Since the break of the story about Juan Williams’ firing, NPR has been out there at the fore with coverage. It sounds as if it’s a feeble attempt to cover the story and lessen the sting—its chance to get out there and tell the story their way. One cannot blame them—it’s news and they purport to be a news organization.
At the end of the story I heard last night, and again at the end of the story this morning, the correspondent mentioned how some noteworthy individuals have been calling for the government to cut off their public funding. The final comment has been consistent: Public funding only amounts to about 2% of their budget.
Sounds to me as if there are some sour grapes being served up: Listeners, we defend our position and even if these pundits win the argument, we’ll only lose 2% of our funding—we rely on private and corporate underwriters far more. We’ll get through this with your help.
Well, that’s what it sounds like. But I also heard something else between the lines, or maybe it’s what I wish others would hear: We did it, we’re not turning back—if you want to cut off our funding, go ahead! We don’t care, you only amount to 2% of our total and our other supporters will take up that slack easily. Once we’re off your dole, we can say and do what we want and you have no recourse!
To that, I say fine! The 2%, whatever that comes to, can be used for many other public broadcasting programming. So be it.