Anti-Catholic NPR show host mocks Benedict XVI at tax-payers expense

I saw this on NewsBusters:

NPR Game Show Host Unloads the Pope Jokes, Starting with He’s a ‘Gay Icon’
By Tim Graham

NPR’s weekend game show “Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me!” usually saves most of its topical humor for supposed White House drunk George W. Bush or Dick Cheney the Grim Reaper for all the usual smug-liberal laugh lines. On Saturday, host Peter Sagal went on an extended comedy routine with five jokes mocking Pope Benedict XVI, beginning with the notion that he’s “another famous gay icon.”

By contrast, a review of the last four shows finds there have been zero Barack Obama jokes. However, on March 10, they made fun of Rick Santorum saying if elected, he would not recite the names of former presidents to make excuses for himself. This prompted a “caliphate” joke at the Catholic candidate’s expense.

Read the rest there. Be prepared to get angry.

NPR receives federal funding.

There is contact information for NPR. I suggest you USE IT.


As far as I can tell, the origin of this cologne for the Pope story is the Italian daily Il Messaggero.

I think people made an assumption that the Pope himself commission a cologne.  The story doesn’t say that:

Una confezione con le due acque venne donata al pontefice dai prelati spagnoli. Passò un po’ di tempo e a Reggio Emilia giunsero richieste analoghe. Una dal santuario di Sant’Antonio di Padova e l’altra, assai più importante, dal Vaticano per una acqua da destinare a Benedetto XVI. A lui e solo a lui. Silvana Casoli si sentì quasi svenire, il compito era immane.

The story says that it was for him, but it doesn’t say he commissioned it himself.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Biased Media Coverage, Religious Liberty, The Last Acceptable Prejudice and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. EXCHIEF says:

    And complaning about it will accomplish absolutely nothing since NPR’s message is totally in line with the regime’s perspective. It is just another arm of the “let’s attack our greatest potential enemy (the Roman Catholic Church)” at every possible opportunity. The Obama administration is doing the devil’s work.

  2. wmeyer says:

    And in other news, dog bites man. NPR has been a Liberal house organ for decades. In recent years it is only on my radio when I am on a long trip, and only then because there are places where university radio is the only alternative to radio evangelists and Hispanic radio stations.

  3. irishgirl says:

    This is awful! Why are Catholics made to be punching bags for sick ‘humor'(!) like this?
    I used to listen to ‘Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!’ when it was on Sunday evenings on the NPR station I listen to here in Upstate NY [yeah, I admit I do…but it has some interesting old-time radio programs at night, which I do like]. But it was moved a few months ago to Saturday morning. I often thought it was pretty funny-but not this time!
    Why don’t they try their sick ‘humor’ on the Jews or the Moslems? Oh, they wouldn’t DARE do that; look at the backlash that would come in its wake!

  4. vanrooye says:

    Fr. Z – Can you give some perspective on the cologne story? Is it true that the Holy Father requested this cologne? Is there a precedent for Pontifical scents? At the seminary the advice my formator gave was “No Cologne” – priests shouldn’t stink, but they shouldn’t smell “good” either.

    [Nothing about that claim passes the smell test.]

  5. acardnal says:

    I sent NPR an email of protest yesterday on this subject. I reminded them that they are partially funded by the US taxpayer! Only Catholics and Catholicism are ridiculed publicly. No other faith.

    I have heard nothing back. FYI, I sent the email to “NPR Management” not the show’s producers. I should probably let the members of Congress know about this, too, since they are giving my money to NPR!

  6. Jbuntin says:

    message sent…

  7. irishgirl says:

    Message sent, too; I was ‘very angry’.

  8. Supertradmum says:

    Boycott NPR at all levels. Many years ago, I used to support them, but after a series of anti-Catholic stuff from MPR, I gave up waiting for them to change. They have gotten more intolerant, and actually, stupid.

  9. St. Epaphras says:

    We boycott NPR in the Home for many years.

    On cologne: Fathers, please don’t wear it before Mass or hearing confessions. Cologne can evoke “memories”… ‘Nuff said.

  10. PeterK says:

    be sure and send your comments to the ombudsman

  11. Centristian says:

    “another famous gay icon.”

