“Reading Rainbow” is just a word for stuff we do together, without the government

posted at 9:31 pm on May 29, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

As far as I’m concerned, a win for LeVar Burton has always been a win for America.

Today is no exception, though this time it has the added bonus of being a win for private do-gooding and a teachable moment for those who believe a beneficent state must prop up any decent endeavor. Burton, the longtime host of “Reading Rainbow,” a PBS TV show that ran from 1983-2006, began a Kickstarter campaign Wednesday to fund a new web-based version of the show. He asked for $1 million. He’s already made that and more.

Why? Because “Reading Rainbow” is a great, simple product with a good goal. It has a loyal audience hungry for a generous helping of nostalgia and a killer theme song. In short, it’s worth money to the people it serves. My mother was an elementary school librarian. I watched this show on loop every summer as I sat in her office and got paid for piecework for putting protective mylar covers on children’s classics. I had access to nearly every title Burton’s cast of ’80s-tastic kid reviewers made, so I didn’t have to take his word for it. I would have gladly bought old episodes on DVD or iTunes if there weren’t a new version. And I’ll likely donate to the Kickstarter for “Reading Rainbow 2.0″ or pony up for a subscription so my daughter can enjoy the show. Many others did the same, voluntarily. The government doesn’t have to be the vehicle by which we do cool things together, and it’s depressing and demonstrably false to argue all the time that it is.

Such a lack of imagination is downright un-LeVarian, and Burton was luckily unafflicted with the condition. He had already launched a very successful “Reading Rainbow” app in 2012 (which I wrote about at the time, but I can’t seem to find my post).

I’m sure some will argue “Reading Rainbow” could not have existed in the ’80s without the support of taxpayer money due to the limited number of TV outlets. Yes, there were fewer opportunities for crowd-funding and far fewer distribution channels then, but there was also good kids programming that made a go of it without PBS as a host. And, PBS programs such as “Sesame Street” are so successful that they make millions in merchandising every year, yet as we saw in the 2012 elections, liberals still find it insane to think we could take Big, um, Bird off what amounts to corporate welfare. At any rate, most of us can agree that it’s good to have more distribution and funding opportunities now, so as to make this and many other worthy children’s projects possible without bringing the stench of Congress and its forcefully gotten funding into the mix. In a fun twist, this new privately funded “Reading Rainbow” will even be subsidizing its own distribution to classrooms, so taxpayers and schools won’t be footing the bill for it. (And, yes, I’m sure there will be some lefty pablum children’s books in the mix, but the show has always been pretty straightforward in its noncontroversial message of “Reading = good.”)

So, bring on the Rainbow! Congrats, LeVar! Here’s an adorable video of Burton learning he hit the $1 million mark. Good on him for recognizing the power of the brand, its fans, and the combo of the market and new technology to bring it back to life.

You can donate, here, thought I’m betting they have more than enough to get this thing going. He’s up to more than $2 million, and we didn’t even have to watch one of those annoying pledge drives.

The Washington Post came along to crap on this effort with the kind of skepticism it can never seem to muster for public programming we’re forced to pay for.

All this adds up to a criticism that has been levied at high-profile Kickstarter campaigns before: Crowdfunding is theoretically supposed to bolster charities, start-ups, independent artists, small-business owners and other projects that actually need the financial support of the masses to succeed. It’s not supposed to be co-opted by companies with profit motives and private investors of their own … which, despite Burton’s charisma, is exactly what the Rainbow reboot is.

How’s any of that different from “Sesame Street” except that Jim Henson’s affable, one-percenter Muppets are still on the dole? Unfortunately, none of us are able to “reconsider” that “donation.”

Exit question:
The greatest theme song evah?

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There is always one rotten apple in the bunch.

YES! YOU Washington Post.

Go fly a kite… Pffffft

Scrumpy on May 29, 2014 at 9:37 PM

Does he still wear those wicked glasses?

Bishop on May 29, 2014 at 9:37 PM

There is always one rotten apple in the bunch.

YES! YOU Washington Post.

