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Moran Steamed About NPR Defunding

by ARLnow.com March 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm 1,904 69 Comments

On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to cut off federal funding to National Public Radio, and Rep. Jim Moran (D) was not happy about it.

In a floor speech that his office put on YouTube yesterday, the Northern Virginia congressman argued that the Republican-sponsored legislation was about ideology, not sound fiscal policy.

“This has nothing to do with the deficit, it’s an infinitesimal fraction of our national debt,” Moran said forcefully. “It distracts us from solving the real problems that this nation faces while trying to destroy one of the primary sources of an enlightened electorate.”

Moran said NPR is an important resource because of its status as a public broadcaster.

“[NPR] content is not compromised by corporate ownership,” he said. Moran also argued that NPR is important because of the emergency alert system it provides.

“The commercial market won’t do that, because there’s no profit in it,” he added.

Yesterday former NPR analyst Juan Williams came out in favor of cutting off federal funds to the organization. Still, the defunding bill has little chance of passing the Senate.

  • All radio stations are required by law to participate in the emergency alert system.

    Moran is a blowhard.

  • Andrew

    And sadly, there is profit in emergency alerts.Look at Fox News, the No. 1 cable news channel. Everything seems to be on fire all the time over there.

  • Tabby

    It’s too bad he has personal issues, because I agree with him politically 100%.

    • JusticeForall

      +1…. except for his stand on the 2nd ammendment

      • borf

        If you support it, at least learn to spell it.

        • Cat

          +++

  • R

    So if Rep Moran thinks it is all about ideology then wouldn’t that mean that he does feel that NPR has a liberal leaning ideology and the House Repubs are trying to defund it because of that? We have a multi-trillion dollar deficit and the Dem leaders in Congress and White House have shown no desire to want to cut anything and for that matter the Republicans haven’t shown the desire to make the neccesary cuts either. NPR might be an “infinitesimal fraction of our national debt” as he says, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be cut. Under that thought we shouldn’t cut any pork spending because each project individually is just an “infinitesimal fraction of our national debt”. You have to start somewhere and our leaders need to actually lead and start making the difficult cuts that are not popular or we will be like Greece before we know it.

    And as for Moran, maybe he should stick to what he knows best…falsely claiming to be robbed by young minorities, domestic abuse and starting fist-fights on the House floor with his collegues.

    • local

      A fair comment, but focusing on NPR and its tiny contribution to the debt distracts us (perhaps on purpose) from the real cutting that is needed.

      • Tabby

        +200 trillion

      • R

        I agree and I think it is primarily ideological on the Republican’s part to start there because NPR does have a left-leaning bias and even as an independent, I don’t want to fund that as much as I wouldn’t want my tax dollars going to Fox News, MSNBC or anywhere else with an agenda. And you are correct, we should be focused on the big cutting that is needed…like the billions we are going to be spending fighting that war-monger Obama’s illegal war for oil in Libya…(tongue in cheek…sort of).

        • Rhee Alist

          So Clifford, the Magic SchoolBus, and Grover have a left leaning liberal agenda? I think not.
          More likely, it seems to me that your perspective of liberal is terminally faulty, esp. if you’re listening to such giants of the news industry as Rash Limpbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Glen Beck. The fact is that NPR news provide reasoned, well-researched news reports. What’s lacking is the incessant name calling, casting of aspersions, and open hostility. That doesn’t make NPR left-leaning. It makes them responsible.

          • borf

            Don’t underestimate the absurdity of the right wing. Remember, Jerry Falwell once said that a Teletubbies character was “a gay role model” meant to recruit children into homosexuality.

            But they do have Grover on camera endorsing gay marriage! (Because he never comes out and says its between a man and woman, after all):

            http://www.monstersandrockets.com/2009/11/sesame-streets-grover-endorses-gay.html

      • John Fontain

        Maybe I’m confused Local, but on the library thread you seemed to be against any kind of cuts to government spending.

        • local

          No, I just can’t find anyone around here who isn’t so I can argue with them.

          But seriously, you’re wrong anyway – I actually do think it would be good to cut NPR off. It would spur more private support, and the rightwingers could finally shut up about it. It would be more independent.

