SCENE: Mitch BERG is walking through the streets of Lowertown when he encounters MyLyssa SILBERMAN, who covers the “Fake News” and “Diversity” beats for National Public Radio’s Twin Cities bureau. SILBERMAN steps out of a Taoist nail salon in Lowertown, and runs into BERG.
BERG: Hey, MyLyssa. What’s new?
SILBERMAN: On assignment, looking for the people spreading fake good news about the Trump Administration.
BERG: Exposer’s gotta expose, huh?
SILBERMAN: Yep. It’s why we have public broadcasting – doing the tough, unbiased jobs nobody else would do.
BERG: Just reporting the facts.
BERG: Like the fact that gun violence is down sharply over the past two decades, and gun control has had nothing to do with it.
SILBERMAN: Heavens, no. That would be biased. Hey – we just finished out pledge drive week. Did you donate?
BERG: Nah. I mean, I listen to the news, and I sometimes tune into mock, taunt and fisk “On The Media“, and I do happen to like what Chris Thile has done with Prairie Home Companion. But I don’t listen much, and I figure I pay for it with my taxes.
SILBERMAN: Oh, good heavens, no. Taxes are just a tiny portion of what Public Broadcasting runs on. Insignificant, really. Almost nothing. Pennies on the dollar, if that. If you think we’re “government radio”, you’re spreading alternate facts. Nothing “socialist” about us. Taxes are pretty much insignificant. Totally.
BERG: Whew. I was worried that I’d hear all sorts of “sky is falling” panic because Trump is proposing cutting federal subsidies to Public Broadca…
SILBERMAN: (Eyes go wide with rage and fear) NO! CUTTING THE FEDERAL SUBSIDY WOULD DESTROY PUBLIC MEDIA! YOU’LL BE BOILING BIG BIRD! YOU’LL BE GANG-RAPING ALL THAT IS GOOD ABOUT OUR SOCIETY! EVERY SINGLE PENNY OF FUNDING GOES STRAIGHT INTO THE MOJTHS OF THE NEPHEWS AND NIECES OF PUBLIC BROADCASTING EMPLOYEES! YOU’LL DESTROY THE ONLY RELIABLE SOURCE OF VALID NEWS ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN NOT TO NORMALIZE TRUMP THAT THERE IS IN THE AMERICAN MEDIA! NOT ONLY MUST NOT A PENNY BE DIVERTED, BUT WE NEED MORE! MORE! MORE!
BERG: So – hands off public radio budgets…
SILBERMAN: NOT ONE PENNY OR WE’LL ALL STARVE!
BERG: So it’s really government radio after all…
SILBERMAN: (resuming nasal NPR-casting voice, complete with faint sound of Ghanaian drum choirs in the background) No. Absolutely not.
BERG: Glad we could clarify this.