HLRGazette Archives

Relive some of our best stories.

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

A Dash of Pepper

E-mail Print PDF
What NPR & Corp. for Broadcasting is really up to
The Gazette Staff
I recently came across a very interesting article on National Public Radio (NPR) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPS) published online by Townhall.com written by Tara Servatius.
It is very detailed, but I will try to touch on the most relevant points. I'll begin with Servatius' opening remarks:
"Last week, National Public Radio CEO Vivian Schiller took a break from her crusade for a government takeover of the media to swat a fly. With now-former NPR analyst Juan Williams suitably splattered across the evening news after politically incorrect comments he made on FOX News, Schiller can return to her real passion - the creation of a national network to ensure that in the future, you get your news from the government in general and NPR in particular."
Schiller told the NPR board of directors in 2009 that it is the responsibility of NPR to fill the gap being left by dying local television stations and newspapers.
Schiller is one of a few dozen players working with the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and a left wing group called "Free Press" to "reinvent journalism." Free Press is funded by left wing billionaire George Soros, among others. Soros has scattered large gobs of money across the U.S. political landscape. His efforts range from buying secretaries of state in battleground states (these officials can decide very close elections), to setting up institutes with innocuous-sounding names to promote the Progressive agenda.
The plan Schiller envisions includes beefing up their staff in local news markets with herds of public news reporters to "take over" coverage as commercial operations decline. According to Servatius, nationwide, this will cost between $40 and $60 billion over a decade. An FCC "Future of Media" report states that their plan is to raise the money by taxing for-profit news organizations. They want to charge "spectrum fees" of five percent of broadcast station revenues for the use of the public spectrum and airwaves. They calculate this will bring them in $1.8 billion a year.
A one percent tax on all electronic devices including cell phones, televisions, and laptops could bring them billions more. A monthly fee would be charged on all internet subscriptions.
Schiller and her friends are busy launching a national infrastructure that NPR will use to deliver this government news product to cities across the country. To stop this now, Republicans would have to not only defund NPR, they would also have to remove all taxpayer funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to prevent the creation, in America, of the BBC, on steroids.
Schiller calls her creation the Public Media Platform. It's a digital network working in partnership with all the nation's public news providers. NPR has already created an "internal wire" service in the style of the Associated Press to carry and distribute news. At this point, Soros' recent contribution of $1.8 million comes into play. This is the start-up fund to hire the new news reporters to write and distribute the government news product.
According to Servatius, Schiller's firing of Juan Williams was more than a hissy fit that got out of hand. Rather, it was a blunt warning to the commercial media in general and to FOX News in particular.
I haven't watched public television in years. My husband hated their constant begging for money, although we watched some of their mystery programs from England.
I also haven't listened to NPR for at least a decade. As I recall, unless you were a major policy wonk, most of their discussions were interminably dull.
In more recent history, Air America tried to compete on the radio with left wing opinions and a talk format. They went under, quickly. The problem was they were nasty, without humor and, yes you guessed it, mind-numbingly BORING.
Still, Schiller's activities are disturbing. Marx said to first get academia, then take over the press and you will not need an army. We need to quickly defund these people, and leave them free to bore themselves to death.