Monday, October 25, 2010

The Tea Party War On Publicly Funded Media

Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, has introduced legislation which would end taxpayer funding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which operates National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System. The alleged impetus for this is NPR's firing of Juan Williams for his comments on The O'Reilly Factor. In so doing, DeMint joins a veritable "Who's Who" of tea party stars.

This strikes an odd parallel with Governor Christie's plan to de-fund New Jersey Network, New Jersey's public broadcaster. New Jersey Network is a public broadcast network owned by the State of New Jersey. It was originally formed because New Jersey, sandwiched between the media markets of Philadelphia and New York City, did not have any local network with Jersey-centric programming.

Christie's alleged motivations are budgetary and operational. However, it was NJN News that disclosed then U.S. Attorney Christie’s secret loan to Assiatant U.S. Attorney Michele Brown during the 2009 gubernatorial election. The fate of NJN remains to be seen.

Since I don't believe in coincidences, I have to believe that the tea party wants to escalate the Republican war on the "liberal" media be eliminating publicly funded broadcasting. Maybe they don't want anyone in the media smart enough to ask Sarah Palin embarrassing questions. Because she really CAN see Russia from her house.

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