DeMint calls for end of public financing for PBS, NPR

posted at 12:20 pm on March 4, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

What do the numbers $369,000, $632,233, and $1.2 million have in common?  According to Senator Jim DeMint, those are the salaries received by top-ranking executives of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS, and NPR in 2009.  When publicly-financed media operations can afford to pay those kinds of salaries, DeMint argues, it’s time for them to pay their own way:

While executives at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR) are raking in massive salaries, the organizations are participating in an aggressive lobbying effort to prevent Congress from saving hundreds of millions of dollars each year by cutting their subsidies. The so-called commercial free public airwaves have been filled with pleas for taxpayer cash. The Association of Public Television Stations has hired lobbyists to fight the cuts. Hundreds of taxpayer-supported TV, radio and Web outlets have partnered with an advocacy campaign to facilitate emails and phone calls to Capitol Hill for the purpose of telling members of Congress, “Public broadcasting funding is too important to eliminate!”

Is it?  Only if one takes economic advice from Elmo.  Otherwise, the explosion of media choices for Americans across the country — media choices produced by a free market — and their targeted demography shows that public television has become an anachronism.  As such, one might expect those publicly-financed operations to contract, especially in an age of massive budget deficits.  On the contrary, DeMint says:

Despite how accessible media has become to Americans over the years, funding for CPB has grown considerably. In 2001, the federal government appropriated $340 million for CPB. Last year it got $420 million. As Congress considers ways to close the $1.6 trillion deficit, cutting funding for the CPB has even been proposed by President Obama’s bipartisan deficit reduction commission. Instead, Mr. Obama wants to increase CPB’s funding to $451 million in his latest budget.

Meanwhile, highly successful, brand-name public programs like Sesame Street make millions on their own. “Sesame Street,” for example, made more than $211 million from toy and consumer product sales from 2003-2006. Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell received $956,513 in compensation in 2008. With earnings like that, Big Bird doesn’t need the taxpayers to help him compete against the Nickleodeon cable channel’s Dora the Explorer.

In other words, Elmo will do just fine if forced to go private, as will Dora, Big Bird, and the Cookie Monster.  The entire question is absurd given the fiscal realities of a national debt approaching 100% of our GDP and massive annual deficits that will blow right past the Greek marker within a year or two, David Harsanyi writes at Reason.  It’s time to start cutting and stop wringing our hands about it:

When, as Democrats contend, cutting a single-digit percentage of the budget becomes an abdication of our duty, how can we ever get to $61 billion in spending cuts, much less a balanced budget? If half the government believes that creating debt is an economic stimulant, what are the chances of our ever dealing with national debt?

Any spending cut that does not involve defense (which should be on the table) induces Democrats to lament the inconceivable and imagined personal and economic toll Americans will suffer. The truth is that those who view nearly all government spending as not only a moral obligation but also economically advantageous don’t really want to cut a penny.

Spending on PBS, NPR, and CPB are a drop in the bucket, to be sure.  Cutting off all three entirely would retire around 0.0625% of the current annual deficit.  But given the successful nature of these shows and their executives, especially when they have proven they can raise funds and compete in the private market (especially on merchandising), the reluctance to call off these subsidies for an anachronism like public broadcasting makes Big Bird the canary in the coal mine for seriousness on fiscal discipline.  If Congress can’t bring itself to cut spending here … then where will it take action?  If our political class lacks the character and fortitude to cut spending on fictional characters, then heaven help us when we get to the entitlement programs for real people.

Update: I’m told by people who know that Dora the Explorer is a character for Nickolodeon, owned by Viacom and definitely not a subsidized character.  You think a grandpa would know that …


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“Sesame Street,” for example, made more than $211 million from toy and consumer product sales from 2003-2006. Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell received $956,513 in compensation in 2008.

Remember the outrage when statistics like this were quoted when AIG was getting government money? …neither do the hypocritical liberals.

