NPR apologists miss a hole you could drive a HMMWV through in their primary counterargument, which seems to be “but the public funds only 16% of the operation!”
Well, if the federal government is funding only 16%, then you have 84% of your problem solved already, don’t you? Go solve the remainder the way the rest of us have to. Chop chop.
I enjoy NPR from time to time, particularly its cultural programming. But I’m under no illusion that we have a dearth of ideological variety on the airwaves, and that therefore federal funding for a particular channel is indicated. If you want information, a point of view, or information with a point of view, you enjoy a smorgasbord of choices that was a pipe dream as recently as 20 years ago, and absolutely unimaginable as recently as 50 years ago.
I’m also under no illusion that NPR would not remain on the air—and healthy—without its annual federal suckle.
Yes, it’s a pittance, but it remains an inappropriate use of the country’s money, and you have to start somewhere. Defund NPR now in the federal budget.