Skip to comments.Congress Looks to Defund PBS
Posted on 06/10/2005 2:52:16 PM PDT by wagglebee
In a move seen as a Republican attack on public broadcasting and its "liberal bias, a GOP-controlled House subcommittee has voted to cut federal funding for public television and radio nearly in half.
The move would eliminate a $23 million federal program that helps underwrite popular childrens shows such as "Sesame Street and "Postcards From Buster. Also, the subcommittee voted to eliminate within two years all federal money for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provides a portion of public broadcasters funds, beginning with a 25 percent cut in CPBs budget for next year from $400 million to $300 million.
On top of that, the House Appropriations subcommittee on labor, health and human services, and education cut $50 million that was supposed to go toward upgrading the networks aging satellite technology.
"Expressing alarm, public broadcasters and their supporters in Congress interpreted the move as an escalation of a Republican-led campaign against a perceived liberal bias in their programming, the Washington Post reported.
In fact, the CPBs own new chairman, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, has readily admitted that public television has a liberal bias, stating: "I frankly feel at PBS headquarters there is a tone deafness to issues of tone and balance.
As NewsMax.com reported, Tomlinson insisted that CPB needs to take a more balanced approach to politics in order to attract a wider range of donors.
Nevertheless, Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, said the Republicans "are trying to put their ideological stamp on public broadcasting.
But the subcommittees Republican chairman, Rep. Ralph Regula of Ohio, said the cuts had nothing to do with dissatisfaction over public broadcasting.
"The thinking was, theres not enough money for everything, he said in an interview.
"There are must-do, need-to-do and nice-to-do programs that we have to pay for. [Public broadcasting] is somewhere between a need-to-do and a nice-to-do.
"No ones out to get public broadcasting, he said. "Its not punitive in any way.
Regula said public stations could "make do without taxpayer funds by getting more donations from private sources, including corporations and viewers.
The cuts in financing went significantly beyond those requested by the Bush administration and are likely to be approved by the House, according to the New York Times, although the House could restore the funding when it meets with the Senate on budget legislation later this year.
Small public radio stations in rural areas are expected to be particularly hard hit if the spending cuts are approved because theyre already operating on very tight budgets.
"This could literally put us out of business, Paul Stankavich, president of the Alaska Public Radio Network, an alliance of 26 stations in the state, told the Post.
"Almost all of us are down to the bone right now.
That's the idea!
This is great news, there is no reason our tax money should be used to fund anti-American propoganda.
They call it "listener-supported radio" here in Indiana. Could it really be "taxpayer supported radio"? Hmmm.
sounds good to me.
Let's hope NPR is next!
And they call us simple minded.
/// for the sarcasm impaired.
He's Got A Plan
excellent! let Elmo rot in hell
Satellite radio, for a few bucks per month, more than meet demand for mainstream, crazy, and even questionable radio programing. More power to it!
Both are privately funded. Both do what PBS does, and for far less.
I used to work at a PBS affiliate. We don't need them since someone else is doing what they do, and far more efficiently.
Stop the poison. Stop PBS.
Yeah, Congress "looks" to reform the tax code, too.
As long as the Senate exists in its current form, I'll hold off on making any plans for celebration.
20 years too late!
Let's hope the ACLU is next.
Don't these public stations pay huge sums for the syndicated spew? Let the local stations come up with their own programming and sell it. There's a Garrison Keillor in every small town just waiting to bloviate.
Hey Paul, you are not in 'business' when you don't have to earn a profit. You lived in a dream world by living off of large corporate donations and tax moeney.
So, get a real job and actually MAKE A PROFIT.
What an idiot. This will in no way change the liberal bias of PBS. This isn't about content as much as it's about what the need is to support this network anymore.
True, it's biased. But it doesn't need taxpayer money to survive. Cut it loose.
I wonder why Carl put quotation marks around the phrase "liberal bias"?
Great. Don't "fix" it. Don't "balance" it. Kill it.
One small reduction in government's all pervasive and insatiable presence. The good shows will get picked up commercially so all this 'hiding behind Big Bird' is just a crock anyway.
That's right: when Republican-bred Sharon Percy Rockefeller goes before the Senate to make her case again, the senators will yield, probably on the motion of Rockefeller's husband's colleague, the popular Robert Carlyle Byrd.
Moyers made millions from PBS.
The government paid for all the production fees of his product and then he resold them and kept all the profit.
Great work if you can get it.
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