Scrappy on March 4, 2011 at 12:23 PM

If our political class lacks the character and fortitude to cut spending on fictional characters, then heaven help us when we get to the entitlement programs for real people.

well, considering that some of the ‘real people’ within the political class also happen to be ‘fictional characters’ it just makes sense that they are anathemic to cuts for both the peeps, as well as the cheeps. There is no distinction.

ted c on March 4, 2011 at 12:23 PM

BERT IS EVIL

I can’t believe they would market a ‘shoot me up elmo’ doll…..

right4life on March 4, 2011 at 12:24 PM

And the EPA, and the one million redundant government programs that would keep us well under the current debt ceiling.

Speakup on March 4, 2011 at 12:24 PM

It’s great that he’s calling for an end to their public financing. How hard is he willing to push?

Results.

Nothing less.

pugwriter on March 4, 2011 at 12:24 PM

ted c on March 4, 2011 at 12:23 PM

I agree that the supposition any of them HAS any character is fictional.

PJ Emeritus on March 4, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Good for DeMint.

The whining on this one will probably be through the roof, though, so the GOP better stand tough.

I know for a fact that I’m going to be hearing incessant whining about this down here, as I’ve got a relative in public broadcasting who loves to pull out the “Bill Moyers isn’t here anymore!” card as an excuse to say that public broadcasting is apolitical and not leftist.

teke184 on March 4, 2011 at 12:28 PM

I love it!
You know, the left never stops pushing their agendas. Neither should we!

JellyToast on March 4, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Here’s what my liberal friend suggested, and I agree.
Instead of defunding NPR, etc, just announce the government is cutting everything some percentage (10%?) across the board. And let each department figure out how to do it.

(I really like NPR, Masterpiece Classics, and Antiques Roadshow)

MayBee on March 4, 2011 at 12:31 PM

His argument is valid in terms of the executives making too much money, but you can’t turn that around and say that member stations would be fine with the federal money cut off. They would not. In no way would most stations be fine. It would mean the complete end of PBS in dozens of markets.

Sesame Street doesn’t send member stations money, so the $211 million figure is pointless to the debate. No more federal funding would, no doubt, mean that scores of stations across the country would have to shut down, and unfortunately it would mean rural stations and smaller marker stations. WNET, WGBH, and the other flagship stations would be fine.

I do disagree that public tv stations serve no purpose. Cable has 300 channels, sure, but few stations will touch local issues in any depth manner or really do community outreach outside of local news, and the goal with local news is just to rake in the cash by sponsoring EVERYTHING down to the weather crawl with ad money.

TheBlueSite on March 4, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Free countries don’t need state media.

Akzed on March 4, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Terrific, in principle.

But a bad PR move politically. It looks “mean” to a lot of the independents we won over in 2010, and would push them back toward the Dems.

Bat Chain Puller on March 4, 2011 at 12:33 PM

In other words, Elmo will do just fine if forced to go private, as will Dora, Big Bird, and the Cookie Monster.

“One of these things is not like the other…”
Isn’t Dora one one of the networks? I’m sure I saw it on TV once, in a place that didn’t get PBS.

Count to 10 on March 4, 2011 at 12:34 PM

As always, it’s follow the money. In this case directly to the rice bowls of these public broadcasting grandees. What do these people do to warrant this kind of pay?

Mason on March 4, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Oscar the grouch may have a problem in the real world

cmsinaz on March 4, 2011 at 12:35 PM

It would mean the complete end of PBS in dozens of markets.
TheBlueSite on March 4, 2011 at 12:32 PM

So? Obviously, it isn’t appreciated, let alone needed, in such markets.

Count to 10 on March 4, 2011 at 12:35 PM

TheBlueSite on March 4, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Let the market decide. If local public stations collapse it’s because not enough people want to see their programming.

Simple as an anvil.

pugwriter on March 4, 2011 at 12:36 PM

(I really like NPR, Masterpiece Classics, and Antiques Roadshow)

MayBee on March 4, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Defunding PBS doesn’t necessarily mean that these programs will disappear. If they are that good, and can attract viewers, they will be picked up by other stations.

UltimateBob on March 4, 2011 at 12:37 PM

I do disagree that public tv stations serve no purpose. Cable has 300 channels, sure, but few stations will touch local issues in any depth manner or really do community outreach outside of local news, and the goal with local news is just to rake in the cash by sponsoring EVERYTHING down to the weather crawl with ad money.

TheBlueSite on March 4, 2011 at 12:32 PM

I’ve never seen PBS do anything local — it was all national, with a little bit of state level. I’ve seen local cable channels do more.

