Public Broadcasting Can Afford to Go Private
And it's time the broadcasters did just that, writes Sen. Jim DeMint
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2011 1:48 PM CST
NPR should go private, writes Jim DeMint.   (©Mike Licht,

(Newser) – Republican Sen. Jim DeMint has one simple reason why public broadcasting should go private: Because the presidents of such broadcasting companies "are making more than the president of the United States"—and if PBS can afford to pay its president $632,233 per year, "surely it can operate without tax dollars." PBS's president is hardly the only example: The president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting made $369,514 in 2009, and the president emeritus of NPR raked in more than $1.2 million in compensation that same year, DeMint writes in the Wall Street Journal.

And, as government funding for public broadcasting has increased over the years, public broadcasters are also bringing in millions on their own: Sesame Street made more than $211 million in sales between 2003 and 2006, and George Soros gave NPR $1.8 million last year. That's why "it is an insult to taxpayers when other organizations ... demand that Congress 'save NPR and PBS' by guaranteeing 'permanent funding and independence from partisan meddling,'" DeMint writes. "The best way to stop the 'partisan meddling' in public broadcasting ... is by ending the taxpayers' obligation to pay for it."

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Mar 5, 2011 10:39 AM CST
We give billions to private industries in the form of government subsidies, and the so-called "profits" of those industries largely go to fat-cat CEOs and big investors. That is fine with DeMint, but not for public services like NPR. The "private" sector is in many ways sucking at the public teet, and also skimming-off dollars that should go to workers. Millions and millions of dollars in salaries and bonuses to business execs--no matter how well the companies do--is a national disgrace!!
Mar 5, 2011 7:47 AM CST
The president of ABC makes over $2 million. The idea that PBS and NPR should not pay enough to attract first-rate executives is absurdly naive.
Mar 4, 2011 8:24 PM CST
Why do people vote for this teabagger He'll beat big bird with a dead chicken and butter the ass of the oil companys