Topic: Cultural Civil War
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On the November 8, 2002 edition of PBS's "Now," Bill Moyers gave the following commentary:
The entire federal government -- the Congress, the executive, the courts -- is united behind a right-wing agenda for which George W. Bush believes he now has a mandate. That agenda includes the power of the state to force pregnant women to surrender control over their own lives. It includes using the taxing power to transfer wealth from working people to the rich. It includes giving corporations a free hand to eviscerate the environment and control the regulatory agencies meant to hold them accountable. And it includes secrecy on a scale you cannot imagine.
Above all, it means judges with a political agenda appointed for life. If you like the Supreme Court that put George W. Bush in the White House, you will swoon over what's coming. And if you like God in government, get ready for the Rapture...
So it's a heady time in Washington, a heady time for piety, profits and military power, all joined at the hip by ideology and money. Don't forget the money... Republicans out-raised Democrats by $184 million and they came up with the big prize: monopoly control of the American government and the power of the state to turn their radical ideology into the law of the land. Quite a bargain at any price.
Did you enjoy that tirade? I hope so. You paid for it.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds PBS and NPR, in 2003 received a $363 million federal appropriation, representing a whopping 45% increase in federal funding in just four years. In return for this largess, taxpayers have received, among other choice moments: obnoxious and biased screeds like the one from Moyers, a TV special that even the ultra-liberal New York Times called an "Islamic infomercial," NPR's blacklisting of premier Islamic terror expert Steven Emerson, and reporter Nina Totenberg's expressed wish that Jesse Helms' grandchildren would get AIDS.
Recently Andrei Codrescu, on NPR's "All Things Considered," mocked Evangelicals' belief in the rapture of the saints, offering that "[t]he evaporation of 4 million [Evangelicals] who believe in this [Christian] crap would leave this world a better place."
Even if CPB's outlets had no bias, it would be superfluous. A National Taxpayers Union article puts it well:
When CPB was created in 1967 -- before the Internet, before satellite television, before VCRs or DVDs, before cable TV with hundreds of channels -- a stronger case could be made that there was a public benefit to subsidize other voices and programming. Now, with the media explosion of the past quarter century, there is little justification left for public subsidies.
Why continue to underwrite Julia Child and Emeril Lagasse when viewers can watch the Food Network (where the latter often appears)? Why subsidize history programming on PBS when viewers have the History Channel or can rent history documentaries at their local video store? Along with all the stations on free radio, listeners can tune in over the Internet to hundreds of stations all over the world. And for less than $10 a month, listeners can receive the 100 channels of XM Radio in their cars and homes.
It's time to stop feeding this left-wing dinosaur. Use the Ten Minute Lobbyist's Basic Contact Links to ask your representatives to remove all taxpayer funding from CPB and let it prove itself in the free marketplace of ideas, where dinosaurs tend to become quickly extinct.