The NPR kerfuffle and subsidies
Call it the obligatory NPR story, but I found the video of the NPR exec talking to a couple of fake Muslim Brotherhood types to be pretty revealing about the attitude of that particular organization.
And, like you, I’m sure, wondered “why, again are we subsidizing this particular entity?”
Of course I’d like to see government get out of the subsidy business altogether and yes that includes corporate welfare as well.
But this thing with NPR hit a particular nerve that goes beyond that. It clearly exposes a bias that certainly didn’t require much prodding from the fake Muslims to expose.
Ron Schiller, the NPR executive, is a real “treasure”. He tells the “Muslims” that NPR fired Juan Williams because it provides "non-racist, non-bigoted, straightforward telling of the news" and apparently William’s association with Fox News ran counter to that. At the same time he goes on a racist, bigoted and frankly uninformed rant about the Tea-Party, was open (or at least didn’t condemn) to slamming Jews and chuckled at the suggestion that radical Muslims called NPR “National Palestine Radio”.
He also said "it is clear that we would be better off in the long run without federal funding."
That’s been clear to me for decades. But for some reason, or perhaps multiple reasons, each time ending the subsidy to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (the organization that passes those funds on to NPR) is brought up, we’re told that NPR can’t survive without it.
Uh, fine, so let it “wither on the vine”. NPR will either do that or find a way to survive and, per Schilling, it really would be better off without it.
I say grant his wish.
The function and purpose of government has been rather expansive over the past few decades. Do we really believe that providing tax subsidies for entertainment and journalism is one of the charges of government?
No. Neither is it a charge of government to provide corporations with subsidies, or ethanol producers, mohair producers, “green energy” companies, farmers, or any of a almost endless list of those given subsidy via government.
NPR’s particular case will probably see it’s subsidy ended – not because it is the right thing to do and as a precedent for ending subsidies everywhere, but because Ron Shilling made it indefensible by the left.
Looking at the list of subsidies this government pays out gives one the understanding as to how deep government’s tendrils are and how many there are. If subsidies were a cancer, I’m sure the doctor would pronounce the disease to be in stage 4.
It is a habit – an addiction – we have to break if we’re ever to see “smaller, less intrusive and less expensive government.” Let’s start with NPR, but for the right reasons.