House Democrats rejected a bill -- supported unanimously by Republicans -- to defund NPR. The measure, proposed by Republican Whip Eric Cantor, was defeated in a 239-171 vote, with only three Democrats joining the Republicans. "When NPR executives made the decision to unfairly terminate Juan Williams and to then disparage him afterward, the bias of their organization was exposed," he said in statement before the vote. In their own statement after the measure was shot down, NPR said, "good judgment prevailed as Congress rejected a move to assert government control over the content of news."
For some context, I'm reminded of this piece that James Fallows wrote a few weeks ago, a stirring defense of NPR as a journalistic organization in the midst of the Juan Williams firing debacle:
NPR, whatever its failings, is one of the few current inheritors of the tradition of the ambitious, first-rate news organization. When people talk about the "decline of the press," in practice they mean that fewer and fewer newspapers, news magazine, and broadcast networks can afford to try to gather information. The LA Times, the Washington Post, CBS News -- they once had people stationed all around the world. Now they work mainly from headquarters -- last year the Post closed all its domestic bureaus outside Washington -- and let's not even think about poor Newsweek and US News.
Who is left? The New York Times, for one. The Wall Street Journal, with a different emphasis; increasingly Bloomberg, also with a specialized outlook. The BBC. CNN, now under pressure. Maybe one or two others -- which definitely include NPR.