The controversy of NPR’s firing of Juan Williams has morphed into something much bigger. It’s become a central issue in the upcoming election, but the division is not entirely along party lines. It is mostly a conservative talking point — because many on the right believe that NPR is a liberal media establishment — but there are legitimate issues about whether the government should be funding the news. Here’s a statement I pulled from a conservative, Jonah Goldberg:
NPR should be defunded, but not because it’s liberal. If NPR were right-wing, it would still be wrong for the federal government to be in the news business or to subsidize one set of views over another. The same goes for PBS (and implicitly “Sesame Street”). I have no huge problem with funding documentaries about bears and mummies, but state-run television news is an embarrassment in the age of C-SPAN and YouTube.
Collectively, we have the luxury here on Pajiba to have a bright, intelligent and somewhat politically diverse community, one that is capable of creating bright and intelligent commentary if provoked with the right questions. In this week’s installment of Pajiba Debates, I put this question to all of you: Should NPR be defunded?