NPR all upset about possible spending cut

The Debt Commission "cuts" are often pretend cuts. For example, does anyone take seriously the notion that 40 years from now the government will increase the retirement age by one year? But there seems to be one small cut that they are proposing that makes sense: the elimination of the $500 million currently going to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. NPR claimed just a couple weeks ago that it gets virtually none of its money from the Federal government:

"We do apply for competitive grants from the likes of the Ford Foundation and the Knight Foundation. As a result, some money from CPB does come to us when we win grants. Depending on the year, it represents just 1 to 3 percent of our total budget," she's said.

NPR apologist Norah O'Donnell also tossed out the 1 percent to 3 percent range, and AP reporter Brett Zongker reported, "Federal grants provide less than 2 percent – or $3.3 million – of NPR's $166 million annual budget." . . .

For another reference at MSNBC see here.

Federal grants provide less than 2 percent — or $3.3 million — of NPR's $166 million annual budget. It is funded primarily by its affiliates, corporate sponsors and major donors. . . .

So what does one make of this response to the debt commission proposal today from NPR:

The National Commission’s proposal to eliminate federal funding for public media would have a profound and detrimental impact on all Americans. Public radio is the last remaining source of independent, noncommercial and thought-provoking broadcast media in the country — and in some small towns and communities, is the only remaining source of free, accessible local, national and international news and information, music and cultural programming. Public radio stations are located in nearly every major city and small town delivering vital and highly trusted news and information to 37 million Americans each week — reaching more citizens than the circulation of the top 120 national newspapers combined.
In a time of media decline, especially in local, international and investigative reporting, public radio’s role in fostering an informed society has never been as critical as it is today. The public radio audience is one of the few in media that has consistently grown — doubling in the past decade alone.
Federal funding has been a central component of public radio stations’ ability to serve audiences across the country. It’s imperative for funding to continue to ensure that this essential tool of democracy survives and thrives well into the future. . . .

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Blogger TooMuchTime said...

Wait a minute! The Debt Commission wants to eliminate $500 million that they claim is the current amount the gov't spends on the CPB. But the CPB says it's total budget is $166 million.

Hmmmm. Which one to believe? I'll bet I can believe the CPB because they would have no conflict of interest in keeping that money coming in. Right?

11/12/2010 11:24 PM  

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