Skip to main content
Updates

NCLU Applauds House Hearing on Leftist Tilt at Tax-Funded NPR

By May 8, 2024No Comments

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee held a hearing this week to address the political tilt of taxpayer-subsidized National Public Radio.

The National Constitutional Law Union, along with other Free Speech Alliance member organizations, sent a letter to committee chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) applauding the hearing and insisting taxpayers “should not be compelled to pay for a politicized media outlet whose primary objective is to undermine American ideas and ideals.”

The letter argues PBS and NPR have made a mockery of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, which mandates “objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature.”

Therefore, NPR must not be rewarded for its unlawful behavior and anti-American objectives.”

The letter is below:

Dear Chair McMorris Rodgers,

We applaud your decision to investigate National Public Radio (NPR). Its politicized leadership and programming have once again been brought into the spotlight, but its history of biased reporting is legendary. It long ago abandoned even the appearance of abiding by its statutory mandates in favor of pursuing a leftwing agenda. 

Taxpayers should not be compelled to pay for a politicized media outlet whose primary objective is to undermine American ideas and ideals, including our First Amendment free-speech rights as well as the economic system that creates the wealth that NPR feeds off of. 

It is critical that this hearing expose NPR’s unlawful conduct and how its leadership and reporters have used its resources to pursue political outcomes. 

For its entire existence, NPR and its sister organization, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), have made a mockery of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, which mandates “objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature.” NPR must not be rewarded for its unlawful behavior and anti-American objectives. Many argue that no media outlet should be subsidized with US tax dollars, but NPR has certainly lost the moral authority to demand our continued support. 

We encourage you to thoroughly investigate how NPR uses its talent and resources in contravention of the law. The Committee should determine the following: 

  1. With thousands of alternative media outlets now available to the public, has NPR outlived its usefulness?
  2. Are NPR’s hiring practices designed to prevent diversity of viewpoints in its programming?
  3. Has NPR used its power, reach and resources to interfere in elections, including the 2020 and 2024 presidential elections?
  4. Half of Americans are conservative or lean right in their political views; how does NPR attempt, if at all, to address the interests of this swath of Americans?

In 1967, Congress determined that funding NPR and PBS, both entities under the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), was necessary since there were only three broadcasters on television and only a small number of news-oriented radio stations across the country. Today, the internet has allowed countless alternative news sources to flourish. There are tens of thousands of online media sites and countless podcasts where the public access news daily. 

Black-and-white televisions have been replaced with 5G technology and most radio stations now have apps to compete with audio streaming services. Why should taxpayers continue to finance PBS and NPR now that there’s CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Spotify, Pandora, Sirius XM, iHeart Radio, Amazon Prime, Apple Music, and countless others? 

Thank you for holding this important hearing. We look forward to learning how the Committee intends to reform NPR and the role taxpayers play in funding its operations. 

Sincerely,

John M. Pierce

Chairman

National Constitutional Law Union

© 2024 National Constitutional Law Union.