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Congress Votes: Stop Funding PBS-VOTERS WRITE!

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by Fozzie Bear, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. Fozzie Bear Moderator

    As of this morning I hadn't received any letters back.

    Well, gang. I wonder if Sesame Workshop isn't going to get involved in the politics of this and see about getting word to Congress about the importance of educational programming--not necessarily the news--on PBS and why it's important to fund the CPB.
  2. Jessica Member

    I doubt that this will help that much, but to those who cannot write to their congress, here's a petition I made.

    http://www.petitiononline.com/pbsfund/petition.html

    Statement:

    To: U.S. Congress

    So, you’re at home at night, having nothing to do, and decide to turn the TV on. As you change the channel, there are hotline and info commercials on. At the end you start to give up hope, and there it is! Monty Python’s Flying Circus, something that’s bound to entertain you, and give you laughs at the same time. What channel does it happen to be on? Your local PBS.

    So you sit there and smile, watching all these actors act in bizarre ways, wondering to yourself, how can I help this public station? You see all these pledge drives but can’t seem to help in producing some money to donate,. This is where the government comes in.

    As many do, I do believe that PBS will be around for an other generation to come. It would be very odd if the station was just to vanish one day. There are many people who haven’t seen a day in there life where nothing was being shown on the Public Broadcasting Station.

    (APTS) These funding cuts are so drastic that they will severely impact every public television and radio station’s ability to provide educational, cultural and informational programming in local communities and throughout the nation.

    Honestly, do you really want your kids to be watching the other “supposedly” kid channels out there today? Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network are one of the many that receive complaints about the shows that they insist on showing our kids.

    (APTS) The elimination of funding for Ready To Learn is punitive. Ready To Learn integrates commercial-free children’s educational television and online resources with community outreach to help parents and educators prepare young children for success in school. Award-winning Ready To Learn television programs include Arthur, DragonTales, Clifford, Between the Lions, Reading Rainbow, Sesame Street, Maya & Miguel, and Postcards from Buster.

    You must remember, if you quit funding, there will be more companies who will start doing the same. The viewers support is only forty-nine percent of PBS’s funding and we don’t need that to decrease.

    (APTS) The recommended 25% cut in funding for CPB would result in my local station receiving less federal and state financial assistance for operations. This almost certainly would cause my local station to cancel educational services and slash local programming production.

    So basically, the government funding for all the PBC stations in the United States is important. Unlike many other stations, it keeps its promise to entertain its viewers. Whether it be children’s programming, cooking, news, or British comedies, PBS is there to help brighten our day.

    Sincerely,

    The Undersigned
  3. sarah_yzma Active Member

    I'm working on a letter, Kev! That's HORRIBLE! that they voted to not support PBS...my parents purposely never got cable or anything like that, because they always knew they could pick up PBS with our antenna. Sure, some of the shows have changed (Oh! how I miss Shining Time Station!) but the shows on are still educational, just in a different format. I am enraged by this decision, and will be finishing my letter (perhaps after I cool down a little though :D )
  4. MrsPepper Active Member

    This.

    is.

    a.

    TRAVESTY.

    I wish I could do something, I mean, I grew up watching PBS, and I still watch it now! But I live in Canada, so I can't mail my "Local senator" about this or anything... Is there something I can do?
  5. sarah_yzma Active Member

    Hmm.....well......you could just pick a senator...or if you've ever seen PBS in the US, e-mail that senator.
  6. MrsPepper Active Member

    Oh, good idea. Thank you. I could mail the senator of the area of the PBS station that I get up here.
  7. sarah_yzma Active Member

    did you all hear that? I came up with a good idea *beams*
  8. MrsPepper Active Member

    You should be proud! **claps**
    Although, I doubt they'd read it, as I don't matter to them..
  9. sarah_yzma Active Member

    I'll just have to go show them some kung fu moves if they don't! *makes creepy noises*
  10. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I am outraged, as you can plainly see. I'll get into depth about what I think is the real reason they want to stop funding.

    As we all remember, the only reason Bush won the election is because the christian right was trying to spread fear about Homosexual marriage ("one may even marry you") and abortion ("they are going to take your babies' lives'") so they'd have a puppet in washington. Bush used this agenda to cover up the war and the terrible economy his tax cuts caused.

