After the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and affiliated organizations like National Public Radio (NPR) and PBS television have used their airwaves to run a media blitz asking viewers and listeners to contact their congressmen and senators about recent efforts to cut their funding, conservative organization Americans for Limited Government (ALG) put together a 30-second video asking viewers and listeners to support defunding, The Daily Caller has learned.
[WATCH: Scroll down the page to see ALG’s advertisement]:
Referencing conservative James O’Keefe’s sting on NPR executives Ron Schiller and Betsy Liley, the ad’s announcer asks, “Why would an NPR executive say they would be better off without taxpayer funds?” then says, “the fact is less than 15 percent of public broadcasting dollars come from taxpayers” and that the nation faces $1.65 trillion deficit in “this year alone.” It wraps up by asking viewers and listeners to “call you congressman today and tell them that you are a public broadcasting viewer and you support defunding.”
In a document accompanying the video’s release, ALG’s General Counsel Nathan Paul Mehrens references several public broadcasting efforts to influence viewers and listeners on the taxpayer funding issue. “Currently, WETA a public station which broadcasts in the Washington, D.C. area, has a video clip posted on their website called ‘Let Congress Know How You Feel,’ encouraging viewers to contact their congressmen to express their opinion about eliminating federal funding for public broadcasting,” Mehrens wrote. WETA also has a pro-taxpayer funding for public broadcasting campaign on its website.
WATCH: WETA’s advertisement promoting taxpayer funding for NPR:
The University of Missouri’s KBIA public radio station has also run advertisements on air and online urging its followers to “tell Congress funding for KBIA and other public broadcast is important to you,” in addition to encouraging them to get involved with “170 Million Americans,” an organization that supports of taxpayer subsidized public broadcasting.
KBIA’s station manager, Mike Dunn, contends that his station’s advertisement is appropriate because he thinks it doesn’t advocate a position on the issue. He also says it took barely any time to make and didn’t cost much.
“It has taken up a little bit of time,” Dunn told The Washington Times. “We put it out on the air. We put it on our website, but there was no tangible cost.”
UPDATE 4:09 p.m.: Congressman Doug Lamborn, Colorado Republican, a proponent of stopping taxpayer subsidies to public broadcasting entities told TheDC he thinks any stations airing advertisements opposing defunding CPB should air advertisements like ALG’s which show the other side. “Public broadcasting stations airing PSAs calling for continued taxpayer funding should give equal time to the opposing view,” Lamborn said in an e-mail to TheDC. “Their audiences are entitled to hear both sides of the issue. The federal government is broke and cannot afford to borrow more money for programs that can stand on their own.”