Public broadcasting funding targeted by SC leaders

U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint

COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) -- U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint said Wednesday that the resignations of National Public Radio's chief executive and a top fundraiser aren't enough as he led his party's drive in Congress to de-fund public broadcasting.

DeMint dismissed as a side issue NPR chief executive Vivian Schillers' resignation over a sting video in which NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller derides conservatives, Tea Party activists and the uneducated Americans who back them.

The issue about taxpayers funding public broadcasting isn't about who gets hired or fired, DeMint said. Its about two simple facts: We cant afford it, and they don't need it.

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DeMint says Sesame Street and other popular children's programs make tens of millions of dollars from the sale of puppets and other toys depicting Big Bird, Elmo and the Cookie Monster.

DeMint adds that mainly liberal donors provide huge additional sums to public broadcasting, led by billionaire financier George Soros $1.8 million gift to NPR last year to hire 100 reporters.

Governor Nikki Haley, in her State of the State address, also said funding should be eliminated for South Carolina Education Television.

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(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)