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Pull the plug on public broadcasting

NPR was in the crosshairs again this month as an independent "sting" operation, conducted by a controversial media activist, revealed just how arrogant and politically partisan the taxpayer-funded broadcast service really is.

Regardless of the amount of taxpayer funding NPR and her sister PBS-TVreceives - which is more than $450 million annually - it's time to pull the plug on public-funding of public broadcasting. If public broadcasting must serve a purpose in news and entertainment, fine - but let it stand or fall on it's own legs, like the rest of the news and broadcasting industry.

NPRCEOVivian Schiller resigned last week after her colleague, RonSchiller (no relation), sputtered offensive things about Republicans and the Tea Party during the undercover luncheon stingby James O'Keefe, whose operatives posed as potential radical Muslim donors.

As a result, both Schillers resigned in a nasty week of multiple black eyes for American public broadcasting. And it was CEOSchiller who took the biggest sword fall. Ah, but let's not stop the NPR/PBSself sacrificing there. Congress needs to defund all of public broadcasting - immediately. How can public broadcasting ever recover from repeated examples of flagrant arrogance, rabid partisanship, and ineptitude?

Vivian Schiller, you may recall, was instrumental in the firing of reporter Juan Williams last October. Williams' firing was seen as unfair by most of the public. The amiable Williams was sacked after making innocent, on-air remarks about his personal fear of Muslim terrorism while traveling. The Williams affair was just one of a growing list of public broadcasting gaffs that pointed to its irritatingly biased way of managing and reporting the national news. Is it any wonder many fair-minded voters want to stop their support of the "enterprise"?

Last week's NPR sting made for the perfect storm on the issue of public broadcasting, a storm that has many legislators - and many could-care-less, non-artsy taxpayers - wondering if PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are worth the nearly $450 million in federal funding they received last year.

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