Saturday, October 6, 2012

#MittRomney Can't Put #PBS or #BigBird Out of Business - Even as President...Unless Listeners Stop Giving

Will Mitt Make Big Bird Disappear? Turns out cuts in federal funding would hardly make a dent. But why do so few listeners and watchers donate? I don’t have the answer, but let’s take a look at a few of the facts and a real life example.

Mitt Romney “threatened” to cut funding for Jim Lehr and Big Bird – or actually for PBS, but Big Bird has been used as the mascot to upset children around the country.
A silly example:
Would we really lose PBS if it did not get federal funding? (Note: there is a difference between federal and “public” funding)

National Public Radio (NPR) faced a similar situation not too long ago...and it is still going strong, because people who listen (the 'public' in ‘public radio’ and ‘public broadcasting’) are the largest portion of donors, and there are many other sources of funding.

I even heard Republican David Schweikert (Arizona Congressional District 6) say in an interview on KJZZ (our local NPR station) say that while he voted to cut national spending, he gives personally to KJZZ. I was impressed, especially since only 8% of listeners do.

I think people should look at and understand the way funding works before they fall for the gimmick (lie) that a lack of federal funding will put public broadcasting under. Government funds only account for 4.6% of NPR funs -real life example -down from 6% in 2009 - which means that 1.4% constitutes the reduction in NPR’s total budget by the cuts in federal funding).

Here’s a great visual:   If we want Public Broadcasting so badly, we should be willing to pay for it - and in fact we do! At least 8% of us do - providing 39% of the budget. And by the way, "big bad corporations" also donate a good-sized chunk to National Public Radio (17%) - much more than the government in fact.

“Disclaimer: I do listen and I do give to public radio. I do not watch PBS – because I can’t receive it with my rabbit ear antennae. Which means I don’t “give” to cable either. Interesting that ao many people are up in arms about cutting federal funding to PBS, but don’t give to PBS, while they do give LOTS to commercial cable or satellite companies. Go figure…

Heather J. Kirk

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