Count to 10 on March 4, 2011 at 12:37 PM

The excuse is advertiser money = influence.

If PBS produces a product that the public runs to the adverstiser dollars will be shoved into their hands with no strings attached.

Limerick on March 4, 2011 at 12:38 PM

pugwriter on March 4, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Exactly.

Every so-called “conservative” in Congress is burning up the airwaves howling about how “we gotta cut that eeeeevil spending.”

Where are the bills? Where are the votes? Where are the cuts?

Some people seem perfectly satisfied with declarations of principles. (Not naming names.) In the time they’ve been in office — and in the House majority — what has come out of the great Conservative R*v*l*t**n?

Nothin’, that’s what.

MrScribbler on March 4, 2011 at 12:38 PM

A couple of days ago in response to Boxer’s drivel, Mark Levin said that if they are really all that worried about Elmo, that he and his friends would gladly buy Sesame Street, put it on commercial TV….. and make a fortune with it

LegendHasIt on March 4, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Another government scam that needs to be dealt with.

If we got rid of the waste, fraud and scam benefits
paid for by our tax dollars, we would probably put a nice
dent in our minus figure.

Don’t let the “its a small amount; it doesn’t account
for much” strategy get to you. Everything adds up.

In your household budget a Latte a week from Starbucks
doesn’t sound like much either; however, times 52 = approximately $200.00 annually. And a latte a day –
Wow! $1400.00!

Amjean on March 4, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Oh for crying out loud….quit talking about it and JUST.DO.IT! Gitterdun already….sheesh

sicoit on March 4, 2011 at 12:41 PM

On the topic of defunding, maybe the BATF need to some of that:

Agent: I was ordered to let U.S. guns into Mexico (CBS News)

ATF agent says “Fast and Furious” program let guns “walk” into hands of Mexican drug cartels with aim of tracking and breaking a big case.

ATF begins spin in wake of devastating press reports

Now that CBS News has delivered its second definitive report on the scope of “Project Gunwalker”* and Senator Grassley has expressed his determination to not allow the Department of Justice to stonewall his investigations, the damage control at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have begun in earnest.

Insert witty screen name here on March 4, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Spending on PBS, NPR, and CPB are a drop in the bucket, to be sure …

Who cares? Before you ask ME to work until I’m 70 (which I’m totally willing to do) … I’d better see the government STOP spending money on stupid stuff like PBS, NPR, NEA … etc.

You don’t just throw up your hands and go right to demanding Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public to change their retirement plans while continuing to fund BS like this. When you do that – it says one thing …

“The government cares more about the fat cats in public broadcasting than it does the poor schlubs out here who are paying their salaries.”

Not a good message to send to American taxpayers.

HondaV65 on March 4, 2011 at 12:42 PM

IT IS ABOUT DAMN TIME……geeeeezzz…maybe these three bonehads can give ME their money in true Michael Moore fashion…….

SDarchitect on March 4, 2011 at 12:42 PM

when npr uses its (our) bandwidth to spread propaganda Tue time has come to end the subsidies.

NY Conservative on March 4, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Insert witty screen name here on March 4, 2011 at 12:42 PM

I agree that BATF should be defunded and abolished yet, this is NEVER on anyone’s radar screen. Why not?

The FBI is perfectly capable of handling all the duties of the ATF.

And the ATF has never been more than an an embarrassment to this nation.

HondaV65 on March 4, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Maybe AOL will take PBS over…

mjbrooks3 on March 4, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Big Bird in the coal mine? hahahahaha!!!!!

sonnyspats1 on March 4, 2011 at 12:45 PM

And the ATF has never been more than an an embarrassment to this nation.

HondaV65 on March 4, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Can’t really argue with that.

Their first big media event was the freaking Branch Davidian siege outside of Waco and things have gone downhill from there.

teke184 on March 4, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Makes no difference. Boehner, et al aren’t cutting it. Nor are they touching Planned Parenthood. Nada y pues nada.

rrpjr on March 4, 2011 at 12:48 PM

The Teletubbies are on acid.

John the Libertarian on March 4, 2011 at 12:48 PM

I wonder…

If I put a noose around Elmo’s neck, and strung him up outside the CPB’s headquarters…

Would that be a hate crime?

