...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Static: PBS and NPR.

Got an email this morning from one of my friends, whipping up support for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, because a House committee is threatening to cut its government funding. This is my reply:

I'm more than happy to rattle all cages on CPB. But I wonder, too, if this isn't the time to get behind cutting the umbilical once and for all. The last time [during the Nixon administration, when public TV was last under Congressional fire for being allegedly too liberal], public broadcasting got cracking and reduced its dependency on CPB. Now, the bulk of the money comes from viewers, foundations and corporations. Remember Joan Kroc's gigantic gift to NPR News? Isn't there a point where being funded by the government is more trouble than it's worth? When public broadcasting began, the instigators had only one way to kick it off. Now, public broadcasting is diversified, even competitive--Minnesota Public Radio cum American Public Media certainly isn't quaking in its boots. And Sesame Street makes MUCH more from Tickle-me-Elmo and the like than from CPB or the Department of Non-education. I want to do a little research, but I think this war's been almost over for quite a while. I think we should deny the demagogues this non-issue. I believe independence is the future of media, and public media are almost there.

1 comment:

Louise Marley said...

Of course, the antenna will have to waving frantically to be certain corporate funds don't mean corporate dictation of how the news is reported . . . which is the problem we have with receiving government funding. But I would so love to see NPR be free of Karl Rove's interference!