National Public Radio (NPR) ignited a social media firestorm Thursday night over a tweet that appears to mock capitalism, despite taxpayer dollars accounting for much of the organization’s annual budget.
The outlet posted a story titled “And Now, Crocs With Stiletto Heels” that explores a curious new collaboration between luxury fashion brand Balenciaga and Crocs, the rubber slipper company responsible for fashion faux pas among the millions of comfort-clinging owners nationwide.
The caption accompanying the article, which was written in both uppercase and lowercase letters, appears to mock the collaboration: “CaPitAliSm bReEds InNovAtiOn,” it reads.
The tweet’s language sparked outrage on social media, with figures like conservative Tim Young calling out the irony in NPR’s three-word post.
“You wouldn’t exist without capitalism, clown who is tweeting on behalf of NPR,” he wrote.
“Job at public news station wouldn’t exist wo capitalism,” another user echoed. “Are you guys ok?”
“Our tax money shouldn’t pay for this,” one person expressed.
“It’s still a hell of a lot better than communism at breeding innovation, even if some of the products are silly,” one woman fired back.
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Omri Ceren, who serves as the national security adviser for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, blamed a young staffer for the tweet.
“Children are insufferable,” he wrote.
“CaPitAliSm bReEds InNovAtiOn” they snarked using a computer that fits into pocket, over a global communication network,” a user remarked.
Others called for NPR to be defunded.
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While NPR doesn’t receive any direct payments from the federal government, it obtains a significant part of its funding from dues from member stations. Often those member stations receive federal funds in the form of grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
For the 2021 operating budget, CPB has appropriated almost $70 million in grants for local radio stations. On NPR’s website, it states that “federal funding is essential to public radio’s service to the American public.”