PBS on the chopping block!

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TNGTony

TNGTony

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Sep 7, 2003
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Every one of the arguments for "commercialization" and "times are different now" come from ignorance (not stupidity, ignorance) of the history of PBS and the intent behind a PUBLICLY SUPPORTED educational broacasting system which is available to all for free. The times are not different now. Every argument made for a free public educational system that has been made in the past holds true today. The only difference is "it has always been there" for us. We don't remember a time without it.

Competition does spur innovation. But when the aim is for getting as much viewership as possible or as much revenue as possible rather than how to best serve the public need for educational and arts enrichment you get what has happened to nearly every "high brow" cable channel in existence. Anyone remember the CBS Cable in 1980? Bravo in 1981? Arts Channel (not classic arts showcase)? The Entertainment Channel? All these channels tried to do what PBS does and all failed eventually. The continued existence of PBS is what spurred the existence of the original Learning Channel (which was commercial free before it sold to Discovery and slowly turned to crap), the History Channel (which has some good stuff but has slowly turned to "the Pawn Stars spin-off channel", A&E (--the result of the merger between the failing Arts channel with the failed premium "Entertainment Channel" has stopped airing any arts or entertainemnt programs). The Discovery channels are still hagning in there, but shows like "Deadliest Catch, Mantracker and Survivorman point the way of the future for this network too. The Science channel is now starting to turn into a scifi and weirness channel with Firefly and Oddities. Through all these changes PBS's programming continues with the same quality and diversity of the arts and education that it has since its founding.

Then there is the absolute MINISCULE amount of money that we are talking about. If all government PBS funding were to be pulled and we the tax payer would get a rebate for this year's contributions, the stamp and the envelope would cost more than the check is worth! We are talking about less than 50¢ per person per year to keep the same funding this year as last year. By contrast, the bill for the AIR CONDITIONING the military in Afghanistan is about $6.70 per person per year.
 
skysurfer

skysurfer

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They'll still be there. Those are the national feeds
Unless you were talking about LPB, OETA and Montana PBS

I agree about the state networks (and even the public tv syndication feeds) will be around. I bet the national feeds except for the backyard service on AMC-1 are gone in 2 or so years.
 
mr3p

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I appreciate your passionate argument for keeping funding for PBS particularly as I appreciate and watch the programming. I will try to stay as non partisan as possible and without pointing fingers at the right or the left, our government is in poor financial health and things could become acutely worse as I'm sure you are aware. Unfortunately in difficult economic times, all government expenses, funded programs and wars need to be re-evaluated. Without addition revenue sources, our government must decrease its spending. There are inumerable "miniscule" government programs which add up to a lot of money. I personally hope that PBS would be one of the last programs to lose funding however nothing funded by taxpayer money should be exempt.
 
Dee_Ann

Dee_Ann

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May 23, 2009
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I saw on the news last night that the government is stamping out like $2 billion a year of some weird, offbeat $1 coin that everyone despises.
Because they are so hated, they warehouse them. But continue to mint them none the less. Straight from the mint to warehouses. BILLIONS of dollars.
All gone to waste.

Um, how about giving a small percent of that to PBS?

The Presidential Coin Scandal - July 14, 2011 - The New York Sun

Now feature the latest news out of Philadelphia, where, according to ABC News Radio, it turns out that the United States Mint has been cranking out something it calls “$1 Presidential Coins” even though nobody wants them. ABC reports that these “manganese brass dollars have proven unpopular with a public that prefers paper.” The mint is now scrambling to find a place to store the slugs. It reports: “ABC News went to one such storage facility, the Federal Reserve in Baltimore, where the coins are in plastics bags and cardboard boxes, stacked one on top of another, creating several aisles of presidential coinage worth millions of dollars.”

The Federal Reserve, according to the ABC report, has told Congress that the coins are “piling up so quickly,” as ABC paraphrases the report, the central bank “will need to spend $650,000 to build a new vault in Dallas to hold them. Shipping the coins to the new secure facility will cost an additional $3 million.” The idea of Congress in precipitating the Mint into this scheme seems to be, as ABC put it, “to honor every dead president.” But it reports that not even a sponsor of the original bill, Senator Reed of Rhode Island, uses the gold-colored slugs that have no gold in them.* ABC quotes the senator as saying he does use nickles, dimes, and quarters — “like everyone else.”


