So, Juan Williams got fired from NPR. This really shouldn’t be such a big deal; though there’s a good case to be made that Williams got a raw deal, you don’t have a right to a job, and news organizations have to make editorial decisions about what commentators they provide a platform for (even if their standards are intelligible only as enforced left-wing orthodoxy).
But NPR is a special case, because it gets part of its funding from taxpayers, so its editorial decisions are suddenly the business of every taxpayer. So this becomes a public policy debate, which it has no business being. Happily, the Williams kerfuffle — along with an infusion of Soros-cash that NPR just got — seems to be reviving the debate over whether NPR should get federal funds at all, as The Daily Caller‘s Chris Moody reports:
The firing of National Public Radio news analyst Juan Williams for comments made about Muslims, combined with leftwing billionaire George Soros’ recent $1.8 million donation to the organization, have reignited calls to end NPR’s taxpayer subsidies.
In June, Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn introduced legislation that would end government funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (the entity through which subsidies to NPR flow) after 2012. The bill’s passage did not stand a chance in the Democratic-controlled Congress, but the measure could gain momentum in a Republican-led House next year./Lamborn told The Daily Caller that there is no reason taxpayers should continue to subsidize an already-flush media company.
“This is an organization that can stand on its own. Why in the world, in the era of trillion dollar deficits, should the taxpayer have to subsidize it? It doesn’t make sense,” Lamborn said. “Under Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats just throw money at anything that’s moving. But if we have the honor of retaking Congress, we’re going to have to do things differently. I would love to defund NPR completely. Not because I don’t like it – actually there are things on NPR I do like – but because it can stand on its own.”
Indeed it can, and it’s long past time that it did.