Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Save PBS and NPR

Straight from Move On to you:

A House panel has voted to eliminate all public funding for NPR and PBS, starting with "Sesame Street," "Reading Rainbow," and other commercial-free children's shows. If approved, this would be the most severe cut in the history of public broadcasting, threatening to pull the plug on Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch.

Sign the petition telling Congress to save NPR and PBS: Move On Petition

If we can reach 250,000 signatures by the end of the week, we'll put Congress on notice. After you sign the petition, please pass this message along to any friends, neighbors or co-workers who count on NPR and PBS.

The cuts would slash 25% of the federal funding this year—$100 million—and end funding altogether within two years. In particular, the loss could kill beloved children's shows like "Sesame Street," "Clifford the Big Red Dog," "Arthur" and "Postcards from Buster." Rural stations and those serving low-income communities might not survive. Other stations would have to increase corporate sponsorships.

This shameful vote is only the latest partisan assault on public TV and radio. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which exists to shield public TV and radio from political pressure, is now chaired by Kenneth Tomlinson, a staunch Republican close to the White House. Tomlinson has already forced one-sided conservative programs on the air, even though Tomlinson's own surveys show that most people consider NPR "fair and balanced" and they actually trust public broadcasting more than commercial network news.

Tomlinson also spent taxpayer dollars on a witch hunt to root out "liberal bias," including a secret investigation of Bill Moyers and PBS' popular investigative show, "NOW." Even though the public paid for the investigation, Tomlinson has refused to release the findings.

The lawmakers who proposed the cuts aren't just trying to save money in the budget—they're trying to decimate any news outlets who question those in power. This is an ideological attack on our free press.

Talk about bad timing. Every day brings another story about media consolidation. Radio, TV stations and newspapers are increasingly controlled by a few massive corporate conglomerates trying to maximize profits at the expense of quality journalism. Now more than ever, we need publicly funded media who will ask hard questions and focus on stories that affect real people, instead of Michael Jackson and the runaway bride.

As the House and Senate consider this frightening effort to kill public broadcasting, they need to hear from its owners—you.


At 2:16 PM, Blogger Alamo City Commando said...

If Seasame Street and Reading Rainbow are such great shows then they don't need tax money. What is the problem with forcing PBS and NPR to fight it out in the free market? Joan Kroc just left NPR $135 million for crying out loud. They will live on without tax money and MoveOn's tactics are dishonest.

At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The federal government only funds 15% of public broadcasting. To insist that cutting half of that somehow imperils CPB makes me think they need to feature less Big Bird and more basic mathematics...

At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To insist that cutting half of that

...or even all of it...

At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the average tax payer give $.1 of their total taxes to public broadcasting. TEN CENTS! If you have a problem giving TEN CENTS to this then grab ten pennies when you go to the gas station. There you go.

If this is not enough, that is ok. Just remember that we gave the air waves over FOR FREE to the national broadcasters. So while they are making money on the government dime, NPR and PBS are watched by more children than most networks and cable channels. Seaseme Street and Barney are not political figures, but are used to teach all people how to count, read, and further educate themselves.

If you really think that TEN CENTS is too much, then don't sign the petition. Personally I don't think there should be such a low price on education and information, but then again that is why I OPTIONALLY give money during fundrives.


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