NPR survives 11th hour spending deal

Despite several ugly recent episodes and considerable movement by conservative activists to defund it, federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio survived an 11th hour deal on a spending bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year.

The continuation of funding for public broadcasting is one of several significant victories for Democrats regarding the policy riders in the bill still emerging 12 hours after Democratic and Republican leaders struck a deal to avert government shutdown.

Another Democratic victory: of dozens of riders included in a House-passed spending bill curtailing strict new environmental regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency, zero were included in the final deal.

Several other controversial policy riders, including one to defund Planned Parenthood, America’s leading abortion provider, were used by Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner to secure steeper spending cuts in negotiations.

“The Speaker fought for the largest spending cut possible, and he fought for every policy restriction included in H.R. 1,” said Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith.

But NPR surviving stands out given the considerable momentum held by its critics following two recent episodes that brought its alleged liberal bias to national attention.

The first involved the firing of anchor Juan Williams for comments he made on Fox News regarding his experiences on airplanes.

“Look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous,” Williams told Fox host Bill O’Reilly.

Critics blasted NPR not just for firing Williams over the comments, pointing out that Williams underlying point was how important it is to overcome unintentional feelings of nervousness.

NPR also drew criticism for the way it fired Williams: over the phone; the executive who fired him later resigned.

In a second episode, an undercover sting by conservative provocateur James O’Keefe caught a top NPR executive blasting the Tea Party as “racist” to what he thought was a Muslim group with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood contemplating donating $5 million.

Ron Schiller, the executive on the video, also said NPR would be “better off” without federal funding.

“Well frankly, it is clear that we would be better off in the long-run without federal funding,” he says. “The challenge right now is that if we lost it all together we would have a lot of stations go dark,” Schiller said.

Congressional sources said Democrats rallied behind federal funds for public broadcasting. A Democratic Hill aide said scores of voters from the district his boss represents called to advocate maintaining public funding.

One conservative activist closely following the debate said Democrats relied heavily on NPR to deliver political messages in their districts. In that sense, they were loathe to abandon a key communications platform.

  • HoosYoDaddy

    “Survives” is way too strong of a word…N.P.R. has been brain dead for decades and is just clinging to “life” support..more of a painful existence, with Obamacare support…hypocritcal progressives would have put the patient down out of “compassion”, or aborted long ago if it was just a useless fetus…conservatives are just waiting a little longer for the inevitable.. or to stop the suffering soon after all parties involved have come to terms with the pending “loss” (or gain).

    And isn’t all that Obamacare “free” anyhow? Just sayin’..that is what I heard. :)

  • fourleafclover

    NPR is part of the Democrat’s Great Society. If will be de-funded along with the rest of the Great Society started by LBJ. The US would be thriving and jobs plentiful if those social programs had never be started. They have destroyed and enslaved generations who grew up with their hands out.

  • Kari Ju

    Argue all you want about whether planned parenthood spends tax largess legally or illegally. It’s irrelevant to the main issue: Planned Parenthood is not a public utility, nor is its continued survival, whatever its actual mission, a governmental responsibility. It is a private organization just like the National Rifle Association and the Communist Party. That a fire hose of federal tax money has been directed its way since time immemorial does not thereby elevate its priority over, say, armed forces pay during a time of crisis. I cannot decide who was more stupid in this fight, the democrats for demagoguing planned parenthood as if it is an arm of the federal government or the entirely detached and passive republicans for suggesting a cut in its federal funding now in a cynical and botched attempt to throw red meat to we, the unwashed conservative base.

  • libertyatstake

    For now …

    “Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”

  • truebearing

    While I personally would have loved to see NPR lose its funding, the negative exposure they have gotten in the last year has been very damaging to both their fund raising and credibility. As more people have become aware of the bias at NPR, they will recognize it when they hear it, and NPR will steadily lose listeners, much like the mainstream media has lost subscribers and viewers. The damage has been done.

    That being said, they should be defunded ASAP.

  • KGC

    The moment someone starts off a reply to another post with “…someone as dumb as you…” or “… We know you’re an idiot…” or any other manner of denigration, the recipient’s not listening anymore; you’re writing for yourself. Even if they respond (usually in kind), they haven’t listened, couldn’t possibly have absorbed anything you’ve said (and there are some smart things said here, there really are; posts on The DC are more articulate than those on most sites), and so your effort is essentially wasted. Maybe the effort wasn’t even made to change a position, but it also hasn’t even wounded, which seems more it’s intent. Instead you’ve solidified the position of your opposition and confirmed their prejudice about you (ignorant, bigoted, radical, Leftist, Fascist, Communist,…).

    If in the end we can’t have some civility then we’re all only participating in echo-chamber rallyism and our intelligence is wasted.

    • des1

      You’re right. When some Libtard here is calling a female Conservative a “whore” and a black Conservative an “Uncle Tom,” and then calls me a homophobe on top of it, the problem surely must be me for not responding with a sincere attempt to appeal to his better nature. {sigh}

    • des1

      You’re right. When some Libtard here is calling a female Conservative a “whore” and a black Conservative a sellout, then calls me a homophobe on top of it, the problem surely must be me for not responding with a sincere attempt to appeal to his better nature. {sigh}

      • KGC

        Well, once they’ve sunk to that level it’s not worth responding at all. I’m always willing to give it one attempt, if only to give the poor fellow a chance to reconsider, possibly redeem himself, but after that… I mean, I can give as good as I get, but I never come away feeling as though I’ve either learned anything or accomplished anything.

        Alas, it’s true, most are more interested in hurling epithets than having a reasonable, if heated, discussion.