Save PBS!

If this is the wrong forum, let me know; I’m not normally much of an activist, but so many people here have spoken out about how PBS has touched their lives through shows such as Sesame Street and Nova that I thought it a good place to rally some folks.

The Basics: On Saturday, February 19th, the House of Representatives voted 235-189 to pass a continuing resolution that eliminates funding for public broadcasting.

While I’m not certain whether the station would disappear entirely…I’m sure it can provide it’s own funding, can’t it?..I don’t think I want to take that chance.

Here’s a graphic put together by someone showing a few facts about PBS to help rally folk:
And here’s where you can send a simple, already prepared email to let the government know that yes, you have valued PBS, in one way or another, at one time or another. [[LINK REMOVED]]

I really hope PBS sticks around, one way or another.

Thank you for your time.
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Did you know that song was sung by the Pointer Sisters? :smiley:

It’s the amount of money public broadcasting receives from the federal government only a fraction of its total funding? Wikipedia says it’s on 17%.

At any case, Congress did this before and PBS lived on. I remember when the GOP controlled congress slashed federal funding for public broadcasting in the 90s. I was a little kid at the time and scared that Ghostwriter would be canceled.

Sorry in a time of great finanical deficits and hundreds of choices television I don’t see a need for tax money going to support PBS or NPR . They have some quality programing they should be able to compete without the gov’t handouts.

If they need help picking up more viewers to pay for potential advertisers they could always start producing reality shows about truckers, loggers, pawn shop owners, gunsmiths - you know, real Americans.

Taomist, please don’t use the SDMB to recruit people for a campaign. I’m happy to leave this thread open as a discussion of PBS funding issues; posters can make their own decisions on whether or not they want to send emails.

Growing up PBS shows like Nova, Nature, Marty Stuaffer’s Wild America, and more provided a window into the greater world. Shows like Nature really lead me to have an appreciation for the natural world. I grew up in the country where cable wasn’t available, and the school library had physics books 20 years out of date. Before I was even old enough to read a Nova episode about the Voyager probes got my really interested in planets. When I did learn to read one of the first books I checked out was a book on planetary formation. Eventually planets lead to physics which kind of bounced around for a bit. Finally the internet became available which lead to computer skills which is paying my bills.

I remember watching the New Yankee Workshop, Wood Wright’s shop, and This Old House. I remember watching international shows like Dr. Who, Mr. Bean, and the Red Green show.

Without PBS growing up I think I could have ended up a lot more ignorant, possibly in the traps rural poorness brings.

You say you don’t see a need. I think your sight is very shallow. PBS is needed to provide the things commercialism doesn’t.

Without the government’s own FCC regulations, you’d probably have had all of that and much, much more. Government loves to create problems for which it can offer itself as the solution–creating more problems, for which it can offer itself as the solution, and so on, ad infinitum–so as to achieve its covert goal, which is as much control of us as it can get away with.

if you make a donation or get a membership in your local public radio or television station then you help support the part of the system bringing the information to you. part of the local stations expenses is the subscription fee paid to NPR or PBS for their show creation. making that donation feeds the whole information chain.

I’ve always wondered why, if PBS receives millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies per year, presumably to create educational programs, how they can then go and charge the local stations a fee to air that same program? Seems a bit like double dipping to me.

Why would they charge a fee? PBS is included in antenna-based TV channels.

the government contribution covers only part of their expenses. other contributions are the fees charged to local stations and contributions from underwriters (industries and foundations).

if the PBS was totally government supported then there would be no need for fees or underwriters.

PBS buys shows from the BBC and production companies as well.

You cracked the case. PBS is one of the world’s most insidious conspiracies. The entire history of broadcast regulation in the US was designed to keep educational shows (and reruns of Mr. Bean) away from the populace so that they’d have to come to the government. When a show like Nova tells you about the planet Mercury, it’s actually full of subliminal messages designed to turn you into a Muslim-Marxist.

You can call government money to public broadcasting a “subsidy” if you wish (and I am not being argumentative) but the government specficially created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to initiate public broadcasting in this country. The idea was to have non-government and non-commercially controlled educational programming to ensure that underserved populations would have access to information and other programs not offered by commercial television (and radio).

Obviously this tax money does not cover all of the expenses, and as public broadcasting expanded it wished to broaden its offerings far beyond what could be created or broadcast with public monies only. Hence the rise of the fund-raiser. With this money, stations create their own programming, pay PBS dues, hire additional employees and many other services. Individual donations are only a part of this pie, as you can see from underwriting spots. Many corporations, foundations and other entities provide regular financial support.

Another point: CPB has survived several funding threats in the nearly 22 years I have been employed in public broadcasting. As noted above previous Republican-controlled Houses have threatened to zero out or drastically reduce this funding, but in each case the funding was preserved. So public broadcasting didn’t do just fine without the money; it continued to get the money, after a large outpouring of public support for its continuation.

More about CPB.

The fee is charged to PBS stations, not to individuals.

I see I’m going to have to make it plain. Let’s say each electromagnetic frequency was a phone line. Let’s say 4 people try to use the same phone line to have 2 unrelated conversations at the same time? Well they’ll end up trying to shout over each other, and communication will be very difficult, therefor it’s better that each pair use a separate phone line.

The electromagnetic spectrum has a finite amount of usable phone lines. It is also a resource owned by the entire public. The FCC’s job is to keep idiots from trying to shout over each other which would make it unusable for everyone, in other words it manages it for the public good. It does this via regulation and frequency allocation.

So when you listen to Rush Limbaugh, and you sure seem like the type to, it won’t be squelched out by some idiot trying to use that channel to fly remote control air planes.

If you have a better system I’m all ears.

Exactly. So why is this mod note needed?

Not to mention the fact that they keep insisting that the earth is more than 4,000 years old, clearly pushing the evolutionists’ agenda on us.

I also grew up on PBS watching Mr.Rogers, Sesame Street, Nova, and so on. PBS is the last remaining basic channel that isn’t owned by either FOX or another right leaning network. With out cable television PBS is also the only educational station available. In order to present some of these animated shows it can cost over $840,000 per episode just to produce, not including paying voice actors or paying a writer. This sum covers only the animation it’s self.
off topic:
Also Tao, nice comment about the FCC people seem to forget why it exists. The FCC was not created to censor what was put on the air, but only to maintain the signals.

For each member station, their PBS dues covers licensing for many of the flagship shows. However, many shows shown on PBS stations are not produced by PBS. They are produced by individual stations or independent production companies. Those entities get paid royalties by the stations broadcasting the program.

Most PBS stations also produce original programming for their local market. These shows are a valuable contribution to their community, but are not marketable outside their area. That needs to be paid for as well.

My station here in Seattle gets a bit under 10% of our funding from Federal sources and CPB. Many smaller stations rely on those sources for 30, 40, or even 50% of their budget. While a zeroed Federal grant would probably allow KCTS to survive, many stations in less-urbanized places would be forced off the air, or to cut back so severely that they would essentially just be a pass-through of the PBS lineup, with no local involvement at all.

Eliminating the $445 million for public television and radio would reduce the deficit by less than three ten-thousanths of one percent. It costs about $1.35 per year per American.

Urm, no. Public broadcasting predated the CPB by many years. The federal government created it as a funding mechanism for existing programs.

I think we can agree that the American public, left right and center, would be distrustful of broadcast networks that were initiated by the government.