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Friday, November 19, 2010

BOB GARFIELD: This is On the Media. I'm Bob Garfield.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: And I'm Brooke Gladstone with a few of your comments and an update. A recent segment on whether public radio should continue to receive government money generated a torrent of viewpoints. Delta Leeper from Auburn Hills, Michigan said that public funding wasn't worth the hassle, quote, “It’s a tiny sliver of the federal budget that gets way too much pressure from politicians on the right. It’s also only a portion of the total funding for NPR. Why not give up the federal money and fund NPR entirely through listener contributions and sponsors?” And Michael from Pennsylvania agreed, quote, “When you take public money, you accept all of the strings that politicians attach. NPR would be a lot better off walking away from the public trough.” On the other side, some listeners took issue with our guest Nick Gillespie’s argument that forcing conservatives to pay for NPR was akin to forcing taxpayers to pay for religions that they might not believe in. Mark Naimark argued that, quote: “Tax deductions for religious groups mean that every taxpayer in America is forced to pay for other people’s belief systems.”

BROOKE GLADSTONE: And this update: On Thursday, House Democrats voted down a Republican initiative to defund NPR. Virginia Republican Eric Cantor, soon to be House Majority Leader, said the vote showed that Democrats still don't get it.