          Just don’t try to tell me the Republicans are doing this to cut debt. They could spend alot less time cutting alot more debt if they really wanted to (hey look, other cuts I support).

    • NOVApologist

      Don’t forget his “loans” from lobbyists – http://lobby.la.psu.edu/002_Patent_Extension/News_Stories/Washington_Post_110100.htm

      And “loans” from AOL executives: http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-1792203/Moran-faces-AOL-loan-questions.html

      And his sweetheart mortgage deal: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A46958-2002Jul9?language=printer

      Jim Moran – Virginia’s answer to Marion Barry.

      • brendan

        Again, using personal attacks to validate your political opinion is intellectually lazy, classless and substantially reduces the quality of debate. I guess i understand it though, when you’re doing something as ridiculously irrelevant as targeting NPR funding to reduce the federal deficit, you’re pretty light on material/justification so personal attacks are an easy out. Well played, Mr. Limbaugh would be proud.

        • NOVApologist

          Moran’s history of sponsoring and/or supporting legislation within days of being given personal “loans” or other financial gifts by interested parties calls into question whether his political opinions are anything more than blatant payoffs. In other words, his personal behavior in the cases I mentioned is inextricably linked to his political activities. It’s not like I faulted him for dropping acid or blowing altar boys in his spare time.

          As far as NPR, they don’t need federal funding. It is a small part of their overall budget and they will get by just fine without it. In fact, they will be far better off without it. Is it really any better to be beholden to the whims of politicians than it is to corporate interests?

          And I am more than happy to be outraged at farm subsidies in Cantor’s district. Unlike you, I don’t believe that pork is an essential component of government budgeting.

          • brendan

            Even though you’re not claiming any conflict of interest related to NPR you waited to the second paragraph of your second comment to say anything about the actual debate. Using the rest of the space to regurgitate old accusations and personal attacks. This is the problem with the current discourse in America. It has become increasingly shallow and filled with personal attacks rather than numbers and substance.

          • NOVApologist

            Accusations? That implies that those cases are not facts. It is a fact that Moran took a $25,000 personal loan from a pharmaceutical lobbyist. Moran admits it. It is a fact that days later Moran sponsored a bill to give that lobbyist’s client a highly lucrative patent extension on a blockbuster drug. That is not an “accusation” – it is a matter of public record and fact as well. It is also a fact that Moran received a massive loan from MBNA – the largest mortgage that MBNA gave anybody that year. Moran admits it. Four days later Moran sponsored legislation on bankruptcy reform for which MBNA was lobbying and he joined MBNA executives to testify in the bill’s favor. That is not an “accusation” – it is a matter of public record.
            I think people who choose to turn a blind eye to the self-serving corrupt acts of their partisans are far more of a problem in politics than any heated “discourse.”

    • brendan

      What kind of comment is this? You obviously have a slant, are poorly informed and enjoy launching personal attacks in an effort to validate unfounded policy statements.

      Eliminating “Pork” spending is an obsession of those who do not understand our government, federal budgeting, or in the case of the politicians who deride it, a cheap stunt to score political points from an electorate they view as uninformed.

      Cutting NPR is the same deal – pushed by the same people who argued in favor of $850 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy while spending more than a trillion dollars to blow things up overseas.

      You know we spend about as much in agricultural subsidies in Cantor’s district alone as we do on NPR nationally? Seriously, a small percentage of farmers in Cantor’s district receive more money from the Federal Govt than National Public Radio. Where’s the outrage from “fiscal conservatives” on the issues that actually impact the debt?

      • Lou

        Let’s cut both. Deal?

      • R

        Actually I just stated 3 incidents from our distnguished Representative’s past (excluding many other comical incidents he’s had to embarrass our district) and don’t see how stating these factual incidents is a personal attack. He chose to put himself in the public eye and is open to criticism for his actions.