    But the PBS thing? Congress has been threatening to pull funding from PBS for YEARS... even since the Clinton adminsistration. They are using the "Postcards from Buster" episode as an excuse to get people to think this is the right thing to do.

    Now.... I have seen this episode. It features homosexual partners raising adopted (and well adjusted, might I add) kids. Now, the episode doesn't even acknowledge the fact they are gay, nor do they even discuss what "gay" is. Even still, the head of PBS (who is rightwing, mind you) denounced the episode, and let stations run it on their own disgression, a lot of them not airing it.

    The obvious factor is the Bush Tax cuts for the wealthy (and paltry sums to the non-wealthy), especially during times of war was just a dumb thing to do. No other way to describe it. Less money means less money for education, job education, health, and public broadcasting. Now, to sweeten this up to the general public, they're going to out and out lie, blaiming Buster for the entire thing. They will turn around and say that withholding tolerance ffor homosexuals is a good thing. Sort of how the Patriot act isn't called the "Government searching through everyone's private information act" or "No Child left behind" isn't "throw a couple bucks at a few public schools to make us look good."

    If you think this is anti-Rightwing biased..... the Democrats aren't doing anything to fight it. They have become the great doormat party. They let the christian right walk all over us, trouncing our free speach and tolerance with fake bible quotes (all while ignoring the poor and sick, which as I got out of the bible, helping them in the name of God is the only thing they WON'T do)

    PBS will have to become something funded totally by private parties or (shock) air commercials if they want to stay alive.
  11. Fozzie Bear Moderator

    I don't know if it's able to be called a direct attack, but I did sign the petition.

    I HOPE we all can make some kind of change. I emailed my whole address book, and posted on every forum I visit, and wrote my senators/congressmen and I hope to see good results later.
  12. MrsPepper Active Member

    Normally, Drtooth, I get peeved over gross generalisations of christianity, but as I am not american, and I am also far from anything you've described these christians to be, I'll overlook it and choose not to take offense. It is very sad though, that religion must be so inappropritately used in politics. And I do mean used.
  13. Fozzie Bear Moderator

    On a personal note, anybody who says that the Christians have any say-so in any matter is just completely wrong. Of all denominational statuses and of all organized groups, Christians are the most condemned people there are, and are discriminated against over all other religions. Christians have no say-so in politics or television, and the only way they can get anything ON television is by funding it themselves, not even by commercial sponsorship because corporations are too afraid of insulting some OTHER religious group. The Christians have nothing to do with what's going on with PBS.

    In other news, I've been told by someone much older than me that at one time SS was syndicated on regular TV stations, and it's likely that it would be again if public funding cuts resulted in that necessity.

    I do not believe we'll see the end of SS because of this.
  14. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I should have been more specific. I mean the far FAAAAAR right Christians, comprised of PTL type preachers. The ones who specifically use their opinions for political gains, and work their motivations into their religious practices. Sorry If I caused any distress. But I am a Christian as well, heck, my father is an ordained minister (as of Sunday... he's been trying for years).

    I should have been more specific, and said the politically motivated pseudo christians. The ones that exhibit very Un-Christian like behavior. But, I guess in a fit of pent up rage of how the government is working nowadays (The overly effective Republican votes, and the wimpy Doormat Democratic votes) I left out important details.


    I meant to say.... The government is using the case of Tolerence as a political blinder for the fact that Congress has threatened to slash PBS funding for years. Of course being several Billion in the hole, they needed a way to cut funding for something. But again, this is the same legislature that once paid several thousand for a toilet seat.

    So once again, I appologize if I had, in a bout of anger over the issue, have accidentally offended you dudes. S'all right?
  15. Fozzie Bear Moderator

    Oh. I thought you meant the REAL Christians; but, I understand now. You mean as in Pat Robertson (or maybe Jerry Falwell) who stated that Teletubbies represents homosexuality, or the "We Are Family" video whose website was not correctly connected by a group, or the time they said Yoda represented demons because his use of the Force and he had 3 fingers.
  16. MrsPepper Active Member


    Yes, everything is fine. : ) Thank you for clarifying, it's much appreciated. Another forum I spend time on has alot of religious and political discussions (alot of which are unfounded, biased, or uneducated), so I've gotten used to defending my position, even when it's not always necessary. :o From what you've said, I now understand your point of view, since you do know what you're talking about, and meant no offence. And I have absolutely no hard feelings. :D
    Congrats on your dad just becoming a minister!

