Media in Trouble: All the news thats UNfit to print!: Save NPR and PBS

"The information of the people at large can alone make them safe, as they are the sole depositary of our political and religious freedom." --Thomas Jefferson 1810

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Save NPR and PBS

I had a doozy of a post on the new developments about the Corporation for Public Broadcasting yesterday. However, blogger ate it and I can't remember it. Either way, in case you weren't aware, Congressional Republicans are giveng PBS the old 1, 2 punch. Or is it three? One, they are putting an ex RNC co-chair to be President of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (think power of the purse, CPB doles out the money to local PBS stations). Two they are going to cut federal funding to CPB completely. The NYT editors handle this pretty well today, Sesame Street references and all. The CPB gets a measly $400 million dollars or 15% of its budget from taxpayers. I tend to think that this is rather little amount of money judging by how swiftly we can pass legislation to spend $300 billion in another not so well off country (free pokemon cards to anyone who guesses the country in comments).

Now to me the fact that these folks have to get on the air every three months and put a coffee cup out there begging for change pisses me off. One because it interferese with my news consumption, and two it gets real annoying really fast. To me the airwaves are public. That is why we have CBs and such. As public property it should be well funded by the tax payers. As such to me, any time spent begging for change and not spend informing me of world happenings, is a wasted tax payer dollar. Just like those $300 billion tax payer dollars that are being wasted in another country (this is the same country, come on folks, I know you can guess it!). The other function of Public Broadcasting is education. I don't know about you, but how many of us would have known our alphabet fast enough to make our parents proud enough to shower us with pride in the form of toys and other consumeables if it weren't for Sesame Street. Guess what, Big Bird wouldn't exhist without PBS.

Furthermore, we have all seen what a wonderful job a fully corporate media can do of handling information vital to our country. Just look at how excellent CNN, MSNBC, FOX news, and the others do when they trade actual news for tabloid journalism. In fact, today I spent my 18 minutes of coffee time watching Soledad O'Brian (what a name combo huh?) drill an expert in theme park ride safety (like you, I had no idea these folks even exhisted) on how a 4 year old could have died on a Disney ride that simulates a rocket launch. Perhaps the real journalism in this type of reporting goes on behind the scenes to find experts in theme park ride safety who aren't homeless due to the lack of work to keep them busy year round. I mean Six Flags launches one ride a year. This guy probably rides it, walks around the track a few times, kicks the tires on the cart and gives it the old thumbs up. How does this guy feed his family? Perhaps CNN deserves a pulitzer for finding him. I will concede that much.

Republicans are now pro-lynching, pro-death (American soldier, African American, and Iraqi civilian), anti-information, and anti-retirement (if Grassley has his way we will be retiring at 93 eventually).

Do your kids a favor, SIGN THIS.