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WASHINGTON — House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) tried to cut off federal funding for NPR by bringing a vote to the House floor today. While the measure failed, this political stunt is part of a larger though unpopular effort to undermine one of America’s most consistently trusted sources of news and information. In the weeks since Fox News and the Republican leadership started attacking NPR, more than 250,000 members of CREDO Action and Free Press have written to Congress and told their representatives to defend, not defund, public media.

“This publicity stunt failed -– but the attack on NPR is no joke,” said Josh Silver, president and CEO of the Free Press Action Fund. “Public broadcasting is a vital resource to communities across the country, where it is often the last bastion of serious in-depth journalism, cultural coverage and educational programming. That’s why it consistently ranks in surveys of taxpayers as the most trusted source of news and the best use of federal money besides the military. We shouldn’t be trying to take money away from public media at the very moment that we need it most to fill in the gaps created by the collapse in commercial journalism and to counteract the dangerous, offensive propaganda being pushed by people like Rogers Ailes at Fox News.”

Ever since NPR fired commentator Juan Williams in October and he signed a $2 million contract with Fox News Channel, the cable network has kept up a drumbeat of criticism against NPR. Most recently, in an interview with the Daily Beast, Ailes called NPR executives “Nazis.”

“The Republican leadership wants to defund public media so citizens won't be able to access the information they need to hold the powerful accountable for their actions," said Becky Bond, political director of CREDO Action. “When we have political leaders who retaliate against journalists and want to destroy educational public media, we have a real problem. Quite frankly, it's scary."

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