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article imageGOP-led House of Representatives votes to eliminate NPR funding

By Bill Lindner     Mar 18, 2011 in Politics
When a selectively edited tape was released showing a NPR fund-raising executive making disparaging remarks about Republicans and Tea Party supporters, the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives voted to eliminate financial support for NPR.
In a primarily party line vote, the Republican led U.S. House of Representatives reportedly voted 228 to 192 to eliminate all federal funding for National Public Radio (NPR). Seven Republicans voted against the measure, and one Republican voted present.
NPR has been in the spotlight recently since Vivian Schiller, its chief executive, was forced to resign when a secret, selectively edited taped video made by James O'Keefe was released showing Ronald Schiller -- no relation to Vivian Schiller -- one of NPR's fund-raising executives making disparaging remarks about Republicans and Tea Party supporters in a conversation with people who were posing as prospective donors. That revelation came less than five months after NPR fired Juan Williams for remarks he made about Muslims on Fox News.
At the time of the selectively edited video's release, it wasn't known exactly what actually transpired between Mr. Schiller and the bogus potential donor because O'Keefe had not offered to release the original video and NPR apparently had not asked for it. A review of the actual raw footage from the video tells a completely different story.
According to a New York Times report, Mr. Schiller was heard saying that many Tea Party supporters are "seriously racist" and that NPR would be better off without federal money although many stations would "go dark."
House Republicans used NPR's embarrassment as an opportunity to call for the elimination of government financing for the Corporations for Public Broadcasting, which supports local public stations, including NPR.
The standalone measure, introduced by Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn, reportedly bars any of NPR's affiliate radio stations across the country from using any federal funds to purchase programming from NPR. Last year Lamborn tried unsuccessfully to strip NPR's federal funding last year.
According to NPR's website, it provides news, information, and music programming to a network of 900 independent stations that reaches 27.2 million listeners every week.
Analysis done by the House Democratic minority found that 414 stations which provide 7,800 jobs in 280 congressional districts would be affected if the cuts go through. Democrats unsuccessfully tried getting a majority of House members to oppose the measure but failed. Once Lamborn's bill passed in the House or Representatives, it was sent to the U.S. Senate where it's expected to fail.
More about NPR, national public radio, US House of Representatives, US Senate, Doug Lamborn
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