Cruz Advocates Defunding NPR After Editor’s Bombshell Revelations

Many right-wing officials have long advocated for defunding public media, including NPR, not just in the name of fiscal conservatism but due to their objectively left-leaning editorial biases.

This week, a damning assessment by NPR senior editor Uri Berliner brought even more attention to the topic as he chronicled the increasingly partisan stance of the taxpayer-subsidized network for which he has worked for a quarter of a century.

“It’s true NPR has always had a liberal bent, but during most of my tenure here, an open-minded, curious culture prevailed,” he wrote in an editorial published by The Free Press. “We were nerdy, but not knee-jerk, activist, or scolding. In recent years, however, that has changed. Today, those who listen to NPR or read its coverage online find something different: the distilled worldview of a very small segment of the U.S. population.”

Berliner went on to cite the Biden administration and COVID-19 as two topics that drove NPR further to the left, offering some statistics to back up his point.

“Back in 2011, although NPR’s audience tilted a bit to the left, it still bore a resemblance to America at large,” he continued. “Twenty-six percent of listeners described themselves as conservative, 23 percent as middle of the road, and 37 percent as liberal. By 2023, the picture was completely different: only 11 percent described themselves as very or somewhat conservative, 21 percent as middle of the road, and 67 percent of listeners said they were very or somewhat liberal. We weren’t just losing conservatives: we were also losing moderates and traditional liberals.”

His start evaluation drew renewed calls for defunding the network — even if it did not seem to have any bearing on the way NPR bosses tackled political issues.

During a recent episode of his podcast “The Verdict,” U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tackled the issue in response to co-host Ben Ferguson’s prompt.

“I don’t understand why my tax dollars are subsidizing a hardcore leftist organization and why I’m paying their salaries at NPR,” Ferguson said. “That’s the reality.”

After quoting an excerpt from Berliner’s piece, Cruz declared that “the right thing to do” would be to “eliminate the funding for NPR tomorrow,” adding: “We shouldn’t be in the business of funding NPR.”

The Texas Republican concluded, however, that the problem goes much deeper than just NPR, alleging that “every Democrat wants to spend your taxpayer dollars funding NPR” because it essentially acts as a “propaganda outlet” for the party.

Meanwhile, he concluded, “in the budget battles, too many Republicans are scared of taking on NPR and so between the two, it keeps going.”