JohnGalt23 on March 4, 2011 at 12:50 PM

This is a no brainer and should have been proposed decades ago. I’m sure when they first got up and running they needed some help, but obviously they’re doing just fine now. I wouldn’t expect a big surge in donors though, not after reading about those exorbitant salaries.

scalleywag on March 4, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Lovin’ DeMint :D

MeatHeadinCA on March 4, 2011 at 12:51 PM

The federal government is arming the banditos to the south as a means to fund the army that is going to invade texas/az/NM/CA. All of the ‘illegal immigration’ over the last several years has merely been route reconnaissance.

say it ain’t so.

ted c on March 4, 2011 at 12:51 PM

But….how will the execs pay for their perks, if not for the tax dollars? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Screw the unemployed. We need our over abundance of tax dollars, so we can dine out on their dime!!!

capejasmine on March 4, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Makes no difference. Boehner, et al aren’t cutting it. Nor are they touching Planned Parenthood. Nada y pues nada.

rrpjr on March 4, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Maybe it’s time to start e-mailing our reps…

MeatHeadinCA on March 4, 2011 at 12:52 PM


And the ATF has never been more than an an embarrassment to this nation.

HondaV65 on March 4, 2011 at 12:44 PM

You kind of have to wonder why the people charged with overseeing the products found in really good convenience stores would be wanting to see guns head over the border…..

……. Unless all those guns traceable back to the US would help them attain even more funding and power…………

Nah! That can’t be it.

Colbyjack on March 4, 2011 at 12:55 PM

In other words, Elmo will do just fine if forced to go private, as will Dora, Big Bird, and the Cookie Monster.

“One of these things is not like the other…”
Isn’t Dora one one of the networks? I’m sure I saw it on TV once, in a place that didn’t get PBS.

Count to 10 on March 4, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Yes, Dora the Explorer is a show created by and shown on Nickelodeon

thebrokenrattle on March 4, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Actually, considering all the psycho-babble, enviro-friendly propaganda and food nazification these programs contain nowadays – Sesame Street, Electric Company, etc…

Get rid of the public funding. perhaps alGore’s Current TV will pick some of this drivel up? Cartoon Network? Nickelodeon? Boom?

How many other networks out there they could go to – IF they’re that needed?

There’s plenty.

Cut bait. Let them stand or fail on their own.

catmman on March 4, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Sesame Street has been and continues to be every bit as successful as a lot of Disney shows and they don’t get tax dollars…or do they? Nothing surprises me anymore.

scalleywag on March 4, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Maybe it’s time to start e-mailing our reps…

MeatHeadinCA on March 4, 2011 at 12:52 PM

+ 10..That is a very good idea..:)

Dire Straits on March 4, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Unless all those guns traceable back to the US would help them attain even more funding and power…………

Nah! That can’t be it.

Colbyjack on March 4, 2011 at 12:55 PM

That wouldn’t surprise me. It’s rumored in my little town that every crime they can pin on “gang activity” the better because it brings in more personnel and funding. People don’t think there’s that much gang activity here but you wouldn’t know it by the size of our police force.

scalleywag on March 4, 2011 at 12:59 PM

+ 10..That is a very good idea..:)

Dire Straits on March 4, 2011 at 12:58 PM

I guess I know one more thing I’ll be doing this weekend

MeatHeadinCA on March 4, 2011 at 12:59 PM

So? Obviously, it isn’t appreciated, let alone needed, in such markets.

God, what an a**hole. You speak for everyone I take it?

Grow Fins on March 4, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Remember the outrage when statistics like this were quoted when AIG was getting government money? …neither do the hypocritical liberals.

Scrappy on March 4, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Yes, and in fact little Bammie extra-legally ordered firings and loss of bonuses and changes in compensation programs of any company that received bailout money, and in fact some companies didn’t want bailout money and it was forced on them.

Now with PBS, all is quiet in the White House.

Let’s offer the democratics a compromise, -any funding for PBS has to be matched by funding for a conservative media outlet, maybe Heritage for example.

slickwillie2001 on March 4, 2011 at 1:01 PM

I guess I know one more thing I’ll be doing this weekend

MeatHeadinCA on March 4, 2011 at 12:59 PM

I hear you..You are right that we do need to call or E-mail our Reps. about this..:)

Dire Straits on March 4, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Take away their funding and make them pay taxes.