    Clearly sarcasm. Puerile radio talk show banter. I read in it the calibre of irreverent religious “humor” that one usually expects to hear from priests, to be frank. Not the Father Z sorts of priests, perhaps, but priests nonetheless, and seminarians. It stings the more coming from the outside, I guess.

    The larger question is why is the pope having his own cologne manufactured? And why by the cologne maker to Madonna and Sting? Is that true? If it is, that strikes me as more questionable than the jokes, to be honest. And if it is true, doesn’t it really just invite that sort of ridicule?

    I know that Pope Pius IX had his own cologne, and that it is currently marketed as “The Pope’s Cologne”. It’s interesting, and hardly scandalous or anything, but if you’re the Pope and you’re having your own cologne made, aren’t you really just sort of asking for it? While I’m not excusing irreverent humor pointed at the Vicar of Christ, there seems to be an irony involved here that isn’t going to be overlooked by humorists.

  12. Augustin57 says:

    This is all to be expected. History repeats itself. The Nazi’s began making jokes about the Jews before they began sending them to the concentration camps. Get ready, faithful! This regime is no different than the Nazi’s. Actually, I think they’re worse.

  13. frjim4321 says:

    Okay, time for the token moderate to chime in:

    (1) The Pope opened the door to this kind of attention by contracting to have his own cologne made. [I believe that is false information. This needs either to be swiftly substantiated or swiftly retracted.] It really does reek (no pun intended) of narcissism – a totally gratuitous act of self-indulgence.
    (2) “Another Gay Icon” was clearly intend to be tongue-in-cheek, though again narcissistic behavior on the part of an unmarried male invites this kind of humor.
    (3) NPR is not without some bias (such as is true of all news outlets), nevertheless as a domestic news source it has no betters.
    (4) I have observed in the past that one mark of fundamentalism, including Catholic fundamentalism, is the absence of a sense of humor.

  14. lucy says:

    Done. Sent a letter. Not much good it will do, I’m sure.

  15. Tantum Ergo says:

    Oh for Pete’s sake! Can’t the Pope enjoy a nice scent without the paparazzi haranguing him? I’m a old time straight razor shaver, and I enjoy using a number of after shaves. Am I supposed to be ahamed of that? Give the poor man a break.

  16. mamajen says:

    If only the gay community actually did look to our Pope as an example, the whole world would be much better off.

  17. frjim4321 says:

    [I believe that is false information. This needs either to be swiftly substantiated or swiftly retracted.]

    – Even Raymond Arroyo include this in his “Brief” last Thursday evening. [Have a link so that we can read the actual report?]

  18. wmeyer says:

    I was just directed to a video on youtube (If I Were the Devil) which someone has made using a Paul Harvey item from 1964. Harvey’s opinion reads like a checklist for progressives. And when you consider how well it has worked for them….

    In preparation for our convalidation, my wife and I were given a written psych test by our deacon. In fact, most of our preparation focused on psychology, and very little on faith.

    In RCIA, our catechists cited only “theologians” who are Catholic dissidents. Our parish will soon host Dr. Luke Timothy Johnson for a morning of lecture, and no effort is made to point out that some of his positions are contrary to Church teaching. Last Sunday, the homily cited Fr. Henri Nouwen; students in RCIA are casually referred to Fr. McBrien’s Catholicism as a reliable reference, and the most cited reference there is FR. Richard Rohr.

    The devil turns us against one another, and against the teachings of the Church. Too many follow that lead. Watch the video–listen closely.

  19. acardnal says:

    Wow! wmeyer, as soon as your marriage is “convalidated” and you are a “confirmed” Catholic, I’d look for another parish! I’d probably also advise the bishop of the materials/curriculum used in your RCIA.

    You are way ahead of many other RCIA classmates, it sound like, in your knowledge of the real Catholic faith. I would bring a copy of the CCC and the Holy Bible (RSVCE) with you to class.

    I don’t know about McBrien’s current edition of Catholicism, but the earlier editions had their Imprimatur removed by direction of the Holy See!

    [Let’s close this rabbit hole, please.]

  20. acardnal says:

    @frjim: the cologne is not the issue. It’s the scandalous and scurrilous remarks by Mr. Sagal about the Holy Father, Vicar of Christ.

