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Entries in NPR (4)

Thursday
Mar172011

House of Representatives to Weigh in on Funding for NPR

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In the wake of an undercover sting by conservative activists that cost two NPR executives their jobs and renewed the debate about public broadcasting in the United States, the House of Representatives will vote Thursday on whether to end funding for NPR.

The House voted earlier this year to end funding for all public broadcasting.  Both measures have run into resistance in the Senate.

The bill bars stations from using their federal grants to pay for NPR programing.

"The government doesn't have to be subsidizing the media," says bill sponsor and Colorado Republican Doug Lamborn.  "No one's saying let's eliminate them and make them go away.  We're just saying, let them survive and stand on their own."

NPR supporters are hoping the GOP effort will work in their favor.

"That's one thing that the Doug Lamborn's do," says Wayne Roth, who runs an NPR station in Seattle.

Roth says he expects a spike in donations, "but it's not a permanent funding solution."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar082011

Former NPR Exec. Blasts Tea Party, GOP in Hidden Camera Video

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- National Public Radio is finding itself in the spotlight once again after a hidden camera video emerged Tuesday of former executive Ron Schiller blasting Republicans and the Tea Party in a meeting with two members of a fictitious Muslim group.

Schiller, then-president of the NPR Foundation and senior vice president for development, calls the Tea Party "xenophobic," "seriously racist people," who are "fanatically involved in people's personal lives."

He goes on to say that the Republican party has been hijacked by the Tea Party and laments the demise of intellectualism, particularly in the GOP.

Schiller was accompanied by Betsy Liley, NPR senior director of institutional giving, on the lunch with members of the "Muslim Education Action Center," a fake group set up specifically to target NPR. The two members who met with Schiller and Liley established a purported connection with the Muslim Brotherhood early on in the lunch.

The setup was the brainchild of conservative James O'Keefe, who has become famous for his hidden-camera videos, most recently targeted at Planned Parenthood.

The video became public Tuesday but Schiller, who joined NPR in September 2009, left the organization last week to work for the nonprofit Aspen Institute.

"The fraudulent organization represented in this video repeatedly pressed us to accept a $5 million check, with no strings attached, which we repeatedly refused to accept," NPR spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm said in a statement. "We are appalled by the comments made by Ron Schiller in the video, which are contrary to what NPR stands for."

Schiller is not related to NPR president and chief executive Vivian Schiller.

The controversy comes as lawmakers are embroiled in a heated debate about whether to cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which partially supports NPR and the Public Broadcasting Service.

Schiller is seen in the video saying that NPR would be better off without federal funding, and even if it were to be stripped, the organization and most of its member stations would survive.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb152011

House GOP Budget Puts NPR, PBS on Chopping Block

Photo Courtesy - Frederick M. Brown/ Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As the House prepares for debate on the budget Tuesday, Republicans are trying to cut off public funding for NPR and the Public Broadcasting Service, which run such iconic programs as Sesame Street and Morning Edition.

The House Republicans' budget would rescind any funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting -- which funds these two organizations -- for the remainder of the year, and zero out millions in funds after that.

This is not the first attempt by Congress to cut funding for what many Republicans see as liberal-leaning broadcast operations.

House Republicans made a proposal in November to strip federal funding for NPR after the radio station fired controversial commentator Juan Williams for comments he made about Muslims.

That bill didn't pass, but this time, Republicans are in the majority in the House, and many say the cuts are needed to balance the burgeoning U.S. deficit.

If funding indeed gets put on the chopping block, it could have a detrimental impact on PBS and NPR affiliates, many of which are already struggling financially.

PBS president and chief executive Paula Kerger, pointing to the network's educational programming, said, "It's America's children who will feel the greatest loss, especially those who can't attend preschool."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov192010

Republicans Target NPR Funding 

NPR fired news analyst Juan Williams after he said he gets "nervous" seeing "people who are in Muslim garb" on airplanes. Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- House Republicans' attempt to cut federal funding for National Public Radio fell flat on Thursday, but the war of words against the publicly-funded radio network continues to fester. On Thursday, Democrats defeated a proposal by House GOP members to terminate NPR's federal funding, a move prompted in part by the recent firing of Juan Williams for comments he made about Muslims.

"While the network has the right to present whatever point of view its executives wish, taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize it," Republican Study Committee chairman Tom Price of Georgia said in a statement. "Without taxpayer funding, NPR will simply compete for listeners on a level playing field, just like any other media organization."

Under the Republican proposal, NPR would not be allowed to apply for grants issued by federally funded agencies like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and National Endowment for the Arts, which, in the last fiscal year totaled $2.5 million or 1.5 percent of the network's operating budget. Moreover, local public radio stations would not be able to use money they receive from CPB to buy programming from NPR. That funding constitutes, on average, about 10 percent of a station's budget.

Conservative ire toward NPR isn't a new phenomenon. In fact, Republican lawmakers for decades have attempted to yank public funding away from both NPR and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), citing liberal bias. But the recent war of words has escalated to a level unseen in recent history. Fox News' chairman Roger Ailes went as far as to liken NPR executives to Nazis. Ailes later apologized for the use of the word.

NPR became the subject of Republican backlash when it fired news analyst Juan Williams in October, after the conservative commentator said he gets "worried" and "nervous" seeing "people who are in Muslim garb" on airplanes.

Only about two percent of NPR's funding comes from federally funded organizations. Forty percent of the revenue is generated through station programming fees while 26 percent comes from sponsorships.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio