Nathan Tabor
June 1, 2005
Outing the "liberal Democrats" at NPR
By Nathan Tabor

Recently I had the idea of researching what the other side is doing, so I decided to search Google.com for the words "Liberal Democrat." I found some very interesting things.

The first page of results contained mostly links for the Liberal Party in the UK and Europe nothing at all to do with either Liberals or Democrats in America. The paid ads dealt with topics like "Dating for Democrats" and "Anti-Bush Gear," and of course the Leftist propaganda website MoveOn.org was prominently featured.

However, the most interesting aspect of this Google search was the paid ad for National Public Radio at the top of the page. The ad declared:

"Liberal Democrat. www.NPR.org. Objective, in-depth & informed political coverage & analysis."

If you search Google for "Conservative Republican," however, you will not find any ads for NPR. It is obvious what type of listener NPR really wants to reach. Their political content is clearly biased and leans strongly to the Left.

What is NPR? One online encyclopedia calls National Public Radio a "loosely organized public radio network" that was founded in 1970 (after passage of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967) and created to broadcast news and cultural programming. Here's how the encyclopedia glowingly describes that network:

"NPR is an internationally acclaimed producer and distributor of noncommercial news, talk, and entertainment programming. A privately supported, not-for-profit membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 26 million Americans each week in partnership with more than 780 independently operated, noncommercial public radio stations." (See http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/National-Public-Radio.)

I personally suspect that "growing audience of 26 million" consists mostly of the hardcore Left-wingers left over from the student radical movements of the 1960s and 70s.

So, exactly who funds NPR?

Well, first of all, NPR charges hefty fees to the member stations who receive its programming, and that accounts for about half of its current $100 MILLION annual budget. The rest comes from private donations, corporate contributions, and grants from charitable foundations, often to underwrite specific projects.

Back in the 1970s and early 1980s, the lion's share of NPR's support came from the U.S. taxpayers via the Federal government. But during the Reagan years, Conservative critics wanted to de-fund NPR completely, and that led to both a major funding crisis in 1983 and to massive changes in NPR's support structure. Today only about 2 percent of NPR's total funding comes from government grants and programs.

NPR network member stations also benefit from both private donations and government funding, but they are notorious for raising money through periodic on-the-air pledge drives which appeal to their well-heeled Lefty listeners to donate money to "Save Public Radio," or to keep so-called "quality programming" on the air. Unfortunately, there is really no danger of NPR's Liberal agenda fading into the sunset anytime soon.

Urban myths abound. In 1995, for example, two Left-leaning college students started an e-mail petition in which they falsely claimed that Nina Totenberg had warned her "Morning Edition" listeners that "if the Supreme Court supports Congress [in efforts to de-fund NPR], it will, in effect, be the end of National Public Radio." Although the nonexistent funding crisis has long passed, that bogus chain letter refuses to die and continues to circulate on the Internet much like the equally bogus "FCC Petition" that has Dr. Dobson allegedly warning Christians that the Gospel is about to be banned from the airwaves.

NPR carries no traditional advertising but does broadcast brief PR statements from its major donors. These lofty statements of humanitarian good will are called "underwriting spots," not commercials, and are bound by certain FCC restrictions. For example, these spots cannot promote any product nor advocate any "call to action." This ban on commercial advertisements is supposed to keep NPR's pristine "public" programming unsullied by the corrupting influences of capitalism.

The net effect, however, has been to reinforce its promotion of All Things Liberal. Since NPR is not dependent on traditional advertising revenue, its producers are largely free of the economic decision-making process that is driven by ratings and thus NPR is also less accountable to the general market. The result is programming that some may consider to be "less sensationalistic," but which is more blatantly biased than what most mainstream listeners would normally accept.

In 2003, the estate of McDonald's Corporation heiress Joan B. Kroc (the widow of Golden Arches founder Ray Kroc) gave a super-sized $200 MILLION bequest to NPR a huge windfall equal to twice NPR's annual operating budget. Clearly NPR's tragic funding crisis is now but a vestige of the dim and distant past.

Liberals love to complain about Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and other Conservative media personalities whose common sense messages resonate with millions of grassroots Americans many of whom also happen to be Republicans.

But those same Liberals are loath to admit that in NPR, they have their own government-protected, lavishly supported, politically correct propaganda network created especially for Liberal Democrats. Let's just let the truth be known.

Since NPR clearly has a liberal and biased agenda I believe it only fair they give back the millions the government gave them to start their business. You think that will happen?

© Nathan Tabor

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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