NPR is Just the Beginning
I don't generally care for Juan Williams' viewpoint. He is a liberal. But he's a liberal who's generally willing to listen to commentators from the right side, and respond without pitching a hissy fit or charging off the stage. Still, his firing has given the media spotlight to a major problem. Juan Williams was fired by liberal ideologues for making an honest statement on an opinion show. This action would be perfectly acceptable if he worked for MSNBC. MSNBC is a private company; they have every right to censor their employees, and they exercise that right—mainly in defense of Keith Olbermann.
NPR, on the other hand, is federally funded. They do not share MSNBC's right to discriminate against commentators who aren't deemed liberal enough. They—at least theoretically—must accept "diverse" viewpoints. Clearly, they have not lived up to this mandate. In fact, NPR has degraded to the point of being George Soros' taxpayer-subsidized news network. Why should American citizens be forced to fund programming antithetical to the views of a majority in this country? If NPR were market-viable, they wouldn't need our money. Even mediocre programming pays for itself.
NPR is constantly informing us that the percentage of their budget that comes from federal funds is actually very small. If that's true, then why do they need the funds? Why not give up federal funding voluntarily to eliminate controversies like this? Juan Williams' firing is only notable because he worked for an institution that receives substantial funding from American taxpayers. Again, if he had been fired by MSNBC, this wouldn't be headline news.
It's time to eliminate such madness. If NPR is unwilling to take action, then Congress should make the decision for them. Senator DeMint has already stated he will introduce a bill to defund NPR. Eliminating NPR's public funding would be a blessing for the country. First, we'd be wasting less money. Second, I will no longer be forced to pay so my liberal professors can feel smug. If they want to listen to NPR, they can raise the money to keep it alive. Given Air America's record, I'm guessing it will be a short run, but who knows; they could prove me wrong.
Eliminating NPR would be a good start for America, but it should be just that .. a start. If NPR is the first to go, the CPB should follow closely behind. There's simply no justification for spending hundreds of millions of dollars on public broadcasting. Free, over-the-air television is already provided by the market. If there is a real market for the programming currently funded by our tax dollars, then other venues will continue to provide it. If not, that's unfortunate, but it's a reality faced by every other private industry. Nobody likes it when their favorite show gets canceled, but it happens all the time in the real world.
Finally, I'll end with a question to those who would defend NPR's outrageous exploitation of the American taxpayer: would it be okay if we granted equal federal funding to Fox News Radio? Just imagine; they could spread the Glenn Beck Radio Program to so many "under-served markets."