        Do I have a slant?…absolutely I do. I am fiscally conservative both in my personal budgeting and my views as to what Government fiscal policy should be. However, Brendan, since you don’t know me or anything about me and my past, I will just laugh off your comment regarding not knowing about our Government and federal budgeting. Now, as you clearly missed, my pointing out of pork and it’s admitted minimal amount in our budget, (even though I was just drawing a comparison) as well as NPR, etc, is that everything should be on the table in times of financial crisis. And anyone who doesn’t think that our government is in a financial crisis can continue to keep their blinders on and have their heads in the sand at the same time. Lots of small items do add up and while people might be upset that their pet project was defunded, buck up and deal with it. Make do with less and do more with less, that is what the average person has to do. If I am in financial trouble personally, I would cut out my $4 cup of coffee every morning in favor of a cheaper alternative. While $4 might be a minimal amount in the grand scheme of things, over every day of the month/year added up, it becomes substantial. And absolutely the big ticket items must be cut as well…including the “untouchables” of Defense, etc. And without addressing entitlements for down the road, we are doomed to fail…ponzi schemes always do. As for your bringing up farm subsidies in Cantor’s district or anywhere else, I’m all for cutting them as well and as a fiscal conservative, I am outraged. But it is a spurious argument to say that just because NPR gets less funding than the farmers in Cantor’s district, that it’s funding shouldn’t be cut…they are mutually exclusive from each other. Additionally, as I said, our leaders in BOTH parties are failing us in making the neccesary cuts across the board to save us and our future generations from this mess…cutting a single strand of hair is not a quality haircut.

        And by the way, you obviously have a slant too…”pushed by the same people who argued in favor of $850 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy while spending more than a trillion dollars to blow things up overseas.”…who said myself or other fiscal conservatives agreed with those actions and isn’t Obama just doing the same thing as Bush in regards to foriegn policy?? We’ll spend $1 billion in Libya in the next few weeks.

        • borf

          It’s a personal attack because it has nothing to do with NPR, let alone his job.

          As for putting everything on the table – exactly. But the GOP is putting tiny NPR on the table and clearing everything else off. THAT is the real problem, and as a conservative you should be just as frustrated by it.

        • MILF

          +1000 – If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention!

        • brendan

          I have not and will not defend Obama’s actions. He has proven himself quite duplicitous and has employed the same gimmicks and stunts he derided while on the campaign trail.

          It is however extremely disingenuous of the Republican party to put a halt to earmarks and hold emergency sessions of the rules committee in an effort to defund NPR while pushing for increased funding of DoD, maintaining agricultural subsidies and cutting taxes for the wealthiest 1%.

          If we’re in a financial crisis as you declare – then why are we wasting time arguing over the little things that make little or no difference? Because the Republican leadership is obsessed with cheap stunts rather than the difficult task of governing and providing real leadership. Obama meanwhile seems to enjoy dabbling in their games.. Thankfully, whether you love him or hate him, people like Moran have the guts to stand up and call faux conservatives out on the bull—- gimmicks.

          There are too few members like that on the Republican side, where their leadership has proven just how incompetent those who claim the ‘fiscal conservative’ banner really are. The moderates and intellectuals get pushed aside for folks like Cantor and Pence who really are the bottom of the barrel in terms of thinkers on that side of the aisle.

        • Rhee Alist

          Your $4.00 cup of coffee though, I’ll wager, is not something that enriches you emotionally or culturally as NPR does to our nation. You can buy coffee (or make your own!) in any number of venues. There is currently no alternative to NPR and the long-term value it provides to our American culture. Your $4.00 coffee (taken daily) marks you as someone who makes too much money and values it too little.
          IMHO.

    • Vinh An Nguyen

      Reality has a liberal bias.

    • Rhee Alist

      You know… in my household when we’re having a fiscal crisis we don’t automatically cancel the music lessons, magazines, internet, and switch to eating beans and oatmeal. We realistically explore our options to increase revenue with maybe a part-time job to get us through. What we have is a very small minority of greedy people who already hold 90% of the wealth and still don’t want to pay an equitable share of the cost of running a country.

      • Andrew

        “What we have is a very small minority of greedy people who already hold 90% of the wealth and still don’t want to pay an equitable share of the cost of running a country.”

        Seriously?

