Please don’t kill NPR

This whole exercise in ridiculousness about cutting federal funding for NPR because of the Juan Williams incident has me seriously worried about the direction of this country. Over the years, the news junkie inside of me has taken me to a lot of nooks and crannies where I can get an update or opinion from, but in all honesty, NPR is the only single outlet that has stood up to be truly neutral, objective and unburdened by opinion. Even on my seven-minute commute each day, at every chance, I have excitedly looked forward to tuning to NPR to catch even the smallest portion of a segment about some obscure topic.

The state of journalism in US is one word, draconian; over the years, profit-driven news-carriers have erased even the last iota of objectiveness. All I see now is rants, raves and confirmations purely driven by greed and political gain. Never had I thought that rational thinking and educated debate would become such a scarce commodity in this great land. And this thought has nothing to do with political standing; for that matter, I am neither aligned to republicans nor democrats, instead I like to think of myself as “normal”. A normal person, and I say this with confidence that there are many like me, would be mostly fiscally conservative on economic issues and more-or-less progressive on social issues. We are the people who have both the patience and the aptitude to listen to both sides of a debate in full, we are the ones who would not be influenced by fickle public figures, and probably the only ones who would take a stand based on reason and a deeper conviction of the underlying problems. We might be a limited species, for we would like to believe that government is neither a problem nor a solution, for we wholeheartedly believe in free enterprise yet we oppose unwarranted deregulation.

And this brings me back to the case of NPR. Once upon a time, we used to pity the folk in the former Soviet Union for they were manipulated by a controlled news outlet, but today, I actually pity the folk in this country for they are manipulated by purely dollar driven outlets. NPR to me is the sole uncorrupted (despite its occasional left-leaning stance on social issues) organization that has managed to induce in its listeners a real sense of unbiased thought and a greater understanding of the problems that plague us. And for this reason, I am actually donating to NPR, the only non-humanitarian entity that I have donated to in my lifetime. And I hope, I solemnly hope, that there are enough like minded people out there that will help NPR rid itself of its 11% dependence on federal funds. For, the only organization that is still a beacon of a true democracy, should not have to fight all the bigots and idiots all by itself.

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