Socmodfiscon on March 4, 2011 at 1:01 PM

You speak for everyone I take it?

Grow Fins on March 4, 2011 at 12:59 PM

No, he speaks for those who don’t want to crack open their wallet to pay for their programming.

For those who don’t mind cracking them open, have at it. And if you can’t crack them open wide enough to keep PBS on the air without government cheese… well, I guess you didn’t want it bad enough.

JohnGalt23 on March 4, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Scrappy on March 4, 2011 at 12:23 PM

ding ding ding

cmsinaz on March 4, 2011 at 1:04 PM

The whole rationalization for PBS is that if the gubment doesn’t show these unpopular shows no one will.

there are thousands of channels now that somewhat defeat that notion.

Anyone can get these channels free with an FTA sat dish and reciever
set up cost is 150 bux.

I bet NPR will fail like Air America without public funding.

esnap on March 4, 2011 at 1:04 PM

No more federal funding would, no doubt, mean that scores of stations across the country would have to shut down, and unfortunately it would mean rural stations and smaller marker stations. WNET, WGBH, and the other flagship stations would be fine.

I do disagree that public tv stations serve no purpose. Cable has 300 channels, sure, but few stations will touch local issues in any depth manner or really do community outreach outside of local news, and the goal with local news is just to rake in the cash by sponsoring EVERYTHING down to the weather crawl with ad money.

TheBlueSite on March 4, 2011 at 12:32 PM

One of the Left’s favorite memes on defunding PBS and NPR and CPB is that “they don’t get that much government money to begin with.” Assuming that is correct, ending public financing for those entities wouldn’t result in scores of stations shutting down.

Here in central New Hampshire, I have access to several of these outlets. On the PBS side, I get Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts public TV stations, and except for WGBH in Boston, none of them do any extensive local programming. At most they have an hour a day out of 24.

And as for cable having 300 channels, don’t forget that some of those channels already show programming originally generated by PBS.

The real problem, which you don’t address, is that PBS and NPR, which get funding from all taxpayers of all political persuasions, have “news programming” exclusively biased to the Democrat Party. They should be offering programming that is politically objective, which is in their charter. They do not, which is why they need to be defunded.

Del Dolemonte on March 4, 2011 at 1:05 PM

cmsinaz on March 4, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Hello..:)

Dire Straits on March 4, 2011 at 1:05 PM

God, what an a**hole. You speak for everyone I take it?

Grow Fins on March 4, 2011 at 12:59 PM

He’s (or she?) not being an a$shole and it doesn’t matter if he speaks for everyone. It’s ridiculous to have the gov’t subsidize the media on so many levels.

Maybe you can start FinTV or something and, you know, satisfy the large demand for PBS

MeatHeadinCA on March 4, 2011 at 1:06 PM

DeMint calls for end of public financing for PBS, NPR

It’s LONG PAST TIME to defund these propaganda organizations.

And Big Bird will be fine: Sesame Street supports PBS – not the other way ’round!!! Sesame Street can easily move to any of several cable and/or broadcast channels: it can easily support itself without a government subsidy, just as any other worthwhile program can.

landlines on March 4, 2011 at 1:06 PM

God, what an a**hole.

Grow Fins on March 4, 2011 at 12:59 PM

I’m just loving this new civility we’re getting from the Left these days – although in some ways it seems like it’s just the same old, same old.

Chip on March 4, 2011 at 1:06 PM

For those who don’t mind cracking them open, have at it. And if you can’t crack them open wide enough to keep PBS on the air without government cheese… well, I guess you didn’t want it bad enough.

JohnGalt23 on March 4, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Exactly. Why is this principle of sound economics so hard to grasp for the statists?

MeatHeadinCA on March 4, 2011 at 1:08 PM

2 Questions:

Big Bird is a multi-billionaire, does he really need me to buy his bird seed?

I thought the left didn’t like corporate welfare?

barnone on March 4, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Juan Williams has no comment..:)

Dire Straits on March 4, 2011 at 1:09 PM

God, what an a**hole.

