Patterico's Pontifications


Hell Hath No Fury Like a Talking Head Scorned

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 1:23 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Juan Williams says it’s time to defund NPR.  Actually he says it in a really nice way, but the title for this post was so much fun I couldn’t not use it.

Anyway I think as a rule of thumb, the government should not be in the speech business, with the obvious exception of Radio Free Europe and similar broadcasts, as well as historic preservation.  In other words, propaganda broadcasts to Iran telling the people to overthrow the Mullahs?  Good.  Funding Ancient Egyptian exhibits in the museum?  Good.  Funding a performance artist who smears herself in chocolate and wails about something or other for half an hour?  Bad.

First, I think government is fundamentally too stupid to be a good judge of modern art.  Second, I think there is always a danger that it can be “captured” by the left or right, and become a defacto organ for that point of view.  And third, then there are touchy issues like the Piss Christ.  When the government sponsors art that denigrates religion, how is that not a violation of the establishment clause?

So defund NPR and let it survive on its own.  I frankly think it will do just fine on its own.  And in case you missed it, we are a little short on money right now.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

30 Responses to “Hell Hath No Fury Like a Talking Head Scorned”

  1. NPR’s intolerance is something most folks see in all walks of life. Any organization that isn’t explicitly right wing becomes more and more left wing. NPR has gotten to the point where they push people out over something like doing his job and honestly discussing a dicey issue like Islam’s relationship with terrorism (note: his point was that it’s wrong to generalize Muslims and some seem to want to pretend that’s not the case). Fox News tries to avoid being an echo chamber while NPR embraces the echo chamber. Fox insists on hiring lefties while NPR listeners call in and demand firing anyone who looks at FNC without their head exploding. This slide left is so pervasive the VFW PAC was endorsing Barbara Boxer.

    The government itself has some of this problem, even when conservatives are elected. Bureaucrats, employees unions, PC codes… they can all add up to an atmosphere where certain political views are simply assumed to be correct.

    These are distinct problems. The defunding is a no-brainer issue. It’ll score easy points for what moderate democrats are left and tea party Republicans, too. But what about the left’s need to pretend mainstream isn’t what it really is?

    Dustin (b54cdc)


    Juan Williams Orwellian firing from the intolerant NPR was a mere jerk-of-the-reins reminder to all those good little Marxists out there that disobedience to approved “Truth Speak” will be dealt with swiftly and severely.

    Of course, the ruling Authorateria will be the sole judges as to what constitutes “truth”.

    Welcome to 1984, liberal-style.



    heir2freedom (d9456e)

  3. Dustin, did you see where the National Commander of the VFW has disbanded the PAC over this endorsement?
    I think the PAC Board had one of those Wiley Coyote moments of walking off the cliff, and then….

    AD-RtR/OS! (89a0a7)

  4. AD-RtR/OS! – have the PAC Board claimed that it is/was a manifestation of PTSD, yet ?

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  5. Not that I object to NPR losing its government funding, but as I wrote, how nice that Williams says the same thing… but only after he gets fired and no longer gets a cut of taxpayer money.

    steve (116925)

  6. steve,

    Your guess that Juan had no problem with NPR’s subsidy is my guess too. That is quite lame. It’s theatre that I’m happy to munch popcorn with, but you’re right that he’s not very credible on this.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  7. Dustin, did you see where the National Commander of the VFW has disbanded the PAC over this endorsement?

    I had missed that.

    That actually bugs the crap out of me. Vets could use real advocates. Often I feel politicians pose as taking care of veterans for points, while the real issues are left aside.

    It’s probably for the best, given how infected the PAC became.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  8. Good. Funding Ancient Egyptian exhibits in the museum? Good. Funding a performance artist who smears herself in chocolate and wails about something or other for half an hour?

