Boston’s WGBH NPR station has yet to issue an apology after it aired a 94-second diatribe from a disturbed caller who said, “somebody needs to punch him (Trump) in the nose” and said that recently-deceased Arizona Sen. John McCain should have punched the president in the mouth before he passed away.
The rant was broadcasted as part of the station’s Boston Public Radio program with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan.
Neither host gave the caller much of a hassle over his public incitement of violence against the democratically-elected leader of the United States only two weeks before the midterm elections, though Braude (perhaps disingenuously) did seek to “clarify” that the caller was kidding, lest the Secret Service “come to his house.”
However, there was no indication that the caller was anything but sincere and dedicated to the idea that somebody should hit Trump. Neither was there any indication that the caller had pulled off a bait and switch by deceiving the station’s personnel by telling them that he was going to discuss a more benign topic before he got on the air.
The station — which even after Elizabeth Warren released the results of her DNA test continued reporting her claims of Native American heritage with hardly any rebuttal and certainly without giving anything close to equal time to the numerous counterpoints — received $750,000 of federal funding this year through the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Meanwhile, according to npr.org, its member stations receive about $63 million of federal, state and local funding nationally. So, divide that up, and NPR takes in $7,168 of public money per hour — that’s almost $2 per second – for every second of every day, and its member stations spend much of that time broadcasting political content such as this week’s rant about punching the president.
Yet weren’t these the same stations that pounced early and often when Trump — without even a tangential reference to violence — called the fake news media, like perhaps those who continue not fact-checking Warren, the enemy of the people?
And aren’t these the same stations on the public dole whose hosts were so shocked and bewildered about a satirical video depicting Trump WWE-body-slamming a fake CNN figure? And ultimately, weren’t these the same stations that gave gushing reviews to a Shakespeare in the Park production depicting repeated stabbings of the president?
After all, it’s not hard to imagine the outcry that would likely ensue from NPR and its hosts like Braude and Eagan if a privately-funded conservative host were to air a call from someone publicly advocating similar violence against one of the leaders on the left. And both conservative and liberal voices have been banned from Twitter for tweeting far less.
So, isn’t it fair to ask why, two weeks before election day, these stations are still getting public money — let alone some $7,168 per hour — to misinform the public and incite violence in American politics?
Prior to publication, Carlos Díaz-Rosillo, COO of the National Endowment for the Humanities, did not immediately return a request for comment regarding whether the broadcast of the partially-funded NEH program Boston Public Radio was a misuse of federal tax dollars and what steps, if any, will be taken to prevent similar incidents in the future as well as to ensure the dissemination of accurate information on the public airwaves two weeks before polls open.
Martin Gottesfeld is a human rights activist facing up to 15 years under the CFAA for helping save Justina Pelletier. For more information on Marty Gottesfeld, see FreeMartyG.com.
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