The Marketplace Has Spoken
Now, more people than ever listen to public radio. More people than ever give money to public radio. More businesses than ever underwrite public radio programming. Opinion surveys show that the majority of Americans believe public radio is balanced and worthy of the federal funding it receives.
And therein lies the irony of the current debate over objectivity and balance in public radio. The marketplace has no issues with it. The marketplace has spoken loud and clear. Every opportunity the marketplace gets to vote for public radio -- with its ears, dollars, and opinions -- it votes for public radio.
That's not the answer conservative politicians expected to hear when they started public radio down this path. So in spite of their belief in the power of the marketplace, they choose to not listen to what it has to say.
If they actually did listen, conservatives would be celebrating the success of public radio. It's a great example of a public-private partnership. It's minimal federal investments, well-leveraged in local communities by local decision-makers.
But that success won't be recognized because the original intent was to harm public radio. It didn't work and so we are now witnessing "Plan B", or "Plan C", or something like that. Those who are attacking public radio can't seem to accept that most people don't buy their beef with public radio. Perhaps they would see that if they took an objective and balanced view of the situation.