by John Dankosky – It’s been another bad week for NPR. A top fundraiser gets caught in an “ambush” video. The CEO resigns. Jon Stewart mocks the network, and not just for the gaffe that fuels the fire of those who want to de-fund public broadcasting, but for not “fighting back” against those who want to take it down.
The whole episode has left some of the network’s top journalists “appalled,” and many of us at member stations embarrassed – and answering a lot of questions.
But, as much as NPR seems to be doing to mess up on its own, many of those who “pile on” seem to think it’s just fine to make up numbers and facts completely to prove their case. For instance, here’s a Facebook post by Connecticut Republican Party Chairman Chris Healy:
So, what is our subsidy? According to WNPR and CPTV’s parent company Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc., WNPR gets no state operating funding at all. CPTV gets an average of about $500,000 in bonding money from the state.
That’s pretty far short of $3.3 million, Chris.
But I’ll be charitable. Perhaps he meant to reference all of our funding, y’know the enormous chunk we get from the federal government and the under-siege Corporation For Public Broadcasting. Well, turns out that number for CPBI is around $1.9 million, and almost all of that is to support our television operation (which is quite a bit more expensive enterprise than radio). WNPR itself gets only about $300,000 of that CPB support.
But really, who wants the facts?
By the way, I found the good chairman’s comment embedded in a blog post by our friend and occasionally grumpy NPR lover/hater Rick Green. Rick is a devoted listener and paid member, and never shies away from speaking his mind about the station he supports. And that’s what it’s all about.
But I do have some bad news for him. When he writes: “I can’t stand their constant fundraising” and later writes “I also agree with the bloggers out there who are saying NPR would be better off without government funding” he sets up a little quandry for himself.
If he gets his second wish, I can almost assure you that gripe #1 isn’t gonna get better soon.
I do appreciate that he’s got the checkbook out once again, though. Mug or totebag, Rick?