempt status. Sen. Harry Reid offered a typically pathetic defense of NPR by citing critical investigative reporting on dog racing. To be sure, NPR provides a left-leaning window into esoteric topics no other radio station covers, but time has passed NPR by. News sources like 24 hr. cable, blogs, and Sirius have made NPR hopelessly obsolete. Without government funding, NPRs content could easily find a home on the internet or on Sirius. Why, then, does the left convulse at the thought of NPRs defunding; why is a world without NPR unthinkable to statists?
The obvious answer to the lefts attachment to NPR is that it is a consistent voice for government. NPR uses government funds to report on opportunities to spend more government money. Statists and dictators have always had government propaganda outlets, and NPR serves this role comparatively benignly. NPR makes for fairly easy training in Becking a story (i.e. Internet searching the names of NPR guests to reveal that they are often radical revolutionaries and communists). Still, there is more to NPR appeal.
George Mason economics professor Daniel Klein published The Peoples Romance, a paper on why people are so reluctant to give up even obviously worthless government programs. He presents several theories, including Adam Smiths idea that people naturally seek to coordinate their sentiments, not just Pareto self-interest. Unlike talk radio and blogs, NPR is a one way flow of left wing sentiment; it coordinates the sentiments of its listeners. NPR is the lefts shaman telling his tribe the stories that define a cultural identity. Klein would argue that this collectivist instinct is part of what keeps government programs alive well past their logical termination.
Since NPRs message and mission would surely continue without public funding, what difference does it make to the left? A $90MM programs termination rarely makes the news, or draws the ire of the Senate Majority Leader. Who should care? Klein goes on to observe that capitalist entities are like clubs to which not everyone is invited, while government entities are perceived as The Peoples Romance or belonging to the people. Even though capitalism provides more and better services than the government, non-investors feel a greater sense of ownership and kinship toward government programs. Defunding NPR will hurt nobody, but it goes against the sense of community at the heart of NPRs admirers.
The concept of The Peoples Romance sounds like communism because it is exactly that. At its heart, communism and collectivism offer less prosperity in exchange for a sense of safety. Collectivists often refer to the Socialist Family, Orwell depicted Big Brother, and Social Security is a safety net. These terms are comforting, safe, and reliable. Socialism is stagnation, but also a false promise of security. Government waste and corruption is accepted because government poses as a substitute for family and community. These are the feelings that keep even the most obviously worthless government program intact decades after it ceases to serve the people.
People are easily lulled into collectivist delusions like NPR, but they are also resilient; they provide for themselves when there are no handouts. Once NPR is defunded, liberals will begin the painful adjustment of finding their news, entertainment, and tribal identity elsewhere. Eventually, as NPRs defunding becomes a non-event, people will realize that there is life after government programs. Perhaps NPR will be a baby step toward reducing governments role in more important areas. On the other hand, if NPR cant be defunded, there is no hope for entitlement reform, or the elimination of larger, even more worthless departments.
Government programs like NPR are a comforting tonic for the collectivist instinct, and they are hard to abandon. Still, the road to restoring Washingtons financial viability starts with cutting even tiny programs like NPR because that is the way toward a US that is more individualist and self-reliant.
You should just excerpt your stuff.
We’ve survived just fine without Err America. We can live without NPR too.
I would say it's blatently obvious they are a propaganda outlet. Anyone with half a brain can see their bias.
I imagine that NPR will continue much as it is. They’ll just have to raise more money from their listeners and from progressive donors like Soros. The advantage to that change is that WE will no longer be forced to pay for it. And it will drain a few dollars out of the left’s vast coffers that would otherwise be spent on other leftist goals.
I write Shout Bits for free to advocate for free markets and less government. To do this, I want people to read it, which seems obvious to me. If that is ‘blog pimping,’ I don't see what is wrong with it.
I am sorry, but I am going to have to file this under ‘you can't please everyone.’
If anyone wants Shout Bits on the day it is published, feel free to subscribe either by RSS or email.
$4MM to $90MM my a$$. More like $450,000,000.
Do your homework.
That is assuming that the funding is actually cut. That hasn’t happened yet, and won’t, unless Boehner couples this with some bill that Obama has to sign.
My problem with this whole debate, logically, is that the NPR defenders argue that “no federal funding” = “no NPR.” I don’t think that is the case. I think they would quickly make up the difference with corporate and foundation funding. Nothing would change.
If NPR went of the air tomorrow, I wouldn’t know about it unless I read it here on FR.
Don’t take it personally. Someone is always complaining about something, the point in this case being that FR shouldn’t be used to fund people’s blogs.
No, I know, you were just explaining it.