Go fly a kite… Pffffft and don’t look back…

Scrumpy on May 29, 2014 at 9:38 PM

I WE can do ANYTHING . . . . .
.
WITHOUT (expletive) GOVERNMENT !
.

“Government regulation and social programs aren’t the solution to the problem … government regulation and social programs ARE the problem”

Ronaldus Magnus, paraphrased

listens2glenn on May 29, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Not sure what to say, he’s a one hit wonder as an actor but found another way to make money.

At least he’s not peddling reverse mortgages like Fred Thompson…

celt on May 29, 2014 at 9:38 PM

That song would drive me insane.

Bishop on May 29, 2014 at 9:38 PM

How’s any of that different from “Sesame Street” except that Jim Henson’s affable, one-percenter Muppets are still on the dole?

That’s just it, they aren’t on the government dole. That is just so horrible!/

Patriot Vet on May 29, 2014 at 9:39 PM

his name is kunta kinte.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 29, 2014 at 9:41 PM

Girlfriend in high school used to babysit during the summer and that show always seemed to be on when I would swing by to pick her up. I hate that song. I always had it banging around in my head all night at very inappropriate times.

Pickle on May 29, 2014 at 9:42 PM

my childhood <3333 i haven't heard that song in so long.

Sachiko on May 29, 2014 at 9:44 PM

his name is kunta kinte.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 29, 2014 at 9:41 PM

And now I’m convinced this one is a sock.

nobar on May 29, 2014 at 9:46 PM

That song would drive me insane.

Bishop on May 29, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Bah… you wouldn’t be in the car long enough to get your seat-belt on…

oscarwilde on May 29, 2014 at 9:46 PM

his name is kunta kinte.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 29, 2014 at 9:41 PM

Racist just has to be racist, dontcha?

Dolce Far Niente on May 29, 2014 at 9:47 PM

nobar on May 29, 2014 at 9:46 PM

For sure.

Can’t say it’s that human either…

Scrumpy on May 29, 2014 at 9:48 PM

The government doesn’t have to be the vehicle by which we do cool things together, and it’s depressing and demonstrably false to argue all the time that it is.

X 1000!!!

lineholder on May 29, 2014 at 9:48 PM

I’m sorry, MKH, but I was always under the impression that this was the greatest theme song evah.

John the Libertarian on May 29, 2014 at 9:50 PM

his name is kunta kinte.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 29, 2014 at 9:41 PM
.

And now I’m convinced this one is a sock.

nobar on May 29, 2014 at 9:46 PM

.
@ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch

Racist just has to be racist, dontcha?

Dolce Far Niente on May 29, 2014 at 9:47 PM

.
The racist trolling notwithstanding, I do think it’s a cool name.

listens2glenn on May 29, 2014 at 9:51 PM

Don’t thinking I am sarking.

If people can fund an idea like Reading Rainbow voluntarily, we can fund the legitimate functions of the national government (enumerated powers only) the same way in principle.

AshleyTKing on May 29, 2014 at 9:53 PM

Racist just has to be racist, dontcha?

Dolce Far Niente on May 29, 2014 at 9:47 PM

how is that remotely racist? that was the name of one of the most recognized characters mr burton play.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 29, 2014 at 9:53 PM

Dolce Far Niente on May 29, 2014 at 9:47 PM

Why is that racist? I’m sure he is very proud of that role.

Cindy Munford on May 29, 2014 at 9:55 PM

I’m sorry, MKH, but I was always under the impression that this was the greatest theme song evah.

John the Libertarian on May 29, 2014 at 9:50 PM

.
WOW … I somehow missed this show, in my youth.

listens2glenn on May 29, 2014 at 9:55 PM

Exit question: The greatest theme song evah?

You don’t get out much, do you, MKH?

Bitter Clinger on May 29, 2014 at 9:56 PM

I was born just before the Big Bird generation and, thankfully, decades before Dora.

That being said, I have no problems with reviving Reading Rainbow so long as it sticks to its roots. If they start reading books with a political agenda then I would have a problem with this outlet. Goodnight Moon is a far cry from Heather Has Two Mommies.

