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BYE BYE BIG BIRD-IE: PBS Funding Cuts

Not to freak everyone out, but people are waving “Save Sesame Street” signs around town.  Granted, not Tahir square level freak out, but for the United States, it’s strange.   Congress has put forth a budget that will cut spending…including PBS where Sesame Street airs.  What an Oscar the Grouch-like Congress! Super sad, since public television receives less than .0001% of the federal budget.  Super political, too.  Some see media like National Public Radio and PBS as having a liberal bias, while others claim that these local newsrooms are the only source of serious reporting left in the country.

The number of the day is 170,000,000, as stations across the country are “taking it to the streets” to get 170 million signatures to support public broadcasting in a grassroots effort to save themselves.   Hopefully, our kids will get to enjoy Sesame Street like we did…maybe this is just a little roadblock to get around, and hopefully, our politicians will figure out the big stuff and stop trying to ruffle Big Bird’s feathers!

10 Responses to BYE BYE BIG BIRD-IE: PBS Funding Cuts

  1. Anonymous February 24, 2011 at 5:38 am #
    Opinionated MAMA

    Funding cuts to PBS/NPR are not about defunding Big Bird. Going at the debate from that standpoint is purposeful obfuscation. There is a real debate here that O'Mama could be having that has to do with whether or not PBS through NPR is using government money to run a liberally biased media outlet. There are some examples that show this bias:
    The recent firing of Juan Williams which many say was because he appeared on Fox News.
    The incidents of sharing donor mailing lists with Democrat Candidates. The millions of dollars that PBS/NPR has taken from ultra liberal donor George Soros.
    Whether these examples and others may be what is behind Congress attempt to defund PBS or whether the incredible growth of communication and ensuing plethora of media choices that we now have, reduces the need for PBS/NPR– this is what we should be discussing….not the death of Big Bird. He will live on no matter what happens–he is popular!

    • Anonymous February 25, 2011 at 11:36 am #
      Opinionated MAMA

      So, do you think that PBS/NPR is a liberally biased media outlet? Because I absolutely don't. I think that it is one of the last bastions of unbiased media that still exists. The firing of Juan Williams I personally thought was silly, but it wasn't simply because of his appearance on Fox, it was because of what he said and the fact that saying it on Fox (clearly a GOP propoganda tool) made him seem biased. He was a news analyst for NPR, not an opinion guy. So, they felt he crossed the line. It was their perogative to fire him, although I think he should have been given a warning that he crossed into the opinion zone. As far as donation, PBS takes donations from all sorts of donors, liberal and conservative.

    • Anonymous February 25, 2011 at 12:30 pm #
      Opinionated MAMA

      I actually don't know if PBS is biased or not. Sometimes I think it is, sometimes not. Human beings have a hard time being neutral. Just a fact of life. What I do think however is that the debate is not well served by using headlines like Bye-Bye Big Bird. It is the same thing politicians do when they talk about making changes to programs like Social Security and use catch phrases like take food away from Granny and so on. Both sides are guilty of this. It is not a very honest or intelligent way to discuss an issue. It just stirs people up and we never have a reasonable discussion.
      As far as PBS or NPR go, I have no problem visiting the funding and reviewing what is necessary. Too often we just keep funding things without ever having an audit/review. And so programs keep getting money every year…driving our budgets up into the outer limits. I am in favor of zero based budgeting. But that is another discussion for another day.

    • Anonymous February 25, 2011 at 1:23 pm #
      Opinionated MAMA

      I agree! (-: I am fully in favor of reviewing and auditing gov't funding for every single thing in our fed budget. In this particular case, I think PBS provides commercial free educational programming for our kids and in this day and age of Hannah Montana and everything sassy, I limit my kids tv watching to PBS. Big bird might not go away forever, but if he does survive, he will be sponsored by Chevron or Hasbro. And, I think that's too bad…and I'm sad for our kids.

