You may have heard that House Republicans’ effort to defund NPR has failed. A cynic might wonder why Republicans would push the issue during a Democrat-dominated lame-duck session, but the it came up because it won a new “online contest that allows Americans to vote for the items they want slashed from the federal budget.”
Rob Long has given the best summary of the popular backlash against NPR that I’ve seen (unfortunately under subscription; emphasize added):
From the smug, deluded bunker of NPR, Fox News is a big, greasy, angry, hate-filled state fair, where right-wing nuttery is passed along like deep-fried Twinkies to an obese and ignorant public. Juan Williams was a crossover artist — everybody loved him on the Brit Hume show on Fox — and that’s usually a good thing. But from the tasteful offices of NPR, it was as if he were conferring, by the power invested in the chyron “Juan Williams, NPR,” a little class to that awful, tacky network. Juan Williams gave Fox News legitimacy. Juan Williams, by his very presence with Bill O’Reilly, made it impossible to paint Fox News as the monotonal mouthpiece of the American Right. So, Juan Williams had to be fired from a network that claims to value diversity of opinion but doesn’t, for bringing diversity of opinion to a network that isn’t supposed to have it but does.