Published: Tuesday, Oct. 23 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT
I grew up in a moderately liberal household. My parents both grew up in the the
Great Depression and had experienced the benefit of a strong community, with
everyone doing their part to make life better for everyone.My wife
was raised in a more conservative household. Gun rights and low taxes were
major issues of their discussion. Our life together has been one of attempting
to respect the beliefs of both sides of the issue and if I am totally honest I
would say that my wife is more moderate than her parents and I am about the same
as my parents in my liberal opinions. We never discuss who we vote for and we
always vote.I state that background to make the point that I believe
I try to be objective in my observations, especially about politics. When
someone suggests, as the author did, that "It is a ... a political
propaganda machine" I bristle at the idea that PBS is partisan. I have
heard and seen both political perspectives presented on PBS with professional
skill. But I have also noted that when the truth reveals that our point of view
is wrong, we often call it propaganda.
@ECR "I have also noted that when the truth reveals that our point of view
is wrong, we often call it propaganda."What do you mean,
Nate - I mean all of us. It doesn't matter what our political stripes are.
"These facts differ from my previously held political beliefs, therefore I
reject them" is how my son recently described, in jest, how we often respond
to evidence that differs from our personal beliefs. In my opinion, the reason
many people feel that PBS is a liberal propaganda machine is because some of the
issues they present in their programming reveals uncomfortable truths that
support a liberal point of view. And in a more partisan thought I will say that
PBS often presents evidence that supports liberal perspectives - not because
they are partisan but because those perspectives reflect truth. Plain and
simple.But they also present programming that supports a more
conservative perspective as well. Maybe not as often as the liberal story but
it does happen. And, of course, the best programming is that which has no
political overtones but just warms the heart and expands the mind. That is what
PBS does best.And just to be fair, I accept that many will disagree
with my position on this matter.
"obscenely large amounts of money that the government has been granting to
PBS..."I guess I have a different notion of what constitutes an
"obscene" amount of money.Federal support for PBS is equal
to what we spend on the war in Afghanistan every 36 hours.The total
amount of funding for all of PBS is less than 5% of the taxpayer-provided
subsidies our government gives to the oil industry alone.You want to
know what's genuinely "obscene?" Exxon-Mobile, which is posting
record-breaking profits, claiming it deserves billions annually in federal
subsidies.Rural America would get no PBS without the small level of
support it receives through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from the
federal government. I regard such support as a wise and frugal
public investment, on par with supporting libraries, universities, national
parks and museums.When for-profit corporations no longer receive
taxpayer subsidies, and the US military has been shrunk so that it's
"only" twice the size the defense budgets of China, Russia and all of
Europe combined, _then_ you can talk to me about taxpayer support for Big Bird.
@ECR "I mean all of us."And I'm saying, speak for
yourself.And if you want programming that helps you to feel better
about your liberal positions, pay for it yourself.
Why is it that PBS funding was never an issue until the Juan Williams incident?
Nate, when you wrote: "And if you want programming that helps you to feel
better about your liberal positions, pay for it yourself," you proved
ECR's point.And Blue, you said exactly what I was going to say.
Thanks for saving me all that typing.
JoeBlow"Why is it that PBS funding was never an issue until the Juan
Williams incident?"Because it wasThe legitimacy of
government funding of television (and particularly news services; which, based
upon experience in other governments with publicly financed news services, runs
the risk of devolving into government propaganda) has been in question ever
since PBS was founded (and was even an oblique story line in the Murphy Brown
sit-com in the 80/90's)Bottom line: Big Bird is richer than
Romney and Obama together and financing of television is NOT central to the
primary function of the federal government.Big Bird will live on
without corporate welfare (particularly welfare provided with borrowed money)
Re: "I bristle at the idea that PBS is partisan."Why?
PBS/NPR are universally acknowledged as having a bias to the left of center.
Unless you're ashamed of your leftward leanings, this shouldn't make
you bristle.But, that's not even the point.Left-of-center Americans should be as willing as conservatives to support an
entity that supports and plays to their biases. There's no real basis to
assert that leftist media are somehow more deserving of taxpayer support than
conservative media, just because there are fewer of them.The
Endangered Species Act doesn't apply here.The real issue is
what we, as a Nation can afford. PBS, and, to a lesser degree, NPR, acknowledge
they'd do fine without tax subsidies, so why do left-of-center politicians
continue to filch money, albeit a small amount, from our pockets to support
them?It's a political, not an existential issue -- buying votes
for leftists.But, it's cynical and arrogant to require ME to
support YOUR media.
Bottom line - if PBS can be self supporting with minimal government funding -
then that's a given. Our trilion $ national debt demands frugality in every
possible way. Suggestion: If one wants to feel good about oneself and others -
switch to "BYU-TV and see the Good in the world."
