Friday, March 18, 2011

Quote of the Day

"The only result would be the loss of thousands of jobs in this industry, the closing or severe restriction of hundreds of local stations serving small-town and rural America which depend on federal funds for 30- to 100-percent of their annual budgets, including program acquisition, and the loss of vital information for millions of Americans."

-- Public Media Association President Patrick Butler on yesterday's vote by House Republicans to defund NPR

There's a pretty decent piece up on HuffPo right now that runs down some of the very obvious reasons the GOP hates NPR as much as it does. It's predictably smart and articulate, which means that it doesn't come right out and say the obvious: NPR doesn't simply contribute to our being a more informed and therefore stronger country and society; the irrational Republican war on it, which is undertaken mostly to appease the absolute lowest-common-denominator within the party's base, is part of an ongoing and systematic effort to make us dumber. It's another example of the Idiocratization of America -- the triumph, whether through intent or negligence, of willful ignorance over intellect and analysis. It's another example of the fucking rat-shit stupidest within our borders trying to mock and inevitably kill anything they don't understand, all while they wrap themselves in the flag of true, blind, unfathomably pig-headed patriotism.


L. said...

I'd much rather my tax dollars go to pay for NPR programming than to pay for things like the health insurance of people who don't care if I can afford to pay for mine.

Liz said...

Praise the Lord! Poverty, hunger, and the exploitation of children by predators has been conquered. That's what this means, right? Because they would only do shit like this if all other social ills had been overcome.

Mart said...

I am surprised they voted to kill. Thought they would stick with rhetoric since NPR is a great outlet for their messengers from AIE, Heritage Foundation, and related Koch bros outfits to get air time. They really seem quite reasonable on NPR, using their soft voices to propagandize the middle class into shooting itself in the foot. NPR is quite useful to their cause.

The most amazing thing of it all, fucking O'Keefe gets another feather in his cap. God help us were so done.

Anonymous said...

I really think you're right that the base affront of NPR is the same as that against those fancy academics with their multiple degrees in highly technical areas. There is a solid 27% in this country that resents the idea that there are people who think they're so smart with their facts and all.

The Bacon said...

Good linked to the Robert Creamer piece??

There are a lot of good reasons the GOP (and libertarians like myself) don't like NPR and don't want to fund it with tax dollars. Despite the title of his essay, Creamer didn't seem interested at all in exploring those reasons.

Instead, he just used his space to do what every other fuckhead commentator from Ann Coulter to Michael Moore does. He used his space to villify those who disagree with him.

Ahhh...those people who disagree with me....they hate everyone and want to make them stupid...they are out to destroy the country...they hate mom like to run over kittens with their cars...!!!

Chez said...

Really? That's what you got out of it? Jesus, man, you really only see what you want to see.

It's one thing to make the claim that everybody's shouting, which I think quite a few people are, but Creamer was actually somewhat reserved. And I think his points, given what I've seen with my own eyes, are pretty salient. It's a bullshit argument to say, "Well, he has to present facts that are not only facts but are facts that leave me satisfied that he's presented them."

And the piece was about why the GOP seems to take such an issue with NPR -- beyond the ridiculous ruse about it being a waste of money when we're cash-strapped, which the excuse the right now uses to justify all kinds of awful shit -- and I think it offered some pretty good arguments related to that question.

Chez said...

And by the way, I like you and you seem like a smart guy -- but the word "libertarian" is tired and it's become synonymous with "overbearing dickhead."

The Bacon said...


He never bothered to engage the primary argument used by those who want to defund NPR.

Like the Rural Electrification Commission, Public Broadcasting has outlived its purpose. I understand where public broadcasting came from, and at the time I may have supported it as well. With only three networks and a couple of local channels on tv and no such thing as FM radio, there was a place for it.

But today....fuck....there are a thousand channels on my television, xm radio and an infinite number of websites. There is nothing on PBS or NPR that can't be found elsewhere. Quality news programming, fine arts and childrens programming is all over the place.

Now, if Creamer was at all serious about engaging why it is that those on the right and small government camp want to end funding, he would have started and finished with countering that argument.

Instead, he went with the "my political enemies want to make everyone stupid" approach.

p.s. just because ending funding for public broadcasting won't solve the deficit problem doesn't mean we should fund it. We spend close to half a billion on it.....and half a billion here, half a billion there...before you know it your talking about real money. (and yes...I know what 400 billion is compared to 3.5 trillion)

The Bacon said...

Libertarian has come to mean just about whatever the user wants it to mean...and that's a shame.

Some people think it means I guess I'll just be happy with overbearing dickhead.

Chez said...

See, here's the issue, Bacon. You're assuming two things that are false: one is that because a lot of us now have thousands of choices that are at our fingertips, everyone does. Trust me when I tell you that for all my shouting about the new media revolution, there are still a hell of a lot of Americans out there who don't get their news and information from cable, the internet, what-have-you. Also, when you're talking about being, say, in your car -- you just made an incredibly arrogant and presumptuous statement, namely that it's easy to get Sirius XM for your fill of decent programming. Sorry, but not everyone can afford Sirius XM (and judging by the stock value, I'd say a lot of people aren't getting it regardless); NPR is honestly the light amid the darkness in a lot of markets for millions of people out on the roads. The second thing you're assuming is that any of the other programming out there is better than what you find on NPR, and you know something? That's just not the case. NPR's stuff is almost across the board excellent, and the smaller stations can really use the federal money to help carry it. Bottom line here is that the Republicans, instead of concentrating on, say, job creation, are using the supposed budget crisis (which is questionable anyway) to hack away at programs they've never liked.

Anonymous said...

But today....fuck....there are a thousand channels on my television, xm radio and an infinite number of websites. There is nothing on PBS or NPR that can't be found elsewhere. Quality news programming, fine arts and childrens programming is all over the place.

This only true for people who can afford it and/or live in a place where high speed internet is available. At $99 per month, our satellite (which we got before cable was available) bill is awfully steep. We only just got access to DSL in our area (and before that had only 2 dial up choices). We're lucky to have it, much of our county doesn't.

Is that an argument to continue funding public broadcasting? Probably not, but universal access to terrific programming just doesn't exist. And it certainly isn't free or particularly affordable for many of us.

Chez said...

Like I said.

Christine said...

When my best friend followed her husband to an Air Force base in Clovis, NM, and the closest thing to "civilization" was Lubbock, TX over 2 hours away, listening to NPR was the only thing that kept her sane for those two years.

I grew up on PBS programming, and NPR is the radio version of that. It's smart, well-researched, and blessedly removed from the OMG news networks on cable these days.

By de-funding the things that make us think (even, and perhaps especially, the ones we don't agree with), we make it that much easier for the rest of the world to beat us at our own game. It's already been happening for years... no matter how many times we yell, "America, FUCK YEAH!" it won't change the fact that half of Asia is mopping the floor with us, financially and academically.

Ref said...

Bacon? Would it rock your little world to learn that there are a fair amount of us who vilify NPR news for being way too accommodating to the right wing?

That said, what Chez and Christine and f11holdsteady said above.

namron said...

If you were a true libertarian you would be living in the forest with Ted Kazinsky. If you are driving on our highways listening to Sirius, then you ain't one. Your just a frat boy with a bigger house.

Anonymous said...

I tried to leave a comment at the Huff Post article... tried to do it by signing in with a google account. The Huff Post want access to my contacts.