Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Free Speech -- Or Maybe Not

Oh, this is beautiful. Paul Geary notes that is sending email telling members to protest the proposed cuts in the budget for NPR and PBS... while simultaneously asking members to email the Democratic party of Nevada to urge that group to drop the Fox News Channel as the host of an upcoming Democratic Presidential primay debate (yes, it's only 21 months till the general election). This leads to the following result, as Geary notes...

In other words, is working to prohibit Fox from hosting a debate, but wants you and I to have to pay for PBS and NPR. members can turn Fox off; we can't withhold our tax money from PBS and NPR. Rather than simply let our varied and free media do its thing, and reserve the right to crticize, wants media organizations it doesn't like prohibited from civic participation and those it does subsidized.
(hat tip: Instapundit) I don't think MoveOn is worthy of discussion, but the topic does bring up two government programs that need to be removed. Seriously, I know this is a position that many people disagree with vehemently, but I am tired of subsidizing both NPR and PBS (the former more than the latter, but the principle is the same).

I understand that many people can't go without their blast of NPR every day, but I know plenty of people who can't go without a latte each day, and I'm not subsidizing their Starbucks trips. Besides, if NPR is so damn popular, then it should thrive in a competitive enviroment, much like Air Americ... oops. Seriously, I don't think any network should be government-sponsored. It's surprising that liberals, who hate to see large corporations control multiple media outlets and espsie censorship, so enthralled by a media conglomerate essentially funded by the government... except that it presents their point of view, so no big deal.

I have heard the argument that PBS puts together much quality broadcast television for children that would never see the light of day on private commercial TV, or would decline in quality to match most of the crap we see today. I can't really argue the point, except that this doesn't mean it's a good idea for the government to take over and provide a network with this type of programming. In today's multimedia age, you can grab old seasons of Sesame Street off Amazon in less than two minutes. It's not a stretch to say that there's plenty of good children's programming available out there. The counter, of course, is to point out that not everyone can afford DVDs or even VCRs and the discs or tapes in question. It's a fair point, I suppose -- but it doesn't justify all the other hours PBS is on the air, and it doesn't justify NPR's existence, unless there are vast groups of children needing a fix of "All Things Considered" (if there are, please kill me now).

Quite frankly, there aren't many reasons for either program to continue. Of course, since they're government programs, they will never die.


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