The error is in thinking that NPR is going to go away. Believe me, it will be funded; it just won’t be funded by federal tax dollars. Well-meaning, guilt-afflicted liberals, classical music devotees, and large left-wing organizations will continue to fund it. I have no fear that Mozart is going away.
Illegitimi non carborundum
“Sen. Harry Reid offered a typically pathetic defense of NPR by citing critical investigative reporting on dog racing.”
Between this and the cowboy poetry, Reid needs to retire and visit a rubber room.
I clicked on your blog when I was done, just to give you a hit.
I don't really get the bizarre mouth-foaming anti-blog faction here anyway.
I did my homework.
Bland radio as well as TV is attributable to the FCC. Government defunding of NPR doesn't solve the problem but defunding the FCC does. Until the FCC is dissolved, the government will continue to interfere with communications free-market supply and demand which would bring us robust, innovative and delightful shows (the golden age of radio before the FCC forced their pablum on America).
I've had to go toe-to-toe with VIRULENT jerkoffs who have a thing for what they call "blog pimps".
Check out some of "humblergunner's" choice work. You'll usually find his "crew" with him when they're ganging up on FReepers they label as "blog pimps".
Illegitimi non carborundum
There’s a whack job in every crowd.
The “blog pimp police” are as irritating (or more) as the blog pimps. Worse than the spelling/grammar nazis. I’ve yet to see anyone forced to click a thread, much less its link.
We'll sometimes take a swipe at pimp enablers. too.
“If NPR went of the air tomorrow, I wouldnt know about it unless I read it here on FR.”
Wouldn’t you miss “All Liberal Things Considered”? LOL.
I know. People will get on a thread they know they will hate just for the joy of abusing it. There’s so much to read on Free Republic ... if you hate blogs, don’t read it.
Some people just post long, looooong, replies to threads that are longer than most blogs.
Get over it, everyone.
As it should be. If the left wants their own forum to spew alternative views, let THEM fund it. To paraphrase Billy Joel, ...you can speak your mind/but not on my dime...
When “children are starving in the streets” it is ridiculous to be funding NPR, PBS, NEA....
Excerpting and linking to poorly written blogs that exist only to pump up the author's ego are annoying. Linking to well written, informative blogs is providing a service.
I say Shout Bits is providing a service by posting his article this way. We can read the whole thing and visit and subscribe if we want to without being forced to hit the blog only to find out that it stinks.
Many public station that program classical music are not getting that programming from NPR.
Tons of classical music available on sat radio and the net.
I wondered where you got that bloody nose. It's got to hurt, punching yourself in the face...
A world without NPR? I don’t even know of it on a daily basis. I refuse to get my news from any biased source such as NPR.
So maybe I'll get my wish and the non-pop classic music portion will remain?
Tons of classical music available on sat radio and the net.
I usually listen when I'm driving - does satellite radio escape the stupidity of the FCC?
P.S. I have subscribed to your blog. It's nice to take off my Grammar Police and Pimpbuster hats and just read without distractions.
NPR will get by on their corporate contributions.
I think it cuts both ways. Nobody objects to links to an established and interesting blog, like Iowahawk for instance.
There is some reason to object to someone posting a useless blog, just in order to get hits and possible fans.
Clearly it’s hard to draw the line between a blog that really deserves to be linked and one that is just searching for fame. So on occasion I find myself on one side of the argument, and sometimes on the other.
At least if you post the whole thing, people can decide for themselves before they start providing hits to the blog.
Please, before you embarrass yourself further, acquaint yourself with the excerpt list.
And you're right. Posting a single line would be serious pimping.
But if someone should post three or four paragraphs one should be able to tell if the blogger was serious, literate and providing useful information; and, of course, clicking to the blog would be a quite appropriate payment for work well done.
And, of course, if it's garbage, it's a lot better to read the three graphs on FR and know than to actually have the whole unfathomable story on FR.
I appreciate that you posted the entire thing. I think it was very well written.
Excuse me, possibly just for NPR. The entire public broadcasting behemoth has revinues in the several billions.
Is it just NPR that irritates you?
Shout Bits has a well-written blog.
Shout Bits posts material on FR in its entirety.
Shout Bits has my respect as a blogger.
Blog pimps post what is usually poorly written material or they purloin pieces or videos from other authors and put them on their own blogs, sometimes passing them off as their own.
Then they needlessly excerpt their blog on FR for the sole purpose of drivng traffic to their sites to obtain blog hits.
Shout Bits is not a blog pimp.
Here's Free Republic, spread out before you like a feast, and all you have to do is the tiniest bit of easy research to learn all you need to know, and right from the Home Page.
Of course, common sense would probably help a lot too.
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