NPR and the Government Teat


Posted by Jason Diamond

In the wake of NPR CEO Vivian Schiller’s resignation, Hamilton Nolan at Gawker thinks that it’s time for NPR to get off the government payroll.  Nolan points out that NPR gets about 2% of its direct funding from the U.S. government, and that for NPR’s member stations, Corporation for Public Broadcasting funding is about 10% of their total, with other federal, state, and local government sources kicking in another 6%.

Nolan’s argument is that National Public Radio could cut its ties with federal funding, since he believe the organization has the resources and the talent to compete with anybody.  While he’s probably right about the talent and resources, one commenter brings up something that nobody else seems to be making:

The entire point of things like NPR is that we have certain things that are supposed to be for the public good, regardless of politics, because we’ve learned through experience that private corporations do not ever have the public good in mind. They only have their own bottom line in mind. And politicians are supposed to keep their hands off these public entities.


No comments

  1. I am an avid listener of pretty much all of NPR’s programing (and an unabashed liberal), and, as we all know, NPR has a decidedly left-of-center point of view. Thus, it is understandable that the right would seek to cut its government funding. If the shoe was on the other foot, the left would be trying to do the same.

  2. I think the bigger question is why is Gawker suddenly taking this libertarian stance?

  3. I don’t think it’s a libertarian stance. I think it’s more of a button pushing mentality.