Paul A. Ibbetson
National Public Radio and the skinny fat man
By Paul A. Ibbetson
October 30, 2010

I once knew a guy who was about 50 pounds overweight. Any time a friend or family member would address him on the issue of cutting out the sweets, he would get indignant and quickly inform inquiring souls that he was completely fit in all areas except his midriff, which he would address in his own good time. We might surmise that from this gentleman's thinking he thought his body was nothing short of a series of physical quadrants of which he had worked to address all but a final set of coordinates: his stomach. More than likely, the man was just fat and did not like being told so.

Brian Montopoli of CBS News tells us that National Public Radio no longer goes by that name; it's NPR now. Well, I mean, the legal name is still National Public Radio as it has been for the last 40 years but they now request their brand name "NPR" be the title spoken on air. Why? Like a fat man demanding that he be called "Speedo-challenged" instead of simply overweight, National Public Radio is trying to run the fat-man scam on Americans. Montopoli talks about conservative pundits like Sarah Palin who call for cutting off public funding to National Public Radio and he insinuates that Palin is misguided as the federal funds the non-profit organization receives are considered by him as minimal. While the overall percentage may be less than 10 percent of their total budget, NPR receives millions of public tax dollars yearly. The case Montopoli forwards is as compelling an argument as when our gentleman friend with the mild protuberance tells us he has reduced his daily cupcake intake from twelve to nine of the tasty treats. Of course, the point is that he should not eat any, especially if we the American people have to flip the bill for the indulgence.

The public funding issue with National Public Radio comes to the forefront because of the firing of NPR contributor Juan Williams. Williams, who had been employed by NPR for a decade, was fired for saying that he gets nervous when he sees passengers in Muslim clothing on a plane. Not only was Williams fired by phone without an option to talk to upper-level NPR staff, a simple courtesy to a journalist of his standing, he was described as psychologically impaired. NPR CEO Vivian Schiller said that Williams' beliefs should stay between him and "his psychiatrist or his publicist." The issue here goes beyond the viciousness of the Juan Williams' job slaying. It goes beyond the fascist nature of NPR and the hypocrisy of such liberal organizations who lament their support for diversity as long as that diversity stays off Fox News. The issue goes as far as asking if Americans should have to fund a liberal radio station such as NPR.

NPR should be allowed to be as liberal as they wish, as fascist as the law will allow — if their product is viable within the free market. It's a free country, but they should not be allowed to push their liberal agenda on the American people's dime. Not on one single taxpayer's dime. That is the issue at hand. That is what exacerbates the Williams tragedy. Montopoli alludes to the idea that despite NPR's vicious attack against a liberal on its own payroll, all is well because Williams has just signed a new contract with Fox News. Of course, this is a diversion from the extended "belly" of the problem. The problem is that National Public Radio, (NPR, if that sounds more private market to you) continues to be fattened with tax dollars they do not deserve. They should be forced to sink or swim in the private market — you know, the real private market. If NPR can flourish within its liberal scheme without a government handout taken from both liberals and conservatives in the country, the opposition has no choice but to accept its existence and engage it in the private market. However, if NPR flies solo within the free market and the wind beneath its wings lifts it only as high as "Air America," then we will know it should have never have been around in the first place. The free market has a way of taking care of dead weight. Now, the American people have the opportunity to address this issue. To do anything less is simply to keep loading the plate of the skinny fat man.

© Paul A. Ibbetson


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Paul A. Ibbetson

Dr. Paul A. Ibbetson is a former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas, and member of the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. Paul received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Criminal Justice at Wichita State University, and his PhD. in sociology at Kansas State University. Paul is the author of several books and is also the radio host of the Kansas Broadcasting Association's 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 award winning, Conscience of Kansas airing across the state. Visit his website at For interviews or questions, please contact


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