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The Narcissistic Left
OPINION

Call Out the Whaambulance for NPR

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File

In the aftermath of FOX News Channel’s stunning dismissal of its top-rated prime time host Tucker Carlson, the reaction formed along predictable battle lines. Talk radio hosts like Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher lauded Carlson for the “guts” he had shown over recent years tackling targets like Antifa and BLM radicals…AOC (but I repeat myself)…Big Pharma and others.

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At the other end of the spectrum, the yentas on The View showed their trademark classlessness by leading their studio audience in a chorus of “NaNaNaNa, Goodbye” for Tucker Carlson while simultaneously defending (!) broomed CNN personality Don Lemon for “missteps” he made,  but claiming he “fought bigotry while Tucker fomented it.”  Absurd but typical of the Disney/ABC Universe.

Whatever Tucker Carlson’s future holds, America owes him a big debt of gratitude for pulling back the curtain multiple times on the freeloading “broadcasters” at taxpayer-funded National Public Radio. Regular TOWNHALL readers will recall that I called for the plug to be pulled on NPR in January 2022 but Tucker forcefully reminded us many times of the obscene waste of money NPR represents for American taxpayers.  And how navel-gazing and whiney NPR’s “leadership” is…as exemplified by their meltdown when Elon Musk recently and accurately directed Twitter to label them as ‘government-funded radio.’

For those who haven’t ever listened to NPR, suffice it to say the platform amounts to little more than an on-air encounter group for malcontents and uber-liberals who hate everything normal Americans love.

EXHIBIT A:  On Sunday evening, April 16, the curtain—and that famous chandelier—fell for the last time on Broadway’s longest running show The Phantom of the Opera. It marked the end of a spectacular and historic 35 year run which began on January 26, 1988…touching the hearts of literally millions of theatergoers over Phantom’s 13,981 performances at New York’s Majestic Theater.

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I admit to being more-than-a-little enchanted by The Phantom of the Opera. I have lost count how many times my wife and I saw the production in New York, London, Chicago and Los Angeles (with the incomparable Michael Crawford.) Lori and I even featured two of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s songs from Phantom in our wedding…and we were in the New York audience on January 6, 2006 the night Phantom surpassed CATS as Broadway’s longest-running show in history.

So it was with no little melancholy that I approached April 16th, knowing the lights on Broadway would be forever dimmer after Phantom closed. Anyone who loves Broadway surely should feel the same way.

But leave it to America’s dysfunctional bund meeting—taxpayer funded National Public Radio—to devote a depressing amount of airtime to interviews with grumpy union musicians who have had to “endure” playing the same Andrew Lloyd Webber music night-after-night in a cramped orchestra pit at the Majestic Theater on Broadway. (One bemoaned his contract that guaranteed employment for the full run on Broadway…which he thought “might last only  a couple of years.”) Another said she had never seen the show in the decades it ran, and couldn’t figure out what all the fuss was about.  Still another complained that he had to robotically play the same notes “without anyone asking for our input.” (This is the linear equivalent of an apprentice hamburger flipper at McDonalds being annoyed nobody consulted her on the next corporate marketing campaign for Shamrock Shakes.)

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Of course in the real world, struggling musicians would saw-off their right arm for the opportunity to be employed on Broadway for over 30 consecutive years…paying their mortgages or children’s college tuitions with the money they earned being part of theater history.  But NPR chose to highlight ungrateful, pitiful folks who had nothing to offer but complaints about Phantom’s nearly 14,000 performances. Whaa.

EXHIBIT B:  Typical reports on NPR’s signature programs like Morning Edition and All Things Considered regularly go out of their way to highlight Trans kids being “bullied,” and convicts who don’t like their fare in America’s prison system, and poetry from elderly people who are not fans of iambic pentameter. Peppered with heavily-slanted (left) “analysis” of DNC talking points smearing Donald Trump. Whaa.

EXHIBIT C:  Weekend programming with titles like the Moth Radio show and This American Life habitually focuses on teenagers delivering endless soliloquys about being fat-shamed by their friends…something called storytelling mash-ups…essays about (again) life in prison and---I swear I am not making this up---a nice lady who droned on for a full hour about traveling to Canada to help her husband with an assisted suicide. Whaa. 

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As Tucker Carlson so sizzlingly revealed, it’s a free country and a variety of voices and opinions are welcome (except apparently on The View.) But asking the rest of us to pay for rants by bedwetting malcontents is not acceptable. Oh sure, NPR claims it receives negligible direct funding itself from taxpayers…but that’s because Federal and State funds are laundered through various tentacles of the public radio cartel like PRI and Chicago Public Radio. Another substantial source of funding comes from woke corporations who support public radio’s America-bashing through “underwriting” grants. And finally, there’s your lonely aunt or grandmother who succumbs to the endless pledge drives, offering a tote bag or a Les Miserables CD in exchange for a monthly “gift.”

As Bed Bath & Beyond shareholders learned from the company’s bankruptcy filing this week, you go woke (dropping Mike Lindell’s popular MyPillow products, for example) and you go broke. Ask Bud Light’s former marketing manager how tying its beer to weirdo Dylan Mulvaney worked out.  But like roaches surviving the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, National Public Radio survives. And you and I are paying for it.

But don’t point that out to them, or once again they’ll call out the Whaambulance to ride to the defense of their uncompelling programming which could not survive without NPR picking our pockets.

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Tom Tradup is VP/News & Talk Programming for Dallas-based Salem Radio Network. He can be reached at ttradup@srnradio.com

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