When NPR Defenders Punch Holes in Their Own Arguments

Steve Inskeep is the co-host of NPR’s Morning Edition, and he had a column in the WSJ’s Opinion Journal yesterday defending public funding of the network. Inskeep also talks about about how NPR’s popularity has grown and how conservatives are also a part of its audience.

I listen to NPR from time to time, especially when I’m out for a walk and there are no baseball, football, basketball or hockey games on the radio. But whether or not I personally listen doesn’t have anything to do with my opinion on why taxpayers shouldn’t be funding the network.

When someone argues his or her support for funding NPR by reminding people how huge its audience is, do they realize they’re doing little but pointing out why taxpayer dollars should not be given to NPR? If it’s as popular as they say it is, the network should be able to survive on its own in the free market like most other media outlets. And if it still can’t, so what?

If Inskeep wants to develop some sympathy from me for maintaining public funding of NPR, he’ll need to come up with a better sob story than “Because we have millions of affluent listeners of all political stripes who have tremendous buying power.”