Thursday, March 3, 2011

PBS - Publicly (funded) B.S.?

At least when it comes to making appeals for more particular, cash from takes a lot of chutzpah to poor-mouth when your "public broadcasting" executives are making big, big bucks.

In a terrific Wall Street Journal piece by U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), he gets right to the point in the lede: "When presidents of government-funded broadcasting are making more than the president of the United States, it's time to get the government out of public broadcasting."

The senator adds: "While executives at the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR) are raking in massive salaries, the organizations are participating in an aggressive lobbying effort to prevent Congress from saving hundreds of millions of dollars each year by cutting their subsidies. The so-called commercial free public airwaves have been filled with pleas for taxpayer cash. The Association of Public Television Stations has hired lobbyists to fight the cuts. Hundreds of taxpayer-supported TV, radio and Web outlets have partnered with an advocacy campaign to facilitate emails and phone calls to Capitol Hill for the purpose of telling members of Congress, 'Public broadcasting funding is too important to eliminate!'"

This blog post is being interrupted by a PBS pledge break: Send more money!

He notes that "PBS President Paula Kerger even recorded a personal television appeal that told viewers exactly how to contact members of Congress in order to 'let your representative know how you feel about the elimination of funding for public broadcasting.' But if PBS can pay Ms. Kerger $632,233 in annual compensation—as reported on the 990 tax forms all nonprofits are required to file—surely it can operate without tax dollars."

To get the whole picture, read the piece. But I'll warn you: take your blood pressure medicine, first.

Follow the money - to public broadcasting...

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