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February 17, 2005

Emphasis on the BS

From the New York Times:

Public television is suffering from an identity crisis, executives inside the Public Broadcasting Service and outsiders say, and it goes far deeper than the announcement by Pat Mitchell that she would step down next year as the beleaguered network's president.

But the decision makers at PBS never seem to get it:

Corporate underwriters have been less willing to finance PBS programs, which has left the network increasingly dependent on Washington, where Republicans criticize its programming as elitist and liberal.

Their proposed solution?

PBS hopes to relieve some of the pressure by creating a huge endowment from the proceeds of reselling the spectrum used by its stations when they trade their current broadcast positions for new high-definition stations later in the decade. But that will take persuading the same Congressional and administration officials who have objected to its programming.

Conservatives have complained about Bill Moyers's news program (he has since retired from it) and about a recent children's program featuring a rabbit named Buster who visited a pair of lesbian parents.

After Education Secretary Margaret Spellings threatened to retract financing for that program - a controversy that some called Bustergate - Ms. Mitchell decided not to distribute it.

In an interview on Wednesday, Ms. Mitchell, 62, said she had felt no pressure, either from inside her board or outside of PBS, to step aside.

Now remember PBS still airs Sesame Street (which contains very little actual educational content anymore, and a whole lot of Liberal indoctrination). But never seem to mention all the free advertising for the Muppets as well as the Sesame Street merchandise certainly costs a lot. Where does that money go?

Not everyone is so naive:

Some critics, like Tim Graham of the Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog group, are reluctant to give PBS any independent endowment.

"They want to create an empire that does not have to answer to the Congress or the people," Mr. Graham said. "Conservatives do not want to give more tax dollars to television stations that attack their ideas."

Is there really any reason for continuing the taxpayer subsidies to public broadcasting? It's become nothing but an extension of the DNC.

Posted by Jack Lewis at February 17, 2005 10:10 AM

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