Reasoners on the Dial: Nick Gillespie on NPR, Talking Defunding Public Broadcasting

This past week, I appeared on the excellent WNYC public radio program On the Media to talk about defunding National Public Radio and PBS in the wake of new calls to cut such things off the public teat.

Here's a snippet from my conversation with Brooke Gladstone:

Why should the personnel choices of NPR be of any interest to the Congress of the United States? The short answer is that they shouldn't....I am confident that NPR's nonprofit ethos would survive any cut in federal funding. In fact, it may even grow stronger....The federal government is broke, and it's only going to get more and more broke. And at this point, we have to say, what are the core functions of government?...The idea that we have an inalienable right to Car Talk or Sesame Street to be piped in over tax-supported airwaves strikes me as a stretch....

We have never lived in a better time for journalism and information and public discourse that we have right now....Screw the "public interest" if you're going to define to it as some kind of 1965 "best and the brightest"mentality. That's an old and dangerous version of the public interest. The public interest [is served] everytime someone goes online or turns on the TV or the radio and gets information and we're going gangbusters.

Listen to the approximately 6.32 minute segment here. (Full, accurate transcript up on Monday.)

My segment is matched with a pro-funding conversation featuring the Washington Post's Steve Coll. Listen to that here.

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  • Joe M||

    Did Radley post anything about the Protest in Oakland over the sentencing of the BART officer that killed that guy about a year ago? His sentence was a pathetic two years for manslaughter. Seemed like straight up murder to me.

  • JB||

    Vick got 4 years for killing a dog.

  • Troublemaker||

    Vick wasn't a cop!

    [rimshot]

  • ||

    Also, Vick can't blush!

  • Cork Soaker||

    That's not funny!

  • ||

    Bitch, I got a sugar rush that'd make a nigger blush!

  • Sock Tucker||

    Do you kiss yo' mama with that mouth?

  • ||

    Doesn't murder require intent? Manslaughter sounds right to me, though the sentence does seem a bit light.

  • ||

    A cop forgetting which side he placed his gun sounds like a weak argument for lacking 'intent'. He was reaching for something shaped like a an 'L' with a trigger but it just so happened that he had options.

  • ||

    Radley posted that he agreed with the verdict for involuntary manslaughter. 2 yrs is par for the course for that offense

  • JoshINHB||

    How was that in any way "involuntary manslaughter".

  • Joe M||

    Bullshit.

  • ||

    Did the folks at NPR give you guys any advice on the best way to ask for donations?

  • ||

    They just trot out some frog named Andrew Rieu, and the old bitches start tossing panties...and money...and hard tack candy.

  • ||

    They just trot out some frog named Andrew Rieu, and the old bitches start tossing panties...and money...and hard tack candy.

  • ||

    Telethon! That's the ticket! Get Jerry Lewis!

  • ||

    No, we must exhume Ayn Rand and reanimate her for the telethon!

    Her kind words and generous demeanor will surely convince the public to donate in an altruistic manner!

  • ||

    Does anyone donate to Reason because they are charitable and altruistic? It seems more like the motivation is that people actually like Reason.

  • ||

    Who cares?
    I WANT Zombie Ayn Rand, damn it!

  • mauricegirodias||

    This on actually liking Reason. Plus, if you work in porn, Reason's the only friend you've got. Nobody else even covered Stagliano, Reason not only flew someone in from Vegas, they even had a high-ranking foundation official there during the (pathetic, collusive between prosecutors + judge) trial...

  • Get the ash trays out.||

  • ||

    I like the gold-leaf $ on my cigs.

  • ||

    *Sheds wistful tear*

    Our babies PBS and NPR are all grown up now. It's past time they got there own place and stopped sponging off Mom and Dad.

  • ||

    there/their. Fucking homonyms.

  • Hugh Akston||

    hey HEY, this is an inclusive environment. Homonyms are just as welcome as heteronyms.

  • Paul||

    Homosaywhat?

  • ||

    What.. DAMNIT!!

  • Xenocles||

    *homophones

  • BenDU99||

    No homophones.

  • JB||

    lol

  • Some Guy||

    I don't think NPR will get defunded, because like abortion it's better for the GOP to keep it alive as a wedge issue.