    So, back to it, eh? I must admit I'm horribly undereducated about this whole situation, and I'm not entirely aware of the whole situation.
    Is it because of old debt, then, that they are cutting the funding, and people who are just against the Bush admin are pinning it on him? If that is true, it still doesn't make it right that they are using the whole issue of "tolerance", did you say, to justify why they are making the cuts. Do I have this right?
    **Is a little confused**
  17. Kimp the Shrimp Active Member


    you are illinformed and a bigot

    the real reason this is a issue today is that the left leaning prograoms of NPR and PBS are Wrong PBS has rules in there bylaws that state the shall not endoirse or support any side and should telecast bothsides of the issue.
    a demorcatic seneter form my state is on our side he believes this to be true that it is left leaning which is fine with me ( A Card carriny young Republican buyt the fact that you rant and rave about stuuf you know nothing about sickens me you are sore that Bush beat a lifeless Kerry has nothing to do with this

    thank you and good day sir
  18. Kimp the Shrimp Active Member

    Hear is a letter i received today from my PBS Station NJN


    Dear NJN Member Peter J. Nehra,



    PROPOSED REDUCTIONS IN FEDERAL FUNDING FOR

    PUBLIC TELEVISION AND RADIO

    TOTAL ABOUT 45 PERCENT FOR FY 06 !



    These cuts will have a significant impact on public television and radio stations’ ability to provide educational, informational, and history and cultural programming to our communities in New Jersey and in local communities throughout the nation.



    Please Call Your Members of Congress to Express Your Support For Public Broadcasting!



    ASK THEM TO:



    · Support action to restore level funding for public broadcasting.



    · Oppose the $100 million rescission of funds to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.



    · Oppose the elimination of the highly successful Ready To Learn Program (Sesame Street, Between the Lions, and other award-winning children’s programs plus early literacy workshops for preschoolers, parents and teachers).



    · Oppose the elimination of the highly successful PTFP program that supports stations’ digital infrastructure.



    · Oppose the elimination of funding for the digital conversion program – a federal mandate.



    · Oppose the elimination of funding for the satellite interconnection program for programming distribution to local stations.



    The full House of Representatives is scheduled to begin debating the final bill and any amendments to it on Thursday, June 23.



    Now is the time for public broadcasting to make our final push to secure a victory in the House. Representatives David Obey (WI) and Nita Lowey (NY) intend to offer an amendment to the Labor-HHS appropriations bill on June 23, when the full House considers it. The Obey-Lowey amendment will seek to restore some or all of the 45 percent cuts to public broadcasting for FY 2006.



    FIND OUT WHERE YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS STAND ON THE

    OBEY-LOWEY AMENDMENT .



    Get your Members of Congress to commit to you that they will support this amendment or other legislative remedies to provide level funding for all public broadcasting programs.





    When you call, establish which way your House members will vote:



    ____ Yes ____ Leaning Yes ____ No ____Leaning No ____Undecided



    Also call New Jersey Senators to convey your support for “level funding,” and contact the Chairman and/or Ranking members of the key subcommittees and full committees. Contact information is attached.



    Please make these calls ASAP and please let us know the results of your calls. Contact Ronnie Weyl, Vice President of Public Affairs, NJN Foundation, at 609-777-5062 or rweyl@njn.org.



    LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!
  19. Kimp the Shrimp Active Member

    IF WE REALLY WANT TO BE MAD THE APPROVED a 800 MILLION DOLLOR BUDGET TO SUBISIDIZE BIG OIL OIL JUST WENT UP TO $60 A BARREL YESTERDAY
    JUST TIO "GREASE" EVER 363 MEMEBER OF THE sENETE AND THE HOUSE WHO GET MONEY TO RUN FROM BIG OIL


    WE KNOW WHAT IS IMPORTAINT TO THEM IT'S TIME BIG BIRD AND LAVAR BURTON START "GREASING" THE POLITICANS? LOLOLOLLOLLOLLOLL
  20. Kimp the Shrimp Active Member

    Kenneth Tomlinson, the chairman of the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, has said on several occasions that the Bush administration does not interfere with how the CPB operates.

