As Byron York reports over at the Washington Examiner, NPR just sent Pres. Barack Obama a thank-you press release. His proposed budget includes “$451 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) for the two year advance appropriation for FY 2014.” That’s “an increase of $6 million over FY 2013 funding.”
The increase is a bit surprising for three reasons. First, after NPR fired Juan Williams, many Republicans vowed to try to defund NPR entirely, and many liberals joined in decrying NPR’s act. Second, Obama claimed he would be looking at discretionary spending with green eye shades. Third, NPR, whatever its virtues, isn’t exactly essential for keeping people off the streets (it’s better for keeping commuting yuppies happy). Those facts combined to create an expectation that NPR would face budgetary pressure. In the press release, NPR CEO Vivian Schiller made the boilerplate argument that in our current economic difficulties, her company is more important than ever.
One possible factor in Obama’s desire to increase funding for NPR: His donors overlap with theirs substantially.