Happy Nomad on May 29, 2014 at 9:56 PM

his name is kunta kinte. ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 29, 2014 at 9:41 PM

Why do we have to put up with this?

You shitcan Lanceman and this flies?

-

wolly4321 on May 29, 2014 at 9:56 PM

Why do we have to put up with this?

wolly4321 on May 29, 2014 at 9:56 PM

explain exactly what was wrong with that please.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 29, 2014 at 9:59 PM

And, PBS programs such as “Sesame Street” are so successful that they make millions in merchandising every year,

Not to mention the Sesame Place amusement parks.

Wethal on May 29, 2014 at 9:59 PM

My kids were never interested in the PBS shows but I think I will kick in since it works and we, the people, can pay for it.

Cindy Munford on May 29, 2014 at 10:01 PM

wolly4321 on May 29, 2014 at 9:56 PM

While I miss lanceman, I don’t see anything offensive in the comment.

Cindy Munford on May 29, 2014 at 10:02 PM

LeVar Burton ✔ @levarburton

Pi goes on forever, but the deadline to get covered is March 31. #geeksgetcovered http://healthcare.gov π
11:36 AM – 14 Mar 2014

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 29, 2014 at 10:02 PM

A mom and dad who value education and help their children learn to read trumps a TV program and/or a website.

higgins1991 on May 29, 2014 at 10:03 PM

his name is kunta kinte. ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 29, 2014 at 9:41 PM

Why do we have to put up with this?

You shitcan Lanceman and this flies?

-

wolly4321 on May 29, 2014 at 9:56 PM

The Koch played everyone. His most memorable role before he was on the rainbow.

Pickle on May 29, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Now if someone would kickstart “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” although the wonderful Lynne Thigpen is gone.

Wethal on May 29, 2014 at 10:05 PM

While I miss lanceman, I don’t see anything offensive in the comment.

Cindy Munford on May 29, 2014 at 10:02 PM

i can only surmise that this commentor is not aquainted with the books or films of alex haley and thought i was refering to a part of the female anatomy.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 29, 2014 at 10:05 PM

LeVar Burton ✔ @levarburton

Pi goes on forever, but the deadline to get covered is March 31. #geeksgetcovered http://healthcare.gov π
11:36 AM – 14 Mar 2014

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 29, 2014 at 10:02 PM

So, he pays way too much money for obligatory pap smears too?

Pickle on May 29, 2014 at 10:06 PM

Maybe I’m wrong. But I don’t see why you would even remotely equate the two roles.

Why go there other than to be provacative?

The thread is about kids.

If I’m off base, I apologize.

wolly4321 on May 29, 2014 at 10:11 PM

Reading Rainbow < Wishbone

But RR has the better theme song.

joekenha on May 29, 2014 at 10:11 PM

It was a good series with a great theme song. It encouraged kids to read. I don’t see the muppets doing that.

crankyoldlady on May 29, 2014 at 10:15 PM

Now if someone would kickstart “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” although the wonderful Lynne Thigpen is gone.

Wethal on May 29, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Given the way the boundaries are changing in Europe, perhaps this isn’t the best time to find Carmen Sandiego.

Happy Nomad on May 29, 2014 at 10:15 PM

thisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 29, 2014 at 10:05 PM

No,, I pretty much exactly know your game.
And it grows old.

wolly4321 on May 29, 2014 at 10:15 PM

I liked Carmen Sandiego too. Especially the singers.

Bobby Jindl is on Hannity.

crankyoldlady on May 29, 2014 at 10:17 PM

No,, I pretty much exactly know your game.
And it grows old.

wolly4321 on May 29, 2014 at 10:15 PM

im really not following you.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 29, 2014 at 10:18 PM

Reading Rainbow < Wishbone

But RR has the better theme song.

joekenha on May 29, 2014 at 10:11 PM |

“Wishbone” is the bomb! I also watched “Ghostwriter.”

Mary Katharine Ham on May 29, 2014 at 10:18 PM

There’s a show that still shows up on regular tv. It’s animated about kids during the Revolution. I can’t think of the name.

crankyoldlady on May 29, 2014 at 10:19 PM

If I’m off base, I apologize.

wolly4321 on May 29, 2014 at 10:11 PM

I don’t think you need to go that far. It’s an interesting combination of most known works.

