June 15, 2005

Save "Sesame Street"!!!

I got an email from MoveOn today:

A House panel has voted to eliminate all public funding for NPR and PBS, starting with "Sesame Street," "Reading Rainbow," and other commercial-free children's shows. If approved, this would be the most severe cut in the history of public broadcasting, threatening to pull the plug on Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch. [...]

The cuts would slash 25% of the federal funding this year—$100 million—and end funding altogether within two years. In particular, the loss could kill beloved children's shows like "Sesame Street," "Clifford the Big Red Dog," "Arthur" and "Postcards from Buster." Rural stations and those serving low-income communities might not survive. Other stations would have to increase corporate sponsorships.

This shameful vote is only the latest partisan assault on public TV and radio. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which exists to shield public TV and radio from political pressure, is now chaired by Kenneth Tomlinson, a staunch Republican close to the White House. Tomlinson has already forced one-sided conservative programs on the air, even though Tomlinson's own surveys show that most people consider NPR "fair and balanced" and they actually trust public broadcasting more than commercial network news.

Tomlinson also spent taxpayer dollars on a witch hunt to root out "liberal bias," including a secret investigation of Bill Moyers and PBS' popular investigative show, "NOW." Even though the public paid for the investigation, Tomlinson has refused to release the findings.

The lawmakers who proposed the cuts aren't just trying to save money in the budget—they're trying to decimate any news outlets who question those in power. This is an ideological attack on our free press.

Talk about bad timing. Every day brings another story about media consolidation. Radio, TV stations and newspapers are increasingly controlled by a few massive corporate conglomerates trying to maximize profits at the expense of quality journalism. Now more than ever, we need publicly funded media who will ask hard questions and focus on stories that affect real people, instead of Michael Jackson and the runaway bride.

As the House and Senate consider this frightening effort to kill public broadcasting, they need to hear from its owners—you.


[Emphasis mine: right on!]

Sign the petition! Help save the great programs of our youth: "Sesame Street," "Clifford," "Arthur," "Reading Rainbow," "Wishbone," "Ghostwriter," and, of course, my favorite: "Square One" (does anyone else remember this show? the math show? where they did the segment called MathNet, a math-themed parody of Dragnet?)

Posted by smit2174 at June 15, 2005 12:48 PM