SHOULD PUBLIC FUNDS FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING BE SLASHED?

I am a big fan of PBS  (Lehrer report, Masterpiece theatre) and NPR (All things considered).

But now public broadcasting in the States is in a mess.  The government subsidizes public broadcasting to the tune of $400 million annually. however the Republicans have voted to cut off all funding. Not only that, but a senior executive at NPR was caught slandering the Tea Party by calling them gun-toting bigots and racists.  He was forced to resign.

And not only that.  The president of public broadcasting, Vivien Schiller has just been forced to resign.

In addition, the disgraced executive said public broadcasting would be better off in the long run if there were no government subsidies?

Do you ever tune in to PBS or NPR?

Which programs?

Should government grants for public broadcasting be cut off as the Republicans want?

What do you think?

21 Comments »

  1. 1
    SUZANNE Says:

    In a 500 channel universe, where there is a huge diversity of broadcasting choices, subsidizing a channel makes no sense.

  2. 2
    Cornelius T. Zen Says:

    Good morrow, all!
    It’s called “public” broadcasting for a reason. It provides commercial-free information and entertainment, which keeps it from being beholden to whatever sponsor has the deepest pockets.
    So Boehner and his Reptilicants want to starve PBS into submission. The more they legislate, the more they reveal how soulless their agenda is proving to be. Are white male Christian conservatives really THAT afraid of anyone who is not one of them? Looks like it. Sounds like it. Smells like it.
    Bullies. Cowards. Monsters. Frightened little boys. – CTZen

  3. 3
    Neil McKenty Says:

    By the way, Suzanne, are you also against the Harper government subsidizing the CBC to the tune of a bout a billion dollars a year.

  4. 4
    joe agnost Says:

    What CTZ said… exactly.

  5. 5

    Once again CTZen spouts off without knowing the facts. He writes:

    So Boehner and his Reptilicants want to starve PBS into submission. The more they legislate, the more they reveal how soulless their agenda is proving to be.

    According to the following article, PBS receives less than 2% of its funding from the federal government:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/blog-post/2010/10/defund_npr_radio_whos_funding.html

    Other sources I have read put it as high as 15%. Whether 2%, 15% or some other figures in between, it is insignificant and its loss will not “starve PBS into submission”, CTZen.

    Please put a stop to your silly, insipid rhetoric; you’re embarrassing yourself.

  6. 6
    Neil McKenty Says:

    You aRe wrong, Tony. It is the individual npr stations that would not bsidye able to survive without a generous government subsidy.

  7. 7

    Back when I used to watch television, I did watch PBS on a fairly frequent basis. They have some wonderful programming. And as CTZen says, it’s commercial-free, so they don’t have to please any sponsors in order to run the programming they think the public will want to see.

    They have no need to cater to particular political, religious, or philosphical special needs groups. Their public funding gives them the freedom to float above all that partisan crap. That, and their fund-raising telethons.

    Suzanne started out making a good point, but then she turned down the wrong street. If five hundred channels are too many, start cutting away at the last ones in, not the first. PBS has been around much longer than most of the others. Give it the money to let it stay.

  8. I’m with CTZ and Lady Janus.

  9. 9

    Neil: you may or may not be right vis a vis the local stations getting money from local or state governments but we were talking about funding from the federal government.

  10. 10

    Lady Janus writes:

    They have no need to cater to particular political, religious, or philosphical special needs groups. Their public funding gives them the freedom to float above all that partisan crap. That, and their fund-raising telethons.

    This is getting silly. This whole controversy stems from the fact that a PBS executive was doing exactly that: catering to a particular special needs group. Indeed, he — and his boss — just got fired for it.

    He who pays the piper calls the tune, whether you are a profit or a non-profit.

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  12. I must say, whilst checking through dozens and dozens of blogs each week, the theme of your blog stands apart (for all the proper reasons). If you don’t mind me asking, what’s the name of this theme or would it be a especially designed affair? It’s far better compared to themes I personally use for some of my blogs

  13. 13
    zeusiswatching Says:

    I often showcase and promote good NPR/PBS stations on my blog because of my love for classical music. Back in the day when we had TV around here, the News Hour and ITN news were staples. That said, we are in a serious amount of economic trouble, and NPR should be working with the new Congress, and internally to see what can be done to maintain funding to the stations that need it, while reducing their budgets overall.

    The scandal tapes (two now) don’t really justify de-funding NPR. The tapes did show a staff problem that needed to be corrected. NPR’s staff needs to reach out, not play demagogues. The departure of Schiller (and the unrelated Schiller) hopefully signal a change, one that says NPR wants to be part of the solution. I’m actually optimistic. I think some middle ground can be found.

  14. 14
    Neil McKenty Says:

    hitchmountbikerack,

    The theme I use is Vermilion Christmas. I like it because it is slo clean-cut. It is provided by WordPress.com and you can set it up in less than five minutes.

  15. 15
    Cornelius T. Zen Says:

    Good morrow, Tony!
    I am not a white male Christian conservative, cringing beneath my covers while the boogie men come out of the closet and fill the night with their depravity. I am not afraid of people who don’t look like me, sound like me or act like me. I am not afraid of women, gays, black, brown, red or yellow people.
    You are – and I pity you – CTZen

  16. 16
    Cornelius T. Zen Says:

    Good morrow, Neil!
    “… but a senior executive at NPR was caught slandering the Tea Party by calling them gun-toting bigots and racists. He was forced to resign.”
    When it looks, walks and sounds like a duck, what do you expect anyone to call it?
    Quack, quack – CTZen

  17. 17

    CTZen:

    You are a schmuck. Your suggestion that I am a racist is you looking in the mirror. You’re a silly old man who needs to find a hobby.

  18. 18

    @Tony: It would appear that CTZen already has a hobby — baiting you! :lol:

    And nowhere did I see his calling you a racist.

  19. 19
    Neil McKenty Says:

    It seems to me that one of the qualities of this blog is its civility. I hope we can keep it that way.

  20. 20
    Cornelius T. Zen Says:

    Good morrow, all!
    As far as I know, Tony is not a racist. An ineffectual jellyfish with pretensions to civilized humanity, but not necessarily a racist.
    And, Tony, my boy, how would you know how old I might be? Do I sound old? Have I creaked around on the blogosphere for enough eons to qualify?
    I have every intention of being nothing but civil. After all, the most civilized weapon is the stilleto, n’est-ce pas?
    A demain, mes amis! – CTZen

  21. 21

    your site ranks high on yahoo and i must say your consistent writing style deserves your blog to be such high in rankings.i relished your writing style.keep it up.


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