House Committee Votes to Kill Money for Children's Public Television

A House subcommittee voted Thursday to sharply reduce the federal government’s financial support for public broadcasting, including eliminating taxpayer funds that help underwrite such popular children’s educational programs as “Sesame Street” and “Arthur.” In addition, the subcommittee acted to eliminate within two years all federal money for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting – which passes federal funds to public broadcasters – starting with a 25 percent reduction for next year, from $400 million to $300 million.

Let’s get one thing clear. If this is about that episode of Buster… The one that never aired. The one that had a brief stop off at a family’s home where the family was two women living together. It was not Muff Diving for Kids 101. I know this is largely about the supposed liberal bias within PBS’s programming but to gut children’s television – that has impacted the lives of generations of children. This is so so so so so stupid.

We can give billions in farm subsidies. We can spend millions of dollars creating a public television system for the Middle East (more of a propaganda channel) but we can’t preserve funds to keep the legacy of public broadcasting that has enriched millions of lives.

We were PBS kids. We watched Nova and Nature every Tuesday night. Mr. Rogers growing up. Sesame Street sometimes. The Computer Chronicles was my first look at the future geek I would become. Newton’s Apple was always cool for a quick learning. This is just so damned stupid.

I hope that if they gut funding that the Corporation for Broadcasting just says fuck-all and goes whole-hog into some investigative journalism on all fronts, at all levels and just spends their last gasping breath doing a takedown of all the hypocrisy and corruption in the federal system.






3 responses to “House Committee Votes to Kill Money for Children's Public Television”

  1. Matt-Michigan Avatar

    I guess I’m not getting it, guy. What simple compeling reason is there for federal tax dollars to support any enterprise that could be made to support itself? And the CPB-PBS-NPR axis COULD support itself, if it tried a bit harder because citizens just like you think it has value.

    I’m supportive of CPB-PBS-NPR axis getting underwritten to produce meaningful content that isn’t covered by the MSM or cable… like pottery crafters in West Virginia, or restoring Civil War battlefields in Pennsylvania, or the oral traditions of native american tribes… ala the Canadian system.

    But cartoons? Programs to entertain kids while Mom or Dad are in the kitchen packing lunches… or the care giver needs a break?

    And it isn’t all about Buster’s travels, either. Otherwise there’d be a broader effort to control Nick Network’s content… like when SpongeBob and Patrick get into a boxing match, drop trou’ and inflate to mega-muscle size, fight wildly and include a scene of SpongeBob licking Patrick’s foot bottom while being dominant, and then crying because they used violence to mask their true feelings of fraternal love… and holding hands heading out of the boxing ring to jeers of the off-camera audience… and then heading down the stadium exit locked in an embrace fresh from Ptown’s meat market on Friday and Saturday nights.

    I can understand why some would like to see CPB-PBS-NPR axis be made to cut it in the real world of entertainment. Keep the underwriting for true cultural content not available anywhere else. But cut compassionately with a frugal knife.

    Seems like that’s what’s happenin’ here.

    Nice site, by the way.

  2. Gigamatt Avatar

    WTF. Public broadcasting cant even make 25% of their funding from “viewers like you”. And commercial broadcasting has gone the route of making the big corporations happy, so you wont find such niche market programming there (or on cable, for that matter) either.

    This is just sad. Public TV was one of 3 channels we got when I was growing up (and yes, there are still millions of homes without cable tv or satellite, either due to costs or the fact that (like where I’m from) the place is too remote for either.) My other choices were Laverne and Shirley repeats or the local “movie of the week”, neither of which was a good choice while my dad was at work and my mom was working the farm. Babysitter it wasnt, but instead was more intelligent background for my play times when my mom needed to concentrate. I could watch 321 Contact, Newton’s Apple, or the yoga lady (I did used to do yoga when I was a kid, believe it or not), or when I was a teen, the exercise shows. And of course, fine BBC programming which isn’t commercially viable with more than 90% of ‘Merica. Mystery. Masterpiece Theatre. Great Performances.

    And dont get me started on paying farmers to NOT farm anything. That’s just fucking insanity. I grew up on a mostly self-sustaining farm here in Ohio, and to me, paying someone to sit back and do nothing should be the first thing that’s cut.

  3. Andy Avatar

    I have never ever understood farm subsidies that end up in not growing. It makes absolutely no sense to me. I should probably do more research to see how prevalent that is – is that a certain type of subsidy or category?

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