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(Intro: I'm the Advocacy Manager for CREDO Action from Working Assets.)

If this seems like dejá vu all over again, well, it is. This is the eighth straight year that Bush has tried to de-fund public broadcasting...but this year the proposed cuts are the deepest ever.  Even Patricia Harrison, a former RNC co-chairwoman who Bush installed as the President of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting a couple years back, has called these cuts "draconian."  (Clearly she didn't get the memo from the White House this year, or something.)

Full details are available from the New York Times or the Washington Post.  Bush even proposes to go back and yank ("resciss") funding that was approved from last year (including funds for stations to convert to digital transmission, which is required by federal law).

Here's the action link, and more on the flip...

Now, one would hope that this budget proposal will be dead as a doornail when it arrives on Capitol Hill; indeed, in previous years Congress has always restored CPB's funding.  But that's only been after huge public outcry; after all, public broadcasting is very broadly supported by Americans of all political persuasions.  

So, kossacks, please have at it.  Have your senators and representative heard from you this year that you want to see public broadcasting fully funded?  (They need to; silence is assent and all that.)

Personally, I really enjoy the News Hour (not perfect but WAY better than G.E./Disney/Viacom national news in the evenings), and my one-year-old is a big fan of Word World and Teletubbies in the morning.  Let's make it eight years in a row we've swatted down Bush's dumb idea to de-fund public broadcasting.

Originally posted to Will Easton on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 06:53 AM PST.

Poll

My favorite PBS show is...

4%6 votes
30%41 votes
8%11 votes
20%27 votes
14%19 votes
1%2 votes
5%8 votes
2%4 votes
11%16 votes

| 134 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  You'll probably see emails about this. (22+ / 0-)

    We sent a big one out to our activist base yesterday; I imagine some other groups will in upcoming days as well.  If Congress doesn't get a ton of messages on this topic, I'm not sure we can count on them to do the right thing.

    •  Not a PBS fan (4+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      dfarrah, splashy, keuka77, java4every1
      Hidden by:
      ArtfromMI
      nor do I listen to much radio so I can't vote in your poll.  Here is what Congress needs to do: hold the line and maintain the status quo until we have a new president and a larger congressional majority -- and then revamp and redefine PBS. Its original mission was to provide an  outlet for voices and ideas that were neglected and ingored on commercial airwaves (and I don't mean old Lawrence Welk reruns and Enya specials). One study -- I think maybe I saw it on Media Matters -- reveals what I felt in my bones about PBS: it mostly provides an outlet for media voices (pundits etc), politicians and corporate and business spokespeople. At the bottom of the list of people who were heard speaking on issues were average citizens affected by those issues. The last time I had PBS they were broadcasting a program about CAFE standards that was so biased to the auto industry I had to turn it off. I'd love to have heard a program asking car buyers their feelings.

      We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

      by anastasia p on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 07:18:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's not the PBS I watch (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice, Sagebrush Bob

        NOVA alone is worth the price of admission. The new PBS HD channel is also excellent. Most episodes of Frontline I've seen have been fantastic compared to anything on the major channels.  And here in MN, there are several digital PBS channels available via broadcast and cable, including one that is focused entirely on Minnesota culture and History.   It's one of the only things on television which acknowledges and preserves local culture--the commercial stations might do a "special" a couple of times a year, but TPT puts on local documentaries, arts, etc daily.  

    •  The neighborhoods been going to hell evur (0+ / 0-)

      since Fred took the last trolley out..My hero

      "Better a little late, than a little never"..Doctor Julian Winston

      by Johnny Rapture on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 09:12:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Impossible for me to pick (13+ / 0-)

    just one program as my favorite. One show that I like a lot which isn't listed in the poll is Nature.

    Besides their overall agenda of privatizing everything, I'm sure Bushco must relish the idea of silencing Bill Moyers and Frontline and, of course, all that sciency stuff on NOVA.

