When public broadcasters slip up, there are usually calls on Capitol Hill to defund them. And when they don’t slip up, there are also similar Capitol Hill calls. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) have launched the latest attack on CPB funding.
The duo feels that the $445M headed to CPB is an enormous amount and constitutes an unnecessary burden on the American taxpayer.
Hillicon Valley quoted from a letter the duo sent to their colleages on the Hill. They noted that the American economy is forcing citizens to make sacrifices, and CPB should be asked to do the same. They said now is the time to bring taxpayer subsidization of the service to an end.
Josh Stearns of watchdog Free Press pushed back immediately, stating, “Funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which amounts to a fraction of one percent of the overall U.S. budget, is money well spent. Members of Congress who consider this an ‘enormous’ expense need to spend more time with ‘the Count’ on Sesame Street.”
Stearns continued, “Sen. DeMint and Rep. Lamborn have either lost their calculators or are trying to score political points. Either way, they’re not representing their constituents or serving their country well by playing political games with public broadcasting. Members of Congress should take time to recall how last year’s defunding threats met with an extraordinary public backlash.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Attempts to defund public broadcasting often make it into bill form, but always seem to fail when it comes to a vote. Nevertheless, they usually give Elmo and Big Bird an excuse to take a tour Washington DC to take in the sights and score some camera time with legislators who like spending money on noncommercial broadcasting.