  21. jfm says:

    I agree with Centristian — this is puerile humor. B16 is the furthest person from being a gay icon. It is tongue in cheek. That’s what’s funny about it. Seriously, do you think they are calling him gay? That he is a real icon to gay men? He’s the anti-gay. Also, there’s no way there’s a Pope Cologne. Maybe a Pope from south of Cologne, but not a Pope Cologne. I bet this was part of their section where they tell 2 fake stories and 1 real one and the contestant has to guess what is real.

    Also, doesn’t caliphate mock Muslims too? On the show, I also recall a few burka jokes over the years, jokes about Obama’s being part divine, part Muslim, and a plant by Kenyans to take over the US government. I also recall jokes about Joe Biden and Rahm Emmanuel.

    I’m not sure why this show is on NPR — it and Car Talk actually raise the quality standards a bit.

  22. Centristian says:

    “@frjim: the cologne is not the issue. It’s the scandalous and scurrilous remarks by Mr. Sagal about the Holy Father, Vicar of Christ.”

    No, I think the cologne is really the issue, here; that’s what’s being mocked…the irony of a man who represents Jesus Christ on earth having his own cologne produced by the guy who did Madonna’s and Sting’s. It has the elements of the ridiculous about it. Now, this may be untrue, who knows, but if it is true (and these radio personalities are at least under the impression that it is true)…then it invites ridicule because of how improbable it is and because of how absurd it seems on the surface.

    If we don’t want to be satirized by satirists for things like this, then we shouldn’t do things like this. When the Pope is lampooned gratuitously, precisely because of what he is, and teaches, and represents, then we should be offended. But if the Pope does something like commissioning a designer fragrance…then, I’m afraid, he’s really just asking for it. And I’m just not sure that sarcastic radio personalities who have fun with a story like this can really be said to be attacking the Church.

  23. wmeyer says:

    acardnal: Convalidation, baptism, and confirmation happened last June. [… Sorry… gotta close the rabbit hole.]

  24. frjim4321 says:

    @frjim: the cologne is not the issue. It’s the scandalous and scurrilous remarks by Mr. Sagal about the Holy Father, Vicar of Christ.

    I have to agree with Centristian and refer acardnl to my point #4 above.

  25. anna 6 says:

    To Centristian and Fr Jim,
    People “contract” things for the pope all the time to give as gifts (he does have a big birthday coming up after all) but it in no way means that it was necessarily solicited by the Holy Father himself. Just like the thousands of products that bear the title “By Royal Appointment” in the UK, it is very lucrative to a brand if they can make an association to the Holy See. We should always be leery when someone claims that they received a call from “the Vatican”, which could be from a clerk at the Post Office.

    And, we know well that there are always attempts to make the pope appear vain and indulgent…remember the Prada shoes and Serengheti sunglasses myths which were totally debunked?

    And, I am sorry to say that R. Arroyo can be just as frivolous in his reports on the Pope as any other news source. I remember once being irritated when he called the pope a “bit of a hypochondriac” on his news program for the 85 year old’s attempts to conserve his energy. I thought that it was insulting to a man who wouldn’t bother anyone after his middle of the night fall, and only asked for help after he said his morning Mass with a broken wrist.

  26. If you can’t find your own bottle of this one, you can purchase The Pope’s Cologne, “an aristocratic, Old World cologne”, allegedly following the “private formula of Pope Pius IX (

    The Pope’s Cologne

    ….a fresh new fragrance from the past.

    The Pope’s Cologne is a classic Old World cologne made from the private formula of Pope Pius IX (1792-1878). We obtained this formula from descendants of the commander of his Papal Guard and faithful friend, General Charles Charette. We have followed this complex, exclusive formula meticulously, using the same essential oils that his perfumers used 150 years ago. We believe that we have succeeded in capturing the same fragrance that he and those around him enjoyed so long ago. This is a truly extraordinary cologne with surprising freshness and notes of violet and citrus. We are pleased that you will have the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful, historic fragrance. It is an honor for us to be able to produce it and make it available for your pleasure today.