        From NPR (funny enough)… http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125997180

        “…about 47 percent of Americans will not pay any federal income tax for 2009.”

        “…people with incomes, say, over $500,000. That’s about one percent of all Americans. And the total share of taxes that they pay is about 24 percent.”

        “The top fifth starts a little bit above $100,000. That group makes about 56 percent of all income and pay about 70 percent of all taxes.”

        Inequitable?

        • brendan

          You’re using a sliver of data to portray the argument you want. The picture is far more complicated than a simplistic regurgitation of a small amount of data.

          Way too much to get into all the details on here but would like to point out that it’s not the redistribution of wealth (aka progressive tax policy) that is causing the increase in people who pay no federal income tax, rather it’s the increased concentration of it.

          These numbers, if anything, are a troubling sign of what an increasingly regressive tax policy can do to the economy and tax base. Wealth is more concentrated than ever before, and blaming the bottom 47% percent for not paying taxes is truly a misplaced argument when our tax policies in the last 20 years have encouraged this concentration – more so than any other developed country.

          You want to shift the burden back to a more equal distribution, disavow trickle-down economics and the supply side theory that clearly failed. Production and supply increased dramatically during the Bush years – while wages grew slower than the rate of inflation leading us directly to the crisis we’re in now. An explosion of public and private debt due to lack of demand that was perpetuated by backwards tax cuts and bogus trillion dollar turds in faraway deserts.

          • Rhee Alist

            +1,000,000,000

          • madisonmanor

            And I notice that you used absolutely **NO** data to back up your argument, which is par for the course for this county (oops – I used a golf metaphor – does that make me sound priviledged??!!) I pay an order of magnitude more combined taxes now (that’s 10x more) than I did 20 years ago, but I don’t make 10x more. The “backward” tax cuts are the only thing that keep me from paying more than my fair share since most the write-offs have been eliminated. Trickle-down actually DOES work, otherwise local small businesses wouldn’t exist.

          • brendan

            eh there’s a lot of stuff you’re saying regarding your personal situation that doesn’t add up. numbers, examples? Were you hit by the ATM (in which case, stop complaining) or just bad with finances?

            And sorry – proof of the equilibrium in income equality/distribution as it relates to long term gdp, market demand, and economic stability is not something that you can throw out a couple numbers on. Tho I referenced a couple that you’re free to lookup on your own. Check out increase in productivity over the last ten years & increase in wages…

          • borf

            Here’s a great resource for seeing how wealth has been concentrating at the top:

            http://www.stateofworkingamerica.org/pages/interactive#/?start=1979&end=2008

    • BoredHouseWife

      Sure, NPR has “liberal” ideology depending on who is viewing it. But that doesn’t mean it should not exist to balance out Fox News. You know, fair and balanced.

  • Lacy Forest

    It’s highly amusing, and very telling, that defunding NPR is so important to the GOP that they called an emergency session in order to do it. Cut Head Start. Cut NPR. Yeah, that will save the budget.

    • local

      Hey, these are the same people who once bypassed their own budget rules to fund the U.S. Census by declaring it an “emergency.”

    • Tabby

      Don’t forget Reading is Fundamental. Smooth move cutting that–and it was a bi-partisan initiative!

    • Rhee Alist

      Seems to me that if the GOP (and the Dems) thought that balancing the federal budget was so damn important that they would show their patriotism and dedication to the cause by taking a 20% reduction in pay, kicking in 50% (or more) for their health and retirement costs, reducing office staff, and maybe hacking off some of those benefits like free postage for meaningless mass mailings that some of them do. At least put a cap on the mailings, etc. They would do well to start paying market rates for haircuts, lunch, cleaners, etc. too. All for one, one for all, right?

  • Easton

    Unfortunately, NPR has shot itself in the foot the same way that labor unions have – by becoming a virtual cheerleader for one political party. That put a big target on their backs, and it can’t be a surprise to see this happen.

    Corporate lobbyists play both sides of the field and are deeply embedded in both the Democratic and Republican leadership. Sadly, that’s why they always survive fluctuations in power. But if NPR had been more balanced in the past, they wouldn’t have this problem now.

