USA – (PBS + NPR) = WTF?

Really? We need to cut spending and this is where we start?

Why is this even a left vs. right issue anyway? Isn’t it appalling enough that your elected officials – supposedly representatives in the full sense of the word – align and vote according to party lines rather than for their constituents? Are there really communities of people who don’t want the availability of television (PBS) and radio (NPR) that is not owned and operated by a corporation’s political contributions? FOX shills for the right, MSNBC shills for the left, and those seeking unbiased reporting about America have to turn to the BBC?

PBS is a proven source of educational programming whose effects upon participants is well documented. Programs like Sesame Street and Reading Rainbow revolutionized the way television could be used to jump-start a child’s ability to grasp and learn fundamental skills. Granted, the issue is not targeting specific programs but the funneling of public money to arts channels. But those matching grants and supplemental contributions are often the difference between whether a program gets made or not. And with the economy in the toilet, public contributions are down, because people cannot afford to be as generous.

But those people aren’t buying twelve hundred dollar hammers or giving themselves lifetime perks of retirement funds and health care (that they deny to the very people who elected them to serve). These contributors are mostly people like you and me trying to heat our homes and put food on the table.

I’m sure I could find fat on the bone somewhere else. So can you.

I mean, what has to be done to convince these political dunderheads that our failing educational system is an integral part of our fall from grace (right alongside corporate greed, public indifference and the insistence on propping up governments around the world to support our corporate interests while our own population is underemployed, hungry and in need of basic human services)?

Do I have to type shorter sentences?

Do I have to sign yet another petition?

Does LeVar Burton have to appear on Community to remind us how we didn’t save Reading Rainbow?

Or can we perhaps just get it through our thick skulls that the very name “Corporation for Public Broadcasting” is an oxymoron? Maybe we don’t need to cut funding, but to fund better?

Maybe Congress should be spending some time figuring out how to better fund and manage an institution that is supposed to service the entire country by providing funding to “promote ideas and perspectives that are ignored or underrepresented in the commercial media“.

Of course that would mean Congress has less time to pointlessly witch-hunt Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, but dammit, sacrifices must be made.

If you want more information or want to get involved, click here.

Today’s topic was brought to you by the letters E-L-I.


Filed under Editorials, Film/TV

7 responses to “USA – (PBS + NPR) = WTF?

  1. anne sullivan

    I don’t see how Sesame Street is unbiased when Oscar the Grouch, playing a reporter, pops out of his trash can and says that “Pox News” is a “trashy news show.” You may or may not agree with the sentiment behind the pun (and I suspect that you do agree), but it’s clearly an example of the liberal bias permeating PBS and NPR.

  2. drbristol

    I believe you are possibly missing the point of the essay, which is that PBS and NPR should be a forum for programs that are not going to stand a chance of being picked up by commercial stations – I cited Sesame Street as a show that helped a lot of little kids learn to read and count by revolutionizing the way information was presented. The thrust of my piece is that writing off a network that helps to promote music and theatre (and a platform for smaller productions) is tossing the baby out with the bathwater. It needs to be better managed to serve all people. If you have an axe to grind with Sesame Street, Google them.

    Your example (I have not seen it but I don’t doubt your word) would be a liberally slanted joke in an animated show. Tucker Carlson – also a beneficiary of public broadcasting – presented views even more slanted in the guise of current events reporting. Personally I never take direction from puppets or people in bow ties.

    Do I believe Fox News is trashy? No, but I believe they have a slanted POV…but I also think MSNBC and most stations do. Again, I brought that up in the essay.

    I’m for truth and open discussion, not for parlor tricks and party-line voting. and yes, I’ll feel the same way no matter who is in office or which party is the majority.

    Otherwise your comment wouldn’t have seen the light of day…would it?

  3. Russell

    Shorter sentences could work.

  4. Russell

    On the other hand maybe you should consider employing puppets. They seem to represent a degree of authority for those of more conservative persuasion.
    Or maybe folks are so insecure about their personal beliefs they do find the gags of a puppet on a childrens show to be a threat to their world view.

  5. drbristol

    Like this?

  6. russell


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