I like to listen to WBGO. It plays jazz, and as a budding jazz enthusiast, I get exposed to musicians that I would otherwise not encounter.
They emphasize that they are commercial free, listener supported. The last couple of weeks they have been having a fund raising drive. The hosts emphasize that there are no commercials, yet half the time they're badgering me, the listener, with "We need 3 more listeners to join in the next 10 minutes. Do you like jazz? Do you hate commercials? If you don't donate, we won't be able to stay on the air ..." yada yada yada.
The thing is, they do have commercials. No, not "watch tonights CSI: Miami" or "Are you in debt? Secrets to be debt free in 2 months, while buying a huge house, car and a ski vacation, and only working 4 hours a week, just send us a pile of money and we'll send you a DVD with the secret."
The commercials that they broadcast are just for a different product.
They're selling cultural indulgences. Moral authority. Elitism. Sophistication. Do-gooder-ism.
And frankly, I'd rather hear a car advertisement. So today I'm listening elsewhere.
Am I a free rider? You betcha. After the government is done confiscating my hard earned money, I choose to make my donations elsewhere.