    Standing up against "COERCIVE DIPLOMACY"

    by Sagebrush Bob on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 07:02:26 AM PST

  •  One thing I always wondered. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jlms qkw

    I see Sesame Street products all over the place.  Is the show self-supporting?

  •  Every year they try; every year they fail (7+ / 0-)

    Because no matter what the right-wing talking points say, the vast majority of Americans LIKE PBS and see it as a good use of their money.

  •  My favorite PBS show (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, keuka77, jlms qkw

    " My Hero" with Ardal O'hanlon  ( the later ones with james Dreyfus not so much)

    Photobucket

    If Liberals REALLY hated America we'd vote Republican

    by exlrrp on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 07:07:05 AM PST

  •  I'll never forget when Reagan... (10+ / 0-)

    ...chopped funding for public broadcasting. I was watching a live newscast and the reporter came back from a promo break and announced he had just lost his job and said goodbye and walked off the set.

    One thing I am hoping for dearly if we get a Democratic president is that they will bring back the fairness doctrine and restore funding for public access. The American public does own the airwaves I believe?

    'I don't want any commies in my car. Christians either!' Repo Man

    by Psychotronicman on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 07:07:23 AM PST

  •  Sesame Street!! (5+ / 0-)

    How could you leave off Sesame Street? Haha, anyway every time this issue comes up in congress I always see Democrats saying how they need to save Big Bird, its cute.

  •  Why doesn't he just give an earmark (6+ / 0-)

    For PBS?  He's done so for many other things in his poor excuse for a budget.  And as others more wise than I have remarked, with this being Bush's last budget, he's given the American people just one more example of his failed presidential legacy.

    Perhaps we should make sure that his presidential library is defunded.  He can feature the five books he's read in his life in a shack and Congress can appropriate the neon sign for it.

    ... false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. Obama 2008

    by BasharH on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 07:17:49 AM PST

  •  I've Seen People Slam PBS Here (5+ / 0-)

    not liberal enough .... all kinds of things. I flat out love Moyer, Frontline, NOVA, Wide Angle, you name it. Heck, we ought to fund the channel just for freaking Ken Burns!

    Let us not forget New Orleans. Visit Project Katrina.

    by webranding on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 07:21:06 AM PST

  •  Why do we need to fund (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    william shipley

    I'm sure this won't be the popular veiwpoint, but I am actually not too sympathetic to the request to rally for CPB.

    The federal tax dollars come from all taxpayers to support programming viewed by very few people.

    In 1967, when the CPB was created, you could make an argument that much of what PBS broadcast was not otherwise available on the big 3 networks.

    Today, with hundreds of cable channels, most PBS programming would find a comfortable fit on many channels.

    NOVA on Discovery or Science Channel.

    All the cooking shows can find a home on the Food Channel, or Food Channel HD.

    A&E for the dramas.

    There are multiple outlets for the children's programming.

    Thus, to me, it looks like Federal funds are being spent when it's not necessary.

    This isn't the biggest budget problem we face. The $500mn or so spent by CPB wouldn't keep us going but a few days in Iraq.

    So, while I would prioritize other matters to fix the budget, I don't really see the current need for CPB, given the available alternatives.

    •  You realize those are right wing talking points? (7+ / 0-)

      The federal tax dollars come from all taxpayers to support programming viewed by very few people.

      I guess we should publicly fund American Idol then?

      One proper role of a democratic government is to encourage the understanding and appreciation of arts and science and to ensure that the populace is educated enough to make proper decisions about their government.

      Heck, even Mike Huckleberry recognizes the need to provide money for the arts and sciences.

      Standing up against "COERCIVE DIPLOMACY"

      by Sagebrush Bob on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 07:32:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The difference is (7+ / 0-)

      PBS is a public service.

      It's free.  Turn on your TV and there it is.  You don't have to pay $75 bucks a month to get the programming like you do for the Discovery Channel.  A lot of people can't or don't want to pay for all those other channels.

