APTS, Rep. Blumenauer Take Up for Big Bird
Pushback continues after Romney threatens noncom funding
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/4/2012 1:47:49 PM
"Governor Romney's call for the elimination of federal funding for public broadcasting during last night's debate has generated an extraordinary - and overwhelmingly negative - public response," said Association of Public Television Stations President Patrick Butler in a statement. "'Big Bird' was the fourth most trafficked Twitter subject last night - after 'Romney,' 'Obama,' and 'debate' - and at its peak 'Big Bird' was the subject of 17,000 tweets per minute.
Romney said that while he liked Big Bird, and debate moderator Jim Lehrer, he would cut off funding to PBS and anything else he didn't think it was worth borrowing from China to pay for.
"Americans by the millions are going on social media today to protest the elimination of federal funding for public broadcasting, because they recognize that this funding is essential to the survival and success of non-commercial, educational public service media in America. Government and independent studies have also made this clear," said Butler.
While the Corporation for Public Broadcasting cannot lobby, it is APTS' job to stand up for noncoms in Washington.
Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), a long-time fan of PBS and author of the Children's Television Act, was one of the Tweeters taking up for PBS, He was joined in his support Thursday by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).
"The Republican effort to attack public broadcasting and force Sesame Street take advertising betrays an appalling lack of appreciation and understanding of what public broadcasting is and represents," said Blumenauer, in a statement e-mailed to B&C. "A recent study demanded by public broadcasting's enemies in Congress reveals that there is no alternative to public funding and that advertising on Sesame Street would actually result in less money for public broadcasting because people would refuse to voluntarily contribute to watch commercial advertising.
"Perhaps we need Big Bird to educate Governor Romney about the value of public broadcasting and investing in services for the American public instead of coldly shutting them down."
Edward Coltman - 10/5/2012 5:35:41 PM EDT
It's amazing that someone could get all worked up about saving a few pennies by killing public broadcasting, while ignoring the fact that the government gives commercial broadcasters spectrum that would be worth tens of billions of dollars on the market. By comparison, what is spent on Big Bird et al is the proverbial drop in the ocean. At least Romney could be honest and admit it's not about money. It's about ideology and sucking up to the far right.
Moose - 10/4/2012 2:24:24 PM EDT
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