How do you get your news? Local TV, newspapers, cable, radio, blogs?
If you’re like me, getting the news from a variety of sources is really important to keep up with fast breaking developments and make sense of them. But if you’re like some of my colleagues in Congress, “getting the news” takes on a whole new meaning.
This week, the House will vote on a Republican bill to really get National Public Radio – prohibiting all federal funding for the venerable network. The Republicans are proving once again that their spending rhetoric has nothing to do with deficits and everything to do with an extreme cultural and political agenda.
Eliminating funds for Planned Parenthood, cutting Head Start, attacking labor rights, and going after public radio? That’s an assault on American values, not a budget plan. They’re not targeting billions in oil subsidies, making hedge fund managers pay a fair tax rate, or looking at obvious Pentagon waste to reduce our debt.
No. Stopping NPR and public broadcasting is part of a long-standing right-wing attack against airing diverse views. Veteran journalist Bill Moyers, who owes his award-winning career to public broadcasting, points out that recent controversial incidents involving NPR executives have nothing to do with the latest GOP attack. Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, and Newt Gingrich all went after public broadcasting.
And if they succeed, Moyer says, the consequences would be severe: “But for all its flaws, consider an America without public media. Consider a society where the distortions and dissembling would go unchallenged, where fact-based reporting is eliminated, and where the field is abandoned to the likes of James O'Keefe, whose ‘journalism’ relies on lying and deceit.”
I don’t listen to news that I agree with or disagree with. I listen to news that helps me make informed decisions. Fox News and conservative radio stations dominate the news flow. We need independent outlets. I’m against cutting funding for NPR, or taking away a woman’s right to control her own body, or ending a worker’s right to have a say on the job. These attacks are carefully coordinated by wealthy right-wing special interests and their allies in Congress. We must unite to oppose them.