Fox News frequently lambasts National Public Radio as a "bias[ed]," "defamatory" news outlet, and attacks have intensified of late because of the recent forced resignations of two of its top executives. However, Fox News parent company News Corp. appears to harbor a different view of NPR's value considering the media conglomerate's subsidiaries have donated at least $2 million to fund and sponsor the nonprofit organization.
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Fox Has Made A Habit Out Of Attacking NPR Over The Years
Fox Invents Conspiracy Theory That "NPR Is Working" With FCC To "Censor Talk Radio." From Fox News' Fox & Friends:
DICK MORRIS (Fox News contributor): We spend $500 million on NPR. And in the budget discussions that are going on now, I think the Republicans should insist on zero funding NPR. And it's easy for them to do. You simply don't pass an appropriations bill for them. You carve it out, you put it separately, and you vote it at zero. I think they can do that. But NPR has a backup plan.
NPR is working with the Federal Communications Commission, the FCC, to basically censor talk radio. What they're going to do is set up community advisory boards for each station that will report to the FCC on how well the talk radio station is doing on serving the community. Ratings don't matter, but the opinion of this board matters. And the FCC can then fine the station and give the fine to NPR. And that's the plan that [President] Obama is going to be pushing this year.
STEVE DOOCY (co-host): One of the ways that I understand from your notes, one of the things they're trying to do to crack down on local stations that might run Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity or the Brian Kilmeade Show, and that is that they would have a requirement that at least 25 percent of the programming be locally produced, and that's very expensive for little stations in some cases. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/9/11]
O'Reilly: "The Truth Is That NPR Is A Liberal Organization And Always Has Been." On his Fox News show, Bill O'Reilly aired excerpts from a video released by conservative activist James O'Keefe showing controversial statements made by an NPR fundraiser, and stated:
O'REILLY: NPR announced today that Ron Schiller would be leaving the company and issued a statement saying they are appalled, appalled by Schiller's comments, which are, quote, "contrary to what NPR stands for," unquote. But does anyone believe that?
The truth is that NPR is a liberal organization and always has been. At times they do good reporting, but the culture is left-wing. That's why the feds can no longer fund it. NPR rightly points out that it did not accept a bogus $5 million check from the phony Muslims at the lunch. But like the ACORN sting, Mr. O'Keefe has succeeded in embarrassing an organization that takes public money. We once again urge Congress to stop the madness. NPR and PBS should compete in the marketplace. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 3/8/11]
O'Reilly: "Once Again, NPR Employees Are Seen Spouting Left-Wing Verbiage." The next day on The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly stated:
O'REILLY: The head of NPR, Vivian Schiller -- out of there. Just one day after embarrassing undercover tapes of two NPR fundraisers were released, Ms. Schiller announced her resignation. That's because, one again, NPR employees are seen spouting left-wing verbiage. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting well knows it is on the verge of losing all federal funding because of this kind of stuff.
