After calling for NPR's government funding to be cut off in the wake of the network's firing of Juan Williams, Bill O'Reilly broadened his aim on Wedensday's "O'Reilly Factor" -- advocating that PBS be denied any public funding either.
O'Reilly's criticisms of PBS were mostly the same as his criticisms of NPR -- namely, that the public broadcaster is a biased, "far-left" network that excludes conservative voices and thus should not be the recipient of any taxpayer money. He said that he and his researchers had analyzed the political viewpoints of eighteen NPR and PBS outlets, and found just one moderate -- David Brooks -- and no conservatives.
O'Reilly noted that Congress has allocated $420 million to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting , the entity that partially funds NPR and PBS (though the overwhelming amount of money to the two networks comes from non-governmental sources).
"Forty percent of Americans describe as themselves as conservatives," O'Reilly said. "Just twenty percent describe themselves as liberal. Yet we have almost a half billion dollars flowing into a liberal media outfit. Come on!"
O'Reilly went on to say that, with the proliferation of media outlets on cable and on satellite, "there's no need for government funded media at all, especially if the presentation is so blatantly unfair. Cable TV needs product. If the PBS programs are strong, privately owned networks will buy them."
He also noted that, even as some members of Congress, such as Senator Jim DeMint, have signaled their intention to introduce legislation defunding NPR, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is thinking about pulling state funding from Virginia's public broadcasters. O'Reilly said he thought other states should follow McDonnell's lead.