Time to End Public Broadcasting
Like most conservatives, I don’t have a great deal of use for Juan Williams (particularly since Obama became President), but. compared to most liberals, he’s not that bad. But, hopefully something good will come from his firing: it will focus a spotlight on NPR and encourage everyone to think about whether we even need public broadcasting.
NPR and PBS are dominated by liberals. They serve an affluent audience of elitests who believe they should not be subjected to Midol and Sierra Club commercials the way Rush Limbaugh’s listeners are subjected to Beta Prostate, Carbonite and Lifelock commercials. Neverwasses, like Nina Tottenberg, and washed up former network newscasters are paid are paid huge salaries, which are at least partially taxpayer-funded.
There are two important questions:
- Does the government belong in broadcasting?
- Are NPR and PBS even needed?
National Public Radio, a taxpayer funded network with a decidedly leftward tilt, has fired longtime commentator Juan Williams. Ed Driscoll reported on this last night, and it’s all over the blogs today. The story arc here is that Williams said something the left and CAIR didn’t like, the left and CAIR raised a stink, and NPR immediately capitulated to them. Juan Williams’ decades of dedicated service at NPR as one of its few credible, mainstream voices ended in a flash.
Three points should be front and center. One, Williams made the comments for which NPR fired him not on their air, but on the Fox News Channel. Two, Williams’ actual comments weren’t all that incendiary and were factually accurate, yet the Muslim Brotherhood mouthpieces at CAIR made an issue of them and so NPR, ever the dutiful dhimmi, fired him. Hey, it’s either that or face whatever maumauing CAIR was cooking up as a next step. And three, this is the second time this week that a public broadcaster said or did something controversial and politically charged, yet only one of the two has faced any disciplinary action.
Just a day before, public broadcaster Gwen Ifill got herself into some trouble on Twitter for siding with Markos “screw them” Moulitsas, aka Kos, against Sarah Palin. Palin, in a speech, rallied her Tea Party supporters not to “party like it’s 1773 yet,” and Kos slammed her for the date, which, BIG HINT, is the year of the Boston Tea Party. And Ifill joined in the mockery on Twitter, only to dishonestly backtrack once Kos’ gaffe got called out.
There are a couple of things at work in all that. One, Ifill assumed that Palin was ignorant while assuming that Kos wasn’t. That’s bias, and Ifill is supposed to be an objective reporter. And two, Ifill dishonestly dealt with the issue and, evidently from her subsequent silence, hoped it all would just go away.
It might have, but thanks to NPR’s firing of Juan Williams, it won’t. Or it shouldn’t. (It will, and that’s among the problems with public broadcasting.)
We live in a world now in which hundreds of channels are available 24/7, radio and television. The Internet brings information from all over the world to us in real time, all the time. There is no shortage of the kind of liberal comment and editorial judgment that public broadcasting delivers. There is no shortage of the kind of nature documentaries or children’s programming that public broadcasting offers. There is no shortage of smug elitist commentary of the kind that public broadcasting offers. We live in an age of media plenty, but exploding public debt. It’s time to cut public expenses, and public broadcasting ought to be the first to go.
Neither Gwen Ifill nor Juan Williams should be fired for what they did this week, though, if either deserves discipline, it’s Ifill. If it wasn’t clear when she wrote a paean to Barack Obama before his election to the presidency and then moderated a debate that could have impacted that campaign, it’s clear now that she’s a biased liberal who is incapable of judging facts and public figures fairly. She isn’t objective, but in posing as such, she is dishonest.
The fact is, we don’t need public broadcasting anymore. At all. Public radio and TV should be abolished. Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to support them anymore. Neither Williams nor Ifill deserve individual firing, but the networks that have unfairly handled these incidents both deserve the ax.
Hat tip: Bryan Preston – Pajamas Media