Rep. Steve Israel (D- N.Y.) chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out a fundraising letter with the following argument for maintaining public funding of NPR:I bolded those bits to help draw out the obviousness of what Williams is doing here. Notice that what Rep. Israel is doing is asking to fund members of Congress who will preserve NPR because NPR is one of the only places citizens can obtain "quality news programming" and that without it the radio airwaves will be dominated by idiot demagogues and propagandists; note that he does not say that NPR is designed to counter conservative AM radio, but to provide a function that it does not.
“They [Republicans] know NPR plays a vital role in providing quality news programming – from rural radio stations to in-depth coverage of foreign affairs. If the Republicans had their way, we’d only be left with the likes of Glenn Beck, Limbaugh and Sarah Palin to dominate the airwaves.”
With that statement Congressman Israel made the case better than any Republican critic that NPR is radio by and for liberal Democrats. He is openly asking liberal Democrats to give money to liberal Democrats in Congress so they can funnel federal dollars into news radio programs designed to counter and defeat conservative Republican voices.
So let's recap that: partisan, fiercely ideological Republicans and conservative activists can wage a baseless smear campaign against NPR to cut off its federal funding for political and ideological reasons, but if Democratic members of Congress attempt to preserve NPR and defend it from its critics that constitutes proof NPR is a propaganda arm of "liberal Democrats" and deserves no federal funding.
That's some fantastic head I win, tails you lose reasoning there.