Saxby Chambliss: Elimination of NPR funding ‘not the wisest thing to do’

The main topic in the interview of Saxby Chambliss by Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM) on Friday was the U.S. senator’s involvement in a deficit reduction movement in Washington.

“Shared sacrifice” was the phrase that kept coming up. But toward the end, the exchange took this turn:

O’Hayer: “Since we’re talking about funding and we’re on an NPR affiliate, I can’t let you go without asking you what you think about the idea of defunding NPR.”

Chambliss:”If you look at NPR versus particularly the overall public broadcasting issue, NPR doesn’t generate income like the public broadcasting side does.

“You know, an awful lot of conservatives listen to NPR. It provides a very valuable service. Should we maybe think about a reduction in that? Again, I think the sacrifice is going to have to be shared by NPR as well as others. But I think total elimination of funding is probably not the wisest thing to do.”

That’s significantly different from what Georgia’s House Republicans are saying. U.S. Rep. Tom Graves recently made the defunding of National Public Radio a topic of a fund-raising letter. He wrote:

”I never listen to NPR. As I travel across Georgia, I tune in to hear Glenn Beck or Rush, Hannity or catch the news or just relax to good ole country music. NPR is too snooty for my taste.

“The politically correct drivel that passes for entertainment on NPR doesn’t appeal to me. Plus I’m probably like you and I believe that NPR is rightfully under fire from conservatives for firing Juan Williams for having the audacity to be conservative and appear on NPR’s most hated rival, Fox News.

“Whether NPR is on the air or not wouldn’t matter to me except for this cold hard truth: They’re funded with your tax dollars and mine….

“The NPR types like to project the image of being all lovey-dovey, but when it comes to negative campaigning, they’re cruel, relentless, personal and fueled by a self-righteous disdain for anything and anybody conservative.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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163 comments Add your comment

George Mitchell

March 13th, 2011
1:09 pm

Chambliss “brought home to Georgia” tens of millions of dollars of tax money for agriculture: money that taxpayers in the other 49 States had paid in to the government.

It was clearly a ploy to endear himself to Georgia voters. The voters never considered that it was legalized theft but it’s what the Old RINO Guard has done for decades.

Chambliss in favor of taxpayer funding of NPR when there is grave danger to the federal government’s being involved in the media. The First Amendment prohibits government’s involvement in religion and speech — and funding NPR with tax money is a violation of that separation.

It’s past time for Chambliss to take his publicly-funded benefits and retire.

bill

March 13th, 2011
1:10 pm

Saxby just lost my vote. Just another gutless politician who will not do what is needed for this country but what is needed for his re-election.

Joe-number2

March 13th, 2011
1:13 pm

Cut the funding off now and, tax payer supported television also. Two fine examples of government at it’s worst.

Jesus

March 13th, 2011
1:21 pm

Good job, Saxby. Nice to see a Christian in the South acting like it.

Pray for the House GOP, for they know not what they do.

MC

March 13th, 2011
1:23 pm

And FOX news is a fine example of people at their worst.

NPR

March 13th, 2011
1:25 pm

Most of the funding for NPR covers the cost of broadcasting in areas that have little chance of raising the money needed to run a radio station. Those who feel NPR should be defunded clearly don’t listen to it. Chambliss is not being “gutless” he is accurate. The government does not “run” NPR or public broadcasting TV. That is simply not true.

NPR has 17 foreign desk which certainly provide a better view of how what we do as a country affects the world. Few news organizations can boast such complete coverage.

NPR and public broadcasting are necessities – not a luxury.

Andy

March 13th, 2011
1:29 pm

NPR and public broadcasting is the closest our country will have to the BBC and a (mostly) unbiased view of the news. The people asking for it to be defunded either don’t listen to it or are listening to the propaganda spewed by Hannity, Beck, and the like. Hannity and the like are not news nor should anyone pretend that they are.

Phil Lunney

March 13th, 2011
1:31 pm

I disagree with Saxby on many things. But this comment and his work with Jim Webb to actually try to enact some of the ideas put forth by the Deficit Reduction committee give me hope. I am the last white liberal in North Fulton county but I am practical. I must disagree with his stance on gays but we need some real discussions of issues to tackle our problems.

German Shepherd Dawg

March 13th, 2011
1:32 pm

I’ll pray for you after reading your blasphemy.

If you try to tell me Jesus would vote Democrat, I’ll vomit all over my keyboard.

