Sarah Palin and other professional right-wing demagogues are exploiting the recent firing of Juan Williams from National Public Radio as an excuse to push Congress to defund NPR, which is something conservatives have wanted for decades.
Already Republicans in the House forced a vote to cut off funding for NPR. And though they failed this time, we can expect the Republican majority in the next Congress to revisit this issue with a vengeance
Tell Congress: Don't cave to Sarah Palin. Stand up for NPR and save public funding for public media!
For years, NPR has allowed Juan Williams and Mara Liasson to accept payment for appearing on FOX News while maintaining their roles as journalists with NPR. CREDO long believed it was inappropriate for NPR journalists to accept payment from a clearly partisan propaganda organ such as FOX News. And we still believe that NPR should have policies that prevent its journalists from accepting paid positions from FOX, the Republican Party, Tea Party groups and other organizations within the right-wing noise machine (or a Democratic-aligned group for that matter).
Sarah Palin and Republican leaders in Congress are cynically using the controversy over Juan Williams' remarks and his subsequent firing as a pretext to push for a longstanding goal.
It's been said that NPR receives 98% of its funding from non-government sources. But that's highly misleading. The government--through the Center for Public Broadcasting--provides a significant source of funding for NPR and NPR member stations, which is part of what allows NPR to present news that hasn't degenerated into the infotainment we regularly get from most of the corporate media.
And the right wing is not just talking about taking away funding from NPR. Sen. Jim DeMint plans to introduce a bill that would zero out funding for ALL public broadcasting, including NPR, PBS, Pacifica and more. So governmental defunding could not only destroy NPR as we know it, but also deal a significant blow to the entire public interest media sector.
Time after time, the right-wing noise machine creates an echo chamber of reprobation and consternation that prompts weak-kneed Democrats to fold faster than you can say, "FOX News isn't really news."
It happened with ACORN. It happened with Van Jones. It happened with Shirley Sherrod. We can't let Sarah Palin and the right wing bully Democrats into selling out such an important part of our media landscape.
Tell Congress: Don't cave to Sarah Palin. Stand up for NPR and public media!