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.

The above is a small example of how Reason acts as your voice in public debates over politics, culture, and ideas: We're out there on radio, cable, in print every day of the year making the case for Free Minds and Free Markets. Additionally, Reason magazine and our websites provide a virtual community for libertarians, a place where you can come to get breaking stories from a freedom-oriented perspective.

As Matt Welch and I will be telling you over and over for the next week or so, this is Reason's annual pledge drive, where we ask our readers to help give us the resources to keep on doing what we do. Any amount is welcome but if you give $100, you'll get more swag—books, T-shirts, subscriptions—than you can fit into your pocket. All donations are tax-deductible.

Go here for details. And thanks for your support.