Grow Fins on March 4, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Oh dear, someone got up under the wrong side of the bridge this morning.

Del Dolemonte on March 4, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Oh dear, someone got up under the wrong side of the bridge this morning.

Del Dolemonte on March 4, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Somehow it’s an a$$hole move to cut gov’t funding to the MEDIA, but protesting the Union (thug) way is awesome!

MeatHeadinCA on March 4, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Oh dear, someone got up under the wrong side of the bridge this morning.

Del Dolemonte on March 4, 2011 at 1:09 PM

LOL!..:)

Dire Straits on March 4, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Somehow it’s an a$$hole move to cut gov’t funding to the MEDIA, but protesting the Union (thug) way is awesome!

MeatHeadinCA on March 4, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Very good point! Ironic isn’t it!..:)

Dire Straits on March 4, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Here’s what my liberal friend suggested, and I agree.
Instead of defunding NPR, etc, just announce the government is cutting everything some percentage (10%?) across the board. And let each department figure out how to do it.

(I really like NPR, Masterpiece Classics, and Antiques Roadshow)

MayBee on March 4, 2011 at 12:31 PM

This is fine – EXCEPT that the percentage needs to be 25%-30%, and the baseline needs to be the 2008 budget: NOT the grossly-inflated Obama budget, and NOT the current spending level.

Budget cuts of 30% are common in my industry…even in normal times when there is no deep recession. Periodic cuts and reorganizations are needed to keep organizations working efficiently and effectively. There is no reason why government should be exempt from cuts: there is no rational or moral argument for piling all of the pain upon taxpayers.

landlines on March 4, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Is there actual programing on PBS? Every time I pass it I only see someone trying to sell a $120 CD ($150 with tote).

ExPat on March 4, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Very good point! Ironic isn’t it!..:)

Dire Straits on March 4, 2011 at 1:13 PM

I notice you don’t have the ?. Not needed here. The hypocrisy is breathtaking … and, no, I was not referring to the hygienic practices of the Union protesters.

MeatHeadinCA on March 4, 2011 at 1:20 PM

This is fine – EXCEPT that the percentage needs to be 25%-30%, and the baseline needs to be the 2008 budget: NOT the grossly-inflated Obama budget, and NOT the current spending level.

landlines on March 4, 2011 at 1:16 PM

How is it fine? What justification is there for funding Public Media?

MeatHeadinCA on March 4, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Here’s a compromise (and I still don’t like it). You want the government to be involved with local news? Hire 1 person to make a voice recording of the local news of the day. Call in to listen. Hey, that almost sounds like something a LOCAL gov’t should do…

MeatHeadinCA on March 4, 2011 at 1:23 PM

(I really like NPR, Masterpiece Classics, and Antiques Roadshow)

MayBee on March 4, 2011 at 12:31 PM

I do too – Masterpiece Classic in particular, Downton Abbey was wonderful – but that doesn’t mean I think they should be subsidized. If they are viable and popular then they could make it in a commercial environment, there are other shows like Antiques Roadshow on other channels. Mythbusters definitely has a feel of something that most probably wouldn’t have imagined as having commercial viability, but it’s hugely popular now.

lizzie beth on March 4, 2011 at 1:27 PM

MeatHeadinCA on March 4, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Good post..:)

Dire Straits on March 4, 2011 at 1:29 PM

Face it, Sesame Street IS NOT the True Face of PBS!

The True Face of PBS are those annoying numbskulls who pop up right in the middle of some great once-in-a-lifetime concert you’te trying to watch and every 15 minutes after to remind you how great public television is and that if you donate $1000 right now, you’ll get a DVD of the same damn concert you’re trying to watch for free!

pilamaye on March 4, 2011 at 1:29 PM

Spending on PBS, NPR, and CPB are a drop in the bucket, to be sure.

Of course they are. Most of the spending programs are. And they all add up in the same, wrong direction.

How many new programs does ObamaCare create? Each one of them is a drop in the bucket compared to the budget, but look what they add up to.

We just saw a report on the redundancies within the Federal programs. Each one of them is ‘a drop in the bucket but they add up to $650-billion over 10 years.

