Column: NPR at 50 Years -- Still a Liberal Sandbox

May 7th, 2021 6:00 AM

National Public Radio is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week in a classic way: asking their fans for money. A fundraising email gushes “From covering the Vietnam War in 1971 to the COVID-19 vaccination effort today, and everything in between, NPR has delivered fact-based news and trustworthy analysis to millions.”

Some of that “fact-based news” included “founding mother” Nina Totenberg’s attempts to ruin Douglas Ginsburg’s Supreme Court nomination (successful) and then Clarence Thomas’s nomination (unsuccessful). Years later, she did a syrupy sister act with feminist Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, hosting RBG celebrations at awards shows and film festivals.

NPR dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop before the election as a “pure distraction” and then had to add a correction to a January puff piece on Hunter that insisted the laptop story was “discredited by U.S. intelligence and independent investigations by news organizations."

If you’re a conservative, you see NPR as a sandbox for liberals, and object to your tax dollars going for that propaganda. If you’re a liberal, you love it dearly and fight any attempt to cut its federal funding.

On May 2, the CBS show Sunday Morning shamelessly aired an eight-minute commercial selling NPR’s view of itself. Every single person interviewed on camera was a current or former NPR employee. At the end, host Jane Pauley oozed “ By the way, the producer of this report, Sunday Morning's Jay Kernis, was himself a pioneering NPR staffer.”

The “reporter” on this story was Faith Salie, who announced in the middle that she had been a regular panelist for 12 years now on the snarky liberal NPR game show/current events quiz Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me! The notion of a conflict of interest means nothing to CBS.

In  2017, Salie wrote an angry article for the radical-feminist website Jezebel about battling Bill O’Reilly on Fox News: “Our country so condones the hatred and denigration of women that we’ve voted it into the highest office in the land (with a helping, hairy hand from Fox News).” Don’t ask Salie if she ever voted for a Clinton. Nina Totenberg didn’t care about Bill’s sex life.

Salie began by touting “60 million weekly followers,” and then let NPR founder Bill Siemering insist it’s “not about ratings.” I’m sure they never give potential underwriters a sheet of how many listeners they’ll be reaching.  

Then Salie buried the notion that taxpayer money was involved: “Most of NPR's funding comes from corporate sponsors and from independent public radio stations around the country that buy its programming.” That’s just a lie.  Public radio stations often buy NPR programming with “community service grants” from the taxpayer-funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The only critical note came when TV critic Eric Deggans was asked if blacks listened to NPR, and he said “No. I think black folks, we have a highly developed sense of when our culture is included in programming. NPR is not that.” We’re told NPR’s audience is 81 percent white.

But they’re trying to fix this with podcasts like “Code Switch,” which just touted how two friends in Vermont asked white people to give money directly to their black neighbors – a “DIY, hyperlocal reparations program, of sorts.” The hosts confessed they’re “obsessed with reparations....sweet, delicious reparations.”

In this spirit, I would like to ask for a refund. I’ve been paying taxes for more than 40 years, and I would like my involuntary donations to NPR returned to me. CBS can serve up one-sided stories on their own dime. But NPR is taking my dimes and either excluding or eviscerating my conservative point of view. Enough is enough.