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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Save NPR and PBS Again

Comments (10)

I have listened to NPR every day that I’m in the car on my way into work for as long as I can remember.  I have fond memories of hearing Morning Edition in the car as a kid whenever my dad drove me in the morning (which was very rarely – my bike got a good workout.)  Last year house Republicans tried to kill funding for NPR and PBS – it was defeated. 

They are trying again this year.  Stuff like this always baffles me when I see what our tax dollars are being used for.  If you are like me and are a NPR (or PBS) fan, here’s an easy way to sign a petition to tell Congress to save NPR and PBS again this year.

  • Alex

    Only about 15% of its total budget is covered by federal funding. Given its overall liberal slant, is it any wonder that Republicans want to kill federal funding? Let’s be truthful, if PBS was a source of conservative information, liberals would be working equally hard to kill its federal funding.

    Stop the federal funding and let PBS stand on its own two feet. Its got more than enough support to survive and then we would not have to have these ridiculous political battles every year.

  • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

    Unfortunately, that argument works for a remarkably large number of things that our federal government pays for, including many that are much more controversial than NPR / PBS.

  • http://www.rklau.com/tins/ Rick Klau

    I know it’s unfair to toss “facts” into a debate like this, but a couple years ago, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) did a survey of the so-called bias on NPR. Here’s what they found:

    “Looking at partisan sources – including government officials, party officials, campaign workers and consultants – Republicans outnumbered Democrats by more than 3 to 2 (61 percent to 38 percent). A majority of Republican sources when the GOP controls the White House and Congress may not be surprising, but Republicans held a similar though slightly smaller edge (57 percent to 42 percent) in 1993, when Clinton was president and Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. And a lively race for the Democratic presidential nomination was beginning to heat up at the time of the 2003 study. … Republicans not only had a substantial partisan edge, individual Republicans were NPR’s most popular sources overall, taking the top seven spots in frequency of appearance. George Bush led all sources for the month with 36 appearances, followed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (8) and Sen. Pat Roberts (6). Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Secretary of State Colin Powell, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer and Iraq proconsul Paul Bremer all tied with five appearances each. Senators Edward Kennedy, Jay Rockefeller and Max Baucus were the most frequently heard Democrats, each appearing four times.” (emphasis mine) (source)

    Just think how lopsided this would be if we didn’t control the media. ;)

  • Albert

    It turns out that this issue is likely moot, isn’t it? What about the $200 million donation from Ray Kroc’s (of McDonald’s fame) widow last year? I think that makes the government funding almost superfluous. I recall hearing a segment on how it makes it harder for the NPR folks to ask for money and feel like they really need it. Here’s a link to the story…
    http://www.npr.org/about/press/031106.kroc.html

  • Brian

    I agree with Alex’s comment. As a VC I assume you belive in capitalism to a certain degree (mabye an incorrect assumption?). If NPR and PBS can satisfy a public need, then they should be able to truly survive without public funding (Non Profit / Public well being arguements aside). It makes no difference whether you are Liberal or Conservative – although we all know the PBS/NPR bias is – just look at what site you send your readers to – MoveOn.org!?!

  • burritoboy

    You live a few miles from Colorado Springs and you wonder why they want to cut the funding for NPR? Talk about overlooking the obvious!

    Brian, go back to libertarian fantasy-land. You don’t even know what the word capitalism means, so stuff it.

  • Fred

    I wonder how you react at Board Meetings when the spending request is frivolous but is justified because ‘we spend so much money on X and this is minor compared to that’ and ‘when I was a kid I really enjoyed this’.

    You Public Radio expenditure logic is very poor and (hopefully) would never be applied to your investments. But it is always easier to spend other people’s money rather than your own.

  • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

    The last three comments are fascinating to me – they are classic “attack comments” that are part of the well known (at least at this point) conservative strategy for criticizing opposing views. There’s no real basis for their position – they just call me stupid. I read a powerful book two years ago called The Republican Noise Machine that dissects this approach in detail. Being told go back to libertarian fantasy-land. You don’t even know what the word capitalism means, so stuff it. – and not even being addressed by my correct name (Brian, instead of Brad) and being told I should know better because I live a few miles from Colorado Springs (I don’t – I live in Eldorado Springs – around 120 miles from Colorado Springs), is a cliched and not particularly nuanced moment.

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