Don’t let Wally Herger kill NPR

Tell your congressman to support public radio, not try to dismantle it

Are you a fan of NPR (the former National Public Radio)? Do you appreciate its extraordinary news coverage and such award-winning shows as This American Life and A Prairie Home Companion? If so, let your congressman, Wally Herger, know how you feel, because he recently joined the House Republican majority in voting to cut all federal funding for NPR.

This comes at a time when the noncommercial network and its award-winning news programs are more popular than ever, reaching an impressive 27 million listeners a week. Unfortunately, management is not doing so well. It bungled the firing of former correspondent Juan Williams for his remark that seeing Muslims on his airplane made him nervous, and its chief fundraiser recently got caught in a maliciously edited right-wing sting video making disparaging remarks about the Tea Party.

Republicans in the House, who see NPR’s rigorous neutrality and balance as “left-leaning,” have used these uncharacteristic incidents as an excuse to pull the plug on the federal funding that makes up 15 percent of NPR’s budget, much of which goes to rural affiliates like our own Northstate Public Radio. Let Rep. Herger ( know the residents of his district want him to support NPR, not dismantle it.