  27. acricketchirps says:

    I promised never to agree completely with frjim4321 so I would argue that he’s not the token moderate; he’s the token left-lib. The rest of us are the moderates–except the token SSPXers. That said, I can see nothing wrong either with the Pope having a cologne (what the hey, it’s just a cologne) or with silly NPR-types joking about it. They really are pretty tame, if pretty lame, jokes.

    And thatj said, the lib bias of NPR certainly can’t be denied; for instance, jfm, the jokes about Obama you cite are certainly meant more to poke fun at Barack’s detractors than at the god himself.

  28. Sodalis says:

    Casoli’s scents first came to the attention of Vatican elders when she was commissioned to create fragrances for Catholic pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The two she supplied, Water of Faith and Water of Hope, were liked so much by local priests that they presented samples to the Pope, the Italian daily Il Messaggero reported. Alerted to Casoli’s talents, Benedict put in a request for his own stock of scent. The Vatican has previously played down reports that the 84-year-old pontiff is a snappy dresser, arguing that his unusual hats, including a red panama, reflect his respect for papal tradition rather than an eye for fashion.

    I can’t believe that there are some, here of all places, that think that what sold the Pope on the perfumist’s talents were that she did Madonna and Sting.

    [THAT is the source for this story? THAT?]

  29. mamajen says:

    A while back the media ran with a rumor that the Pope wears Prada shoes. This was apparently false:

    Until proven otherwise, I will assume the cologne story is inaccurate as well.

  30. PhilipNeri says:

    There is absolutely nothing scandalous or frivolous about a pope, a priest, or a seminarian wearing a decent cologne. I find priests and seminarians who smoke far more worrisome. I own a small box of scents. Nothing extravagant. Just well-made, inoffensive colognes that I wear properly.

    Fragrant oils/perfumes pop up in scripture all the time. We scent our chrism oils. Smelling “nice” is no more a sin than is smelling clean. St. Augustine limited bathing in his rule to a couple of times a year! Aren’t we all glad that that particular rule has fallen into disuse?

    The point of the article about the Holy Father “ordering” a custom cologne is to make him seem frivolous. They did the same thing with his Prada shoes. Who can take a sweet-smelling old fogey in red Prada shoes seriously? And, of course, they are hinting (winkwink) that the Pope is gay; therefore, all his “homophobic” teachings can be safely ignored as self-loathing. This is the sort of anti-Catholic baiting we should all be used to by now.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  31. PhilipNeri says:

    Oh, and by “priests and seminarians who smoke,” I mean those who smoke cigarettes as a habit not the occasional Cuban cigar one might just happen to have as a gift from a friend in Rome.


  32. Suburbanbanshee says:

    After sweating the Camino all the way to Compostela, using some souvenir perfume would not be frivolous at all!

  33. Cincinnati Priest says:

    @frjim4321: Regarding the accusation that someone is a fundamentalist because he has “lost his sense of humor” when the Holy Father is insulted: It is one thing to be slightly irreverent. It is quite another to denigrate someone by accusing them of grave immorality. For example, while some people might not appreciate the irreverence, photoshopping a picture of the pope into an unlikely scene as a gag [as I’ve seen on many blogs] is “humor”; calling him a “gay icon” clearly is not.

    The difference is in the viciousness and the malice behind it.

    There are a lot of anti-Catholic bigots who try (unsuccessfully) to disguise their attacks on the vicar of Christ as so-called humor.

    An obvious test for a liberal to see if this is really “humor” or not is not even the true, but stale, comparison to what the reaction would be for a parallel comment about Muslim or Jewish leaders. Let’s try this on for size: If Barack Obama were called a “gay icon” or a racial epithet by one of his detractors, in a setting that pretended to be humorous, what would the reaction be from you, from the secular press, from NPR? Somehow, I’m pretty darn sure that they wouldn’t be saying that “Obama can’t take a joke.” -or- “It’s just humor.” Rather, there would be immediate censure and a demand that a public apology be issued.

  34. frjim4321 says: (4) I have observed in the past that one mark of fundamentalism, including Catholic fundamentalism, is the absence of a sense of humor.

    I have an awesome sense of humor. That’s how I know the outpourings of this particular radio personality aren’t funny. They’re not even marginal. Authentic humor is always based on truth.

