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Monday, April 6, 2020
MRC To PBS And NPR: Drop Dead (Of Coronavirus)
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has a pathological hatred of public broadcasting, most recently demonstrated when chief Brent Bozell demostrated he doesn't know how public radio works by cluelessly demanding that there be as many stations running his buddy Mark Levin's right-wing radio show as NPR stations (which all have their own format and schedule and don't necessarily run every NPR program).

And since the MRC isn't one to let a crisis go to waste, it's seizing upon a miniscule appropriation in the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill going toward public broadcasting as an excuse to resurrect its longstanding demand that President Trump defund public broadcasting. Bozell tweeted out what he thought the money could have Bought instead:

Never mind, of course, that those numbers of tests, masks and ventilators aren't even available, and that -- giving the price-gouging currently going on -- even if they were, they couldn't be bought at pre-pandemic prices.Never mind that the $75 million is only a tiny fraction of a $2 trillion bill -- 0.00375 percent, if our calculations are correct. Never mind that Bozell objected to no other specific provision in the bill, though you'd think there would be plenty of pork to object to in a bill that size. Bozell had his talking point, and the MRC flogged it.

The MRC's NewsBusters blog dutifully repeated Bozell's tweet, adding: "Lobbyists for the public broadcasters claim this money will go to "local news and information," "distributing emergency alerts," and "partnering with local and state educational authorities to provide remote learning services for millions of pre-K to 12th grade students." But they use the same talking points about their everyday funding." That's misleading; the bill itself -- as reported by MRC "news" division -- states that the money will also go to "prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus." Which means at least some of that money will pay for mitigating coronavirus exposure among public broadcasting employees.

In other words: It appears Bozell and the MRC would rather see public broadcasting employees get sick and possible die from coronavirus than receive any federal money, simply because it purports to find "partisan information and misinformation," as viewed by "many conservative Americans."

This was followed by the usual letter from Bozell, this time to President Trump, complaining that the money ewas "wasteful," declaring that thte things in his tweet that nobody can actually buy now even if they had the money "are infinitely better uses of taxpayer money than giving it to left-wing outlets like NPR and PBS, both of which attack you and your administration continuously." Bozell, of course, didn't mention that the money would go in poart to coronavirus mitigation efforts -- that would've shown he cared about people's lives or anything greater than his political agenda. Instead, he ranted:

That is why your proposal to eliminate all federal funding for CPB is completely justified. There will undoubtedly be proposals for more stimulus packages going forward. When that happens, we encourage you to push back hard against funding for such entities as CPB. No amount of classical music, Ken Burns documentaries, or “Morning Editions” is worth one saved human life.

Bozell then laughably stated: " Now more than ever, Americans must pull together in a spirit of unity. " He didn't explain how exploiting a crisis to exploit his hateful agenda advanced that "spirit of unity."

The guy who used to write columns under Bozell's name but now has finally been given the keys to it, Tim Graham, channeled his boss and threw in as well with an April 1 column whining that the public broadcasting is "niche broadcasting by liberals for liberals" and attacking PBS journalist Yamiche Alcindor for asking President Trump tough questions during his coronavirus briefings.

Needless to say, Graham didn't menion that the money helps pay for coronavirus mitigation. So it appears Graham would want public broadcasting employees sick or dead than getting the same help much of the rest of the country is getting under the coronavirus relief bill.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:10 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, April 6, 2020 7:43 PM EDT

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