Be like Ted: More lawmakers should follow Cruz’s lead and call out new NPR chief’s war on the 1st Amendment

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has asked an overly reasonable question:

If you're wondering who and what he's talking about, take a look at this astounding piece of video that features Katherine Maher, the new CEO of National Public Radio:

There are two appropriate responses to something like this. First, there is surface level indignation like what Cruz voiced. Why should taxpayers be financing any outlet whose leader declares war on their freedoms?

Thanks to the largely unfettered free speech forums like Elon Musk's "X," as well as conservative media outlets, more than a few people are now well aware of the fringe progressive foolishness of Katherine Maher, the newly minted CEO of National Public Radio.

As Not the Bee reported, conservative activist Christopher Rufo has been exposing some of Maher's craziest public posts, demonstrating how irrational it is for anyone to believe that Maher will be remotely capable of leading the taxpayer subsidized institution in a non-partisan way.

Unsurprisingly, the mainstream media has made Rufo's work the story, rather than Maher's eye-popping ideological zealotry. Just as they do with Libs of TikTok and all other entities that merely amplify the craziness of the left, media outlets prefer the "Republicans pounce" narrative and dutifully accuse conservatives of "targeting" the radicals. How precisely can a person be "targeted" by their own words? These aren't unsubstantiated accusations about Maher, after all, they are her own statements that prove her unfit for her new role.

The hiring of someone as radical as Maher solidifies the by now well-established direction of so-called "public" broadcasting. Uri Berliner, a senior editor at NPR, recently spoke out about that direction:

With declining ratings, sorry levels of trust, and an audience that has become less diverse over time, the trajectory for NPR is not promising. Two paths seem clear. We can keep doing what we're doing, hoping it will all work out. Or we could start over, with the basic building blocks of journalism. We could face up to where we've gone wrong. News organizations don't go in for that kind of reckoning. But there's a good reason for NPR to be the first: we're the ones with the word public in our name.

That's precisely right. When your organization is "public," when you are receiving tax dollars from both liberal and conservative citizens, you have a responsibility to eliminate (to the greatest degree possible) bias and ideological preference.

How committed is NPR to that reality? Berliner was suspended from the network for his statements and has now resigned.

Which brings me to the second appropriate response to this whole NPR mess. It's a more fundamental question than just asking why such political bias is being supported with taxpayer dollars.

Why is government involved in media and entertainment anyway?

Media should exist to question government and hold authorities accountable. A free press can do that (even if, as Cruz and others point out, ours seems largely interested in doing that only when the Republican Party controls that government), but a government-run press will not.

Moreover, it is not the role or responsibility of government to "culture" its people, or entertain them. I loved Sesame Street (PBS), and I've enjoyed a few episodes of All Things Considered (NPR). But let them compete in the marketplace like all other entertainment programming. ABC would love to have Sesame Street in its Saturday morning line-up, and Cumulus Media would likely jump to make All Things Considered one of their offerings.

Is it nice that opera is on television or radio? It depends on who you ask, obviously. But why should taxpayers be forced to pay for it? Call me crazy, but I tend to side with former President Abraham Lincoln that "whatever people can do for themselves, government ought not to interfere."

With their new CEO at war with the First Amendment, that's never been truer than it is today.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Not the Bee or any of its affiliates.

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