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Privatize PBS and NPR
The Reality Check ^ | 04 January 2004 | Hans Zeiger

Posted on 01/03/2004 6:50:19 AM PST by Lando Lincoln

After the 1994 Republican revolution, Congress did some talking about the end of the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio. After all was said and done, public television and radio stuck around.

Both NPR and PBS are organs of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). CPB was formed by Congress in 1967 to encourage "the growth and development of non-commercial... programming that will be responsive to the interests of the people."

Like most other socialist programs that emerged from Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, the CPB acted in the "interest" of the people only after it robbed them from acting in their own interest.

There is a role for taxpayer money in media that is in our interest — government is more open and accountable, thanks to C-SPAN and state public policy networks.

Yet, PBS and NPR are not in the "interests of the people." The free market is always responsive to the interests of the people through the wondrous operations of supply and demand.

While driving through Montana on Interstate 90, I've observed that the Big Sky radio market is much more saturated with country music than is the Seattle radio market. The folks in Montana like their country music, and us Puget Sounders have more diverse musical tastes.

If there is a television demand for Big Bird and Mr. Rogers and Teletubbies, and Black Adder and other British comedies, along with various historical and nature documentaries, surely the free market will pick it up.

If on radio there is a demand for relaxing jazz music and in-depth news and commentary, the market will pick that up too.

Yet, of programming on PBS and NPR, supporters of public broadcasting cannot simply say, "Don't watch it if you don't like it."

Though we are accustomed to speaking in terms of the free market, such lingo crumbles with public broadcasting. Between state, local and federal jurisdictions, the public covered nearly 42 percent of the revenues that flowed into PBS and NPR last year, according to calculations based on the PBS and the NPR Web sites as well as the NPR 2002 annual report.

It is no coincidence that the political forces that have sustained this evasion of free enterprise are able to mold the issues and programming of public broadcasting to fit their very Leftist ideals.

PBS became the object of outraged citizens when it broadcast a blatantly anti-Boy Scout documentary called "A Scout's Honor: in 2001. And last December, "Mohammed: Legacy of a Prophet" was more an infomercial for Islam than an objective documentary.

To a greater extent even than PBS, NPR has become a mouthpiece for the radical left. Conservatives have their talk radio and Christian stations while liberals occupy the mainstream media. But the radical Left has found its home at NPR.

Though NPR's budget has a smaller portion of taxpayer dollars than PBS does, its funding is primarily derived from major foundations, many of which hail from the far Left. Top donators of NPR include the John and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the W. Alton Jones Foundation, and the Overbrook Foundation.

Leftist intellectuals and not-so-intellectuals appear on an audio archives search engine at with great frequency. Noam Chomsky brings seven hits. Alan Dershowitz gets eight. Howard Zinn, 11. Michael Moore, 20.

Meanwhile, mainstream conservative names like William F. Buckley, P.J. O'Rourke, Ann Coulter and Michael Medved result in, "Sorry, we were unable to find exact matches for your search." Most mentions of Rush Limbaugh occur negatively in the same context that favorable attention is given to Al Franken.

Nothing is illegal about Leftist propaganda so long as it plays the game of the free market. But don't ask the rest of us to pay for it.

Hans Zeiger is a conservative activist and president of the Scout Honor Coalition. He is a student at Hillsdale College in Michigan where he edits the new Hillsdale Conservative.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bias; defundnpr; defundpbs; hanszeiger; media; mediabias; npr; pbs; propaganda; publicradio
1 posted on 01/03/2004 6:50:19 AM PST by Lando Lincoln
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To: All
Rank Location Receipts Donors/Avg Freepers/Avg Monthlies
18 Arkansas 110.00

Thanks for donating to Free Republic!

Move your locale up the leaderboard!

2 posted on 01/03/2004 6:51:03 AM PST by Support Free Republic (Happy New Year)
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To: Lando Lincoln
P.J. O'Rourke is a regular panelist on "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me." As is Charlie, "Kennedy would have consoled Mary Jo in her old age" Pierce.
3 posted on 01/03/2004 6:54:41 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (Uday and Qusay are ead-day)
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Baynative
The "owner" of the NPR station in St. Paul does very well, thank you, collecting over $250,000 from private merchandise sales.
5 posted on 01/03/2004 7:11:17 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Lando Lincoln
Privatization BUMP!
6 posted on 01/03/2004 7:22:14 AM PST by NH Liberty (Happy New Year!)
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To: Lando Lincoln
To privatize NPR is exactly the right decision when your kid gets home from school mentioning that the teacher says to listen to NPR for the current news.

PBS is the American version of the BBC.