    I would submit that neither is worthy of government subsidizing. It’s not whether government is capable of sensibly judging art, modern or otherwise. It’s that government has no business judging art, period.

    kishnevi (2d88a8)

  9. First, I think government is fundamentally too stupid to be a good judge of modern art

    Simply attempting to judge modern art is a mark of stupidity. It all sucks. Eggs. Big time.

    BikerDad (2dfffe)

  10. Does this mean they would lose their tax exempt status? Defunding is symbolic, but pretty toothless. Most of their funding comes from donations; tax dedectible donations. The fact that they have tax exempt status is the real issue. That’s where taxpayers are really supporting them. Why are we supporting partisan political entities?

    Bohemian (ad4ef5)

  11. We should definitely defund NPR, CPB and PBS.

    The government has no role in preparing and distributing propaganda. I don’t want to pay for Schiller or Williams or even Hannity to spout off.

    Goebbels would be so proud of NPR…

    WarEagle (08c61f)

  12. When the government sponsors art that denigrates religion, how is that not a violation of the establishment clause?

    Not to be too picky, but if we start getting up in arms over that kind of relationship, it actually just adds ammunition to the liberals who think any connection between government and religion is sacrelige (pun intended). In reality, the only prohibition are laws the establish a federal religion or restrict the free exercise thereof, so funding of art that is anti-religious doesn’t count (unless it’s purpose WAS to fund anti-religious art as part of a plan to officially eradicate religion. Otherwise, it’s just poor use of our tax dollars which is enough of an issue.

    Eyago (18102e)

  13. I believe that the government should not only defund NPR, PBS, CPB et al, but should demand all past contributions to these propaganda organizations be returned with interest.

    Ken Hahn (2acf7e)

  14. From the US Constitution Online:

    Article 1, Section 8
    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries

    The Constitution very clearly states how the government is to promote the progress of “useful Arts” and it ain’t by giving someone any tax money.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  15. “…fundamentally too stupid to be a good judge of modern art.” I like what you said.

    What’s next? Books, music, food being talked about frm our govt.?

    Need to read a book that is now surfacing about Americans taking a stand. It’s powerful cause it’s about each of us. ( )

    NPR made a huge mistake just days away from election time. And, these are the same people who want to stand in between us & our doctor.

    GreenLeaf (4c0c6a)

  16. I have a hard time conjuring up much sympathy for Juan. He’s no hero. Only now does he publicly admit NPR’s ongoing, overt, and institutional bias.

    All you have to do is look at Juan’s stunned expression when he first described his conversation with his boss to see someone who just got served a big helping of his own stew. His utter shock is almost comical.

    Obviously, like most of the Left (if they’ll admit it), he thought HE wouldn’t be subject to Leftist oppression. But even if HE were untouchable, how moral was it for this man to continue to lend credibility to an org. touting themselves as fair when actually bias and suppression of opposite views was the norm?

    If he hadn’t been fired, would he ever have publicly admitted the truth of all the accusations leveled against NPR?

    This, from a man who has made it his life’s work to study and write about oppression and bias.

    ShyAsrai (b4a15e)

  17. John

    I will respectfully disagree with the claim that its somehow unconstitutional generally to fund the arts. but i think the establishment clause does prevent them from funding blasphemy. in other words, while a private person is perfectly free to make the piss christ, it should not have received federal funds.

    Aaron Worthing (f97997)

  18. AW: Ah, but the Constitution explicitly lays out how the government can support “art,” and that’s why we have patents and copyrights. Further in the Constitution, we have the “whatever isn’t explicitly given to the fed is reserved for the states and the people” bit. When those two are combined, funding for art or science or literature is reserved for the states or the people. If NY wants a “State Endowment of the Arts,” more power to them. But not at the federal level.