    As for Moran, he seems to have such little credibility outside of Arlington, I think he does Public Broadcasting a disservice by his latest rant – look for his quotes to appear in Republican propaganda for months to come.

  • bennynojets

    Just thought I would throw this out there for discussion, but is NPR liberal-leaning or has the political discourse in this country shifted to the right?

    • barlington

      reality has a liberal bias

      • Josh S

        Yeah, exactly. “If NPR had been more balanced in the past…” What the heck does that mean? “Balanced” does not mean, or at least it shouldn’t for journalists, that you have to give equal air time to everyone, including the nuts. “NPR has a target on its back because of its support of one party” What the heck does THAT mean? I’m flabbergasted. It’s a news organization that seeks to tell interesting and relevant stories. It’s not like when Bush was pres that they prefaced every Bush quote with “and now, the smirking chimp says XXXX” It’s not like they cover up Democratic politicians miscues, etc. There is nothing there that equates with Democratic partisanship. The only way that I can see people would call it liberal is the same way that most people think of most universities as being liberal places. They explore knowledge. They are nonjudgmental. They try to seek out unusual and diverse viewpoints. If this now is equated with Democrats and is also deemed to be anti-Republican, then we really have little hope left as a nation.
        If you want a taste of truly liberal radio, listen to Democracy Now on WPFW sometime. Jeez.

        • NPR reporting is pretty balanced, however the op-ed commentary and on-air guests is usually left wingers.

          • MILF

            If you would read well rounded papers / news programs, you can see that much of NPR’s bias is in choosing what to report, not necessarily how they report the stories they choose. During Bush’s years, high gas prices were screamed everywhere – very little press on NPR, the Tea Party was shown to be gun-toting racists (more MSNBC, but still a bit by NPR), but the wacky Nazi signs and violence in the Wisconsin union protests was not addressed. When you only watch one news source, you miss out on the hypocrisy of what is and is not reported. Similar example, I never say Newt Gingrich’s marital issues and hypocrisy on Fox – but it was reported on MSNBC.

          • borf

            “During Bush’s years, high gas prices were screamed everywhere – very little press on NPR,”

            That’s GOOD. It means NPR is focusing on other stories instead of the same old thing everyone else is screaming about. When NPR did stories about gas prices, they dug deep instead of just throwing out shallow platitudes or trying to pin the blame on just one factor.

            “the Tea Party was shown to be gun-toting racists (more MSNBC, but still a bit by NPR)”

            Well, yeah.

      • Tabby

        Sanity and common sense have a liberal bias.

        • Andrew

          Idiocy has a liberal bias. See what I did there? Clever, huh?

          • Chad

            Andrew has an idiocy bias. I can do it too.

          • borf

            Chad wins.

          • Andrew

            Sorry, but I politely disagree.

          • borf

            But you have an idiocy bias, so you lose. Too late! Chad wins. No, actually, I win because I’m the one declaring winners.

        • Rhee Alist

          Just so’s we all know what the current topic is defined as:

          lib·er·al   /ˈlɪbərəl, ˈlɪbrəl/ [lib-er-uhl, lib-ruhl]
          –adjective
          1. favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.
          2. ( often initial capital letter ) noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform.
          3. of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism.
          4. favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.
          5. favoring or permitting freedom of action, especially with respect to matters of personal belief or expression: a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers.
          6. of or pertaining to representational forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies.
          7. free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant: a liberal attitude toward foreigners.
          8. open-minded or tolerant, especially free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc.
          9. characterized by generosity and willingness to give in large amounts: a liberal donor.
          10. given freely or abundantly; generous: a liberal donation.
          11. not strict or rigorous; free; not literal: a liberal interpretation of a rule.
          12. of, pertaining to, or based on the liberal arts.
          13. of, pertaining to, or befitting a freeman.

  • Lorraine

    Rep. Moran – step up and MAN UP, sir.

