An NPR resignation: And, about a possible NPR slant

Today, Wednesday, March 9, 2001, Vivian Schiller, the head of US National Public Radio (NPR) has resigned, in the midst of controversial, anti-conservative comments, made by another NPR executive and captured on undercover video. The breaking story at BBC is here. As BBC and others have noted, conservatives complain that NPR has a bias.

I hope that NPR, and other publicly funded broadcasters, have a bias. Since our government spends millions of dollars on war and killer drones, I hope that our government can invest a small amount of money in institutions that explore peace and other options for solving problems.

I think that people should shift the arguments on NPR and public broadcasting in general. Don’t pretend that NPR is unbiased. NPR is simply biased in favor of peace and life, the same way that other budget items are biased in favor of war and death. If someone claims that NPR is biased, progressives should say: “Yes, NPR is biased AGAINST war. It is needed as an alternative to the money our government spends FOR war.” Funds spent on public broadcasting should be the budget line for “not war” alternatives.

Our US government puts money directly into machines that kill, and pays soldiers who are trained to kill. Well, money put into public broadcasting should be considered the flip side – putting money into machines that discuss alternatives to war and killing, and using government money to pay people who are talking about politics, not killing for politics (and killing for resources).

And, if conservatives do not want to allow public broadcasting money to be used in this peaceful way, then conservatives should give people who believe in peace another budget line to equal the war budget line. So, how about a Department of Peace, with an equal budget line to the Department of War? If progressives and peace activists can’t have that equal amount of government resource for their cause, then at least throw them some money by way of discourse towards their goals.

Democracy Now! is also offering extensive coverage on the current threats to public broadcast funding: www.democracynow.org

 

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