    I refer you to Congressman/Colonel Davy Crockett’s words.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  19. Williams was collateral damage, the real target is fox news.Along with pat cadell,alan colmes, and tom beckel fox news proves that they are in fact balanced more than the msm.By discrediting these contributers,they hope to tarnish fox as a reliable source.The closest person to a real conservative is joe scarboro on liberal media.

    dunce (b89258)

  20. federal funding aside, the ‘piss christ’, despite popular knee-jerk reactions to the title, does not denigrate religion. it’s from a series by the artist that explores the relationship between the divine and messy humanity..god made flesh and all that jesus stuff that we christians supposedly believe. the photographer is a devout catholic and the photo is actually quite compelling and beautiful. maybe it’s time to give the phony outrage a rest.

    el polacko (e35c98)

  21. el polacko is an el sicko, brought to you by the redundant department of redundancy.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  22. If you leave the preservation of Fine Art to the teabaggers, it wouldn’t exist.

    Fine Art requires funding the same way anything we value does. If not, the finest aspects of our culture will die and we’ll be left with the pop culture which represents America in a piss poor light.

    W (9df40f)

  23. He’ll hath no fury like a teabagee hill jack midget racist skin flute player that lives life in a Soros bubble.

    JD (eb1dfe)

  24. Fine art should be funded the way it has always been:
    By private patrons of means.
    Government funding of the arts has no place in a Republic.

    AD-RtR/OS! (1dbed6)

  25. Did Juan Williams have a “Shirley Sherrod moment” ?
    I caught a talking head on MSNBC saying that Juan ended his comments by saying that you can’t “indict a whole people” based on a handful.

    Neo (7830e6)

  26. Here’s my letter to NPR:
    Nice job with the Juan Williams firing. You’ve brought renewed attention to the outrage that is government-funded programming. I doubt you’ll lose your funding, but even so it appears that with Soros’ (a moderate fellow, I’m sure) support, you’ll do just fine. I’m impressed by your ability to see the outrage in Williams’ honest statement, while somehow being blind to the support Soros gives to less-than-tolerant political groups. Accepting his financial support says at least as much about your organization as does the Williams firing.
    Further, as many have recently noted, Nina Totenberg once wished for a sitting senator to contract the AIDS virus, and she retains her job with your organization to this day. How is it that it is politically correct for a news correspondent to express the desire for the suffering of a conservative politician, but somehow politically incorrect for for a commentator to, well, express an opinion? An opinion, no less, expressed nowhere near the NPR airwaves. One more moment from NPR history comes from Garrison Keillor, who seemed fairly nonpolitical in the Clinton years, but in 2002 said: “Now we’ll get to see compassionate conservatism in action at last. That’s where you’re willing to execute children, but you give them one wish first. A cheeseburger or something.”
    In my salad days, I foolishly listened to the local NPR station. Of course, I listened to the more-or-less nonpolitical programming, turning off the obviously slanted ‘news’ reporting. But it has been nearly twenty years since I have turned to NPR at all, because the commentary turned my stomach. And the gratuitous comments from NPR “personalities” have been beyond the pale (see above).
    I understand there are millions of people who will continue to listen to you on their way to work each morning, because they will feel somehow elevated from your elitist hushed tones and earthy music tracks. I don’t want to see NPR end, because those coffee house birkenstock-wearing granola crunching foreign car driving folks need a place on the airwaves, too. It’s just that I throw up a little bit every time I think of the coerced pledge you get from me each year. Think about rejecting further federal funds so that you can legitimize yourselves as the only successful liberal station on the airwaves. Really. Think about it.

    gotogirl (5db3a9)

  27. Media Mutters, with Eric “the red” Boo-fart is going strong, but “the symptom, not the disease.”

    Notice something interesting.

    No conservatives are trying to prevent people from appearing on NPR, but liberal interest groups and their media outlets are trying to prevent people from appearing on Fox News.

    There is a real threat to freedom in this country, and it does not come from conservatives. Media Matters is just the symptom, not the disease.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  28. i like both modern arts and classic arts because they both good _

    Philippine Lotto Results · (0897dc)

  29. you just have to get used to modern art to appreciate the beauty of it *`.

    Pest Repeller (294eb8)

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2530 secs.