    You dems have done nothing but spend this country into unnecessary debt. Your president lied about a trillion dollars worth of shovel ready jobs -instead doling our precious tax dollars to public unions contracts and goodness know what other pork fat he could lie about and pass along to his dem friends – state by state. NPR has long needed to go private – especially seeing how it is intent on visciously and discriminatorily going after opposing viewpoints – instead of objectively sticking to fair and truthful journalism.
    NPR doesn’t want any part of the “truth” if it bumps up against truthfully OUTTING anything constructively critical of subjective progressive “agenda’s”.

    Rep. Moran – MAN UP and grow up, sir – and start being accountable to the people. NPR – be gone.

    • borf

      Funny, you start out with “your president” as if he’s responsible for what Obama does. Oh, and that stuff about the stimulus is utter bull anyway. So is the crap blaming the Dems for spending.

      Why don’t YOU woman up and admit that the Republicans in Congress and the White House have been just as responsible for soaring debt? They had their chance to cut in the last few decades, and they increased the size of government dramatically, even without counting wars.

  • Alex

    I’m not a big fan of any government subsidies, but cutting NPR while continuing to fund big oil (which accounts for 85% of all government subsidies) is complete nonsense.

    • Andrew
      • The Rock

        +1 for the rhetorical question and smackdown answer all in one post.

        • Novanglus

          Okay, those numbers were wrong. But it’s still $4.5 Billion for the fossil energy industry, compared to $22 million for NPR.

          And those conservative Christian republicans should know that on Christmas Day this past year, WAMU and WETA were the ONLY local stations playing music and readings about the birth of Jesus. (While Fox News was running story after story about the liberal media conspiracy to ban Christmas.)

  • Sgt. Hartman

    Folks, this is a recovering economy. We need outlets like NPR because failed private operations like Air America and Arianna Huffington’s eponymous website, which is in the midst of a unionized writers’ purge, leave fewer and fewer employment opportunities for reporters with ideological bents favoring Stalinism and state authority. Save the jobs!

  • Clyde

    Jim Moron, just like President Obama, are both too stupid to even manage a Jiffy Lube.

    Obama, our first affirmative action President, certainly is not the best qualified, regardless of party, for the office.

    Jim Moron gets reelected by stupid Democrats merely because he brings the “goods”, primarily at outsider taxpayer expense to the Peoples Republik of Arlington.

    God save this great Rebublik from the wrath of liberalism.

    • Rhee Alist

      God save us from narrow minded mean spirited people like you, Clyde.

      Would I be incorrect to suppose that you thought GW Bush (the deserter, drunkard, coke sniffer) was qualified for the office? Yes, he sure did us a world of good, didn’t he? Two wars, housing bust courtesy of wall street, secret energy policy courtesy of Dick Cheney that’s just coming to fruition now, THOUSANDS dead in Iraq (“He tried to kill my dad!”) but no WMD (“We know where they are and we’re gonna go get ’em”). And who could ever forget “Mission Accomplished” or “Just a few dead enders”? Yes, those were the days, weren’t they?

    • brendan

      stay classy, Clyde.

      Your comments are like watching the jerry springer show, your miserable lot in life makes people feel better about their own.

      It’s hard to find such stupid, racist and hate-filled views in one of the most literate in prosperous jurisdictions in America, but you sir, you come out and say publicly what most people would be too embarrassed to flush only once.

      • brendan

        oy. sorry for the typos. happy hour was fun, btw.

    • borf

      I think I’ll send Moran a contribution just because of your doltish post, Clyde.

  • BoredHouseWife

    People really did not pay attention between 2000 and 2007. Or people are full of it. There is So much cognitive dissonance.

  • Derpahn

    boo… where did the latest Clyde comment/racist rant go?

    I just found this poster of him online.

  • nojoy

    Yay Congressman Moran! I am proud to be an Arlingtonian.

  • John of Arlington

    Northern Virginia’s Frank Skeffington. Why is this man, even the Washpo won’t endorse him, returned to office time after time after time. Well because the brilliant Democrat elitists of Northern Virginia so schooled in government and governing, are in the end as blindly partisan and knee jerk as the Southies in Dorchester and the African American voters of Harlem and the green and socialist mountaineers of Vermont even they think are above all that.

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