7 posted on 01/03/2004 7:26:44 AM PST by LurkedLongEnough
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
True, but that's about it with conservative voices on NPR. Or signs of intelligence, for that matter.
8 posted on 01/03/2004 7:31:32 AM PST by hershey
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To: hershey
You mean the public isn't pleading for more Ken Burns specials on The American West that emphasize how evil the settlers were in stealing land from Indians? (/sarcasm)
9 posted on 01/03/2004 7:35:50 AM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Lando Lincoln
.....responsive to the interests of the people."

The NPR and PBS shows are listened/watched by cultural elites who are 90% leftists, not by "the people". PBS should be a cable channel, like Bravo. I say this as one of the 10% -- I watch a fair amount of PBS, mostly comedies and opera/theater -- but don't believe it should be govt. subsidized.

10 posted on 01/03/2004 8:38:01 AM PST by expatpat
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To: Lando Lincoln
OK, how?
11 posted on 01/03/2004 8:50:41 AM PST by manic4organic (An organic conservative)
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To: Lando Lincoln
Oh, please, please, please, please, please, please...
12 posted on 01/03/2004 8:53:23 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth (DEFUND NPR & PBS - THE AMERICAN PRAVDA)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
I was a PBS(WGBH,Boston) member until a couple of years ago when I started watching chidren's shows with my grandchidren and realized that they now have ads (Chuck E Cheese,Kellogs Frosted Flakes).

No more tax dollars if they are advertising,which they are.
13 posted on 01/03/2004 8:57:30 AM PST by Mears
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To: Baynative
PBS/NPR compete with private companies all the time. Since they don't pay taxes and are subsidized it is very tough competition. It's not just material sales, they also do production - and a lot of it - in direct competition with 'for profit' production companies.
14 posted on 01/03/2004 9:04:45 AM PST by ladyjane
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To: manic4organic
"OK, how?"

Several ways.

1. Continue to watchdog these creeps to death. FR provides a steady stream of documentation from a range of sources that highlight the bias and disorder that this boondoggle typifies.

2. Keep pounding on number one and educate more people - activate them as allies.

3. Focus steps one and two and begin acting by contacting congress critters and others about this issue.

4. Provide articles to friends, neighbors and others with some chance of free intellectual thought and rational decision making capabilities.

5. Call your local outlets of this stuff and demand to know why they have bloated budgets, demonstrable bias and all of the other problems described in steps one and two.

6. Call into local affiliates during open line shows and make your statements.

7. Write letters to the editors of your local rags replete with facts, figures and footnotes.

8. Repeat these steps for as long as it takes.

Believe it or not, the fact that this issue is discussed openly and widely is evidence that things are happening. Even if RINOs and other weasels are still voting funding, the future budget pressures do not bode well for Big Bird. The constant, expanding pressures of an informed electorate will eventually undo this evil empire of lies.

Enough for now?
15 posted on 01/03/2004 9:06:35 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth (DEFUND NPR & PBS - THE AMERICAN PRAVDA)
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To: Drango
16 posted on 01/03/2004 9:07:53 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth (DEFUND NPR & PBS - THE AMERICAN PRAVDA)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
"Enough for now?"

Indeed. I write area newspapers and get letters published fairly frequently, to my surprise. I'll fire one off regarding this subject. I'll follow the other suggestions best as I can, as well.
17 posted on 01/03/2004 9:18:42 AM PST by manic4organic (An organic conservative)
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To: manic4organic
Good for you! I wish there were 20 million more like you, but, things ARE slowly changing. May the new year bring more into the fold on behalf of freedom!
18 posted on 01/03/2004 9:47:55 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth (DEFUND NPR & PBS - THE AMERICAN PRAVDA)
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To: Lando Lincoln
Good points.

The liberal bias is troubling, but that is not the real reason to defund the NPR and PBS corporations. These enterprises are as absurd as the Govt paying to have another car company make cars because we dont think there is enough choice from the other makers.

The reasons that existed in the 1960s wrt need for non-commercial and educational TV no longer hold - we have 100+ channels available. You can get the history channel or discovery or Bravo (Great Performances) or kid's TV (frankly most of it is junk especially Disney, but PBS is only slightly better).

The justifications made in the 1960s for these as govt funded entities no longer hold.

There really is not a single reason for taxpayers to fund TV or radio. None. Zero. Zippo. nada. It is a useless as tits on a bull, and if anyone complains that they like the programming - well FINE - PAY FOR IT YOURSELF.

19 posted on 01/03/2004 1:11:00 PM PST by WOSG (The only thing that will defeat us is defeatism itself)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
Die PBS, Die
20 posted on 01/04/2004 1:17:11 AM PST by Drango (Democratic fund raising....If PBS won't do it, who will?)
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