There are tens of thousands of programs like this scattered all through our government. Each of them is ‘a drop in the bucket. Well, so what? The overreach of the Feds was done in a myriad of tiny, incremental-goodness programs. And now we are facing $14-trillion Federal debt. Those drops in the bucket sure add up, don’t they?

ss396 on March 4, 2011 at 1:33 PM

pugwriter on March 4, 2011 at 12:36 PM

The problem is, PBS stations are non-profits, so they can’t run advertising in the traditional sense to generate revenue.

They can run underwriting spots and ask for donations, but the rules are absurd. I’ve looked at the guidelines, and you can’t even show anyone using a product…if you show the product itself, you can’t show anyone enjoying the product- they can’t be smiling nor can they look like they’re happy at all.

They hamstring non-profits with such rules, so no way they could survive on ads.

TheBlueSite on March 4, 2011 at 1:44 PM

TheBlueSite on March 4, 2011 at 1:44 PM

You’re missing the point entirely. The premise was specifically to consider how they would perform if they had to compete for profit in the free market.

Scrappy on March 4, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Well, Republicans hate elmo anyway, and have a vendetta against him. Just ask Senator Ma’am:

http://www.examiner.com/conservative-in-spokane/barbara-boxer-republicans-have-a-vendetta-against-elmo

jdawg on March 4, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Gore all of the oxes until the streets run red, and the budget runs black!

AnotherOpinion on March 4, 2011 at 2:13 PM

TheBlueSite on March 4, 2011 at 1:44 PM

I wonder what other non-profits can boast such >cough< generous executive renumeration.

Split the content from distribution channels. If the content is good, the license to distribute will sell. Revoking non-profit status will certainly ease the commercial restrictions.

ExPat on March 4, 2011 at 2:19 PM

They hamstring non-profits with such rules, so no way they could survive on ads.

TheBlueSite on March 4, 2011 at 1:44 PM

And NPR has to remain non-profit, right?

ladyingray on March 4, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Who do these NPR executives think they are, union leaders?

slickwillie2001 on March 4, 2011 at 2:38 PM

And NPR has to remain non-profit, right?

ladyingray on March 4, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Time to take the training wheels off and let these programs sink or swim in the marketplace.

Also, aren’t most Masterpiece (Theater) shows produced by the BBC?

Fallon on March 4, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Who do these NPR executives think they are, union leaders?

slickwillie2001 on March 4, 2011 at 2:38 PM

ROTFLMAO!!!

Community educators agitators

Roy Rogers on March 4, 2011 at 3:01 PM

H377 Freakin’ YES!

CynicalOptimist on March 4, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Time to take the training wheels off and let these programs sink or swim in the marketplace.

Also, aren’t most Masterpiece (Theater) shows produced by the BBC?

Fallon on March 4, 2011 at 2:44 PM

That’s a good point, in fact much of what is on PBS and perhaps NPR (I’ve never listened to it) is generated by organizations other than PBS, and if PBS went poof tomorrow, one of the other networks would pick up those productions. If a piece of work is worthy, it will find an outlet.

slickwillie2001 on March 4, 2011 at 3:14 PM

Okay,

Time to take the training wheels water wings off and let these programs sink or swim in the marketplace.

I am the queen of malaprops, spoonerisms and mixed metaphors, lol…

Fallon on March 4, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Spending on PBS, NPR, and CPB are a drop in the bucket, to be sure. Cutting off all three entirely would retire around 0.0625% of the current annual deficit.

QUESTION: How do you eat an elephant?

ANSWER: One bite at a time.

Every un-Constitutional drop should be drained from the budget. Drop by drop. Bucket by bucket. Boatload by boatload. Putting it off because you are overwhelmed accomplishes nothing.

dominigan on March 4, 2011 at 3:35 PM

ss396 on March 4, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Just saw your post. Obviously great minds think alike!

All those drops add up. And all must be drained. To all the politicians and bloggers wringing their hands… Stop cowering like children! It’s time to step up and start doing what’s needed to save this country… or get out of the way and let the rest of us do the job!

dominigan on March 4, 2011 at 3:40 PM

God, what an a**hole.

Grow Fins on March 4, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Oh dear, someone got up under the wrong side of the bridge this morning.