Republicans and especially conservatives "Hate" an educated public,
it's harder for them to convince literate people of their agenda. It's
been pointed out that fox and am radio fans are the must uninformed folks out
there.Money and profit are the only motivators acceptable by the
right wing.They are sore losers because their propaganda they think
is news would never make the cut on PBS because the Truth is important to some
of us something that your radio entertainment seldom shares.
From a recent Washington Post article: It's worth noting that
Congress funds the Corporation on Public Broadcasting, which divvies up the
money according to formula. A big chunk goes to TV programming, with the rest
going to 581 local television and radio stations around the country. Most of
those stations, in turn, pay to license and run shows like Morning Edition or
All Things Considered.Now, if Congress took this funding away, NPR
and PBS would likely survive, PBS gets just 15 percent of its budget from the
government and NPR just 2 percent. Sesame Street survives on corporate
sponsorships and merchandising deals. But a number of federally-funded public
stations around the country might get shuttered. In many rural areas, local
stations receive more than 50 percent of their funding from state and local
governments. Is that a problem? Can't people in poorer or rural
areas just watch other TV channels? Listen to other radio content? Perhaps, but
the second argument is that public television tends to be more educational than
what the private sector offers. For families that can't afford cable, PBS
is the sole option.
@Happy Valley Heretic"Republicans and especially conservatives
"Hate" an educated public,"Such "I am tolerant and
anyone who disagrees is a bigot" type statements are actually why this
highly educated person dislikes a passive/aggressive popular culture who does
not seem to comprehend that they personify everything they claim to despise.
Re: ". . . fox [sic] and am [sic] radio fans are the must [sic] uninformed
folks out there."Hmmmmm. Perhaps the writer's intent was to
parody Fox and AM radio fans, suggesting this is the way THEY would write his
post, being among America's most uninformed.But frankly, the
diction, spelling, grammar, and misuse of capitalization suggest otherwise.
Nate: "And if you want programming that helps you to feel better about your
liberal positions, pay for it yourself."Nate, please describe
exactly how PBS programs such as NOVA, Masterpiece Theatre, Sesame Street,
Electric Company, Great Performances and Ken Burns documentaries support a
"liberal" position.If you're going to claim that PBS is
biased then it's up to you to provide concrete, real-world evidence of that
bias - not just a basesless assertion of bias because you don't like what
you're hearing.Do you know how tiny the portion of total PBS
funding is that goes to news and analysis programs like PBS Newshour and
Frontline?Are you saying that when one of these news programs
accurately reports on and provides evidence-based analysis that discomfits the
current incarnation of conservative political thought, that this constitutes
political bias?I can appreciate that today's brand of
conservatism finds historical, scientific and political reality offensive, and
that evidence-based news reporting that runs counter to contemporary
conservative beliefs annoys conservatives.Your problem lies with
your refusal to let reality shape your opinions, not with the medium that
conveys uncomfortable truths to you.
Any more, Liberal is a term used to mean anything left of right wing.Today, Reagan would be lambasted as a liberal.
Re: "Your problem lies with your refusal to let reality shape your opinions,
not with the medium that conveys uncomfortable truths to you."No, our problem lies with the concept of government forcibly filching money
from our pockets to pay an exorbitant salary to a talentless leftist, to dictate
what he believes to be -- but demonstrably is not -- the truth.We
should all agree with our founders, that government cannot be trusted to
faithfully and evenhandedly perform duty as the ultimate arbiter of truth. The
danger and folly of such an idea may be lost on a small cabal of academics and
rigid political liberals, but it's an article of faith to real
Americans.I'd be just as unwilling to force you to support
Rush, Glenn, Sean, and Bill, as I am to countenance your forcing me to support
Frosh Air, Weakened Sedition, All Things Ill-Considered, and Big Bird.
JoeBlowAny more, right wing is a term used to mean anything left of
Jane Fonda.Today, Gorbachev would be lambasted as a conservative.Does that mirror piece inspire you to switch teams? Do you think your
comments were any more effective?
Of course you all realize -- KBYU will be switched off.Along with public
broadcasting of LDS General Conference, Women's Conference, BYU
Devotionals, The Brady Bunch and Little House on the Prarie ect.Too
bad - it's the only reason we watch KBYU.
procuradorfiscal: "Forcibly filching money from our pockets..."They're called taxes. They're integral to the social contract that
you enter into when you become part of a civilized, just society."...to dictate what he believes to be -- but demonstrably is not -- the
truth."Demonstrably? Really? Cite the specific instances.Shall we tally and compare what is demonstrably untrue on any PBS
program with a tally of what is demonstrably untrue on FOX? (Or do you really
believe that President Obama is a Muslim Communist and wasn't born in the
US?)"I'd be just as unwilling to force you to support Rush,
Glenn, Sean, and Bill, as I am to countenance your forcing me to support Frosh
Air, Weakened Sedition, All Things Ill-Considered, and Big Bird."Who do you think you're persuading with those childish labels?
DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.— About comments