I’m a conservative but defunding NPR is a mistake. What should happen instead might be surprising

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The liberal political and cultural bias of National Public Radio has moved center-stage, thanks to the Free Press essay by Uri Berliner, the former NPR editor who resigned earlier this month. In his essay he correctly observed that NPR news both caters to and reflect “the distilled worldview of a very small segment of the US population,” mainly in blue cities and college towns.  

The ensuing tempest has led, once again, to a move to defund the organization. Rep. Jim Banks, a Republican from Indiana, has said he’ll introduce such a bill, as has Tennessee Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn.  Don’t expect these bills to go far, however.  As Jesse Walker has observed in Reason Magazine, such efforts have been tried—and failed—multiple times before. The Trump administration tried to zero out all public broadcasting funding—by cutting the Corporation for Public Broadcasting budget—and could not do so.  Today, the combinaton of a Democratic Senate and White House makes such a prospect remote.

But for those who entertain the idea—or who’d settle for just a course-correction at NPR—it’s well worth looking at what would likely happen were it somehow to actually be defunded. The most likely scenario: it would become

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