Friday, October 5, 2012

Should we fire Big Bird?

At the debate Wednesday Mitt Romney said that he would cut funds for PBS. He loves Jim Lehrer and he LOVES Big Bird. But he's not going to go into debt to China over funding PBS.  Now if any of you all know me, you now that I am an NPR listener! I love Public Television. I grew up on it and so have my kids(Sid the Science Kid anyone? And I love me some Word Girl) Kai Ryssdal on Marketplace is my favorite and I stream the Diane Rehm show on my phone regularly; yes when you see me on my iPhone bopping my head while shopping, I'm probably nodding my head to the beat of a particularly good question being asked.  But Mitt Romney's going to cut all that out if he's elected president.

I just want to go against the grain and even my own likes for a moment. Do we really need governmental support of TV and Radio at this time? We sure did back in the stone ages of TV when there were literally four channels. (anyone remember UHF vs VHF channels?) Public TV was a bastion of educational and quality programming. It actually still is, BUT…. there are literally hundreds of channels that have quality and educational programming. We pay for them through cable subscriptions that nearly everyone I know has. There's a channel for every proclivity that you can imagine and now there's satellite radio with every piece of music, talk, or idea that you can think of.  

I'm not debating quality at this moment. But if the point of government support of Public TV and radio is that we need to have a non-commercial based quality media station for all due to lack of access…well that argument is gone.  What is public TV for? Why do we need it? I love it but I also love shopping at Saks Jandel.  But I can shop at Loemann's and not put myself into a debtor's prison.  This is not me trying to get rid of PBS and NPR, just saying that if we don't know what something's really for, we have to reassess and re-evaluate or we can't pretend that we're serious about fiscal problems in this country. I also know that that this is an easy target budget-wise and looking at Public media funding cuts won't dent the debt or deficit. But…I'm just saying…

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