  35. robtbrown says:


    What do you mean by “Catholic Fundamentalist”?

  36. frjim4321 says:

    Reverend and Dear Blogmaster – I am sorry, I don’t have a way to link to that show. I do have it on TiVo but slicing and dicing that clip would require a herculean effort. [You have better things to do with your time. Don’t bother.] My desktop does link to my TiVo, but it is excruciatingly slow. All I can say is that the Thursday evening “news” show included the “Brief” about the scent. I could perhaps use the digital audio recorder from church and make a poor quality mp3 of the spot and send it you to via my Yahoo account. Would you like me to do so? If it is of value to you, I will do that.

    anna 6 – I think I would agree that in this case Ray’s ego may have gotten in the way … if Ray based his report on the link posted above (from Sodalis) it is a bit specious.

    robtbrown – In general I find that fundamentalism is marked by the ability to memorize and quote numerous pericopes and passages paired with the inability to synthesize and understand their composite meaning.

  37. frjim4321 says:

    Thanks. Busy hiring a DRE.

  38. Lori Pieper says:

    I watched the World Over Live report and if I recall rightly, Arroyo had his eyebrows raised almost to the ceiling on that one (but then his eyebrows almost always seem to be raised, don’t they?). I doubt if he truly believed it. I don’t believe it either; it just doesn’t seem like something Benedict would do. I’m with the idea that it was someone in the Vatican planning a birthday present for him. Or this parfumeuse was just trying to drum up business for herself.

    But what do you say we forget about the cologne and try to find out what brand of shampoo the Pope uses? Don’t you ever wonder why his hair has such body? I’m really envious. Seriously.

  39. Dave N. says:

    While Sagal’s comments are absolutely not appropriate, in fairness, the story did appear in a number of U.S. news outlets last week. Here’s one example:

    As already noted, the stories indicate that this cologne was “commissioned” by Pope Benedict and that the designer creates fragrances for other celebrities. The basic tenor of the “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me” show is to present humorous stories reported in the news during the past week, or (potentially) make humorous quips about the week’s top stories. I can see why this particular story came up on the show’s radar.

    One has to guess at what’s really going on, as is so often the case, but I’m thinking there are probably other hands at work here. People “commission” things on the Pope’s behalf all the time without his knowledge, sometimes with the ultimate intent to give the items as papal gifts, or, in other cases, to simply use the “commission” as a cheap pretext for some unabashed marketing. Here’s one example that I have found particularly irksome:

    It’s RatZINger. Get it??? The idea being that you too can drink wine that the pope drinks. Sick.

  40. cathgrl says:

    EWTN has a YouTube Channel. Here is the link to last Thursday’s TWO:

    The brief in question begins at 8:18. Raymond quotes the Guardian.

  41. anna 6 says:

    Lori, I agree with everything you said (about the shampoo, too). It still doesn’t explain why Arroyo would lend credence to such an unnecessary fluff piece…especially if he doubted it’s credibility (and his source is the Guardian, no less?!). He would have been better putting it in context than simply raising those eyebrows. It makes me a bit uncomfortable, frankly.

    But maybe he’s just jealous about the whole hair thing.

  42. anna 6 says:

    Ok…that wasn’t very nice…mea culpa.

  43. ContraMundum says:

    It really bothers me that any taxpayer money goes to NPR.

    Does NPR often give the truth in news? Do they play good music? So did Tokyo Rose and Axis Sally; they also mixed quality with propaganda, which is how they kept their audiences. It’s the same with NPR.

    If NPR is worthwhile, let them be supported entirely by volunteer contributions. No taxes for them. Heck, if public broadcasting were serious about what they claim to be, they wouldn’t also be running commercials for Archer-Daniels-Midland (they get money from ADM and run a spot about what wonderful work they do as “supermarket to the world” — don’t tell me that’s not a commercial) or taking money from foundations with their own agendas.

    Car Talk could survive without NPR.

    If they American people do not value NPR enough to support them voluntarily, I see no justification in supporting them through compulsory taxes.

