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February 16, 2011

CPB: The Corporation for People with BMWs

A number of Congressional representatives, many believed to be adults, gathered on Capitol Hill along with popular cartoon characters to defend continued funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which includes PBS and NPR.

Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon for example, noted with great passion that, “Rather than having Eb_and_arthur a serious conversation about reducing our budget deficits, some in Congress are using this opportunity to act on their long-standing grudge against public broadcasting. The simple fact is that these attacks on public media are a dangerous political gimmick that achieves no meaningful deficit reduction,” all the while standing next to a seven-foot tall orange aardvark.

Representative Edward Markey of Massachusetts also enthusiastically defended the interests of “Arthur the Aardvark,” saying:

“We need your help today. We can’t leave Arthur and all of his pals in the lurch.”

Many found this kind of odd given that Arthur the Aardvark is believed to be represented by Congressman Bill Delahunt.

Regardless, Markey points out that in contrast to commercial television, PBS broadcasts educational shows for children hour after hour, all day long, every day, nearly endlessly.

Representative Markey doesn’t have any kids, so maybe he’s unaware of the fact that children probably shouldn’t spend every waking moment in front of a television.  A little outside time is fun too!

Also, aardvarks aren’t really orange. And they don’t wear glasses. Well, not for reading anyway.

The problem, as Markey sees it, is that commercial television is a “vast wasteland.”  Echoing this view, Representative Paul Tonko of New York said that reverting to only free-market, consumer-driven broadcasting would be:

“…like treating the Library of Congress as an amusement park rather than as a seat of knowledge.”

The real problem, as they see it, isn’t that we’re spending money that we don’t have on a medium that, based on our 500-channel culture, can be easily provided by the private market.

It’s that you’re a moron.

If they pull support for Public Broadcasting, all we’ll be left with is your idiotic, “consumer-driven” broadcasting choices.  Probably a reality show with Snooki trying to become a NASCAR driver.

(Note to self: Pitch idea for a reality show with Snooki trying to become a NASCAR driver.)

Of course, in support of continued funding, they argue that  public broadcasting is actually very popular in that “over 170 million Americans use public media every month,” however it would be impossible for it to survive in the commercial marketplace.

By the way, MSNBC has about 47 regular viewers.

Perhaps the real concern is that without government subsidies, the upper-income viewers who enjoy these programs would be forced to pay the full cost of them.  The negative impact on our economy could be serious.  

Although that depends on how many trips to France they’d have to cut back on.


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February 16, 2011 at 05:44 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink


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Children's television *is* a vast wasteland. That's why my children use the internet! They barely even watch PBS anymore.

Posted by: Wacky Hermit | Feb 17, 2011 11:20:50 AM

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