    But I'm sure that there will be hearings which help them raise a bunch of extra money.

  • PIRS||

    If NPR does not get defunded it will because, once again, RINOS like McCain and the two senatorial whores from Maine decided to be "bipartisan" which they define as voting however the Democrats want them to vote.

  • Some Guy||

    "RINO" = a Republican that votes like the majority of Republicans.

    So how about just coming up with a name for those who actually vote on principle. It would make more sense.

  • Chupacabra||

    How about "Libertarians"?

  • Some Guy||

    No, wouldn't work. Libertarians are for liberty, whereas a Republican that votes on principle could still be voting for the principle of Christian theocracy, for example.

  • PIRS||

    I have never actually met anyone who supports establishing a Christian theocracy, Republican or otherwise.

  • Suki||

    "God bless America? NO! God damn America!"

  • Some Guy||

    Elected officials, or at all? Because I know good number around here. Wife dragged me to their church once during the 2008 elections. Scary place.

    Strangely, a few of them are quite intelligent on matters not having to do with imaginary friends in the sky.

    Of course, even without having actually met them, you'd have to be willfully ignorant to pretend we don't have a few in Congress. It's not like they're shy about it.

  • JohnD||

    Actually, Libertarians are for repealing drug laws and damn litttle else. That's why you will NEVER be taken seriously.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Wait, there are Republicans with principles?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Gary Johnson and the Pauls are about the only ones I can think of.

  • ||

    Gary Johnson and the Pauls are about the only ones I can think of.

    Yeah cuz conservative principals cannot be principals if they disagree with your libertarian principals.

    WTF?!?!

  • ||

    What are conservative principles? Also, show that conservatives always adhere to these principles.

  • ||

    What are conservative principles? Also, show that conservatives always adhere to these principles.

  • PIRS||

    No, McCain and the two senatorial whores from Maine "compromise" with Democrats far more often than most Republicans do.

  • Suki||

    +1

  • ||

    There is some truth to that. And the same logic applies to Obamacare. Why repeal Obamacare when with it in place the liberals are now held responsible for every bad thing that happens in health care?

  • Suki||

    They are never held responsible by the MSM.

  • BeltwayLurker||

    "Gangbusters"? Gillespie doing his best James Cagney.

  • ||

    See here...pretty soon every dame, broad and wiseguy in every gin joint and speakeasy in town will be going "gangbusters" over this NPR defunding hullabaloo

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Well, yes yes! C'mon, Jackson, cut yerself a slice'a rug! Twenty-three skidoo!

  • Ted S.||

    No mkaing fun of Skidoo.

  • ||

    The idea that we have an inalienable right to Car Talk or Sesame Street to be piped in over tax-supported airwaves strikes me as a stretch....

    This plainly means you can't wait to see one-legged child beggars on every street corner, clambering over the mouldy corpses of little old ladies to battle wild dogs for a crust of stale bread.

    Why do you hate America, Nick?

  • Attorney||

    LOL!

  • ||

    So how about just coming up with a name for those who actually vote on principle.

    Lunatics?

  • ||

    I like Loserdopians.

  • ||

    Well made argument, Nick, you'd happily support NPR as a private citizen, but the ideals of Democracy and "an informed public" while important, eventually lead to a conflict of public and private interest.

    Defund it.

  • ||

    Killing NPR would wipe the smirk off of all of the liberals faces who are saying "it was worth it to lose the election and get Obamacare". They really need to be made to suffer for telling the country to fuck off like that. And losing an election isn't good enough. They need to have some of their sacred cows slaughtered.

  • ||

    Rendell actually did that in PA. There was a big stink around it for about a week, then everyone saw that public teevee was still on and the issue went away.

  • Suki||

    Perfect illustration for the Maobama trip.

  • ||

    I heard Obongo Mohusseinjihad Fartbama is spending $200 trillions a minute on this trip to Hindustan and has 3,000 Romulan Birds of Prey flying with him and his floating money bin that he uses as a socialist swimming pool!

  • Klingon Imperial Command||

    That sonofabitch!

  • ||

    Hab SoSlI' Quch!

  • ||

    The idea, which I have heard many times through the years, that Sesame Street will vanish from the earth without the support of Your Tax Dollars is completely absurd.