You really should give some thought to what you write.

hfs

March 13th, 2011
1:32 pm

Remove “R” and put “RINO” by Chambliss!

mambo

March 13th, 2011
1:33 pm

Saxby needs to retire to Moultrie or he gets primaried. He is the King of Pork in Georgia.

Pedro

March 13th, 2011
1:35 pm

George Mitchell, are you kidding? You’re comparing Saxby to a RINO? Seriously? He just tied for most conservative member of the senate. If (practically) the most conservative senator is too liberal for you to keep around then you’re out of step. At least make an effort to keep up.

realist

March 13th, 2011
1:36 pm

We can’t afford all these fluffy little perks any more. We’re broke. Uncle Sugar needs to quit acting and spending like everything needs a big government sugar fix.

eddy

March 13th, 2011
1:42 pm

I’d vote for keeping the funding IF the requirement is to have a balance of liberals/progressives vs. conservatives running the organization. Today you could not find a conservative anywhere in the corporate offices. If you don’t think they are biased as of this moment in time, you are delusional. Just look at the 3 they got rid of. If a person doesn’t toe the liberal/progressive line they will never be hired or if they are like Juan Williams, who spoke his mind versus spewing the politically correct rhetoric, will be fired. Drain the swamp and then rebuild it without the ideologues on either side.

ken

March 13th, 2011
1:42 pm

Very disappointed in Saxby.
Helped him get in office in the past but no more.
We need someone in his place who knows we are broke and need to stop wasting money.

nocumentum

March 13th, 2011
1:44 pm

Tom Graves – you have such a small brain, I’ll type slowly so you can follow — Beck, Rush and Hannity are entertainers – they admit it freely so they can avoid campaigning laws, plus Beck is a complete horse’s ass and Rush and Hannity will say absolutely anything to keep their loyal, small brained listeners (like you) coming back, heaven forbid (and revenues decline) they dare to say something the far right doesn’t want to hear. NPR provides news and analysis – a lot of us understand why you and your neo-conservative wack-jobs want to kill it — the last thing you want is a public capable of critical thought – that would really mess things up for a lot of you who, let’s face it, are otherwise unemployable.

nocumentum

March 13th, 2011
1:46 pm

I’m sorry Tom, was that too lovey-dovey for you — let’s call it tough love instead.

Denny

March 13th, 2011
1:48 pm

All this country needs is to do away with the Bush Tax cuts and much of our debts go away. Chambliss lied his way into office in the senate and he’s done very little for this state in his years there. This is one of the few times I’ve heard anything sensible from him.

Jesus

March 13th, 2011
1:49 pm

Never said I’d vote Democrat. Was just giving Saxby props for not joining the neo-cons in their quest to crap on the middle class.

This is Mrs. Norman Maine

March 13th, 2011
1:53 pm

“too snooty for my taste”……what he really means they use too many big words and big ideas. He likes simpletons like Rush and Sean because they take complex issues and break them up into pointless drivel which usually results in some sort of scapegoating or race-baiting. I’ll just bet they’re more his cup of tea.

Centrist

March 13th, 2011
1:55 pm

BBC (mostly) unbaised??? What planet are you living on?

Government support for NPR, PBS, and the CPB are relics of decades past – time to wean them.

Charles

March 13th, 2011
2:01 pm

NPR should be defunded since it is an arm of the Democratic Party. Let George Soros and others who promote a liberal bias in the news pay for the costs. You’d never hear the end of screaming from the Left if Fox, the Drudge Report or any conservative voice were taxpayer funded.

chuck forrest

March 13th, 2011
2:06 pm

NO TO NPR and now NO TO CHAMBLESS. Would not vote for him again.

Wow

March 13th, 2011
2:07 pm

Saxby is woefully out of touch. Why not require NPR to self-fund? If it is such an outstanding station, the donations from their listeners will be able to support it. With a deficit in the trillions, taxpayer funding of NPR is fiscally irresponsible.

NPR should go

March 13th, 2011
2:07 pm

All government funded media, religous and politcal organizations should be gone…does not matter that some would not have that services…it is 100% biased and unconstitutional. We can not afford it and it should cut out of all funding immediately. Chambliss needs to man up on this one.

Real Athens

March 13th, 2011
2:07 pm

“… next time someone complains to you about NPR being funded with his taxpayer dollars, give him a dime and tell him to shut up about it for 3 years.”

I really doubt the reason we have this huge deficit has anything to do with NPR or PBS.

http://meta.ath0.com/2010/10/23/npr-funded-by-tax-dollars-omg/

Everyone needs a boogeyman.

