The Case for National Public Radio by @piratewench (on Twitter)
I hear a lot about how cutting out the money for NPR is a hit that we need to take to cut down the spending in the budget. I also hear a lot about how NPR is a “liberal” media outlet. I guess that all depends on how you define liberal.
If liberal means programs to lift up the spirits of people who are ill with diseases that aren’t being covered by the talking heads, then yes. NPR is liberal. (http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/05/18/126904272/tropical-diseases-aren-t-isolated-to-the-tropics)
If liberal means to open up the audiences ears to music that they wouldn’t normally hear in their every day life, then yes, NPR is liberal.
If liberal means to have on Alan West (R-Florida) to speak about his tour of Guantanamo and his praise for the men and woman walking the wall, then yes, NPR is liberal. (No link available)
If liberal means that you question the motives of the President, or what he is doing in regards to almost ANYTHING currently happening in the USA, then yes, NPR is liberal.
So yes, I do guess that NPR is 100% liberal. If by liberal you also mean giving voice to BOTH sides of the conversation, and not being rude enough to actually interrupt each and every speaker with inane questions to get YOUR point of view across. (See MSNBC Hardball – or FOX News O’Reilly Factor – or Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, or any show really, on those networks).
I move around the country a lot. And the first thing I do when going through any major Metropolis, is look for the local NPR station. From Diane Ream (who I’ve listened to for YEARS) to “All Things Considered” (the FIRST NPR daily series) to Sci-Friday, my life and my intelligence, yes my spirit would have been the lesser without these shows in my life.
November 7th, 967, when Lyndon Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act, this is what he said :
“The law that I will sign shortly offers one answer to that question. It announces to the world that our Nation wants more than just material wealth; our Nation wants more than a “chicken in every pot.” We in America have an appetite for excellence, too. While we work every day to produce new goods and to create new wealth, we want most of all to enrich man’s spirit. That is the purpose of this act.”
Have our Congress and those who define our lives (for all intents and purposes) now decided that the “human spirit” no longer needs enrichment? That our childrens ability to experience things through media that are not the depressing parade of sitcoms and dramadies, no longer necessary?
Both of my children got a head start on their peers by daily watching of PBS, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers. Back in the 80’s, PBS tv was the only broadcast outlet that was showing multi-episodic British mini-series.
On a personal level – PBS brought me Dr. Who, they brought me I, Claudius, Jeeves and Wooster and my favorite all time: Poldark. Who hasn’t at least ONCE tuned into Great Performances? How about Austin City Limits or Live from Lincoln Center?
We cannot afford to let PBS and NPR go by the wayside, and yes, although most major stations that are attached to universities do not a get a huge amount of money from the government subsidy – there are those little stations in the outskirts of America who rely upon their grants for up to 40% of their budgets to purchase programming for their citizens.
I understand that we need to make some cuts, I understand that we are under a huge burden of debt – but we should not make those cuts from anything that ENRICHES the American Public and Peoples. Maybe we can think about our Congressmen taking a cut on their office budgets, or their salaries, or maybe we can even forget about replacing a few hundres missles, or those extra engines that we are making two of for everyone one we need.