Cindy Munford on May 29, 2014 at 10:20 PM

I missed the rainbow thing too, so for me he is Geordie…

And, btw, a gun control advocate, and an aggrieved racialist who was 100% on the “angelic little kid” meme during the Trayvon thing. This is why I wish actors and musicians would keep their politics to themselves… I love Morgan Freeman, but now I can’t get his “racist tea party” claptrap outta my head… It really sucks…

PointnClick on May 29, 2014 at 10:24 PM

It was a good series with a great theme song. It encouraged kids to read. I don’t see the muppets doing that.

crankyoldlady on May 29, 2014 at 10:15 PM

No, COL. It was a good series with a crappy theme song. But you’re right about those muppets. They all became rich narcissistic “stars” that forgot where they came from back in the hood on Sesame Street. I hear that Oscar is now living in a 30,000 sqft crib overlooking LA with a pool in the shape of a trashcan. And he’s got people to be grouchy for him.

Happy Nomad on May 29, 2014 at 10:25 PM

It was a good series with a great theme song. It encouraged kids to read. I don’t see the muppets doing that.

crankyoldlady on May 29, 2014 at 10:15 PM

No, COL. It was a good series with a crappy theme song. But you’re right about those muppets. They all became rich narcissistic “stars” that forgot where they came from back in the hood on Sesame Street. I hear that Oscar is now living in a 30,000 sqft crib overlooking LA with a pool in the shape of a trashcan. And he’s got people to be grouchy for him.

Happy Nomad on May 29, 2014 at 10:25 PM

The Count was good at teaching math. The pre-Common Core variety even.

Bitter Clinger on May 29, 2014 at 10:29 PM

I don’t think you need to go that far. It’s an interesting combination of most known works. Cindy Munford on May 29, 2014 at 10:20 PM

He couldn’t just praise the man for this noble effort. No.

He had to bring up Roots, thereby injecting a racial component.

You don’t think that particular reference was intentional?

Could have just said hey,, he’s a good actor too.

He didn’t mention him. He mentioned his charactor in Roots.

Bullshite game.

wolly4321 on May 29, 2014 at 10:31 PM

I’m sure some will argue “Reading Rainbow” could not have existed in the ’80s without the support of taxpayer money

More to the point, the only reason this Kickstarter works is because public television proved the show as a concept for 23 years. Hailing it as a new trend that will finally free us from taxpayer subsidy is a bit like declaring that record labels are passe because Radiohead was able to have a top-seller without a record label. If they hadn’t had the platform to start out with, no one would have heard of them to begin with. There is still a place for public media; the extent to which it is supported by the government, however, will remain up for debate.

calbear on May 29, 2014 at 10:42 PM

I’m sorry, MKH, but I was always under the impression that this was the greatest theme song evah.

John the Libertarian on May 29, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Oh, come on. Not even close.

Peter Gunn:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbLUtgYb3zU

Mission Impossible:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWGeRgFa-hI

Hawaii Five-O:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrkrQXuDq24

Hill Street Blues:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rUYZpNh1P4

St. Elsewhere:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdNXBgces1Q

BuckeyeSam on May 29, 2014 at 10:42 PM

wolly4321 on May 29, 2014 at 10:31 PM

Anything is possible, I just don’t tend to ascribe bad motives to people. Pollyanna? Maybe.

Cindy Munford on May 29, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Love LeVar Burton, love Reading Rainbow. He just comes across as genuine and passionate about reading. Hope this is a great success!

xNavigator on May 29, 2014 at 10:47 PM

True story: it really is the greatest theme song ever. I’m sure it will be in my head at work all night long now. Nothing wrong with that.

Cladinator on May 29, 2014 at 10:47 PM

I’m sorry, MKH, but I was always under the impression that this was the greatest theme song evah.

