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Multiple bills introduced in Congress to defund NPR

The Highland County Press - Staff Photo - Create Article
(Courtesy of National Public Radio)

By Sarah Roderick-Fitch
The Center Square

Several U.S. House Republicans introduced multiple pieces of legislation to defund National Public Radio following new allegations of “leftist propaganda” from the taxpayer-funded news source.

House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good, R-Va., Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., and Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., introduced similar legislation to prohibit federal funding for NPR, including barring local public radio stations from utilizing money from federal grants to “purchase content or pay dues to NPR.”

Over the years, Republicans have made multiple attempts to defund NPR, citing similar complaints. The latest outrage follows an editorial from former NPR Editor Uri Berliner, who criticized the news source claiming it had "lost America's trust." (See https://www.thefp.com/p/npr-editor-how-npr-lost-americas-trust)

Berliner criticized NPR’s coverage of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the COVID-19 lab leak theory and of Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop as examples of the outlet’s left-leaning bias. He described “the most damaging development at NPR: the absence of viewpoint diversity.”

Banks took aim at NPR’s new Chief Executive Officer Katherine Maher, who has expressed criticism of the First Amendment in efforts to combat “misinformation.”

“NPR’s new CEO is a radical, left-wing activist who doesn’t believe in free speech or objective journalism. Hoosiers shouldn’t be writing her paychecks. Katherine Maher isn’t qualified to teach an introductory journalism class, much less capable of responsibly spending millions of American tax dollars,” said Banks.

The Indiana congressman continued by describing the news outlet as a “liberal looney bin” under prior leadership, drawing attention to a systemic problem. 

“It’s time to pull the plug on this national embarrassment. Congress must stop spending other people’s hard-earned money on low grade propaganda,” Banks lamented.

Good was a bit more reserved in his take-down of the news outlet.

“It is bad enough that so many media outlets push their slanted views instead of reporting the news, but it is even more egregious for hardworking taxpayers to be forced to pay for it. National Public Radio has a track record of promoting anti-American narratives on the taxpayer dime,” Good said in a news release. “My legislation would ensure no taxpayer dollars are used to fund the woke, leftist propaganda of National Public Radio.”

Tenney, a former newspaper owner and publisher, accused NPR of using taxpayer funds to “manipulate” and promote a political agenda controlled by “left-wing activists.”

"I understand the importance of non-partisan, balanced media coverage, and have seen first-hand the left-wing bias in our news media. These disturbing reports out of NPR confirm what many have known for a long time: NPR is using American taxpayer dollars to manipulate the news and lie to the American people on behalf of a political agenda. It’s past time the American people stop footing the bill for NPR, and the partisan, left-wing activists that control it," Tenney said in a news release.

The lawmakers cited the political make-up of the NPR’s D.C. news team, which they say includes 87 registered Democrats and no registered Republicans.

The Center Square uncovered records showing that Maher exclusively donated to Democratic political candidates before her role at NPR. Her largest donation of $1,500 was given to Virginia Congressman Tom Perriello in 2017, and most frequently donated to Virginia state Sen. Jennifer Carroll Foy, in the amounts of $25 over nine times.

Good underscored the original purpose for the publicly funded news outlet, which he says was “created to be an educational news source and to ‘speak with many voices.’” He added that NPR has now become “a primary outlet for advancing biased and radical media coverage of political and social issues.”

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Publisher's note: A free press is critical to having well-informed voters and citizens. While some news organizations opt for paid websites or costly paywalls, The Highland County Press has maintained a free newspaper and website for the last 25 years for our community. If you would like to contribute to this service, it would be greatly appreciated. Donations may be made to: The Highland County Press, P.O. Box 849, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133. Please include "for website" on the memo line.

Comment

Matthew (not verified)

22 April 2024

What is the purpose of government funded arts, radio, and television? Do those mediums have a clause in the Constitution that I'm not aware of? Where Congress shall institute a state-ran "information" department. And any dissenting views, from free-thinking Americans, go to perish on the vine? Click and Clack, a.k.a. "Car Talk" is about the only useful broadcast of information that has come out of NPR. My Aunt's friend, and Korean War Veteran, used to mistakenly call those guys, "Frick and Frack." Haha! This Korean War Veteran is also the same guy who told me, on the weekends in South Dakota for fun in the late '40's, they used to drain the oil out of a few jalopy cars. Then run them around and take bets as to which car lasted the longest before the engine blew up... Haha! Carbon emissions and carbon footprints weren't "a thing" in 1949. But stopping the spread of evil and communism was... Ask a Korean War Veteran what happened to the military-aged men, from China with ill intent, who surged across an international border.

David Anthony Mayer (not verified)

23 April 2024

Issues have two viewpoints. The extreme right and the extreme left each have their looney views. Public debate should be encouraged. Eliminate NPR and the private sector views will only be more biased. All tax deductible to non profit organizations. The country is more divided than ever. Respect 1st amendment rights of others. I do not want George Soros or just Marjorie Taylor Greene extremists.

Matthew (not verified)

24 April 2024

David - "Eliminate NPR and the private sector views will only be more biased." Are you saying NPR is NOT biased?... Ms. Greene is an elected Representative. George Soros is an evil billionaire that is corrupting American politics through the greed of progressives. I contend that the "squad" is way more extreme than M.T. Greene ever will be. But that's just me, an actual Conservative Highland County, Ohio resident... By the way, I saw and greeted 2024 County Sheriff primary winner, Randy Sanders and company, at a local fish fry this past weekend. I'm so thankful for the Citizens of my County that Randy is willing to serve in yet another law enforcement post. He is, by far, the most productive and successful law enforcement official in this area.

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