So once again the forces of the New Political Correctness are on the move. Now they have public television and radio in their sights. The House is trying to cut funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds both NPR and PBS. This funding cut will cripple even large broadcasters and kill smaller ones.
Though they deny that there’s any intent to “target” or “punish” public broadcasting, this is not a move that’s unprecedented. As pointed out in this Washington Post article, Newt Gingrich tried to get rid of the CPB for a long time.
Republicans have been whining about NPR and PBS for a while now, because they of course perceive them as biased. For Republicans, though if someone isn’t commissioning a four-movement symphony about the grandeur of the Free Market and George W. Bush, that person’s clearly biased. It’s not lack of bias they want, it’s flat-out conservative bias, like what they get in most mainstream media.
They also have argued that they don’t like public broadcasting, so why should their taxes pay for it? By all means, I’m all for a new system in which we get to decide what our taxes will and won’t pay for, ’cause I pay for a LOT of stuff I don’t like. Like, for example, secret aircraft to take secret prisoners to other countries to be tortured. I’d love to be able to put the kibosh on my taxes paying for that.
Apart from the fact that Conservatives see bias any time someone isn’t worshipping Reagan, they also feel that public broadcasting is biased precisely because it is unbiased. And because its shows aren’t just screamfests where the conservative star yells at the liberal guest and turns off his microphone. That, to them, is real, unbiased journalism.
So, like I say, since fascists have always enjoyed silencing any kind of dissent or non-propaganda, they’re on the march again. By all means let your congressman hear your voice in this matter. To find out more about the situation and what you can do, a good place to start is Hands off Public Broadcasting, a campaign started by MediaMatters. Act sooner rather than later; this could come up for a vote very soon.