March 20, 2017

I suppose you can make a legitimate argument for why the government shouldn’t cut funding to public broadcasting, but why do its supporters always run straight to “Evil Republicans want to kill Big Bird!”? Do they really think we're all that stupid?

This link includes some of the “Save Big Bird” headlines, and Greg Gutfeld’s sardonic response. Look, I don’t want to kill Big Bird, and I’m a duck hunter. But the shopworn claim that “Sesame Street” would die without taxpayer support is ludicrous. Gutfeld points out that it gets only 10% of its funding from PBS, and in merchandising terms, it’s a bigger bird than Rodan, the Flying Monster. The “Sesame Street” name is on toys, games, books, clothing, audio recordings, DVDs and countless other products. Big Bird should be the avian equivalent of Bill Gates by now.

Besides, not to denigrate the work of the show’s creators, but how many episodes do we really need? “Sesame Street” has been on the air since 1969, and produced well over 4400 episodes (not counting at least seven spin-off series). If you let your four-year-old watch it for three hours every day, it would take over four years before you’d have to show a rerun, and by then, the kid would’ve outgrown it.

If you want to convince me that public broadcasting deserves my tax dollars, then make the case for why PBS is necessary in an era when we have the Internet and cable outlets such as Animal Planet, HGTV, A&E, the Food Channel, the Travel Channel, BBC America, the History Channel and Smithsonian. Or why I should have to fund the shows I hear when I flip past public radio in my car. Like the “comedy” shows that make endless snarky jokes about how awful Trump and his supporters are. Or the news magazine show I heard recently, in which a panel of women went ballistic at Kellyanne Conway for putting her shoes on an Oval Office couch. I never heard any squawking from public radio when Obama put his feet up on the Presidential desk, which actually has historic significance. They probably think that having it touched by his sacred wingtips made it even more historic.

If you want the public to fund public broadcasting, maybe consider serving the entire public, not just the Chardonnay-sipping, kale-nibbling, Hillary-supporting portion of the public. But if they did that, that’d probably have enough listeners to sell ad time and make a profit so they wouldn’t need taxpayer support.


Leave a Comment

Note: Fields marked with an * are required.

Your Information
Your Comment
BBML accepted!

No Comments