Even after the now-notorious NPR firing of Juan Williams, the current Fox News contributor continued to defend the federal funding of public broadcasting. But now, as Democrats rally around NPR, Williams has changed his mind saying that it’s become clear that NPR is media made for liberal Democrats by liberal Democrats.
But last week my line of defense for NPR ran into harsh political realities. Rep. Steve Israel (D- N.Y.) chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out a fundraising letter with the following argument for maintaining public funding of NPR:
“They [Republicans] know NPR plays a vital role in providing quality news programming – from rural radio stations to in-depth coverage of foreign affairs. If the Republicans had their way, we’d only be left with the likes of Glenn Beck, Limbaugh and Sarah Palin to dominate the airwaves.”
With that statement Congressman Israel made the case better than any Republican critic that NPR is radio by and for liberal Democrats. He is openly asking liberal Democrats to give money to liberal Democrats in Congress so they can funnel federal dollars into news radio programs designed to counter and defeat conservative Republican voices.
Rep. Israel has unintentionally endorsed every conservative complaint about NPR as a liberal mouthpiece.
I’m not sure that you can call any media “journalism” that is dependent upon the funding of politicians. The media is to be our “fourth estate.” An independent source of information and commentary intended to keep the powers that be in line.
If you’re dependent upon the powers that be, you’re not independent.