Del Dolemonte on March 4, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Well when you’ve got brightly colored Don King hair, what do you expect?

dominigan on March 4, 2011 at 3:43 PM

I’m all for going after the half a billion here a few million there. That, of course, assumes that only a few of the people are working on this while others are zeroing in on the biggies. I know years ago when I decided to be debt free I first did away with the accounts of only a couple hundred and ended with paying off the mortgage. I would probably still be working on that had I started on the mortgage first.

Oleta on March 4, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Would there be all this weeping and gnashing of teeth, if the propaganda stations were Conservative? Why is it that liberals outright REFUSE to even TRY to stand on their own two feet? Doesn’t ANYTHING liberal have enough substance to stand on it’s own merits? Fine. If the propaganda stations stay, apply some ground rules:

1: The Fairness Doctrine. Its being applied to a government agency, not the Free Market, so there should be no big deal. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin must have their shows carried and broadcast in their entirety, and all three must be made news contributors.

2: News Contributors. Replace fully 50%. New, Conservative, contributors will include Rush, Sean and Mark, as well as USA (retired) Peterson, LTC Oliver North (USMC, retired), Michelle Malkin, Sarah Palin, LTC Allan West (USA, retired), George & George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Steve Forbes and maybe Robert Downey Jr.

3: Talk Shows. Eliminate half liberal oriented talk shows/”discussion panels”, replacing them with Conservative content, identically formatted shows. Also include a women’s morning show of all Conservatives to directly compete with (and destroy) “the View”. Make a similar show for men. Make a mixed show of male & female Conservatives & liberals in a “View” format.

4: Zero Tolerance. No tolerance for ad hominem attacks, profane and unprofessional rants, threats, etc. Breeches of conduct will result in removal by security, while on air. In the event of criminality, the appropriate prosecutors and law enforcement officials will be notified, within the hour.

5: Low Ratings. Low rated shows will be cancelled and talent terminated. Replacements will be based on ratings and marketability. This includes original content television and radio, such as serialized/episodic entertainment content.

6: Funding. Private funding (through such avenues as advertising partners) must be the primary source of revenue. Government funding must only occur with a constituency vote and act of Congress. Donations are optional, but not preferred.

7: Sunset Legislation. Every year, these enterprises must completely justify their existence, or Congress will not renew their status as a government funded operation, automatically rendering them permanently privatized, and no longer eligible for taxpayer subsidies.

Sounds fair, to me.

Virus-X on March 4, 2011 at 4:26 PM

0.0625% of the current annual deficit.

A waste of time, and a dishonest one at that. Just say it’s all about public broadcasting’s liberal bias already.

Spare us the nonsense about the character and fortitude to cut spending on fictional characters.

If you are really serious about cutting waste out of govt spending, the military budget is the one you go to. Then, the duplication of service in fed offices. Then, the need for dept like Education and others.

Moesart on March 4, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Terrific, in principle.

But a bad PR move politically. It looks “mean” to a lot of the independents we won over in 2010, and would push them back toward the Dems.

Bat Chain Puller on March 4, 2011 at 12:33 PM

If we take that approach how will we EVER cut government? All these programs are setup to carve out different constituencies and cutting any of them is bound to get someone unhappy. Cut them all.

clement on March 4, 2011 at 5:17 PM

The problem is, PBS stations are non-profits, so they can’t run advertising in the traditional sense to generate revenue.

They can run underwriting spots and ask for donations, but the rules are absurd.

TheBlueSite on March 4, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Many private colleges are “non profits” too, and yet have endowments that are huge. Why can’t CPB/PBS/NPR do likewise?

By the way, many of the local PBS and NPR stations, even in small rural states, are based in college environments. Which means there are plenty of rich college professors and public union employees available to dig in a little deeper and support their local propaganda outlets!

Del Dolemonte on March 4, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Obviously govt. defines ‘budget’ differently than regular people do.

We can’t give up the daily latte, husband likes it. We can’t give up getting the kids new video games all the time, they like it. How can the wife do without getting her hair done every week, she likes it. And we like steak better than canned tuna, we like taking road trips on weekends, and eating out.

We regular folks know the difference between wants and needs, most of us anyway.

jodetoad on March 4, 2011 at 6:54 PM