      Not everything in this world needs to be produced just so some body can make a profit.  Not everything has to be about money.

      "I'd rec you if I could." - cometman

      by cometman on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 07:42:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Those cable channel "science" shows are often (6+ / 0-)

      very watered down--dumbed down--so as not to offend any corporate sponsor or audience. Very few begin to reach the level of the ones on PBS. I tend to watch both. Once in a while I've seen some that do not do this. They are comparatively rare. With a user name of science first I'm really surprised you have not noticed!

      The commercial breaks are always followed by a recap. They seemed to be designed for an audience passing through and catching a segment. If you watch an entire hour show you will find there is often only about twenty minutes of new material over that hour.

      The same applies to cultural and historical shows.

      Yeah, you have just spouted good ole Red State, GOP private does it better, "my money shouldn't be used for (insert anything beneficial for general society)" lines.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 07:47:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  missing poll option (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dfarrah

    Kill your television AND your radio.  PBS = Petroleum Broadcasting System.  NPR = Nice Polite Republicans.  

    Shut down all broadcasting, not just public broadcasting.  Turn the spectrum over to the public directly, without putting ANY damn corporations in charge of it.  There would have to be regulations regarding transmitter power and modulation and protocols but the essential point is equal access for everyone.  

    That is the only way we are going to get our communications and politics back from media monopolies.

    Hawkish on impeachment.

    by clyde on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 07:25:25 AM PST

    •  I'm all for more public access TV (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      splashy, Will Easton, jlms qkw

      But the quality of the typical public access TV show doesn't even come close to the quality of programming put out by Moyers, Frontline, NOVA, Nature, etc.

      Standing up against "COERCIVE DIPLOMACY"

      by Sagebrush Bob on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 07:37:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That has nothing to do with broadcasting (0+ / 0-)

        If Moyers or Nova or whoever wants to make good programs for public viewing I'm ok with public funding for that purpose.  The result should be downloadable videos that we can circulate among ourselves and host on our own web sites (since we paid for the production), not broadcasts.  They should not have any special claim on public spectrum.

        Hawkish on impeachment.

        by clyde on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 07:57:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And everyone can afford computers and DSL. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sagebrush Bob

          Sesame Street is seen disproportionally by inner city preschoolers. It's "free".

          I pledge to KPFA. Mostly, I listen on line, but I pay to support the station so that others can listen "free". Democracy Now, Free Speech Radio News, these are progressive voices that don't get heard unless we pay for them, and a lot of kids wouldn't see Sesame Street unless it's "free".

          "The road to gas chambers starts when good people find excuses to justify torture and murder. Feinstein and Schumer are enablers."- Larry Johnson -8.25, -6.21

          by Jacques on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 09:07:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  do you get it? i want the spectrum back (0+ / 0-)

            so that we can have free access to wireless internet everywhere, and not have to deal with telco monopolies selling us DSL and controlling it.  There might still have to be some fiber trunks operating under strict neutrality to get high bandwidth into municipalities, but further distribution (like if you want Sesame Street available in your school or neighborhood) can be done by regular folks with wifi access points (including the ones built into OLPC laptops).

            And TV sets are not inherently less expensive than computers.  All analog TV is supposed to be phased out and replaced with digital in a year or two.  They should just do the first part (eliminate the MSM-controlled analog TV sets) and skip the second part (replacing the MSM-controlled analog TV's with MSM-controlled digital TV's).  The MSM has  completely screwed us and it's time to shut it down.

            Hawkish on impeachment.

            by clyde on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 02:22:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  But the reason PBS and NPR (4+ / 0-)

      have taken those turns of late is because of budget cuts and republican intervention.

      Killing one's TV isn't a terrible idea either, but I think we should be pushing for more programming like Frontline, Bill Moyers and Nova, not less.

