Washington

APTS, Rep. Blumenauer Take Up for Big Bird

Pushback continues after Romney threatens noncom funding 10/04/2012 01:47:49 PM Eastern

Add the Association of Public Television
Stations and another congressman to the growing ranks those with their feathers
ruffled, big time, after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he
would defund public broadcasting, big Bird or no.

"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."

September
October

News Technology Summit

DoubleTree by Hilton Baltimore--BWI Airport, Linthicum, MD