Justifying Subsidies: Obama Honors Liberal NPR Hosts With 'National Humanities Medals'

July 30th, 2014 12:21 PM

Barack Obama knows how to honor his supporters. On Monday, he handed out arts and humanities medals at the White House. Among the medalists was Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, a major financial backer of Obama’s presidential campaigns.

Obama and his National Endowment for the Humanities cronies also sought to add prestige to public radio by awarding Humanities Medals to public-radio hosts Diane Rehm and Krista Tippett, who hosts a show on religion topics called “On Being.” This is how Obama honored them inside the White House:

The 2013 National Humanities Medal to Diane Rehm for illuminating the people and stories behind the headlines.  In probing interviews with everyone from pundits to poets to Presidents, Ms. Rehm’s keen insights and boundless curiosity have deepened our understanding of our culture and ourselves.

The 2013 National Humanities Medal to Krista Tippett for thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence.  On the air and in print, Ms. Tippett avoids easy answers, embracing complexity and inviting people of every background to join her conversation about faith, ethics and moral wisdom.

The lobbying website Protect My Public Media was thrilled with the tributes:

Both public radio hosts, Rehm and Tippet [sic], have continued public media’s tradition of providing quality programming in the form of public service. Respectively, the radio hosts have helped their listeners make sense of the issues that are central to their lives and communities. Public media programming like The Diane Rehm Show and On Being help inform, entertain and expand our cultural horizons through broadcast media. Public radio and television supporters alike can agree that these hosts are deserving of this honor.