John the Libertarian on May 29, 2014 at 9:50 PM

For kid stuff, how about Speed Racer?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auszi9bUr3o

For adults: Peter Gunn (How can you go wrong with Henry Mancini?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbLUtgYb3zU

BuckeyeSam on May 29, 2014 at 10:48 PM

Was Deanna Troi sensing any emotions in that clip? (She wasn’t the most clever 1/2 mind reader, ya know).

SouthernGent on May 29, 2014 at 10:49 PM

I’m sorry, MKH, but I was always under the impression that this was the greatest theme song evah.

John the Libertarian on May 29, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Now that’s just BUNK!!

Oh, and good on Lavar…

BigWyo on May 29, 2014 at 10:52 PM

Anyone got 10 Grand to lend me?

I’ve never been the biggest Trekkie, though I did grow up with TNG and still enjoy it every once in a while. But I know people who will literally have an aneurysm on the spot out of jealousy/nerd rage if they see me with Geordi’s visor.

Good Solid B-Plus on May 29, 2014 at 10:53 PM

I am so glad R.R. is coming back on. I was huge fan back in the late 80s and early 90s.

BroncosRock on May 29, 2014 at 10:53 PM

He couldn’t just praise the man for this noble effort. No.

He had to bring up Roots, thereby injecting a racial component.

You don’t think that particular reference was intentional?

Could have just said hey,, he’s a good actor too.

He didn’t mention him. He mentioned his charactor in Roots.

Bullshite game.

wolly4321 on May 29, 2014

Chill out Bill.

celt on May 29, 2014 at 10:54 PM

Now if someone would kickstart “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” although the wonderful Lynne Thigpen is gone.

Wethal on May 29, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Always wished I could have been a contestant. Rockapella are the bomb!

Good Solid B-Plus on May 29, 2014 at 10:54 PM

PointnClick on May 29, 2014 at 10:24 PM

Can’t expect every celebrity to be in line with our politics, especially one from a minority group that supports Democrats 90% of the time. But RR is a good thing, and promoting literacy is a good thing. Unhooking it from public funding is an even better thing, proving that the free market can do good things (IOW, not profits before people, profits *and* people).

Good Solid B-Plus on May 29, 2014 at 10:58 PM

As far as I’m concerned, a win for LeVar Burton has always been a win for America.

Levar Burton is a RAGING obama-liberal/obama-propagandist; how is that a “win” for America? Plus, PRO-ABORTION Kickstarter showed their true colors when they censored and then blocked the ‘Gosnell Movie’ project because they refused to allow the murders that Gosnell committed to be described in full detail.

Levar Burton … Kickstarter … Raging liberalism …

Sorry MKH, I simply don’t see any “WIN” for America in this story.

Pork-Chop on May 29, 2014 at 11:10 PM

Was Deanna Troi sensing any emotions in that clip? (She wasn’t the most clever 1/2 mind reader, ya know).

SouthernGent on May 29, 2014 at 10:49 PM

LOL. She was just there to show cleavage for an hour. She did a fine job.

lorien1973 on May 29, 2014 at 11:32 PM

Sorry MKH, I simply don’t see any “WIN” for America in this story.

Pork-Chop on May 29, 2014 at 11:10 PM

Well, one thing is that RR appears to be a private endeavor..

The other stuff…Kickstarter, Burton raging liberal..not going to argue there.

Bring back Schoolhouse Rock!!!

That there was some really good stuff.

Of course I couldn’t even imagine what they’d put out these days.

BigWyo on May 29, 2014 at 11:34 PM

He is Commander Geordi LaForge,

Chief Engineer of the Enterprise-D.

itsspideyman on May 29, 2014 at 11:45 PM

Chill out Bill. celt on May 29, 2014 at 10:54 PM

When they quit calling me racist,, I will.

Because I’m not.

wolly4321 on May 30, 2014 at 12:11 AM

When they quit calling me racist,, I will.

Because I’m not.

wolly4321 on May 30, 2014 at 12:11 AM

nobody including me called you a racist. but there is that saying about protesting to much..

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 30, 2014 at 12:13 AM

LOL. She was just there to show cleavage for an hour. She did a fine job.

lorien1973 on May 29, 2014 at 11:32 PM

Didn’t quite work on this Trekkie…lol.

