Time to Pull Plug on PBS

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Adam's Apple, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Cut Buster Loose
    By George F. Will for The Washington Post
    March 3, 2005

    In 1967 Lyndon Johnson added yet another piece to the jigsaw puzzle of national perfection: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting was born. Public television was a dubious idea even when concocted as a filigree on the Great Society. Why should government subsidize the production and distribution of entertainment and, even worse, journalism? Even if there were -- has there ever been? -- a shortage of either in America, is it government's duty to address all cultural shortages?

    Today, with iPod earphone cords dangling from millions of heads, and movies flooding into homes where they jostle for plasma screen time with video games, Americans are entertaining themselves into inanition. Furthermore, journalism and imitations of it have become social smog. Even in airport concourses you are bombarded by televised human volcanoes verbally assaulting each other about the "news," broadly -- very broadly -- defined to include Kobe Bryant's presence on Michael Jackson's witness list.

    In 1967 public television did at least increase, for many, the basic television choices from three -- CBS, NBC, ABC -- to four. Not that achieving some supposedly essential minimum was, or is, the government's business. In today's 500-channel environment, public television is a preposterous relic.

    Not too long ago the Public Broadcasting Service tried an amazingly obtuse and arrogant slogan: "If PBS doesn't do it, who will?" What was the antecedent of the pronoun "it"? Presumably "culture" or "seriousness" or "relevance." Or something. But in a television universe that includes the History Channel, Biography, A&E, Bravo, National Geographic, Disney, TNT, BBC America, Animal Planet, the Learning Channel, the Outdoor Channel, Noggin, Nickelodeon, and scads of other cultural and information channels, what is the antecedent?

    for full story
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A2711-2005Mar2.html
     
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  2. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    LOL! Back when bad old Newt Gingrich and the "mean-spirited" Republican congress were talking about defunding PBS, PBS commissioned what I consider the prototype "loaded poll":

    "If funding for PBS were cut, who would suffer more - children or adults?"

    This is the kind of garbage that gives polling a bad name. These bastards elevate lying to an art form.
     
  3. onedomino
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    onedomino SCE to AUX

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    I agree that journalism and entertainment should not be funded on PBS. Tax dollars should not be used for such purposes. Why is the government funding a network that televises Antique Road Show? Are tax dollars being used to pay for Charlie Rose interviews with Hollywood actors? If these shows are worthy and popular, then let them survive on commercial and cable networks, or not at all. Only education should be funded.
     
  4. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    I agree 100%. Wouldn't it be interesting to see if anyone, anywhere really gives a shit what Charlie Rose has to say? Phil Donahue found out the answer to that question in a hurry, didn't he? You KNOW he's gotta be kicking himself for not going the PBS route. "What was I thinking - beating my brains out in the REAL world?"
     
  5. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Most PBS programming is bullshit. However when they do the arts, they do a good job. When they do a special like on Islam, they do a good job. Perhaps they could be educational tv, without bias?
     
  6. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    I could see that - in some well-monitored context. They ran a special on the history of Dayton, Ohio the other night - focussing on the disastrous 1913 flood. I was all settled in to enjoy it when, of course, I was called away in order to tend to the ongoing soap opera that is my professional life. Damn! But, yeah - I can see where - in the right circumstances - public TV can be a very useful thing. Boy, would there have to be some changes, though!
     
  7. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Yeah, do away with 'news and commentary' ala Bill Moyers, that would be a start.
     
  8. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    Bill Moyers - what a great case for retroactive abortion!
     
  9. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    I see no reason at all why the taxpayers should continue to fund PBS. I used to watch The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, but since Fox Cable News became available, I seldom watch that show anymore. We need to cut the non-essentials from our over-bloated budget, and items like PBS and National Public Radio could easily be put on the chopping block. Heaven knows there is no need in today's huge broadcasting market for publicly funded programming. It's like Onedomino said, any worthwhile programs aired on PBS could be marketed to the commercial or cable stations as offerings to their customers.
     
  10. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    And that is the crux. Everything that PBS does right now (educational programming, kid's programs, etc.) is already on another privately managed channel. I say PBS is gone.
     

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