:(
 
jdbob

jdbob

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I saw on the news last night that the government is stamping out like $2 billion a year of some weird, offbeat $1 coin that everyone despises.
Because they are so hated, they warehouse them. But continue to mint them none the less.

Unlike other countries ours is too dumb to realize that if you want people to use $1 coins you stop making $1 paper bills. I really don't see what the big coin hate is. I've used €1 and €2 coins in Europe and NZ $1 and NZ $2 coins in New Zealand, I didn't spontaneously combust or anything.
 
TNGTony

TNGTony

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There are inumerable "miniscule" government programs which add up to a lot of money. I personally hope that PBS would be one of the last programs to lose funding however nothing funded by taxpayer money should be exempt.

Oh, I agree 100%. But if my household is spending $50,000 a year when i am taking in $30,000 a year, my first reaction would not be to cut out the one candy cane I give my kids at Christmas (relatively speaking, that candy cane is MORE expensive to a person bringing in $30.0000 than the PBS funding is to the overall Federal expenditures). One goes after the big-ticket items first!

Also, if you get rid of EVERYTHING the government does EXCEPT Military, Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security the government is STILL spending more than it it is taking in right now.

PBS is a target of convenience because most people have no idea just how little we spend on them. Then the argument becomes, "Well, if it's such a low amount, they wont miss it if it gets cut." That too is an argument of ignorance.
 
Dee_Ann

Dee_Ann

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May 23, 2009
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THERE= a place. not here - THEIR= belongs to them - THEY'RE = short for "They Are". THEN = a point in time; not now. - THAN = used to compare things.
-If you tried 4 times to move forward, it was the FOURTH time you went FORTH! ---Something AFFECTS you. You have an EFFECT on something
Some one can win a MEDAL made of a METAL like gold for showing his METTLE (courage)
If something is LOOSE you might LOSE it. Your=belongs to "you" You're short for "you are"
You file a suit in court. You wear a suit in court. You stay in a suite at the hotel. You sweat it out. Victory is sweet!
If two sets of twin brothers have a gunfight, you have a Dual Duel


HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! I love this! I'm such a b***h about grammar.. :D
 
mr3p

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Also, if you get rid of EVERYTHING the government does EXCEPT Military, Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security the government is STILL spending more than it it is taking in right now.

You are probably correct and this is the core problem. Unfortunately, the number of people in support of those programs dwarfs those who support smaller funded programs like PBS which is why the smaller programs are easier targets.
 
madmadworld

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Exactly how many see it. If people wanted it, they'd watch it. Since there is limited viewership, why should everyone be taxed to continue support? And after the events of PBS et al over the last few months, the last shreds of non-partisanship have been stripped away.

Plenty of "educational" stuff on various networks. Or should we force people to watch what a few determine to be "good for them?"
trouble is people are force to watch what is on the big networks that are owned by a hand full of men.
their goals are not in the public interest just money and that is fine, but i would not want my children watching most of it.(if i had any).
note when you last heard any of the talking heads say for example they were not for "gay rights" or sending illegal immigrants back home ? even tho the public supports this by way over 50%(not my views could care less) but just to show these talking heads are told what to and not to say.
sure PBS has leftest side to it but they are the ones who support them not the rightists,something to be thankful for.
please send my tax $ to PBS.
 
TNGTony

TNGTony

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You are probably correct and this is the core problem. Unfortunately, the number of people in support of those programs dwarfs those who support smaller funded programs like PBS which is why the smaller programs are easier targets.
So we are agreed that the PBS cuts have nothing to do with finances and everything to do with politics.

[madmadworld said:
sure PBS has leftest side to it
This next statement is not intended to derail the conversation into politics. It is an observation. The perception that PBS is leftist is without merit. When a President with policies more to the right of the sainted Ronald Reagan is called a socialist anything even approaching the center will appear leftist.
 