      "I'd rec you if I could." - cometman

      by cometman on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 07:44:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jlms qkw

    I have a theory about this series of Masterpiece Theatre.  The heroine Mrs. Pritchard was a Brit PM.  She had a 'right hand' also a woman who had an affair w/ a younger man, got pregnant, and decided to terminate the pregnancy.  In the last episode we saw (I think) she and Mrs. Pritchard had a very adult talk about it (woman was somewhat depressed, Mrs. Pritchard discussed, but there were certainly no recriminations.)  I'm pretty sure that's the last episode we saw, and it ended as I recall with a cliffhanger.  The website and PBS as I recall said that was the way it was supposed to end.  I've always felt like they pulled the plug b/c the abortion discussion was too frank for conservative American audiences.  So much for free speech.  

    Btw I feel like this comment is on topic b/c I'm such a big PBS watcher.

  •  Where is Terry Gross?? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jlms qkw

    I stopped listening and supporting NPR when they went overboard on the IRaq war.

    except for Terry.

  •  We need to increase funding for PBS (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashy, Sagebrush Bob

    and simultaneously ban corporate underwriting of public stations. It's time American citizens had a voice.

    "I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self." --Aristotle

    by java4every1 on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 07:59:35 AM PST

  •  He won't get anywhere with this! (0+ / 0-)

    C'mon guys..how much clout does Bushboy have these days? Defunding PBS or NPR or any of that? It will not happen in the next 10 mos. & if it did, it would be reversed 2 mos later. Early in his term, yeah it was a problem. But this sounds like Chicken Little to me, & I'm an NPR devotee.

  •  As Usual .... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashy

    the debate turns to value instead of fact . I would assume that those who don't care for PBS don't watch or listen . That's OK , but there are those who find it a welcoming broadcasting where you won't find  Spin , spin , spin , vulgarity , and commentation  without fact.

  •  BTW (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashy, Eloise

    Bill Moyers is no longer hosts NOW. David Brancaccio is the current host. Bill Moyers' current show is Bill Moyers Journal.

    Standing up against "COERCIVE DIPLOMACY"

    by Sagebrush Bob on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 08:50:00 AM PST

  •  We loved "The Power of Art" series (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sagebrush Bob, Johnny Rapture

    With Simon Schama! I wish there were more to watch. He really gets into the lives of the artists, with all the personal stuff and how politics and the culture affected the artists.

    Great series, only seen on PBS that I know of.

    "A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

    by splashy on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 08:55:40 AM PST

    •  Nevur miss the PBS "Oldies" specials..No one (0+ / 0-)

      does them better than TJ Lubinski..When Porky was there, man forget about it..He had all our attention in the 50s WAMO..Platter Pushin Poppa and it was AM station..Its a Burgh thing..Was quick 50 years ! Tooo quick...Rockin on..Geezus what a night

      "Better a little late, than a little never"..Doctor Julian Winston

      by Johnny Rapture on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 09:17:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would like to (0+ / 0-)

    see a couple of public channels [radio and tv] devoted entirely to politics [with the candidates given equal time]--so that people could watch whatever they want whenever they want and inform themselves about the politicians.  And then ban the paid-for-by-the- campaign political advertising on TV/radio.

    Politics continues to be more of a money game than anything else.  If a politician doesn't raise tons of $$$, s/he's out.

    Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 09:10:48 AM PST

  •  By the numbers . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eloise

    Bush's budget proposes to cut Public Boradcasting funding by about 50%, from roughly $400 million a year to $200 million a year.

    This would save the Median US Wage Earner about 39 cents per year on their Federal Income Tax.

    Meanwhile, we're spending roughly $400 million per day on the Iraq Occupation.

    Some folks prefer a map and finding their own route. Others need someone to tell them where to go.

    by sxwarren on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 09:20:39 AM PST

    •  Great perspective (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sxwarren

      39 cents.  By way of comparison, the annual TV license fee in Britain, paid by every household that owns a television, is approximately $263.  (People over 75 are exempt.)  That's why the BBC is what it is.  And that doesn't even pay for the BBC World Service which is a separate appropriation.

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