  44. The Cobbler says:

    Adding to Fr. Jim’s comment on fundamentalism (which is valid, though ultimately not terribly relevant in this case since, as others have pointed out, there’s humour and there’s “humour”), I have alternately described a fundamentalist as:
    One who insists on “the facts” while disregarding them in actuality, tells us to “go back and read what was written” while blatantly misreading it, and/or labels everything either “logical” or “illogical” without ever using logic.

    One can bring up logic, the facts or actually reading what was written without being a fundamentalist, of course — the difference is not so much in what one says as whether one does what one says to do. Although the logic one is usually pretty obvious just from the way it’s said; those who know the rules of logic know enough not to use it as a labelling system (since things are not logical or illogical, deductions about things are valid or invalid).

    There are, on the other hand, other labels (of varying degrees of fairness) out there for people who just can’t get the point no matter how clear you make it or how many objections, tangents or alternative approaches you account for and deal with. And just to branch the subject out even farther, there are also terms that describe the process of taking a secondary goal, a good means for most ends, and making it not only a primary goal, an end in itself, but the only goal or end.

  45. PhilipNeri says:

    In my experience, the phrase “Catholic fundamentalist” is used by revisionists to label orthodox Catholics. I’m not accusing Fr. Jim of doing this, I don’t know his heart. However, almost every time the phrase has been used in discussions with other priests and religious, follow-up questions indicate that what they really mean is: “anyone who accepts the magisterial authority of the Church.” For example, when the topic of conversation turns to the Church’s newest bishops, priests, seminarians, and vocation prospects, clergy/religious of a certain generation grumble about needing some sort of process to “weed out the fundamentalists.” Asked to define the term, the grumblers end up including any Catholic who thinks with the Church.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  46. robtbrown says:

    FrJim4321 says,

    robtbrown – In general I find that fundamentalism is marked by the ability to memorize and quote numerous pericopes and passages paired with the inability to synthesize and understand their composite meaning.

    I don’t disagree.

    Now for Catholic liberals–they disregard texts that have a supernatural meaning, preferring instead to synthesize according to Protestantism or the Auguste Comte.

  47. Centristian says:


    “4) I have observed in the past that one mark of fundamentalism, including Catholic fundamentalism, is the absence of a sense of humor.”

    It would seem that your point has been proven.

  48. PostCatholic says:

    NPR does not receive funding directly from any taxpayer coffers.

    “A portion of the CPB’s annual grants to public radio stations flow to NPR through station programming fees.” In other words, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting gives money to radio stations, which in turn spend that money paying for NPR programming. The logic of these grants is to allow public radio stations to exist in small and rural markets where donations and sponsorships aren’t enough to keep them on the air. If you removed this government funding, fewer public radio stations would exist and NPR would consequently have to cut back some programming, but it would likely continue strong in large and urban markets.

    I heard the jokes this weekend when I was out doing errands, and I thought to myself how much fun it would be to see how WDTPRS and its peanut gallery would blame President Obama for telling them. Well, near miss. Fanaticism is when you redouble your efforts and forget your purpose.

  49. Giuseppe says:

    The consensus seems to be that the RatZINGER wasn’t funny.

  50. acardnal says:


    It is one of CPB’s purposes as an umbrella organization to disseminate funds to various PUBLIC TV and Radio stations and networks. To quote from your own statement above “If you removed this GOVERNMENT funding, . . . .” Whether they receive taxpayer funding directly or indirectly, they do receive it; consequently, the taxpayer has a voice – or should have a voice – in how it is used.

  51. PostCatholic says:

    I’ll say it again: NPR does not receive taxpayer funding. It takes money from entities which do. I’m drinking a morning cup of coffee right now from my friend’s coffee shop and catering business. She was sending out some sandwich platters to the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine this morning, so when they pay her bill for their lunches, she’ll be getting the same kind of federal funding NPR does.

    Now, if you’d like to go ahead and cut off funding for community radio stations in the red states, I’m okay with that. I live in a large city with three NPR stations and I’ll still get Morning Edition and All Things Considered if you pull the plug on those jobs.

  52. wmeyer says:

    PostCatholic: Sorry, but the facts are not on your side. Per NPR’s own site:
    “Federal funding is essential to public radio’s service to the American public.”

    There is a chart on the linked page.

  53. jaykay says:

    “WDTPRS and its peanut gallery… .”