SouthernGent on May 30, 2014 at 12:22 AM

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 30, 2014 at 12:13 AM

Upon further review in subsequent threads, I may have missed judged you. You appear to be a jackazz.

Cindy Munford on May 30, 2014 at 12:24 AM

I’m sorry, MKH, but I was always under the impression that this was the greatest theme song evah.

John the Libertarian on May 29, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Oh HELLZ NO! This is the greatest theme song evah!

gryphon202 on May 30, 2014 at 12:49 AM

Oh HELLZ NO! This is the greatest theme song evah!

gryphon202 on May 30, 2014 at 12:49 AM

See above at:

BuckeyeSam on May 29, 2014 at 10:48 PM

And consider Hawaii Five-O

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrkrQXuDq24

And think about Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere.

BuckeyeSam on May 30, 2014 at 12:54 AM

So it was kind of like an IPO but LeVar kept all the profits. Huh. Well, OK then. Carry on.

Ronnie on May 30, 2014 at 12:58 AM

Pork-Chop on May 29, 2014 at 11:10 PM

Dude, everybody you raged against is operating as a private citizen. And nothing any of them did involved the government, in any way.

The fact that this (Reading Rainbow thing) is being done entirely without government involvement makes it a conservative success.

This is how conservatives believe causes should be funded.

That you disagree with the cause, should only be a (liberal or conservative) issue if you are being coerced by government into funding it.

“Levar Burton is a RAGING LIBERAL WHO SUPPORTS OBAMA!!!!!!!!”

So?

Therefore, raising private funds for a new Reading Rainbow is….

What?

Evil? Anti-conservative?

If/when RR 2.0 starts collecting federal grant money, then I’ll have a problem with it. As long as they’re pursuing private funds through a private group (Kickstarter didn’t “censor” anyone — “censorship” is a government function) – more power to them.

notropis on May 30, 2014 at 2:12 AM

I have said on other forums/posts, congrats to Mr. Burton for getting this done, successfully; but you have to admit this has a touch of irony, since Mr. Burton was one of the first ones to chastise Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential race, because Mitt wanted to cut funding for PBS and let the public decide what to finance.

Yet what happens? He let private individuals do exactly what he criticized a political candidate for suggesting.

DaSaintFan on May 30, 2014 at 2:47 AM

Congratulations.

To the Washington Post, you just can’t stand seeing a success which doesn’t require the government to succeed, can you? Shame on you.

Theophile on May 30, 2014 at 3:58 AM

As for theme songs, Married With Children’s has this one beat hands down. :)

Theophile on May 30, 2014 at 4:00 AM

MK, I don’t know why you can tolerate that appalling song or why you think it is not appalling, much less great. It makes me sad to think of it.

Jaibones on May 30, 2014 at 6:43 AM

new zoo review kicked reading rainbows butt. old school 70s.

t8stlikchkn on May 30, 2014 at 6:47 AM

My first exposure to reading was back in the 50s with Captain Kangaroo. He’d read great books like Caps for Sale, Stone Soup, Make Way for Ducklings etc. Loved them!! You’d probably find the show too slow now and it was in black and white, but for me it was magic and it turned me into a life long reader.

Ellen on May 30, 2014 at 7:09 AM

This is awesome. They’re going to have a haul for this show. More than they know what to do with.

bossmanham on May 30, 2014 at 7:29 AM

“Reading Rainbow” is a great, simple product with a good goal. It has a loyal audience hungry for a generous helping of nostalgia and a killer theme song. In short, it’s worth money to the people it serves.

The government doesn’t have to be the vehicle by which we do cool things together

True. The government didn’t need to provide Reading Rainbow, but it did, and it did a good job of it. By the same token that there’s no need for the government to provide Reading Rainbow, there is also no need to get the government out of doing things that it does well.

Stoic Patriot on May 30, 2014 at 8:04 AM

Now if someone would kickstart “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” although the wonderful Lynne Thigpen is gone.

Wethal on May 29, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Amen to that. I loved Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. Lynne, Rockapella, and the show’s villainous henchmen all made that fantastic.

