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]. 

2 thoughts on “[JOHN LAUGHS]”

  1. Good catch.  Unfortunately, you can find Gillespie, other Koch-funded pundits, and other conservatives on NPR fairly frequently arguing that NPR should not be funded.  The hostility toward NPR and PBS is a widespread conservative/Republican thing, unfortunately, but members of the Koch crew, in addition to opposing public media, can also be found arguing against public libraries and public schools.  (They're not fond of public transportation, either, and Reason actually posted a video of a libertarian prof who wants to privatize roads.)  It says something good about NPR's and PBS' senses of fairness that they invite guests who seek their destruction on the air; nothing good can be said about their guests' intentions.  Attitudes toward those things, and the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, are reliable litmus tests of character, intellect, wisdom, political understanding, what have you.  I'm really, really sick of seeing them attacked.  Straw men are attacked all the time, sadly enough, but rarely with such sanctimony.

  2. Yes, Batocchio, you're right about NPR constantly inviting people on to their fora to discuss the elimination of things like NPR.  Sadly, NPR and PBS is mainly where those discussions take place, because of the credibility and fairness (I'd say pseudo fairness) of the PBS crowd.  If only they got the self-refuting irony.

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