So much garbage to write about that can't decide. So here's a classic hollow man heard on NPR's fantastic "On the Media"
BROOKE GLADSTONE: If you listen to, say, morning radio, one of the most popular shows is Morning Edition, substantive, informative. Would such a program exist, if it were as obsessed with the bottom line as so much of the rest of radio is?
NICK GILLESPIE: I am extremely confident that NPR’s nonprofit ethos would survive any cut in federal spending and, in fact, it might even grow stronger. The federal government is broke, and it’s only gonna get more and more broke. And, at this point, we need to say, what are the core functions of government? And I think most people would agree that defense is one of them, courts, maybe citizenship, things like that. The idea that we have an inalienable right to Car Talk or to Sesame Street –
– on tax-supported airways, you know, that strikes me as a stretch. And it’s time to rethink that, not because those are bad programs but because they're not core functions of government, and they will be funded via other avenues.
I think that the analogous model here is religion and religious expression. We all want to live in a world where everybody can worship whatever God they want but nobody is forced to pay for other people’s belief systems, whether we're talking about Presbyterians and Baptists or Fox News enthusiasts and PBS tote bag-holders.
That's Nick Gillespie, from Reason.com, showing us how to assail an argument no one makes. No one would argue that we have an inalienable right to PBS, no one serious at least. Rather the argument is that it (a) costs very little, and (b) offers culturally valuable services and programming no one else would pay for on the commercial market.
Worse, of course, is Gillispie's suggestion that funding Corporation for Public Broadcasting informational programming is like funding religion [JOHN LAUGHS].