Last Man Standing

March 13th, 2011
2:13 pm

NPR should NOT be funded with the taxpayer’s money. It has NEVER presented anything other than the liberal school of thought. Broadcasting is not the business of the federal government. De-fund it and see if they can get the liberals who listen to it to financially support it, which of course they won’t. NPR can’t even sell enough advertising to support itself because it has so few listeners.

It’s past time to bring an end to this tool of propaganda.

No contact attempt needed.

March 13th, 2011
2:19 pm

No need to attempt to contact Chambliss. He’s been in Washington long enough to be entrenched in the habits and spending cycles of government. That is when he’s not at his appointment with his ‘I did not have sex with that woman’ partner, or sitting in an airport bathroom stall tapping his feet or at his ocean front compound he’s remodeling with his ‘under the table lobbiest’ money. Chambliss, GET OUT, your closet liberal mentality is NOT WANTED!!!

Spectre71

March 13th, 2011
2:20 pm

@NPR I listen to NPR (have for years) and I do feel that NPR should not be funded (one cent) from taxpayer money.

I listen to NPR for two reasons: one, I like the classical music programing on NPR affiliates and two, I like to keep up with the elitist, pseudo-intellectual, politically correct, non-sensical drivel that comes out of NPR programs. It’s enlightening to learn what anti-Americans are thinking.

I’m not a conservative or liberal. I’m not Republican or Democrat. I’m not a tea partier. I’m just an American and frankly NPR comes across as anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-family, anti-home, anti-business and anti-individual liberty. So, why should I support (even minimally) people are who against everything that I stand for and believe in? Why should I give one cent to anyone who’s going to use that resource against me and my family? These are NPR’s issues, I recommend that the leaders of NPR need to look into the mirror and really see who they are and what they are doing.

td

March 13th, 2011
2:20 pm

My job has taken me all over the state of Georgia on a regular basis and I have never just had one or two choices of radio stations on AM or FM. This is another farce being taken by the far left. As far as international desk, if there is a market for international coverage then the market will take care of the “need”, if not then maybe we do not need the service. NPR and PBS should make it on its own merits without the support of public money. I have donated money to them in the past when they have put on shows that attracted my interest but that was years ago and now they have very little offerings so I do not contribute. This may make them offer more shows that are of interest to conservatives.

Logic 05

March 13th, 2011
2:23 pm

NPR and public broadcasting are necessities – not a luxury?????

NPR is NOT needed. Stop wasting our money.

4WhatIt'sWorth

March 13th, 2011
2:26 pm

Herman Cain …. Your time is now. I will support you in your unseating of Saxby Chambliss!

MPercy

March 13th, 2011
2:29 pm

George Mitchell @1:09 pm Chambliss “brought home to Georgia” tens of millions of dollars of tax money for agriculture: money that taxpayers in the other 49 States had paid in to the government.

I can get behind the sentiment regarding the Senator’s take on agriculture (millionaire farmers seem to be the primary beneficiaries of subsidies; also GW Bush vetoed a Farm Bill because he thought it gave too much to Big-Ag and rich farmers, Ms. Pelosi’s Congress overrode his veto).

However, it is unfair to say Georgia is riding on the tails of other state’s taxes. Georgia has for some decades been an essentially net-zero state with regard to federal taxes. Georgia sends about $1 to Washington for every $1 it receives. Some years it may be the Ga receives only 97 cents, some years maybe $1.01 or $1.02, but the average over the last 25 years or so has been right at net-0.

oldtimer

March 13th, 2011
2:31 pm

I say eleminate the whole Corperation Of Public Broadcasting…….

td

March 13th, 2011
2:31 pm

I bet if NPR syndicated Rush’s show three hours everyday then they could raise the money from advertisers because then they would have a bigger listening audience. The real problem here is that the liberal elite does not believe in the power of free markets and are to arrogant to admit that they there philosophies and views are out of touch with the main stream of American thought.

This is Mrs. Norman Maine

March 13th, 2011
2:33 pm

@last man standing: NPR receives over 30% of its funding from individuals and less than 10% from government grants.

I’M SORRY EVERYONE FOR INTERRUPTING THIS DISCUSSION WITH FACTS. Continue on as usual.