Last night on the Factor, we showed you the tapes where the two NPR fundraisers were seen to be sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. And they don't like Republicans very much either, so why should Republicans pay their salaries or at least a portion of them? No longer can funding for public broadcasting be justified in this country. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 3/9/11]
Monica Crowley: NPR Isn't "Interested In The Equal Exchange Of Ideas." During a panel discussion of NPR on America's Nightly Scoreboard, Fox News contributor Monica Crowley stated:
CROWLEY: A dollar is too much for NPR because of this kind of outrageous bias. And, like [legal analyst] Lis [Wiehl], in the mid-1990s, I actually served as a commentator for NPR for one year. They claimed that they wanted more conservative viewpoints, which I was happy to provide, but they constantly censored me, David; they constantly rejected my commentaries and wouldn't put me on the air. So any idea that they're interested in the equal exchange of ideas is outrageous. [Fox Business, America's Nightly Scoreboard, 3/8/11]
Fox & Friends Accuses NPR Of A "Record Of Offensive, Bias Coverage." On Fox & Friends, co-hosts Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, and Gretchen Carlson repeatedly aired segments attacking NPR for its decision to terminate Williams' contract, often accusing NPR of having a "record of offensive, bias coverage" and of having employees with "histor[ies] of intolerance." Kilmeade asked viewers to weigh in on whether NPR should receive taxpayer dollars, "especially in light of what we now know they've done in the past" and what happened with Williams. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/22/10]
Hannity: NPR "Is Using Your Tax Dollars Yet Again To Showcase Their Liberal Bias." Discussing syndicated columnist Mark Fiore's satirical animated video about the tea party posted on NPR's website, Hannity stated that "National Public Radio is using your tax dollars yet again to showcase their liberal bias. Now in a new Web video NPR attacks the tea party movement. Now here's a portion of the 'Learn to Speak Tea Bag' video lesson. Keep in mind, you paid for this." After airing a clip of the video, Hannity said, "[W]e have NPR using your money to slam Americans who have the courage to voice their opinion." [Fox News, Hannity, 1/5/10, via Nexis]
- NPR posted Fiore's satirical op-ed, "Learn To Speak Tea Bag," along with an animated video on its website, writing: "Learning a new language doesn't have to be hard, especially when 'Tea Bag' is so minimalistic! Mark Fiore offers his personal take in this animation." [NPR, 11/12/09]
Krauthammer On NPR: "It's Completely Skewed Politically." In May 2005, Fox News contributor Mort Kondracke stated that "there is no reason why the government" should be funding public broadcasting, saying that "it is time for PBS to be, quote, unquote, 'liberated.' " Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer later stated: "I think that this is a completely obsolete idea of having a publicly funded network in an age of 500 cable channels." He added: "It's completely skewed politically, and it deserves a quiet, honorable death." [Fox News, Special Report with Brit Hume, 5/9/05, via Nexis]
O'Reilly: NPR "Uses Its Power To ... Advance Left-Wing And Defamatory Causes." In October 2003, O'Reilly discussed public funding of NPR and asked Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL): "How much longer do I have to pay for this outfit which is so blatantly unfair, and uses its power to, you know, advance left-wing and defamatory causes? What do I have to pay for this?" [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 10/8/03, via Nexis]
O'Reilly Suggested NPR Is "Censoring Right-Wing Voices." On the May 20, 2002, edition of his show, O'Reilly said that NPR "may be censoring right-wing voices, even though NPR gets close to $3 million a year in tax money, and much of that coming from right-wing voices." Fox News contributor Cal Thomas, who in O'Reilly's words, was "sacked" by NPR, later stated that "[m]ost of the news" at NPR "is filtered through the liberal prism, meaning bigger government is good, higher taxes to soak those terrible rich, successful are good. Gays are basically good. We ought to have gay rights for everybody. All feminist issues are true and correct." Thomas later stated that NPR is "[v]ery pro Palestinian." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 5/20/02, via Nexis]
O'Reilly: "NPR Is An Exclusionary, Politically Correct Propaganda Machine." On the January 7, 2002, edition of his show, O'Reilly asked if NPR should "be called the National Propaganda Radio Network." He later stated that "[t]he federal government gives [NPR] approximately $3 million in tax money each year. But for my money, NPR is an exclusionary, politically correct propaganda machine not at all interested in free speech." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 1/7/02, via Nexis]
But News Corp. Properties Have Given Millions Of Dollars To NPR
News Corp. Subsidiaries Have Given At Least $2 Million To Fund And Sponsor NPR. According to annual reports and donor lists posted on its website, NPR has received at least $2 million from News Corp. subsidiaries, including from the media company's cable, film, television, and publishing operations. Here is the complete breakdown from 2002 to 2008, the last year for which NPR has made its annual reports available on its website:
- $250,000 - $499,999: Fox Searchlight Pictures
- $100,000 - $249,999: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
- $50,000 - $99,999: Fox Broadcasting Company
- $500,000 - $999,999: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Fox Searchlight Pictures
- $50,000 - $99,999: Fox Searchlight Pictures
National Geographic Channel
- $50,000 - $99,999: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
- $50,000 - $99,999: Fox Searchlight Pictures
- $250,000 - $499,999: Fox Searchlight Pictures
- $50,000 - $99,999: FX Networks
[NPR, accessed 3/11/11]