Back in mid-March, the House of Representatives voted to strip funding for NPR via its parent the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, thanks mostly to the flap raised by James O'Keefe and his video camera. That was many news cycles ago, and while it may have been "the signal culture-war issue in America" at the time, as James Poniewozik wrote today, it's been nearly forgotten now. So much so that when the hotly contested budget agreement passed late on Friday night, NPR's little piece of federal funding stayed right where it was last year and nobody seemed to notice.
The Washington Post sums up the story:
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which passes federal funds to public radio and TV stations, is slated to receive $445 million from Congress — essentially the same amount it received in its last appropriation, according to details of the continuing federal budget resolution released Tuesday.
In part, the silence from the Right on something that less than a month ago was deemed an "emergency" stems from the fact that defunding public broadcasting doesn't actually do anybody much good, regardless of their politics. And it may harm politicians. Poniewozik points out: "I doubt even many hard-line conservatives in Congress wanted to be on the receiving end of calls from working-class parents wanting to know why their kids couldn't watch Arthur in the local station after school anymore."
So Arthur gets to stay, as do Michelle Norris, Carl Kassell, and grown-up Sesame Street character Garrison Keillor (at least for now).