March 3, 2011 1:06PM

Privatizing Public Broadcasting

I appeared on WFPL, the NPR affiliate in Louisville, Kentucky, today to argue for ending the federal funding for NPR and PBS. Sort of like Daniel in the lion’s den. But since I survived, and since NPR stations are using all their government dollars to mount a vigorous radio and internet campaign to get more government dollars, I thought I would pull together some of my writings on the topic.

You should shortly be able to listen to the show here. I made the point that we have a $1.5 trillion deficit, and every spending program has to be on the table. But more importantly, as I said in my article on the top ten reasons to privatize public broadcasting,

And the number one reason to privatize public broadcasting is:

1. The separation of news and state. We wouldn’t want the federal government to publish a national newspaper. Why should we have a government television network and a government radio network? If anything should be kept separate from government and politics, it’s the news and public affairs programming that Americans watch. When government brings us the news—with all the inevitable bias and spin—the government is putting its thumb on the scales of democracy. It’s time for that to stop.

Here’s my testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee — four public broadcasting CEOs and me — which is actually more balanced than most congressional hearings. This includes data on public broadcasting demographics that I cited on the air.

Here’s the Cato Handbook for Policymakers chapter on “Cultural Agencies.”

Here’s my speech, “The Separation of Art and State,” delivered at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts.

Read my reflections on the scandals in public broadcasting here.