Republicans are stupid.

by Berck

I could possibly have some respect for differing views if they were, at the very least, consistent. “Conservative” as I understand it, supposedly means minimal government involvement. Yet the current “conservative” regime has gotten government more involved in just about everything than any group to come before. Federal spending is at an all-time high. Clinton managed a balanced budget, and what did W do with it? “Conservative” now seems to be synonymous with state-supported religion, governmental restriction of women’s rights, and federal restriction of gays’ rights. Not to mention a tax policy intended to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Doesn’t sound like keeping the government out of people’s lives to me.

Conservatives are against public broadcasting, primarily NPR, ostensibly because it’s “federally funded” and “liberally biased.” I’m not going to address the liberal bias claim, because it’s silly. Most NPR listeners complain that it’s too right-leaning. I’m not sure how it’s federally funded, since NPR gets 1-2% of their funding from competitive grants from CPB, NEA, and the NSF. Member stations (which is the primary support for NPR) get a whopping 13% of their budget from the CPB. So, say, at MOST, the government contributes 15% of NPR and its member stations funding. Woot. Pennies.

The total allocation for CPB is currently $390 million. Most of that goes to television and PBS programming. A whopping $30 million goes to radio. Congress recently decided to cut CPB’s funding to about $300 million. The cuts are presumably necessary because we have to protect ourselves from Iraq. Included in the cuts were ~$40 million slated to go toward upgrading to digital television, since the FCC is going to stop allowing analog TV transmission in 2009.

So, keep in mind, this $390 million that conservatives think is just bad, though a whopping $30 million goes to evil, liberal NPR.

Now here’s where it gets sick. The Senate has approved $3 BILLION to subsidize the purchase of conversion boxes to allow Americans with older TV sets to watch new, digital television. Because by 2009 they won’t be able to watch television. (Keep in mind this only applies to over-the-air television.) But could someone please tell me how watching television is a right? A necessity? That we need to think about these poor Americans who won’t be able to watch new, digital TV without a $50 box? Maybe we should instead spend that money on education so they can get jobs and buy their own conversion boxes.

So think about this: we can give $3 billion to poor Americans so they can keep watching corporate, advertising-laden TV, but we can’t give $40 million to the corporation for public broadcasting to upgrade THEIR equipment??

5 Responses to “Republicans are stupid.”

  1. nbailey Says:

    So, most “conservatives” don’t listen to NPR because they think it’s too liberal AND most of NPR’s listeners think it’s too conservative? Yes, that sounds about right.

    I’ll agree that the conversion box subsidy is a fiasco and that Bush has expanded federal power and money into areas that it shouldn’t have. But, I’m still so very thankful that Gore and Kerry lost.

  2. Berck Says:

    I think most conservatives don’t listen to NPR because they’re not interested in the truth. They’d rather be manipulated by the pseudo-sensationalist tripe on FOX news. Conservatives who ARE interested in the truth don’t see a liberal bias on NPR.

    (As a note, I think claiming NPR is too conservative-leaning is just as silly. It’s pretty obvious to me that they go out of their way to be unbiased.)

  3. Jonah Says:

    I think most conservatives don’t listen to NPR because they’re too busy making money or spending time with their families to spend three hours a day listening to the radio.

    I listen to NPR because it’s the only news I can get in the car. And I like that it has no commmercials. And they do TRY to appear balanced. Sometimes.

  4. Nathan Says:

    Pseudo-sensationalist? You don’t even rank them high enough to be real sensationalists?

    Sensation is the bread and butter of liberal media outlets. Facts? Truth? No, they want to influence how you FEEL. Pay attention to the “grim milestone” of 2000 military deaths in Iraq. Doesn’t that make you feel SAD? We should bring the troops home so that we’re not all SAD. Nevermind the positive events happening, which by the way I don’t see much attention paid to. Check out Michael Yon if you feel a twinge of wonder at what’s really happening. But, you’re probably happy with the balanced side that NPR is feeding you. Does NPR have an analogue to Michael Yon?

    Every time I bring stuff like that up you mention that you DON’T CARE. So why are you posting about this? Apparently NPR funding issues really rubbed you the wrong way.

  5. Berck Says:

    No, giving them the rank of sensationalism would imply that anyone who worked for FOX had enough mental capacity to actually create genuine sensationalism.

    I’ve yet to hear a single instance of sensationalism on NPR. I have no idea what “liberal media outlet” means– but if you’re referring to television, I’ll remind you that I don’t have a television. For a reason. The whole liberal bias in the “MSM” (aka not-FOX) claim is a load of crap as well. It’s biased toward MONEY-MAKING, which isn’t necessarily liberal. ALL of TV-news is about generating FEAR and OUTRAGE. If you think that FOX is vaguely interested in the truth, you’ve got to be kidding. Admittedly, most of the Fascist News Channel I’ve seen comes third-hand from the Daily Show, but I’ve caught enough of it to know what they’re about. And it’s not the truth. They couldn’t care less about the truth, unless it coincidentally happened to sell. NPR, on the other hand, isn’t trying to SELL anything, therefore have no need to make you FEEL. They’re merely interested in the truth. They have no agenda and as such they aren’t “feeding” anyone anything. Have you ever listened to it, or are you just basing your statements on what FOX News and bloggers feed you about “liberal media outlets”?

    As for positive events– so what? The vast majority of everything that’s happened in Iraq for the past several hundred (thousand?) years isn’t remotely positive. We haven’t made it any better– that much is obvious. Whether or not Dubya has made it worse for Iraq is hard to say, but he’s certainly made it worse for US. You go out of your way to find some good in an absolutely wrong-headed move by a moronic administration. So what? I don’t see you looking for the positive side of most wrong things, why this one? If I wanted to know what was really happening, I’d listen to NPR more often. I’m sure NPR reports on a relevant number of “positive” things as well, but you’d have to ask someone who cares to verify.

    As for posting this, it wasn’t the NPR funding issues, it was the $3 billion your party would like to throw away in order to appease the TV conglomerates. But everyone knew about that, so I thought I’d point out just how backwards the republicans are these days.

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