Taxpayers will fund the erection of press statues in Washington, D.C., along with handing out media subsidies worth over $1 billion, if the Omnibus bill is passed into law in the coming days.
According to section 708 of the bill, the establishment media will be given a “commemorative” location in Washington, D.C., to honor “journalists”:
The location of a commemorative work to commemorate the commitment of the United States to a free press by honoring journalists who sacrificed their lives in service to that cause within Area I, as depicted on the map entitled ‘‘Commemorative Areas Washington, DC and Environs’’, numbered 869/86501 B, and dated June 24, 2003, is approved.
The statues will be located in “Area I,” according to the bill, which appears to encompass areas of the Mall in Washington, D.C., along with the White House, Tidal Basin, Theodore Roosevelt Island, and the Potomac shoreline in Virginia.
No budget or allocation of money was disclosed in the bill.
The omnibus bill also provides taxpayer money to the establishment media. In section 407, taxpayers will give over $500 million to the Corporation for Public Broad (CPB) and $600 million for infrastructure within the public media system:
For payment to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (‘‘CPB’’), as authorized by the Communications Act of 1934, an amount which shall be available within limitations specified by that Act, for the fiscal year 2025, $535,000,000:
In addition, for the costs associated with replacing and upgrading the public broadcasting interconnection system and other technologies and services that create infrastructure and efficiencies within the public media system, $60,000,000.
According to CPB’s website, the entity is “the steward of the federal government’s investment in public media and supports the operations of nearly 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations.”
Among the networks that are under the CPB’s umbrella are PBS and NPR. Both networks have board distribution. PBS distributes programming to about 350 stations throughout the nation. NPR has over 260 member stations in the nation that distributes to about 1,000 stations nationwide.
Critics claim the federal government should not finance the media because funding often comes with strings attached, leading to biased reporting.
For example, in 2021, NPR published false claims in a book review of Hunter Biden’s book that Hunter’s laptop was Russian disinformation. It has since issued a correction, referencing the now debunked Politico story on October 19, 2020, which used “dozens of former intel officials” to push a false and misleading narrative about the origins of Hunter’s laptop.
The discredited Politico story was published to discredit Breitbart News’ Emma-Jo Morris’ “Laptop from Hell” story she first broke in the New York Post just days prior. The discredited Politico headline still remains on the site.
“A previous version of this story said U.S. intelligence had discredited the laptop story. U.S. intelligence officials have not made a statement to that effect,” the correction reads.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.