Saturday, February 26, 2011

House Republicans Voted To Kill Big Bird

Yes the Republican led House of Representatives had the numbers as a block, by a vote of 235-189, to eliminate the funding for public broadcasting threatening millions of citizens throughout America with the loss of services that they rely on, especially parents and children.

“PBS and independently owned and operated public television stations is America’s largest classroom, available to all of America’s children including those who can’t attend preschool,” said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger. “PBS' educational programming, as well as our training resources and tools for teachers prepare children for success in school and opens up the world to them in an age appropriate way and builds critical skills in young students. Costing about one dollar per person per year, public broadcasting is an effective, efficient use of leveraged tax dollars a public private partnership that delivers far reaching services that Americans trust and value.”

But in retrospect, just a few weeks ago we handed out tax deferment rewards to corporations by renewing the G. W. Bush’s 2000 tax cuts. This was money the country and tax payers did not have and it was this same tax cuts of 2000 that contributed greatly under funding the operations of the government and left us with the large deficits we are experiencing today.

It is not only the children missing out on educational and learning programs during their earlier years but are we to omit adult education and exposure to facts? Yes these Rush Limbaugh fawning Republican’s future hope of keeping political control is to make sure that the Adult U. S. Population is not exposed to programs like Frontline, BBC News, PBS News Hour (the only TRUE fair and balance U.S. News program), Nightly Business Report, Independent Lens, American Experience, Nova, Nova Science Now, Science Frontiers, Need To Know, well I could go on and on but you get the idea.

An example comes to mind of the Ken Burns documentary, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” If voting-age-adults were not educated and reminded of the uniqueness of our National Parks passing on the fact that each and every citizen is an owner of these Parks, the Republicans could sell them off to their cronies to be developed for their own financial benefit.

Would anyone really think that private financed programs expose their own corruption or even ask embarrassing or probing questions? No!! It will be exactly like an Orwellian prediction of steady streaming the “Corporate Company’s Line.” Are we to become a, “Company Nation,” much like what was described in the poem written by Carl Sandburg titled, “Company Towns” written at the turn of the century? You know, back in the Good O’l Days!!

Company Towns
By Carl Sandburg

You live in a company house
You go to a company school
You work for this company,
according to the company rules.

You all drink company water
and all use company lights,
The company preacher teaches us
What the company thinks is right.

This poem written over a hundred years ago still speaks true today. With the consolidation of the dying newspaper industry by the one voice of Rupert Murdock, and talk radio under the guise of religious, conservative programming; one has to ask themselves, who is purchasing the advertising keeping these program and papers going. Is it the trade unions, the voice of the working class, the masses who pay the bulk of the tax base burden, or is it the same corporations that have recently participated in more and more labor abuses and environmental crimes that are now evermore going unpunished even though the laws are still on the books. Should one of these media venues report negative facts about one of these companies, they will quickly pull the advertisement funding, economically shutting down the programming and reporting from the source. Even in the late 15th century, Niccolo Machiavelli noted that, “Absolute power corrupts, absolutely.”

Are we to produce a whole generation that only repeats these corporate “Rush Limbaugh” sound bites without giving any thoughts behind them?

Here’s a better thought, “Let’s Repeal Those Corporate Tax Cuts And Let’s Vote To Keep U.S. Citizens Well Educated!!”

1 comment:

  1. the right has had their sights on Public Broadcasting for a long time. Their reason to control the flow of information has never been mentioned too much in the debate. After all, that is one of the methods for disseminating propaganda.

    The right has been working at cutting back Public Broadcasting's Budget for some time. They have been trying to turn it into another commercial media outlet. The corporate sponsorship has worked to make that happen.

    Of couse, as you point out, they can't be critical of their advertisers or they see their funds get cut.

    It would be interesting if one of the fund raisers were to pretend to go commercial. That would mean that a lot of what people take for granted would suddenly no longer be there (e.g., classical music, comprehensive news programmes, and so on). Commercial classical music stations are pretty much extinct. Likewise, NPR's news is getting lower budget and more repetitive, but not to the extent of a CNN.

    There are alternatives on the internet (e.g., BBC iplayer), but it is a shame to see public broadcasting go away in the US for those without access to the alternatives.

    Although, I do have to blame the people who were freeloaders and did not "join" their local stations. I am not sure what ignorance could allow for that to happen.

    They will only miss it once it has gone away.