    That’s a very unworthy shot, Post Catholic. There are quite a few comments here. Very few of them, if any, can be taken to be cheap shots, or even buffoonish, as you have labelled them.

  54. PostCatholic says:

    I read the page. Federal funding is essential to public radio’s service to the American public but it’s not essential to NPR’s continued existence. I explained the consequence of withdrawing federal funding from public radio stations: fewer stations, ergo less programming (much like my friend’s catering business: a sudden reduction in government clients would equate to layoffs in her delivery staff.) The stations which do not self-sustain and most rely on CPB funding are in small and rural markets.

  55. wmeyer says:

    PostCatholic: As Fr. Z said, correctly, NPR does receive Federal funding. Your assertion was false. If those funds are not essential to NPR’s existence, great! Then let’s pull them. NPR is no more unbiased than CBS, NBC, ABC, or CNN. They report all the news that fits their views, and fill a great deal of time with commentary. They are welcome to do so, and to continue to run ads which are semantically not ads, but they should compete in the marketplace, as any other broadcaster must do.

    Their funding from tax dollars is justified in that they supposedly bring service to areas which would otherwise not get it. That’s false, as false as to pretend that their view is truly “all things considered.”

  56. PostCatholic says:

    NPR receives Federal funding in the sense that when a postman drops a donation in the collection plate, so does the Church. I’m sorry if you are having trouble seeing the distinction between NPR and public radio. I am not sure why you think it is false that if tax dollars were not used to support public radio stations that certain areas would not receive services.

    I did not comment on the ideological bias of NPR’s shows. It might startle you that my opinion is that there is indeed liberal bias in several of its news analysis and talk shows.

  57. Boniface says:

    Cologne-making companies – and others – are well-known for “commissioning” products designed “for” celebrities in order to increase sales.

    I could make a special brownie recipe for Obama and claim it was made “for” him, implying that he ordered it. It’s the same thing.

    I can almost guarantee you the pope ordered no such thing.

  58. rpgivpgmr says:

    Perhaps it only means there is an NPR in Hades.

  59. Giuseppe says:

    rpgivpgmr says: Perhaps it only means there is an NPR in Hades.

    “Welcome to KAIN, the NPR affiliate in Hell. For a $100 pledge, you can get an umbrella that withstands fire and brimstone. Coming next, special correspondent Adolph Hitler reporting live from Iran.”

    Purgatory: That aching longing we all feel for the pledge drive to end.

  60. robtbrown says:

    PostCatholic says:

    NPR receives Federal funding in the sense that when a postman drops a donation in the collection plate, so does the Church.

    Not really. A postman receives money from the govt in a fee for service transaction.

  61. PostCatholic says:

    As does the radio station; in exchange for its grant it must provide radio service. Let’s not be tedious.

  62. wmeyer says:

    Tedious it is. NPR receives Federal funding. The rest is semantic bob-and-weave.

  63. acardnal says:

    NPR is very tedious.

  64. PostCatholic says:

    You’re certainly entitled to your own opinions; you are not entitled to your own facts.

  65. robtbrown says:

    PostCatholic says:

    As does the radio station; in exchange for its grant it must provide radio service. Let’s not be tedious.

    I prefer my tediousness to your lack of reason. The radio station is selling nothing to the fed govt, nor do the employees work for the federal govt.

  66. acardnal says:

    @PostCatholic: Since you apparently are disregarding the FACTS presented to you by wmeyer from NPR’s own website here are some FACTS from CPB’s website on how they use and distribute our tax dollars to NPR. Please note the second to last paragraph which states that it “. . . distributes more than 70 percent of its federal funds directly to stations throughout the country.”:

    QUOTE from
    About CPB

    CPB promotes the growth and development of public media in communities throughout America.

    When Congress created CPB, it declared that developing public media is an important objective not only for private and local initiatives, but also “of appropriate and important concern” to the federal government. Congress also decided that establishing CPB as a private, not-for-profit corporation would facilitate the development of public media.

    CPB funds ITVS (the Independent Television Service) and five minority program consortia, which represent African American, Latino, Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander television producers.

