JUST IN: Republicans Launch Effort To Defund NPR


House Republicans have introduced legislation to wean National Public Radio off its government subsidy after the station was caught in the crosshairs over internal allegations of liberal bias.

The Daily Caller reports that Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN) is sponsoring legislation aimed at zeroing out NPR’s public dollars, which are traditionally sourced from the Center for Public Broadcasting federal agencies like the Department of Education and the Department of Commerce.

Presently, NPR receives funding for less than 1% of its budget directly from the federal government, but receives almost 10% of its budget from federal, state, and local governments indirectly, according to the nonpartisan organization Influence Watch.

“NPR’s new CEO is a radical, left-wing activist who doesn’t believe in free speech or objective journalism. Hoosiers shouldn’t be writing her paychecks. Katherine Maher isn’t qualified to teach an introductory journalism class, much less capable of responsibly spending millions of American tax dollars,” Banks told the Caller before introducing the bill.

Earlier this month, Uri Berliner, an editor who had worked at NPR for over 25 years, resigned after being reprimanded for publishing commentary on the perceived slant that has crept into the network’s reporting during his time there. His Substack piece, which claimed its D.C. bureau employed 87 Democrats and zero Republicans, was swiftly rebuked by new CEO Katherine Maher despite her coming under fire for supporting President Joe Biden’s 2020 election and in 2018 writing that former President Donald Trump is a “racist.” Elsewhere, Mahar has described “the number one challenge” to combatting “misinformation” as the First Amendment.

Rep. Banks’ legislation, titled the Defund NPR Act, builds on last year’s legislation filed by Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) which was referred to the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology where it has languished since March 2023. Previous efforts to defund NPR also rose in 2011 following the Tea Party movement.

For years conservatives have crowed about the demise of legacy media outlets like NPR and the New York Times. After taking ownership of Twitter and rebranding the social media platform as X, Elon Musk slapped both outlets’ accounts with the “State Affiliated Media” label, a designation previously reserved for news outlets controlled by authoritarian governments in countries like China and North Korea. The asterisk prompted NPR to quit the platform.

“State-affiliated media is defined as outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution,” read a memo Musk circulated announcing the decision, adding “Seems accurate.”

Widely regarded as a left-leaning news institution, NPR has weathered criticism in recent years for adjusting its news to suit an audience that by one poll measured 43 percent of its listeners as Democrats, the largest listening bloc.

During the onset of COVID-19 in April 2020, NPR ran back-to-back pieces dismissing the theory that the virus escaped a Wuhan epidemiology lab as being on “thin ice” with “virtually no chance” such a scenario could occur. No correction has been attached to either story since earlier this year when U.S. officials designated a lab leak as the most likely culprit.

In March, the station reported there was “limited scientific evidence” that male athletes possess physical advantages over their female counterparts. NPR was forced to retract its statement and state that higher levels of testosterone equate to higher levels of physical performance. When the station claimed there was “limited research involving elite trans athletes,” readers quickly added context showing a major study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine that trans-identified males retain a competitive advantage over women.

Las Vegas News Magazine

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