WASHINGTON D.C.–Concerned about political bias in public radio and television, Republican incumbent Congressman Doug Lamborn, who is running for reelection in Colorado’s 5th Congressional District, introduced legislation in June to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and National Public Radio (NPR).
Taxpayers support public broadcasting to the tune of nearly half a billion dollars a year through the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.
“What we’ve seen when it comes to political reporting on NPR is that they have jumped in the swamp with the rest of the mainstream media, and they simply cannot report fairly or objectively about President Trump,” Lamborn told Complete Colorado last week. “Their emotions, specifically their hatred and bitterness toward President Trump, are overwhelming any ability to be fair or objective.”
Lamborn is particularly concerned with the effect that NPR and PBS are having on the presidential election.
The Hunter Biden controversy, which Lamborn says links presidential candidate Joe Biden to “sordid or at least questionable business dealings with foreign entities,” is being ignored by public broadcasting, says Lamborn.
“Terrence Samuel, who is the managing editor of news for NPR, said, ‘I don’t want to waste the listeners and readers time on stories that are just pure distractions’,” Lamborn said. “It is a legitimate news story, and for NPR to join the New York Times and other mainstream liberal media outlets in suppressing a legitimate news story is reprehensible, especially when they get tax dollars. A taxpayer-subsidized entity should be held to a higher standard.”
Lamborn isn’t saying that NPR and PBS don’t provide useful information, and he isn’t interested in censoring or dictating media content.
“Many people, including me, enjoy some of the programming of National Public Radio and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, but they could stand on their own two feet,” said Lamborn. “They gave the country Big Bird, for instance, which has a lot of commercial spin offs and profit even today. So, they could very easily survive on their own.”
He just doesn’t think the public should be paying for a “liberal position [that] offends hundreds of millions of Americans,” especially during a time when, Lamborn says, “we are borrowing trillions of dollars each year and especially this year, beyond what we take in. We have to get our budget under control.”
He isn’t alone in viewing government-funded news reporting as a bad thing.
During a House hearing on the Public Broadcasting Act in 1967, Fred Friendly, called by some the “liberal godfather of public broadcasting” said, “We must avoid at all costs any situation in which budgets of news and public-affairs programming would be appropriated or even approved by any branch of the Federal government.”
Since then publicly funded broadcasting has become more and more politically polarized, says Lamborn.
“I don’t know if anything in the in current law or regulation says they have that obligation to be nonpartisan,” Lamborn said. “You would think it would be a moral imperative that they would want to be fair, when they’re subsidized by taxpayers of all different political persuasions.”
The legislation has been languishing in the House of Representatives since June.
“Nancy Pelosi has not seen fit to bring it to a committee for a vote. So, nothing’s going to happen in the next two months,” said Lamborn. “Everything will depend on how the elections come out in November as far as what we do going forward.”