Why should taxpayers continue to pay for nearly a half billion dollars in subsidies each year to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which helps fund left leaning local public TV and radio stations and producers of news and entertainment programming?
President Trump does not think we should, and is proposing to eliminate the federal subsidy in his budget blueprint just released on March 16. There are already plenty of choices available for diverse audiences to satisfy their news and entertainment preferences from among multiple commercial local and national radio and TV outlets, as well as from podcasts and streaming.
As Dan Gainor of the Media Research Center, tweeted, "There simply is no legitimate reason for government to fund left-wing media. #DefundNPR #DefundPBS." He added, "There are a ton of liberal billionaires who could fund @NPR and @PBS with change they find in their couches. Let them. #freemarket."
Just the day before President Trump’s budget blueprint was released, NPR bragged in a press release that its ratings are at an "all-time high." Great! Now is the time for the geniuses there to figure out how to monetize their reach to what they claim to be 37.4 million station listeners.
If NPR is producing the great shows attracting a growing audience that its officers are so proud of, surely their listeners will stick around even if they have to endure some commercials. The same goes for public television, where several times a year viewers already endure long infomercials for the channel soliciting donations, which seem longer than the blocs of entertainment in between.
Just look at how Sesame Street’s Big Bird has already adjusted.
Big Bird has flown out of its public television nest and landed at the premium cable channel HBO. Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit group behind the children’s television program that graced the airwaves of PBS for so many years, figured out that giving an exclusive rights to first run broadcasts of their popular show to a commercial station would bring in additional revenues, allowing them to continue producing high quality educational materials for children. Non-HBO subscribers may have to wait a bit, but they will ultimately be able to access the shows as well. Surely, NPR and PBS should be able to emulate this business model for at least some of their own productions, and replace federal funding with earnings from the licensing of their intellectual property to commercial broadcasters and merchandisers.
And then there are the high salaries of public broadcast executives and hosts that put them easily within the top 5 percent income bracket in the country. For example, according to a tax form filed for 2014, the chief content officer and executive vice president of National Public Radio received $570,575 in total compensation. That puts him in the top 1 percent of income earners in the Washington, D.C. area. Four radio hosts made in excess of $400,000 each in total compensation. And that was their compensation three years ago. There is no reason why as many as 99 percent of the country’s remaining income earners should have to continue replenishing the deep pockets of the public broadcast elite.
It’s time for public broadcasting to stand on its own feet and not feed at the public trough any longer.
Joseph A. Klein is a featured author for FrontPage Magazine and the United Nations correspondent for Canada Free Press. He has also authored the books "Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom" and "Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam." Klein, a Harvard Law school alumnus and practicing attorney, has been a guest on many radio shows as a commentator and has appeared on several TV shows including "Fox & Friends." For more of this reports — Click Here Now.
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