Time to pull the public plug on NPR

Doc Thompson an dBrooke Gladstone

Right-wing Doc Thompson and NPR's Brooke Gladstone in cartoon form

It’s been a bad week for National Public Radio. A video sting made by a right-wing activist (James O’Keefe) made the scene that purported to expose a left-wing bias on the part of staff and management of this organization that depends to some small degree on raids on the United States Treasury for it’s  funding.

As a result of this expose’, both top money man Ron Schiller and CEO Vivian Schiller ( the same Vivian Schiller who screwed the pooch with the Juan Williams disaster in Fall of 2010) have been shown the door.
But that’s not the end of it, not by a long host.
Today (Sunday 13 March 2011), the staff and management of NPR made this issue front and center on several of their signature programs.
Liane Hansen along with David Folkenflik fired the first salvo with a report that attempted to make the case that the sting was basically a fraud.
Though she and reporter Folkenflik gave it the old college try, that dog didn’t hunt.  Hansen and Folkenflik were just firing blanks.
And then Peter Segal prominently featured the issue on his NPR quiz show “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me“.
Peter in the past has (IMO) not been particularly shy about making   conservative issues and personalities the butt of jokes in order to entertain an audience that to me at least, seems somewhat left of center.
As a senior citizen myself, I was especially offended by his characterization of  the  concerns of old people during the run up the the health care debate.
And finally, Brooke Gladstone capped off this day of talking points with a wide-ranging discussion of the issue on her show “On the Media”.
Listen to Brooke Gladstone opine on her show long enough, and I believe you can get a pretty good handle on where she’s coming from and it ain’t the right.
But this time Brooke actually did a  good job of  putting the issue in perspective, laving it to her comical sidekick Bob Garfield and to hired gun Ira Glass (from the excellent show “This American Life“) to pull a Mutt and Jeff act and (IMO)  carry the water for the liberal cause.
They made a lot of noise but offered no compelling rebuttal.
The problem for National Public Radio, and the reason I believe that the organization is trying to keep this issue alive, is that Congress is currently debating  cutting  their funding and frankly after this expose’, it’s almost impossible make a case that it should continue.
After all, we expect, nay, we demand, that the likes of  tea bag party  Glenn Beck and Doc Thompson do it on their dime and  there is no reason that we should not expect the same of NPR given the serious questions that raised by this “sting”, imperfect and tea party agenda driven as it was.
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