Thursday, June 16, 2005

PBS In Trouble

From the Moveon.org website:
"A House panel has voted to eliminate all public funding for NPR and PBS, starting with "Sesame Street," "Reading Rainbow," and other commercial-free children's shows. If approved, this would be the most severe cut in the history of public broadcasting, threatening to pull the plug on Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch.
The cuts would slash 25% of the federal funding this year—$100 million—and end funding altogether within two years.1 In particular, the loss could kill beloved children's shows like "Sesame Street," "Clifford the Big Red Dog," "Arthur" and "Postcards from Buster." Rural stations and those serving low-income communities might not survive. Other stations would have to increase corporate sponsorships.
This shameful vote is only the latest partisan assault on public TV and radio. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which exists to shield public TV and radio from political pressure, is now chaired by Kenneth Tomlinson, a staunch Republican close to the White House. Tomlinson has already forced one-sided conservative programs on the air, even though Tomlinson's own surveys show that most people consider NPR "fair and balanced" and they actually trust public broadcasting more than commercial network news.
Tomlinson also spent taxpayer dollars on a witch hunt to root out "liberal bias," including a secret investigation of Bill Moyers and PBS' popular investigative show, "NOW." Even though the public paid for the investigation, Tomlinson has refused to release the findings.
The lawmakers who proposed the cuts aren't just trying to save money in the budget—they're trying to decimate any news outlets who question those in power. This is an ideological attack on our free press.
Talk about bad timing. Every day brings another story about media consolidation. Radio, TV stations and newspapers are increasingly controlled by a few massive corporate conglomerates trying to maximize profits at the expense of quality journalism. Now more than ever, we need publicly funded media who will ask hard questions and focus on stories that affect real people, instead of Michael Jackson and the runaway bride."

Sign the petition telling Congress to save NPR and PBS.

I become more and more frightened by our government each time I hear something like this. They are trying to muzzle dissent and spoon-feed the news with the spin they want on it (pro- war, pro-corporation, pro-exploitation). Cutting PBS's budget to nothing? So much for "No child left behind". Shows like Sesame Street are the only pre-school education a lot of low income kids get. As far as PBS's reporting of the news, from my view they mostly deal with truth and facts (unlike the right wing biased Fox News or the bloated, constant pontificating of Rush Limbaugh) so please don't confuse truth and facts with liberalism, although I must say they are sometimes very close.
In this day, huge media conglomerates like "Clear Channel" decide what music and media will be promoted. They do this to dumb down the masses and further enslave their minds to serve the corporate masters.
I heard today that Microsoft allows the Chinese sensors to block the words freedom and democracy from web blogs (they say they do this in order to abide by the laws of the countries they do business in). Clearly, what the huge corporations are really interested in is not "freedom" or "democracy". The corporate agenda is capitalism, pure and simple. War, greed and ignorance fuel the lust for power and money and it is an insatiable hunger that can never be satisfied. The sad thing is that they cloak it in pride, patriotism and decency, so that the youth are deceived and caught in the web of lies where life is cheap and might makes right. The time is now to wake up!

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