    Just as, without the diversion of TARP funds, the American automobile industry would have been completely and utterly wiped out.

  • ||

    If I am not mistaken Disney paid several hundred million dollars back in the 1990s for the rights to the muppet characters. Sesame Street is one of the most valuable brands in the world.

  • ||

    No kidding. I think their annual income is in the nine figures. They could probably take over the NPR subsidy from the feds and not miss the money.

  • MNG||

    I wonder, how do folks feel about Voice of America?

  • Anonymous||

    The same way I feel about any bankrupt mouth breather.

  • ||

    Folks? Folks don't feel nothin'. They just it on their porches whittlin' wood bein' patriotic and shit.

  • ||

    sit

  • db||

    Why do they shit on their porches?

  • ||

    The bathroom is too damn far!

  • ||

    Folks? Folks don't feel nothin'. They just it on their porches whittlin' wood clinging to their guns and bibles bein' patriotic bitter and shit.

    FIFY

  • ||

    Privatize it!
    You're listening to the Voice of America, brought to you by Verizon Wireless. Verizon Wireless. Can you hear me now?™

  • MNG||

    Next on Voice of America, brought to you by Verizon, our interview with the Secretary of State, brought to you by Carl Jr.'s.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    If VoA were 100% privately-funded, I'd be okay with its continued existence.

    That work for you, MNG?

  • JohnD||

    Get real people. VoA was a great idea in the 50's and 60's. But today the internet is available all over the world. VoA is just not needed anymore. Besides, in todays PC environment, it would probably be hosted by some Marxist SOB.

  • Xenocles||

    Does funding it pass the "arrest your own mother" test?

  • Jordan||

    Defund it.

  • ||

    I listen to it all the time.

    Yelling at my radio while i drive is a great pass time of mine...and is the same reason why i listen to Rush and Beck as much as i listen to NPR.

  • KPres||

    Wasted link. I'm not listening to NPR even if Nick's on it.

  • In Time of War||

    I don't feel one way or the other, but considering the way America is viewed throughout the world they've been doing a bang-up job since 1942.

    On the other hand, I have a sneaking suspicion we'll win a lot more hearts and minds by foreigners viewing Americans' personal blogs than all the VOA broadcasts put together. Or else we'll be hated for who we truly are...

  • Suki||

    The French liked us better when we were bombing them. They liked the Germans better when they were invading too. International relations lesson?

  • MNG||

    They seemed to like us pretty good when they were saving our ass against the British...

  • MNG||

    The French-hate from the Right tickled me considering their adoring view of the Founding (in which the French played a considerable role) and the fact that at the time France had a conservative administration (conservatives played footsie with a Labor administration instead!). It just goes to show you that in the mind of the conservative there is no sin more unforgivable than stepping in the way of their beloved jingoistic war-mongering...

  • 0x90||

    stfu and eat your freedom fries, punk.

  • MJ||

    The Founders generally did not like the French, and certainly did not like the French government at the time (being closer to an absolute monarchy than any English king had been in over a century). The French were simply the most obvious ally of convenience for the nascent USA. They had the military power to challenge the British and a longstanding animosity. It was purely an alliance of convenience on both sides.

  • ||

    ---"They seemed to like us pretty good when they were saving our ass against the British..."---

    They weren't exactly helping us in any altruistic sense, but more that it was a way to poke England in the eye and put additional heat on the British in regards to their power struggles in Europe and elsewhere. Sort of a "win/win" for them if the Colonists prevailed.

    As far as "saving our ass", that's open to debate as to the result of the Revolution without their help.

  • ||

    The frenchies that supported the American revolution had their heads chopped off a decade later.

  • ||

    They seemed to like us pretty good when they were saving our ass against the British...

    I wonder how they felt about us when they were selling Roland-2 anti-aircraft missiles to Saddam Hussein?

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    Ah, the gift of coming to H&R and seeing the comedy of Sucky's ignorance of both history and current events.

    I'll bet Sucky finds math hard too.

  • In Time of War||

    Threaded comments, the work of the Devil.

  • Suki||

    -1

  • Paul||

    Nick Gillespie was never seen leaving the NPR studios after excusing himself to the bathroom, complaining of a sudden sharp pain in his neck, and suddenly feeling weak and groggy.

