The second reason is that anything public broadcasting does that is sufficiently popular and valuable (“Sesame Street,” “The Prairie Home Companion,” “Car Talk,’ et al.) will be picked up by commercial stations, and those programs that are not should not be underwritten by taxpayer dollars.
The third: NPR’s audience is narrow and affluent, and doesn’t require a public subsidy, particularly when cutting down the budget deficit is a national priority.
Finally, NPR can’t be trusted with public funds. It claims to be objective, but isn’t; it is mismanaged, and isn’t appropriately frugal with taxpayer funds.
This comes under the final category. The salaries of the top NPR talent do not reflect restraint in expending precious resources. For example, the hosts of “Morning Edition,” Renee Montagne and Steve Inskeep, received compensation of $405,140 and $356,499, respectively. “All Things Considered” anchor Robert Siegel earned $358,653, while Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon got $364,465, according to NPR’s latest 990 form.
It didn’t take a James O’Keefe sting to show how out of touch NPR staff is with the real world. When some listeners complained that the host of a one-day a week program like Simon could get his princely salary, his response was relayed by NPR’s ombudsman on the network’s website:
“There are a few other people in public radio who earn more, both at weekly and daily programs. Most everybody in commercial broadcasting earns a lot more.“
That last sentence had Washington, D.C.’s WMAL’s syndicated political talk show host Chris Plante (and I’m sure many other radio hosts) sputtering and fuming with rage last week, and reciting his own salary history as a radio veteran. “Most everybody in commercial broadcasting earns a lot more” than $364,465? Could Simon possibly believe that? NPR’s ombudsman relayed this ridiculous claim without noting, as an ombudsman ought, that it really isn’t ethical to lie to your listeners like that. Instead, she added this:
“Readers might be interested in this piece in the Columbia Journalism Review that notes CBS anchor Katie Couric is paid the equivalent of what it costs to produce two NPR shows, “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.“
Why would that interest them, and what does it have to do with NPR, since…
- Couric’s show, bomb that it is, attracts an audience of millions of viewers that swamp the combined listenership of both of those NPR programs.
- The CBS Evening News is television, not radio.
- It earns commercial income, and NPR’s shows do not.
- Couric is not being paid with taxpayer funds
- She’s grossly overpaid anyway, and
- The fact that she is overpaid does not and cannot justify Simon’s salary.
So really there is a fifth reason to defund NPR. Its personnel are arrogant and ooze delusions of entitlement, and are willing to deceive the public in order to keep misusing its money.