Thursday, November 18, 2010

House Defeats Republican Move to Cut NPR

Cutting NPR was the top vote-getter on Republican House Whip Eric Cantor's "YouCut" website, I'm pleased to learn. Some people think this has something to do with Juan Williams' firing. I think it is unfinished business from the pre-Bush age...

Here's the story from
Pulling federal funding from NPR, which fired Juan Williams last month, was the latest choice of the "YouCut" website, which lets online users vote on programs that should be cut. Virginia Republican Eric Cantor said "it is not the government's job to tell a news organization how to do its job. But what's equally certain is it should not be the taxpayers' responsibility to fund news organizations with a partisan point of view." The de-funding measure was defeated, 239 to 171. NPR quickly said that "Today, good judgment prevailed, as Congress rejected a move to assert government control over the content of news." It called the bill to prohibit public radio stations from using their CPB grant money to buy programming from NPR "an unwarranted attempted to interject federal authority into local station program decision making."
Let's see, the Republicans gained 61 seats in the 2012 election. If all the Republicans who voted to cut NPR today voted the same way in January, and all the new Republicans voted with them, that would give them 232 votes to cut NPR. There are 435 seats in the House of Representatives. If everyone voted, the next vote could be 232-203 to cut NPR funding.

Message of this vote: Republicans are within spitting distance of eliminating NPR funding (which would clearly reduce media pressure on Congress for increased spending, since it is essentially a DNC lobbying arm, and dominates the radio news business, crowding out possible competition).

Memo to Eric Cantor and the Republicans: If at first you don't succeed--try, try, again!