Rep. Anthony Weiner Mocks GOP Attempts To Defund NPR
Congressman Anthony Weiner took to the floor to point out how ridiculous it is that Republicans had to rush a bill to defund NPR.
“What a relief. I’m glad we got the economy back going. I’m so glad we secured our nuclear power plants. So glad Americans are going back to work,” he said. “We discovered a target we can all agree on…it’s Click And Clack.”
For close to three minutes, Weiner went off on the Republican plan to zero out federal funds to NPR, a process that included an emergency hearing of the House Rules Committee on Wednesday.
Weiner, who like most of the Democratic House caucus opposes cutting off funding to NPR, ripped the Republicans for taking on the network that brings the nation Car Talk.
“The American people are not concerned about the economy around the world,” he said sarcastically. “They’re staring at their radio station saying, get rid of Click And Clack. Finally my Republican friends are getting rid of them. Kudos to you.”
As travel expert and public broadcasting star Rick Steves wrote at USA Today last month, we are a better country because of public broadcasting. We spend less money on it, for example, than on military bands. And it’s not just a bunch of wild-eyed liberals who can’t make it in the commercial marketplace. In fact, it’s important to have programming that is rejected by the marketplace.
I believe non-commercial media that respect the electorate’s intelligence, assume an attention span, and can produce content with no regard to advertiser interests are important to the fabric of our society and to the strength of our democracy…
I can take TV viewers inside Iran to talk with everyday people, or to the Swiss Alps to celebrate Christmas, without wondering, “Will this offend advertisers?” On the radio, I can talk to Portuguese officials about innovative drug policies, or to a gay activist in Lebanon, without sheltering our audience from ideas that might test their comfort zones…
You can make a very good case that, considering the complex and unprecedented challenges facing our nation today, public broadcasting’s trademark brand of quality independent journalism are actually important to our national security interests. Yes, marching bands can stir our troops to valor. But shouldn’t we find the resources, even in challenging economic times, to stir our minds to action as well?
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