Thursday, October 21, 2010

PBS: America's Conservative Network

Recently the Corporation for Public Broadcasting requested $495 Million from Congress for fiscal year 2014.

If the American people are going to be forced to pay for a television network with their tax dollars, don’t you think that the network should make an effort to remain politically neutral and air news stories and feature shows that address the interests of the average American viewer?

NO, STUPID!!! WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID? As we all know, Americans are dumb. That's why PBS is so neccessary! Americans need to have some of their hard earned money go to support TV programming that will educate them on things that they don’t care about, but should.

This programming will present them with fringe leftist ideas that they don’t agree with, but would if they were smarter. It will also overrepresent minorities and women because Americans are racist and sexist, and seeing more minorities on the glowing TV magic-box will make them like minorities more.

On PBS you will see programming about people in third world countries who don’t wear clothes and live in squalor, but who are still better than you because you’re a gluttonous American who saps these peace loving Third-Worlders of their resources. If you criticize PBS, then you must hate Big Bird and want him to die of Avian flu. By default, you also hate children.

Once every six years or so, PBS will use your tax dollars to air an eight-part documentary by filmmaker Ken Burns. This documentary will include heavy doses of ‘Burns own uber-liberal, revisionist view of American history. Among other topics, these documentaries will inform Americans that America’s “best idea” was not the concept of a democratic republic, freedom of speech, the airplane or the Internet, but is actually our national park system. Yep. America’s “best idea” was to put large portions of American real estate off limits so that we couldn’t screw it up. Because Americans suck!

Yes, PBS is the go-to network for enlightened liberals.

But recently, liberal groups have been complaining that PBS has become too much of a corporate shill and that its programming is not featuring nearly enough “environmentalists,” “peace advocates” and “stories on medical marijuana.”

Additionally, according to liberals, there are waaaaaaaaay too many white people and Republicans featured on the network these days with Democratic guests only outnumbering Republican guests by a slim 2-1 ratio on the flagship news show, PBS News Hour. Yes, PBS has moved too far to the right!

The group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (F.A.I.R), a liberal media watchdog, has released a study that found that America’s public broadcasting is increasingly funded by “corporate” (read: evil) interests. Additionally, F.A.I.R found that PBS features a disproportionate number of white and male (read: evil) journalists and guests.

F.A.I.R apparently wants to see fewer government and military officials, corporate representatives and respected journalists and more “activists” and far-left guests like alternative historian Howard Zinn and race baiter Cornel West.

The great irony of all of the moaning by Leftists is that, had it not been for an increase in corporate money and a new emphasis on television that people might actually want to watch, PBS might not exist at all.

PBS is a perfect case study in the superiority of the private sector over the government sector. PBS is a shining example of how elitist mindsets are fostered through government control and how these mindsets are consistently rejected by the American people. PBS is the ultimate liberal boondoggle, but it’s a boondoggle that liberals ferociously defend as a necessary supplement to American’s steady diet of mainstream media.

PBS hit the airwaves in 1967. It was created to provide an alternative to the programming on the three major networks, which at the time, had a monopoly on news and entertainment programming in the United States. PBS news programming has always been liberal, and many conservatives view it as being even further to the Left than the network news.

In the late 1990s and the early 2000s, with cable television having expanded to most of the nation, there was a shrinking market for PBS and the network’s ratings tanked. Cable based news networks and children’s shows on Nickelodeon were eating up PBS viewers by offering better and more diverse programming. With the advent of cable, there was no longer anything unique about PBS. Americans could now find dozens of similar programs on the hundreds of other channels that came with their cable package.

The government had control over PBS and as we all know, when the government controls an entity, it has no incentive to innovate or upgrade its product in order to compete with superior private sector offerings.

PBS was still getting government money, but the drop in viewership led to a decrease in public funding and donations from contributors or “viewers like you,” who were no longer “viewing” PBS programs. PBS affiliates began to lay off employees.

To remedy this, PBS turned to the private sector and began courting advertisers like Exxon/Mobil and McDonald’s to sponsor programming. Additionally, the network slowly began to improve its shows by producing more programs that would appeal to the people in flyover country instead of the aging hippies and college professors who had previously made up the network’s viewer base.

Now think about it. Exxon? McDonald’s? The lefties were not going to like this one bit.

So today we see groups like F.A.I.R calling for a return to the days when PBS had no audience but was still controlled by principled progressives who shunned money and that provided its several dozen viewers with a viewpoint that is only shared by a tiny fringe of our society--paid for, in large part, by you.

To top it off, in order to guide PBS back towards its far-left roots, F.A.I.R insists not enough minorities are featured on the network--a sure sign that change is needed. The whole situation plays like the same "Greatest Hits of Modern Liberalism" album that we've been hearing on 8-track since the 1970's.

The truth is that PBS is completely unnecessary these days. The government could cut off all funding tomorrow and the nation would be no worse off. The shows that were good would be picked up by commercial networks. The rest of the network’s employees would find nice jobs at a local university or stocking edamame at an organic supermarket. PBS would not be missed. Ken Burns could still make his documentaries and with the private sector funding him he might even be able to make enough money to get himself a grown up haircut.

But in the eyes of PBS backers, there is something far greater at stake than a TV network. PBS’s defenders don't simply view the network as a vehicle for liberal viewpoints. By protecting PBS they seek to prove the leftist philosophy that the federal government can and should provide Americans with, high quality consumer product that is better than a similar product that derives from the private sector.

But, as always the liberals who ultimately come to control the product, manage to screw it up with their extreme ideology. And we’re just talking about TV programs here!

I can’t wait for the Ken Burns documentary on Obamacare!

-Dan Joseph

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1 comment:

Bartender Cabbie said...

Good oped. I do actually like PBS myself but agree there is no longer a need for a publically funded network. Ken Burns does need a "grown up haircut" lol.