Today, the House of Representatives will vote on a bill that would strip all federal funds from NPR. Conservatives have long targeted NPR because they believe it has a liberal bias, and many conservatives now believe their claims are bolstered by a selectively edited tape made by the conservative activist James O’Keefe, in which he records an NPR fundraiser supposedly making disparaging comments about the Tea Party. “It is clear we cannot tolerate, or afford, the continued spending of tax dollars on this type prejudice, intolerance and negative stereotyping,” said Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY). But during a House Rules Committee hearing yesterday in which the de-funding bill was discussed, Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) had a novel amendment: Congress should also prevent any tax dollars, via advertisements, from going to the “wildly biased” Fox News Channel:
MCGOVERN: Over the past several years, it has become clear that the Fox News channel is wildly biased. They continue to employ a talk show host who called President Obama a racist. They continue to employ several prospective Republican Presidential candidates as “analysts,” giving them hours and hours of free air time. And their parent company has donated millions to GOP-linked groups. My amendment would prohibit federal funds – taxpayer dollars – from being used for advertising on the partisan, political platform of Fox News.
The amendment failed on a party line vote. Meanwhile, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is circulating a letter to his House colleagues asking them to oppose the funding cut. “I hope that you will join me in opposing these cuts and standing up for this important public service, and for honesty in journalism and our public discourse,” he wrote.