Conky

Conky

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every Thursday I go to my public library for a few hours. There are over a dozen computers there always occupied. Not with people doing research or looking up recipes or online learning. It's mostly kids(skipping school) and adults on their personal shrine (aka facebook) or playing Flash games, Solitaire etc. If a computer isn't available they'll sit and wait staring at the wall until one becomes available. On the other side of the room it's me and 1 or 2 other people and 10000 untouched books collecting dust.

What's my point? It's that if tv is awful, maybe it's because that's what the majority of people WANT to see(while educational Tv like PBS, TVO, History, Discovery etc wither) If the audience were there, good tv would be thriving. We're living in a time where more people vote for a singer than vote for their leaders. TV is dumber beause the audience is dumber.
 
mr3p

mr3p

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So we are agreed that the PBS cuts have nothing to do with finances and everything to do with politics.

I would appreciate the courtesy of not having words put in my mouth. The fact is that any time the government decreases spending they are saving money.

What I beleive you are saying is that the money saved from cutting PBS isn't significant in the big picture however what you are ignoring is that their are endless small ticket items which add up to a lot of money. While you and I may believe PBS funding is an important, others may not. I've also said it above but wasting millions of dollars on wars (I'm not referring to miliarty personel which I 100% support), social security, etc does not justify wasting less monies elsewhere.
 
Dee_Ann

Dee_Ann

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May 23, 2009
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Social Security is MINE. And yours. The government takes it from you by force, you have no choice in the matter. I WANT IT BACK when I am old. The government however has piddled it away playing stock market tycoon and it's gone. MY MONEY. YOUR MONEY.. Now they tell us we can't have our money back in our old age. "Tough luck pal." is all we'll get when we're old and needing our money back. Our government is corrupt to the core and their priorities are BAD and WRONG. They don't care about the little people, it's all about keeping the rich rich and in power at the expense of the little people. They need to cut out the PORK and corruption and put the will and needs of WE THE PEOPLE ~first~...

PBS is such a minute expense but such a worthwhile cause. People need to watch more PBS and less "Wives of _______", less football, less DWTS, less AGT, less scripted reality and focus on learning.
SMART PEOPLE PROSPER. Stupid people, live in swamps and get on reality TV. They get their 15 minutes then they go back to languishing in their trailers in the swamp and backwoods.
I have friends in Europe. Many countries in Europe REQUIRE you to speak 12 languages before you can graduate high school. One friend of mine is a native Swede but to hear her speak you wouldn't know it. She can speak multiple languages without accent. She can speak English like an American and with a perfect British accent when she's in England. She can speak French and German without flaw. And several others.

And in America? They have to put subtitles in for people from Louisiana because their English is so poor that it is almost a foreign language.

Why aren't we focused on educating people so that they can elevate themselves to a better position in life? Is it easier to keep the people stupid and drugged up on the idiot box?
Are stupid people easier to control? I hate to say it but when the stupid people get hungry after the rich have robbed them blind and caused the country to collapse, the stupid people have GUNS and they are going to be the ones to rise up against their oppressors.

It is a much better thing to educate people from their earliest days to their last days so that they can be productive, tax paying citizens that can work to make a better country for everyone to enjoy. The right wing complains about welfare and all that? Well, educate them and they won't have to be on welfare ya dummies! Sheesh!

ok, that was my rant for the day..

Let's banish ignorance and stupidity. Let's educate everyone, equally. M'kay? :)
 
stogie5150

stogie5150

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SOME of us backwards humps from Louisiana dont WANT the 'education' forced upon us by government indoctrination centers. I learned MUCH more after I left high school than the 12 years I was in it. PBS, NPR, etc. push a certain AGENDA. Us backwards humps don't want any part of that agenda, and we sure don't want our tax money, that is TAKEN from us by FORCE, used to support an agenda we don't agree with.

BTW I HATE so called "reality TV" too. :D

But I do love my Hockey and College Football in the fall. But I wouldn't cry if it went away...:)
 
Tron

Tron

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Dee, not everyone from Louisiana is the stereotypical "hick" that the media likes to portray. Yes, many parts of the state are backwards, but that is true of most states.

What's my point? It's that if tv is awful, maybe it's because that's what the majority of people WANT to see(while educational Tv like PBS, TVO, History, Discovery etc wither) If the audience were there, good tv would be thriving. We're living in a time where more people vote for a singer than vote for their leaders. TV is dumber beause the audience is dumber.