    Since 1968, CPB has been the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting and the largest single source of funding for public radio, television, and related online and mobile services. For approximately $1.35 per American per year, CPB provides essential operational support for the nearly 1,300 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations, which reach virtually every household in the country.

    Local public television and radio stations collectively reach more than 98 percent of the U.S. population with free programming and services.

    CPB also makes available some of the most entertaining, informative, educational, and culturally-relevant programming—including Sesame Street, PBS NewsHour, Frontline, Great Performances, All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Marketplace—through the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), NPR, American Public Media, and Public Radio International (PRI).

    More than 118 million Americans tune into PBS stations on a monthly basis, and 37 million listen to public radio each week.

    CPB itself produces no programming, but helps support the production of broadcast programs and other services for multiple digital platforms by thousands of producers and production companies throughout the country. These CPB-funded programs and services reflect our common values and cultural diversity, and address the needs of unserved and underserved audiences around the country in ways that are not possible with commercial media alone.

    Respondents to the 2010 Roper Public Affairs Poll named PBS the nation’s most-trusted institution for the seventh consecutive year.

    CPB, PBS, and NPR are independent of each other and of the local public television and radio stations across the country. CPB neither owns, operates, nor controls broadcast stations, but distributes more than 70 percent of its federal funds directly to stations throughout the country.

    At a time of continued media consolidation, local public television and radio stations provide their communities with unparalleled local content and coverage. Public radio stations, for example, produce 29 percent of their own programming locally, responding to community needs and leveraging local support.

  67. rpgivpgmr says:

    NPR, ABC, 123, any org, entity or individual can be liberal to the point of sin.

  68. PostCatholic says:

    Goodness, we seem to be trying to say the same thing and somehow reading comprehension isn’t making it through.

    NPR is a producer of media, which is bought by public broadcasting stations, which in turn receive a portion of their funding from the taxpayer-funded CPB. NPR does not directly receive taxpayer funding. It benefits from taxpayer funding inasmuch that NPR member stations (customers) are then able to support their operational costs with CPB money, which include the licensing of NPR programming. That’s what the lengthy text acardnal says. I hope we can agree on that.

    As for the fee for service, a CPB grant comes with requirements–the provision of radio services and civil defense needs. You may disagree about the value of those services, but the grant is in exchange for the performance of contractual duties.

  69. robtbrown says:


    As for the fee for service, a CPB grant comes with requirements–the provision of radio services and civil defense needs. You may disagree about the value of those services, but the grant is in exchange for the performance of contractual duties.

    1. I have never said a word about NPR. I seldom listen unless there is some music I like. Generally, I find all news and news commentary lacking on whatever radio or TV network. National news is little else than the presentation of canned texts obtained from either political side. And the commentaries are predictably boring. I turned on Morning Joe yesterday, and they were just repeating what they said 4 months ago. And I have little use for the Chickenhawks who were beating the Iraq War Drums.

    Our politicians do next to nothing to educate the electorate. It’s all little else than demagoguery, manipulation that would have made Goebbels green with envy. Some months ago C-SPAN reran Ike’s 1956 acceptance speech. I was stunned how educational it was and how much it lacked the sound bites that are the soul of contemporary political “communication”.

    2. If NPR employees have the same relationship to the fed govt as Postal workers, then there are serious 1st Amendment problems, not only re Freedom of the Press but also Freedom of Religion. Even now, NPR’s lack of neutrality on political and social issues makes its qualification for federal funds problematic. Frankly, I wish the govt would abstain from any funding of (or opposition to) media–right or left. If NPR comes up short financially, let someone like George Soros make up the difference.

    3. It makes no sense to refer to indirect funding to prove NPR’s neutrality, then compare it to the Post Office, whose employees fall under the civil service pension law. Indirect funding of organizations is currently being used to arrest and prosecute those who have contributed to intermediate, so-called neutral groups that have in turn made contributions to terrorist organizations.

  70. PostCatholic says:

    I will let it rest there, robtbrown, and you may have the last word. I was merely hoping to correct an error in fact and I seem not to have done son. I in many respects agree with the thrust of what you’ve said about the editorial content and neutrality of NPR. I’ll even add that I see even less public benefit being derived from PBS (which does receive both direct and station support from CPB).

Comments are closed.