Here we go again. With legislation introduced today by Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Republicans begin their perennial campaign to abolish public funding for NPR.
What a silly exercise. Pulling the plug on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting won’t save that much money: $420 million, of which NPR only gets a small share.
If Republicans were really serious about tackling the deficit, they’d look at the massive waste in the Pentagon and America’s anachronistic nuclear weapons program.
And, besides, the CPB, through PBS and NPR, provides some good product.
There’s great broadcasting from the left on MSNBC and all our progressive radio stations. There’s plenty from the right on Fox and right-wing talk radio. But it’s good to have somebody right down the middle.
Nobody covers the Supreme Court better than Nina Totenberg. Nobody does a better interview than Robert Siegel. No program gets more laughs on radio than Car Talk.
On PBS, Jim Lehrer, Gwen Ifill, and Judy Woodruff are first-class news anchors. Then there’s Frontline, Masterpiece Theatre, Tavis Smiley and, of course, Sesame Street.
It costs every American less than $1.50 a year to fund public broadcasting. For my vote, I think Big Bird is worth it.
That’s my parting shot for today.