SteveC

March 13th, 2011
2:39 pm

the posts here today that call for defunding NPR and praising Fox/Rush/Hannity/etc. are further proof that more NPR programming is needed. Sure, NPR uses a few big words sometimes, but they do offer information — unlike the small-minded, simplistic “affirmation” that is all that Fox and other entertainment & propoganda outlets seem to offer. Just because there’s a market for Fox and Rush and Shawn doesn’t mean they are good sources of information — it means some folks are too lazy or afraid or stupid to know the difference between thoughful discussion and fear-mongering hate talk..

Spectre71

March 13th, 2011
2:40 pm

@Mrs. Norman Maine: If government funding is so small and insignificant then why all this concern about the potential loss of government (taxpayer) funding????

SORRY TO INTERRUPT YOUR ARGUMENT WITH SUCH A QUESTION.

Mabby

March 13th, 2011
2:42 pm

Pedro @ 1:34 – Chambliss tied with John McCain as most conservative. Does that tell you anything?

Am just now listenting to Chambliss on Chris Wallaces show talking about how it may be necessary to raise taxes (because cutting spending just can’t be trusted to raise the money needed to continue massive spending).

Chambliss is NO friggin’ fiscal conservative…he is RINO (i.e. a democrat that throws taxpayer money and civil liberties in a different direction)

Chambliss is NOT getting my vote next time–and I don’t care how close the election is.

Cut The 10%

March 13th, 2011
2:53 pm

Then cut the 10%! If NPR is so vital then the folks that listen fund it! Because I believe in small government and fiscal responsibility I have been called a “racist” by an officiial of NPR. Sounds fair and balanced to me!

Centrist

March 13th, 2011
3:00 pm

Like most hidden taxes, the overall subsidy is greater than the outright overt one. There are additional federal government, state government, and taxpayer supported state university grants.

anonymous coward

March 13th, 2011
3:02 pm

NPR, CPB and all that are mostly self funded through contributions, grants and charitable donations. The part the federal government funds is the establishment of the actual broadcast stations for NPR in communities that would not otherwise have the funds to do so. This is especially true in very sparsely populated areas. Defund the taxpayer contribution to NPR and the bigger metropolitan stations won’t suffer – it’s the small town ones.

To be honest, I’d rather hear about defunding Afghanistan and Iraq efforts completely, first, before defunding domestic programs. As well as the dropping vast amount of money being poured into “security” – why do you think the area surrounding Washington, DC is doing so well when the rest of the country is going to #$&% ?

BehindEnemyLines

March 13th, 2011
3:03 pm

Time to sack Sax. If he thinks that drivel is worth a taxpayer’s dime then he’s no longer fit to be in D.C. With any luck maybe he could be shamed into resigning … nah, who am I kidding? He’ll stay there & continue to do/say stupid things like this until his term expires.

waterstim

March 13th, 2011
3:04 pm

Why is it that Republicans turn into bed-wetting clowns when they get elected?
We already have the biggest clown of all in the White House. Why do we need two more in the Senate from Georgia?
Issakson voted for the Missile treaty; Chambliss touts NPR. I listen to NPR too, just to keep me reminded what Godless nutjobs they are. They had a so-called Pastor from Boston University the other day that said David and Jonathan, in the Bible, had an erotic relationship…..and that people back in Biblical times wanted an erotic relationship with God. These people are disgusting sickos!

ken

March 13th, 2011
3:14 pm

next question, How can we get rid of Lardmouth Limbaugh and ADD Beck?

ken

March 13th, 2011
3:16 pm

Tom Graves loves country music…you mean that music that all sounds the same?

Bobby

March 13th, 2011
3:23 pm

I’m pleasantly surprised at Senator Chambliss. If other Republicans and Democrats would think along the lines of shared responsibility we might get somewhere.

Rebel Without A Pause

March 13th, 2011
3:28 pm

Saxby has lost my vote also. He is an idiot. He was never a arch conservative and he just proved it with that statement. I won’t vote for a dimocrat, but I won’t vote for him. I just hope he won’t run or someone else runs against him in the primary. Either way I hope he is gone next time he is up for reelection.

The Goobernator

March 13th, 2011
3:30 pm

This phrase “when it comes to negative campaigning, they’re cruel, relentless, personal and fueled by a self-righteous disdain for anything and anybody…” describes FOX News to a ‘T” not NPR!

Rogeriter

March 13th, 2011
3:31 pm

I agree that government funding should be stopped to NPR. I occasionally watch a show on there, but I also send contributions occasionally too. Let the listeners pay.
Those of you that complain about Fox act as if there is nothing else to listen to except NPR. How about CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS. They are as liberal as Fox is conservative.
Saxby Chambliss will never get my vote again if he is this liberal.