Unfortunately true, I couldn't have said it better myself. Just look at what passes for NEWS these days! There isn't much difference between the major news channels and a celebrity gossip show!

Television will always mirror society. Sadly, that is the case with current TV as much as it was the case with TV from the Golden Age...
 
phlatwound

phlatwound

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SOME of us backwards humps from Louisiana dont WANT the 'education' forced upon us by government indoctrination centers. I learned MUCH more after I left high school than the 12 years I was in it. PBS, NPR, etc. push a certain AGENDA. Us backwards humps don't want any part of that agenda, and we sure don't want our tax money, that is TAKEN from us by FORCE, used to support an agenda we don't agree with.

BTW I HATE so called "reality TV" too. :D

But I do love my Hockey and College Football in the fall. But I wouldn't cry if it went away...:)

Could someone around here, with more refinement and progressive education than myself, please translate or subtitle the gentleman from LA's above post............ :D
 
M

Mauiguy

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Jan 3, 2008
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SOME of us backwards humps from Louisiana dont WANT the 'education' forced upon us by government indoctrination centers. I learned MUCH more after I left high school than the 12 years I was in it. PBS, NPR, etc. push a certain AGENDA. Us backwards humps don't want any part of that agenda, and we sure don't want our tax money, that is TAKEN from us by FORCE, used to support an agenda we don't agree with.

BTW I HATE so called "reality TV" too. :D

But I do love my Hockey and College Football in the fall. But I wouldn't cry if it went away...:)

I have been following this thread, and man, you just said what I have been wanting to say all along, only you did it better.
 
S

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PBS used to have a slogan "If PBS didn't do it, who would".

Unfortunatly for PBS, the Market has answered. PBS programming consists of, more or less, British imports (BBC America), highly commentative news (MSNBC, CNN, etc), documentary and quasi-educational programming (any of 20 odd channels from Discovery to History to many more), "highbrow" programming (A&E, etc), children's programming (any of a dozen channels), and a very little amount of actual educational programming, mainly because when PBS was created a VCR cost the modern equilvent of $10000, and now schools and individuals just use recorded media and the internet for the original purpose of PBS. NPR consists, almost exclusively, of highly commentative news and classical music. XM/SSR, and the incrediable price drop in recorded media and the easy downloadabilty of recorded music make it purposeless.

And, of course, endless beg-o-thons.

It is time that we admit that the broadcasting world has been changed from when there were 3 channels, a good record collection was 30 albums, and a VCR was something you read about in Popular Science. It is time to end the subsidy. If PBS actually served a purpose, the Market will take care of it. If not, then all the better.

And without getting deeply political, the idea that PBS/NPR news is not highly commentative is so rediculious it is unworthy of rebutal, but on a more basic level, the government should not be in the news business, regardless of the fairness of its employees. Government subsidy of one person's views is a de facto restriction on everyone else's. The further argument that "its only a few cents compared to some program I don't like" is pointless. One of Rumsfeld's Rules, is "Treat each federal dollar as if it was hard earned. It was -- by a taxpayer." Of course. To say otherwise is like saying that its OK to burn down someone's outhouse because someone else already burned down their house.
 
LoTech

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Some of you guys are getting a little out of control. This discussion is morphing into a discussion of personal and political views, and has little to do with FTA.
 
walrus1957

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Some of you guys are getting a little out of control. This discussion is morphing into a discussion of personal and political views, and has little to do with FTA.

Sad but so true LoTech!

I believe in much of what Dee_Ann has stated in this thread, however I do not trust our government anymore. For every dollar they rack in of our tax money, less than one cent actually goes to the intended program, the rest ends up in the political process and in some rich Congressman's pocket. I also am a strong believer in less government control, and do not want them to dictate to me what I should or should not watch or do "diddo those comments from Stogie5150".

Our school system is a mess, they through more money at it every year and the education gets worse. If you knew half of what this money is going toward you would demand that public schools be closed imediately! This is the fault of the bozos in charge of our so called public education, a bunch of liberal educated idiots that think learning about alternative life styles is more important than reading, math or science!

OK I feel better now, everyone else was getting thier little rant in and I was feeling a little left out.
 
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