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Elmo must die.

Further, I would be happy to personally bust a cap in his furry little leech ass.
[/Marcellus Williams meta-mask]

Or at least cut off his food stamps, which is really the issue here since nobody but the most fevered moonbats really thinks Sesame Street is going to die if Congress cuts 25% of CPB's funding. I mean, look at all this corporate cash rolling into the coffers, to say nothing of the mad bags of cash being made off Tickle Me Elmo and all the other licensed gear.

Closer to home, the lion's share of CPB cash gets spent on Minnesota Public Radio, including a little less than a quarter-million on revolutionaryjo's favorite iPod station. That's over three times the lousy $62,000 that CPB spends on KFAI, an arguably more diverse station that serves Hmong, Somali and other ethnic communities.

This isn't about MPR hogging the Federal cash trough, though. My real problem with MPR/NPR is that they've fought for years against low-power FM stations, hand-in hand with their for-profit fellow members of the National Association of Broadcasters. Having lost the technical argument over interference years ago, NPR and NAB resorted to naked political clout to keep LPFM licenses rare and hard to get. Pretty strange behavior for people committed to "alternative views", if you ask me.

And don't give me that noise about PBS providing an "alternative to corporate media". It doesn't begin to hold water. Even a few minutes spent listening to PBS (or pledge week on any public radio station, for that matter) reveals plenty of commercial involvement, often from the very corporate giants so reviled by the Left. The only difference between the ads on PBS and the ads on ABC/CBS/NBC are that PBS doesn't interrupt the programming with its ads (exept during pledge week) and doesn't have as much T&A. So at the end of the day, since "the owners determine the content", what's the difference between PBS and ABC/CBS/NBC? I'll wait here while y'all figure that out. Take your time.

So. You want the kind of music Clear Channel or Infinity doesn't play? Fine. Go buy an iPod. Don't come around asking me to lobby my Congressman to help subsidize it, though.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 13th, 2006 07:41 pm (UTC)
I'm honestly not sure, but I think there is a slight difference between corporate sponsorship of PBS and purchasing ads on a corporate broadcasting company. Corporate broadcasting companies are more influenced by who sponsors their shows and will not produce a show if it's not profitable; since PBS isn't trying to make a profit--just earn enough to fund the show they want to produce--they'll just go out of their way to find that one big donor that'll give'm the funds they need to produce the show they've already planned. But in both cases, of course, lack of sponsorship will result in the show not produced. And yes, I did say _slight_ difference; it still is ultimately corporate sponsorship either way.

The problem with the Sesame Street defense is it's a fallacy brought on by cycles of bad Internet chain petitions; anyone who looks into it proves Sesame Street is in no danger. I believe if you poke around, maybe on Snopes, you'll find that the Children's Television Workshop never claimed it was in trouble; some well-meaning chick just said "Save Big Bird" to try and incite people to support funding of PBS and it spiralled out of control. Which is just proof that people regardless of political views are stupid.

Can't say I quite have the sheer venom towards PBS that you seem to exhibit, though I think there is a broad gap between what PBS is and what PBS was intended to be. I like the _idea_ of public broadcasting and community-supported TV but it doesn't work the way it's supposed to, as you point out. And actually, a problem is the owners don't determine the content much of the time. I don't like the idea of them losing funding just because there ARE valuable shows that air on PBS, IMHO, but whether they cut the budget or not, what really needs to be looked at is how it's structured and how it raises funds beyond federal support. PBS could use a rehauling from the bottom up. Heck, this just occurred to me, but maybe its loss of federal funding might cause the producers to get their asses kicked in gear and fix the many things that are broken.

And is it me, or are pledge drives more likely to piss someone off than make someone want to pay money for something? Especially when they pre-empt the shows that are usually on that you actually _want_ to watch for the kind of nonsense like Old Burned Out Folk Musician concerts that suddenly make "A Mighty Wind" more of a testament to the truth than a parody?

Death Quaker
Who actually really likes folk music, but not when she wants to watch old episodes of Doctor Who.
Jun. 13th, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC)
A big part of my ire is directed at MPR, which spends hundreds of millions on recording studios in the expensive part of town and still goes to the State Capitol with its hat in hand asking for a special session so they can get more money from the taxpayers. Greedy bastards. They probably would have gotten the money they asked for if they hadn't gotten all snooty and refused to say what their top execs were earning. I'm not so annoyed with CPB and NPR per se, except for their position on LPFM. And, of course, my general opposition to funding stuff like this out of the Federal budget.

I know that Sesame Street's in no danger. You keep seeing it dragged out by moveon.org and other people who ought to know better, though.
Jun. 13th, 2006 08:22 pm (UTC)
I do think MPR/NPR does provide a valuable service. I've listened to plenty of at-length interviews, speeches, and press confrences by people on both sides of the aisle. Today they had on Mike Hatch for about an hour so I got to actually hear some of his views rather than just 30 second soundbites. A couple of months ago they had programs with Bob Dole, and Newt Gingrich which I thought were quite informative as well. You just don't get that sort of coverage on KSTP or any other talk-radio station you care to mention.
Jun. 13th, 2006 08:38 pm (UTC)
My point is that it's not going away if they cut the CPB budget 25%, and people should quit acting like it would. You want to buy a membership, fine, but quit asking me and others to subsidize your news preferences with our tax dollars.
Jun. 13th, 2006 11:39 pm (UTC)
Just wondering do you support CSPAN? When I have the option of watching a State of the Union Address or something like that on CSPAN, I watch it there rather than any other Newtwork or cable channel.
Jun. 14th, 2006 03:17 am (UTC)
I like C-SPAN showing what the Congresscritters are up to with a raw feed. I'm not sure how they're funded, though.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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