    • Anonymous February 25, 2011 at 3:13 pm #
      Opinionated MAMA

      Well, ok. But like I said before, it is highly doubtful that Big Bird, Sesame Street or any other popular programs on PBS will go away. Sesame Street especially is a real money maker for PBS. I saw them with my daughter on ice several years ago. What you have to weigh is what would be the fall-out if PBS had to make decisions on what programs to use and what not based on their commercial success or failure. If they are supported by donations and government grants, then they have more latitude. On the other hand, it seems to me that good parents will demand good programming and with the vast options we now have (thousands of channels) there will be one (commercial or not) that will be kid friendly and to your liking without PBS. I mean we have every kind of channel imaginable now: Food channel, Golf channel, exercise channels, history channel…. Maybe PBS is no longer necessary. Just thinking.

    • Anonymous March 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm #
      Opinionated MAMA

      Why would you care if Chevron or Hasbro sponsored Big Bird? Honestly, is something inherently wrong with a corporation? Corporations are owned and operated by people–owned.i.e. stock holders; operated, i.e. management and labor. Every one of these people were children once, many have children of their own. Yours is a trite argument not founded in fact. I am tired of it. For more on this see the following link: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/03/14/juan-williams-latest-npr-scandal-disgrace-time-defund-npr/

    • Anonymous March 17, 2011 at 10:38 am #
      Opinionated MAMA

      Well, to your point, I wouldn't care if Chevron or Hasbro SPONSORED Seasame Street. I would care if they advertised on it. I think educational programming should be commercial free. That being said, the whole controversy about the NPR executive is embarrassing and stupid. I'm not sure what people are thinking sometimes?! I am tired of everyone just being so nasty all the time. Can't we figure out how to solve problems without attacking people? His comments were lame, especially in any professional situation. Interestingly, Glenn Beck looked at the entire video and had it analyzed on his website, which does a good job of putting it all in context?!
      http://www.theblaze.com/stories/does-raw-video-of-npr-expose-reveal-questionable-editing-tactics/

    • Anonymous March 17, 2011 at 10:49 am #
      Opinionated MAMA

      And, NO – nothing is inherently wrong with corporations as long as we all realize their priority is to make money. Period. The problem becomes when we just hope and pray they are going to do the "right thing" and put safety ahead of profits, or education ahead of profits or investments in the future ahead of profits, etc. Believe me, I'm a big fan of money. And, I'm a big fan of corporations that make money. But, we must teach our kids that "money is not the most important thing in the world," so I don't like when corporations make money at the expense of things that are more important (i.e., it's a "drill in the Gulf, but change the battery in your safety value and check it once in awhile so you don't kill people and contaminate the ocean and destroy people's livelihoods before you advertise on Seasame Street" kind of a problem I have).

    • Anonymous March 17, 2011 at 1:35 pm #
      Opinionated MAMA

      Does this mean that you think if the government sponsors PBS and no corporations advertise on it that somehow PBS will be free of influence? Are you kidding me? The government is riddled with influence peddlers and bribes. I could make a long laundry list to illustrate that but I will not bore you. Besides, there is so much programming on tv now that we really don't need PBS anymore. It used to be the only place for educational programs. Not anymore: Discovery, National Geographic, and a whole host of local channels from our schools even.

      As for drilling in the gulf, BP screwed up and they are paying dearly for it. But we need oil and so we need to drill. It isn't going to be risk free. We can minimize that risk as much as possible, but what exactly are our alternatives? Wind and solar are not going to run our industrial complexes, cars or jet aircraft. So if you are not planning on riding your bicycle to work, heating your house with wood or rowing a boat to your next European vacation, then you need to allow these guys to get the oil. As moms we need to teach our kids the reality of our world. Maybe they along with the corporations will come up with better ways to do the things we are doing now….that has already happened. The oil companies now do horizontal drilling to keep us from having to go out into the water on rigs. Coal miners use robots more and more to do a lot of the heavy dangerous work and more companies are installing ventilation systems and tracking systems to watch out for our guys down there. This is what we teach our children–the good and the bad often times go together.

    • Anonymous March 18, 2011 at 9:32 am #
      Opinionated MAMA

      I support off shore drilling, but I do think that the oil companies were negligent. People died because they didn't change a battery. So, maybe it's just about teaching our kids common sense? Better to be safe, than sorry. Not to get off track?! But, I agree why do we need PBS anymore. TV is about ratings and making money. Parents can teach their kids the abc's and actually turn of the tv and interact with their children.

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