Former columnist for the Los Angeles Post Examiner, the Baltimore Post Examiner, and Gatehouse News Service

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

De-Fund NPR?

There has been a lot of talk lately about de-funding National Public Radio, or, as all of the free world knows it, NPR.  This seems as foreign to some as de-funding McDonald's, or de-funding Grandma; many have listened to NPR forever, and can't imagine life in the car without it.
First thing: saying that you heard something on NPR makes you sound smart, and gives whatever you are saying both panache and credibility.  Let's try it:  first, say this sentence: "I heard that Jennifer Aniston has had some work done.  I read it in People."  Now, try this sentence: "I heard that our culture is slowly erasing our personal identities by molding our faces into younger, almost pre-Mayan images of our younger ids, egos, and super-egos.  Even popular icons like, say, Jennifer Aniston are going Mayan. (ironic chuckle.)"  See?  The second one is definitely smarter-sounding.

Here is my take:  as someone who has been involved in marketing for years, I first look at what something is titled, be it a book, a product, or a radio station.  This network is called "National Public Radio."  It is supposed to be for everyone, but we all have been in on the secret that it is a very liberal network.  (Just because you add Garrison Keillor to something doesn't make it folksy.)  The viewpoints are liberal, the guests are liberal, and certainly the staffing is liberal - right, Juan?

Like everything else we encounter these days - healthcare, fast food, Charlie Sheen - it just needs some modifying, not complete dismissal.  We are so eager - I'm talking to you, conservatives - to get rid of what irks us, or scares us, instead of working with it; crafting it into something infinitely better.  Make half the program available to more conservative viewpoints, and keep the other half the way it is - more liberal, very diverse, and truthfully, sometimes quite boring.  (But hey, that's just me.  There are probably many people who want to hear a half-hour on salmon runs.) 

One thing we can all agree on - Garrison Keillor.

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