In the great days of the cold war, Premier Nikita Kruschev of the USSR famously removed his shoe during an address at the United Nations by British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and – banging his heel against the table – yelled “We will bury you!” That funeral didn’t happen until U.S. President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union the evil empire that it was, and left his successor, George Bush Sr., to preside over the burial.
PBS – which started out as the Public Broadcasting Service, but has become the Progressive’s Broadcasting Service – seems not to have noticed. An army of leftist commentators, news directors, and ultra-leftist academics are still burying Americans under an avalanche of communist-collectivist-socialist propaganda. True to PBS’ ideological roots, they are using capitalism’s own money to do so.
Last year, Congress gave PBS and the interlocking Corporation for Public Broadcasting well over a third of a billion taxpayer dollars. That’s money taken by force, in the form of taxes paid by “those who work hard and play by the rules.” The rest of PBS’ budget comes from selling advertising, merchandise and hitting viewers up for contributions. They are, after all, a nonprofit operation – at least on paper.
The bulk of PBS’ money goes toward purchasing programming. That’s a euphemism for paying the likes of Bill Moyers to pontificate on the evils of a Republican administration, while fondly reminiscing over the blissful tranquility of Democratic administrations – past, present and, above all, future. So what PBS really represents is a giant collectivist Robin Hood-style money transfer machine. Except that PBS takes from the poor taxpayer and gives to the rich, elitist pontificator. (They couldn’t even get Robin Hood right!)
Like PBS’ progressive agenda, however, this $378 billion is only the tip of the funding iceberg. Don’t forget that PBS stations are nonprofit-owned (which is to say they pay zero taxes on income and provide little or no revenue to local government), or college- and university-owned (again, taxes only go in, they never come out).
I mention all this because Congress is once again deciding how much of your money to give to leftist program directors and elitist pontificators, via the PBS feeding trough. I was alerted to the situation by this article in the Washington Post: “PBS Updates Editorial Standards, Adds Ombudsman.” One quote from the article pretty well sums it up:
The panel’s recommendations, which were adopted by PBS’ board yesterday, probably won’t be noticeable to the average viewer, said Jacoba Atlas, PBS’ top programming official.
Which brings us to the question, “Why are Republicans so consistently complicit in their own execution?” If PBS’ audience is even half what they say it is, they would have no problem making it as a commercial network. That means federal and state governments could use PBS’ successor as a source of tax revenue to help all the people the network constantly champions, not a black hole through which taxpayer dollars disappear.
Local governments could better serve their taxpayers, because local stations would be taxpaying entities. The necessary tuition hikes at state-run colleges and universities for those entering broadcasting as a career field might even discourage the communists and socialists who make that field their home – thus enriching the nation as a whole.
And don’t worry about PBS’ kiddie shows: Anything worth funding will be picked up in a heartbeat by commercial networks. At least that way it will be advertisers stuffing dollars into the pockets of the leftist elites. Who knows? The leftists might well decide they like the experience and undergo a reformation of their own.
Let’s face it: The left in America hasn’t had a new idea since Karl Marx was thrown out of the Manchester Public Library for body odor, and “uncle” Joe Stalin perfected genocide as a means of winning elections against his enemies. Call it what it is: PBS is a state-owned parking lot with a free bullhorn for out-of-office leftists to re-elect themselves. Now the Republican Congress wants to continue paying these bozos until they can win an election and resume power? Can you say “stupid”?
As tempting as it is to demand ideological affirmative action for conservatives, and turn PBS over to Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter for the next 35 years to make it all “fair,” I’d rather we just say, “Enough is enough!” Let’s give the left an opportunity to experience firsthand the dignity of work. While we’re ending “welfare as we know it” for the poor, and “corporate welfare” for the rich, how about ending “political welfare” for electorally dethroned?
A continuing PBS subsidy to leftists like Bill Moyers and his buddies isn’t fair – even to them. Being paid for an audience they don’t actually have deludes them into thinking that more than half-a-dozen Americans actually care what they say. Getting paid what they’re worth in a market economy would be quite an education.