Stoic Patriot on May 30, 2014 at 8:07 AM

This post just reminded me that “Reading Ron” was the bestest episode of RENO 911 ever!

Tom Servo on May 30, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Not sure what to say, he’s a one hit wonder as an actor but found another way to make money.

celt on May 29, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Did you just diss Geordie LaForge?

Gingotts on May 30, 2014 at 8:41 AM

Ha ha ha. Reading Rainbow was around when I was a kid.

S’far as I know, Levar has his politics but he doesn’t shout it out to the rest of the world (ignoring a few tweets here and there). He’s not trying to be “the voice of a generation” like Kanye or trying to claim some kind of postmodernist intellectual feminist cred like Beyoncé for making a song about her activities in the back of a limo.

I say good for Reading Rainbow. New and Improved, Government Free!

BKennedy on May 30, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Either of these are better theme songs!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vtc7A67kZlQ&feature=kp

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njp86LvhSQQ

Nineball on May 30, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Dude …

… So?

Therefore, raising private funds for a new Reading Rainbow is….

What?

Evil? Anti-conservative?
(Kickstarter didn’t “censor” anyone — “censorship” is a government function) – more power to them.

notropis on May 30, 2014 at 2:12 AM

Whatever. I really don’t care what Burton raises funds for – or how he does it. You are reading a lot into my comment which simply isn’t there.

And YES, Kickstarter DID censor the ‘Gosnell Movie’ project (please do your homework), and then dumped it when the group refused to agree to the censoring – which is why they jumped over to Indiegogo.

You “raging” against me does not change the facts – and, of course everyone is free to support whatever liberal project, liberal actor, liberal company, liberal whatever they wish with their own money. Go for it – but don’t whine about me having an opinion.

Pork-Chop on May 30, 2014 at 9:44 AM

I effin’ loved Reading Rainbow as a kid. Played a big role in making me a literate l’il nipper. I don’t care if LeVar Burton once tweeted in support of Obamacare, I’m happy to see Reading Rainbow come back.

Esoteric on May 30, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Anything is possible, I just don’t tend to ascribe bad motives to people. Pollyanna? Maybe.

Cindy Munford on May 29, 2014 at 10:47 PM

You don’t have to ascribe bad motives to some people – they do it themselves with virtually every post, every comment.

It’d be like choosing to ascribe good motives to an initiative that Harry Reid were to undertake – why the hell would you even bother?

Midas on May 30, 2014 at 9:55 AM

A mom and dad who value education and help their children learn to read trumps a TV program and/or a website.

higgins1991 on May 29, 2014 at 10:03 PM

But, that TV program or website might help them find more books, or give them a chance for variety in presentation. It’s a good thing that can be abused – like most things in life.

GWB on May 30, 2014 at 10:06 AM

(Kickstarter didn’t “censor” anyone — “censorship” is a government function)

notropis on May 30, 2014 at 2:12 AM

No. The entity with the power can censor – and Kickstarter has power over its website. It’s not 1st Amendment censorship unless the government is involved.

GWB on May 30, 2014 at 10:09 AM

This is quite an accomplishment for a blind guy.

jdpaz on May 30, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Since the dude was on TV – public TV yet – I’m sure your money is safe with him.

corona79 on May 30, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Reading Rainbow < Wishbone

But RR has the better theme song.

joekenha on May 29, 2014 at 10:11 PM

I used to watch these two with my son when he was little. I don’t which one of us enjoyed them more. Wishbone was an awesome show.

RR theme song is good, but I like Magnum p i better.

ncinca on May 30, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Ah yes. The old Reading Rainbow vs. Wishbone debate. We had a member settle this for us pretty well I think.

Winner: Reading Rainbow.

Also, made my donation. You go LeVar!

Vaporman87 on May 30, 2014 at 1:22 PM

his name is kunta kinte.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 29, 2014 at 9:41 PM

His name is Toby.

Mimzey on May 30, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Best version of RR theme song

http://youtu.be/eBRYsAfchkY

son of a preacher man on May 30, 2014 at 9:34 PM