Today Jack Kelly is upset that NPR and PBS still exist. I suspect that he and other conservatives have long held this desire, but the latest impetus is James O'Keefe's lstest (edited) "sting" operation. We are shocked to find that when NPR fund raising executives think they are in private, they have opinions!!! In this case, the objectionable opinions are about the Tea Party and Republican voters.
Kelly once again betrays what I think can only be seen as Tea Party influenced view of the world with this statement: "NPR listeners and CPB viewers are mostly upper-middle-class people who can afford to pay for their mass media of choice." Once again rich liberals are stealing the public's money to get the elitist entertainment fix. What should we think about Republicans/conservatives demanding tax cuts (almost always and almost totally) for wealthy business owners, which I (in a Jack Kelly fashion) will suggest are mostly Republicans/conservatives. What should we think about Republicans/conservatives demanding cuts in funding for the poor in heating assistance, education and other areas, and forcing public employees such as teachers to take pay cuts and taking away their right to collective bargaining? What should we think about Republicans/conservatives demanding that oil companies continue to receive billions in subsidies, even while the price of gas goes through the roof? Apparently Republicans/conservatives don't believe in shared sacrifice.
Kelly wants us to believe that a) NPR employees are diehard liberals (not to say communists) and b) that NPR employees let their private opinions influence their public reporting. Now, I think it is reasonable to say that an organization that is funded even partially by the government should not have a political agenda, but I would say that NPR and PBS meet that criteria. I will say that NPR and PBS do run stories about the poor and disenfranchised sometimes. Do those stories, in and of themselves, indicate a political agenda? I would say not, and I will say that private sector news outlets are unlikely to run such stories, for fear of upsetting advertisers and/or corporate owners. Now I won't say that the Wall Street Journal (particularly editorial board), National Review and Fox News are the same as a partially funded government operation, but I will point out that at least Fox News claims to be "Fair and Balanced". Glenn Beck? Bill O'Reilly? Oh, they're "entertainment". Maybe you can't make an equivalency here, but I have to say O'Keefe seems to indicate that when the tables are reversed (so to speak), Republicans/conservatives have no trouble connecting dots. Given politicians like Michele Bachmann and Peter King, I can see why Republicans/conservatives would want to eliminate even unbiased reporting like the sort that I believe NPR/PBS provides.
One final thought, Kelly slips in at the end of his column a shot at Obama in complaining that the deficit in 2007 was much smaller than our current deficits. I would point out that Republicans/conservatives also were in charge of regulating financial companies, which I think they failed spectacularly at. Obama's first fiscal year had the stimulus (which was a third tax cuts, although for the wrong (poor) people). Trying to fix the mess the Republicans/conservatives caused has made the economy worse. That Republicans/conservatives have shown a huge lack of patriotism and accused Obama of being a Kenyan, a Muslim and a communist, encouraging American business not to hire employees and/or outsourcing jobs. Of course, Kelly doesn't even care about jobs (like a typical Tea Partier/Republican/conservative).