Sen. Jim DeMint leads renewed assault on CPB


The Republican Party is looking to cut funds, and one of its favorite targets of late has been public broadcasting. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has introduced legislation to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and has taken to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to defend the move. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) had earlier decried a GOP “vendetta against Elmo.”

The Republican Party has long had it in for public broadcasting, generally charging that PBS and NPR, both of which receive funding from CPB, have a left-leaning slant to their content.

DeMint has added another charge: That in America’s current economic climate, it cannot afford to pay the salaries of some top public broadcasting executives.

“While executives at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR) are raking in massive salaries, the organizations are participating in an aggressive lobbying effort to prevent Congress from saving hundreds of millions of dollars each year by cutting their subsidies,” wrote DeMint. “The so-called commercial free public airwaves have been filled with pleas for taxpayer cash.”

According to Boxer, whose comments came during a Tuesday 3/1/11 floor speech,Republicans have other ‘vendettas” going, including a “vendetta against healthcare” and a “vendetta against clean energy.” In the case of the PBS action, she argued that four hours of Iraq War funding would be enough to fund PBS.

That not much of an argument in DeMint’s eyes. “As Congress considers ways to close the $1.6 trillion deficit, cutting funding for the CPB has even been proposed by President Obama’s bipartisan deficit reduction commission. Instead, Mr. Obama wants to increase CPB’s funding to $451 million in his latest budget.”