NPR's Non-Scandal?

Heather Mac Donald has no love for NPR's CEO, but she's underwhelmed by the "scandal":

I fail to see the relevance of an NPR employee’s off-air criticism of the Tea Party to the question of NPR’s federal funding or its liberal bias.  Conservatives can easily prove liberal bias by analyzing the content of the programming.  And it is in that arena alone that liberal bias matters.  Does anyone really think that no NPR employee finds the Tea Party racist, or, equally importantly, that no NPR employee should find the Tea Party racist? 

The public is not entitled to a particular political belief system among the recipients of tax payer dollars, just to the scrupulously fair airing of all views.  CSPAN’s hosts for Washington Journal are impeccably even-handed in their questioning of liberal and conservative guests.  Despite the regular, predictable, and paranoid ranting of conservative callers accusing CSPAN of stiffing conservative entities and individuals, CSPAN is absolutely balanced in its coverage of political viewpoints.  But it could well be that some of its hosts believe that the Tea Party is racist, or that Obama is a socialist.  Who cares?  In believing so, they would merely reflect positions that are present in the public. 

But when these views are expressed in order to get donations - even donations shielded from the federal government - it gets murkier. Of course, there is an irony in the activist right criticizing NPR for looking for non-government sources of funding. Personally, I think NPR and PBS would do better without public funding. And it goes without saying that the difference between NPR and Fox is that Fox anchors say such things all the time in public and on-air. You cannot catch them in some sort of hypocrisy because they wear their propaganda on their sleeves.