Today I turned on the radio for the first time in a week. No, I wasn’t trying to break myself of a Wait, Wait habit. I was taking my biannual time-out from NPR, otherwise known as the pledge drive.
I know what you’re saying. I’m a freeloader. I’m selfishly enjoying the dulcet tones of the on-air talent while not paying. But here’s the thing, we all are paying already, taxpayers. And I’m not entirely sure why.
Look, I get the concept of public broadcasting. But if it’s going to be public, fully subsidise it. None of this half-assed, we’ll pay part and you make up the rest through begging, Congress. (And don’t even get me started on the costs that result from the schizophrenic nature of our public broadcasting profile: television and radio, domestic and international, propaganda, news, Britney Spears.)
The simple fact is, there’s no need to go begging. NPR has an audience advertisers will pay for, just like they shell out for spots on Mad Men. We’re upper middle-class, we’re educated, we have disposable incomes. We’re affluencers.
Would but could I affluence this situation. Until then, during pledge season, it’ll be radio silence from me.