Both I and most Congressional Republicans want to defund NPR. Republicans want to do it because they perceive it as a government-funded liberal partisan voice; I want to do it because broadcasting is simply not a role for government.
But note -- Republicans who want to count coup on NPR out of spite and frustration should recognize that defunding it could very likely make NPR a more, rather than less, potent leftish voice (insert Star Wars quote "if you strike me down.... yada yada). NPR's government funding is all that is really keeping it in sight of the political center. Pull that funding and it will be free to tack left - in fact, this likely will be an imperative given its likely sources of additional private funding it will need.
All of which is fine by me, but I think the Republicans are expecting an Air America-type crash and burn, and I think they are mistaken. There is a lot about PBS and NPR that are vital and unique -- their supporters are not wrong about that -- which I think will make them viable private (though still non-profit) entities.
QandO reports that Dennis Kucinich is trying to resurrect the fairness doctrine in media, reassigning the FCC the task of policing political speech in broadcast media:
The Presidential candidate said that the committee would be holding
"hearings to push media reform right at the center of Washington." The
Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the House Government Reform Committee
was to be officially announced this week in Washington, D.C., but
Kucinich opted to make the news public early.
In addition to
media ownership, the committee is expected to focus its attention on
issues such as net neutrality and major telecommunications mergers.
Also in consideration is the "Fairness Doctrine,"
which required broadcasters to present controversial topics in a fair
and honest manner. It was enforced until it was eliminated in 1987.
Usually, you can be sure that when a politician talks about the government intervening for "fairness" in free speech, it means that he wants the government to push his political point of view and squash others. The only surprise is that Kucinich is totally up front about this:
Kucinich said in his speech that "We know the media has become the
servant of a very narrow corporate agenda" and added "we are now in a
position to move a progressive agenda to where it is visible."
So, having failed in the marketplace, and with well-funded entrants like Air America, Kucinich wants the government to force media companies to promote a progressive agenda on the airwaves. Yuk.
Update: Q&O is on fire, with a great followup post here.