  • Chony to the Max||

    "Screw the "public interest" if you're going to define to it as some kind of 1965 "best and the brightest"mentality. That's an old and dangerous version of the public interest. The public interest [is served] everytime someone goes online or turns on the TV or the radio and gets information and we're going gangbusters."

    What a dangerous proposition. Those in the media, such as the networks and especially NPR and PBS are more educated and reasoned, and therefore better at disseminating the correct information.

    Blogs and shady websites are not substitute for this. The reason the tea party has gotten so popular, and why the health care bill is so reviled, is because of the misinformation spread via these mediums.

    In order to preserve, or restore, democracy, it is simply crucial that we maintain government run media institutions that offer impartial, correct information.

    Personally, I think society would be better off if private news sources were silenced, since they spread lies in order to make a profit. If the government controlled what information gets out, then there would be no lies.

    However, that is only my dream. For the time being, I would be happy to preserve such democratic lifelines as NPR and PBS.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Scary. That was almost convincing.

  • ||

    Scary indeed.

  • JohnD||

    Oh right. The government would never lie to you... and Obama care will save us billions of dollars. And Obama's ploicies are all wonderful, it's just that our feeble little minds don't understand.

    You ignorant shit. Crawl back under your rock.

  • JoshINHB||

    It was obviously a parody.

  • Chony to the Max||

    You said it better than I could, but yet, you seem to disagree with me? I suppose even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

  • ||

    Blogs and shady websites are not substitute for this. The reason the tea party has gotten so popular, and why the health care bill is so reviled, is because of the misinformation spread via these mediums.

    Actually the right used fairly traditional methods to get tea-pirates motivated and organized.

    What ever you say about the internet blog universe it is still predominantly left wing in influence.

  • Attorney||

    Reason is excellent. On the Media, not so much.

  • Amakudari||

    Supported by: Hung Well
    Supported by: Long Wang
    Supported by: Enormous Genitals

    Guys, really? Really, guys? :3

  • Jock McStrap||

    Yeah, we know where the real support comes from

  • Hugh G. Rection||

    You think this is some kind of a joke?

  • ||

    Long comment blocked as spam. Test.

  • ||

    In other news Reason's 1800 election ad video has hit eBaum's World.

    gratz guys

    http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/81171680/

  • Max||

    Don't you libertoid assholes see the irony in your doctrinaire guru twits asking you for money to support their sophmoric magazine because it doesn't sell enough copies or advertizing to stay afloat? I mean, fuck! Let them feel a little market discipline and maybe they'll come up with a better product.

  • ||

    Wow Max, I've never heard you complain about this before. I simply cannot conceive of anyone being able to answer this. I seriously doubt anyone has answered such a critique in the past. You got us!

    But seriously, Max, you are either illiterate or don't have enough brain cells to sustain long term memory, since we have explained the stupidity of this assertion that libertarians are against private charity, voluntary donations, or any other manner of voluntary transfer of wealth every single time you bring it up.

    FUCK! CLEANSE IT WITH FIRE BEFORE TEH STUPID KILLS US ALL!

  • Hmm, a 100 smackers, eh?||

    So just how does this Benjamin/swag exchange work? Ain't got no checks, but I got a credit card.

  • ||

    I'm skeptical when a "public radio" station claims minimal government subsidy. In many parts of the country the licensee is a unit of government - a state university,a state broadcasting board. I'm even aware of government school districts having OTA stations. Do they properly account for all the support they get from capital expenditures, inclusion of their employees in benefit plans, and do they pay market rent for the taxpayer-owned facilities they use?

    I rather doubt it.

    It would be bad enough if government owned newspapers and competed with the private sector. Print or internet journlism is a market without artificial barriers to entry. How does the 1st Amendment allow governments to scarf up channels for its own use. If some are to be reserved for non-commercial use, let them be PRIVATE non-profit groups.

    Kevin

  • Jackson Pollock||

    I am a libertarian and a supporter of NPR. I think it would be great if it could survive without public funding, but I'd wait to do that until after the recession. I don't think it has a bias except for what Noam Chomsky called the "establishment bias" which is pretty benign compared to other news outlets.

    It's easy to tell if someone hasn't listened to NPR- they claim it has "extreme rhetoric" and is a "far left organization".

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