    On several matters over the past year, however, the chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has pursued policies and the appointment of executives at the behest of the White House, according to Tomlinson's own e-mails.

    NPR obtained these e-mails from a CPB official who is unhappy with Tomlinson's leadership there. The official insisted on anonymity, citing fears of job retaliation.

    One instance involved an initiative of Montana Sen. Conrad Burns, a Republican. Burns sought to give public television and radio stations more say in naming board members of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The board has nine slots. The members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Only five can belong to the president's party.

    The stations strongly backed the measure. But Tomlinson didn't. Last July 21, he made that clear in an e-mail he wrote to Kathleen Cox. She became CPB's CEO and president last summer but was forced out in April.

    Tomlinson wrote: "The White House has issued guidance. WH officially opposed to the Burns amendment."

    Politics and Credibility

    John Lawson, the president of the Association of Public Television Stations, an advocacy group for PBS stations, says he's worked well with Tomlinson in the past. But he says Tomlinson has undermined the strength of the public broadcasting world.

    "Ken has politicized this institution at a very vulnerable time," Lawson said in an interview.

    The House of Representatives is expected to vote on a spending bill late this week that would cut CPB's budget next year by a quarter -- or $100 million. Tomlinson has said he expects most of those funds to be restored by the Senate.

    Lawson said the problem isn't that the White House is playing politics -- it's that Tomlinson is contorting the core mission of the CPB. "The CPB is supposed to be a heat shield, and yet we've been dragged into one of the worst and most damaging controversies in our history," he said.

    The CPB provides federal subsidies for NPR and PBS member stations and some of their programs.

    Under the law, the CPB board is charged with protecting public broadcasting from political pressure. Its mandate also includes ensuring that news coverage is balanced.

    Through a spokesman, Tomlinson declined to comment on the details of this story. But some critics and supporters say any CPB chairman must be acutely aware of the political forces affecting public broadcasting.

    The Chairman's Agenda

    Tomlinson is a Republican who was first appointed to the CPB board by President Clinton. He was reappointed by President Bush and became chairman in 2003.

    Since becoming chairman, Tomlinson has moved to address what he contends is the left-leaning lineup of news programs at PBS by advocating the addition of new shows with a conservative outlook. He has pursued ways to monitor NPR's coverage of the Middle East, which he says skews against Israel. And he named two ombudsmen to handle complaints about news coverage by NPR and PBS.

    "I certainly want CPB to continue its role as a firewall to protect the journalism of public broadcasting," Tomlinson told NPR in May. "But I also want a common-sense, loose agreement that we're also going to seek a certain degree of balance in our program offerings."

    "Let's [reach] agreement on those general terms -- and let's stop the food fight," he said.

    In past media interviews, Tomlinson has said the White House does not interfere in the operations of the CPB.

    But in e-mails obtained by NPR, Tomlinson repeatedly aided a job candidate that he said arrived with White House backing. At the time, Ed McFadden was the chief speechwriter for John Ashcroft -- then the U.S. attorney general.

    On Dec. 7, 2004, Tomlinson wrote Kathleen Cox that he had sent her McFadden's resume so she could interview him for a job as senior vice president for communications. Tomlinson said the Ashcroft aide had "the strong support of the White House."

    Two weeks later, Tomlinson emailed Cox from Italy asking for a progress report. Cox wrote that she had other, stronger candidates for the job. She wrote, "McFadden might make a good junior person but does not have experience of others identified. I will talk to him in any event."

    Tomlinson's immediate response: "Considering Dina Powell's recommendation, I'm really surprised McFadden did not make the cut. Very surprised, considering the people I've seen in the job."

    Dina Powell is the White House director of personnel. McFadden confirmed to NPR that he met with Cox in February. No job was offered, and he now works as an executive for a telecommunications firm.

    Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a liberal media advocacy group, says the public needs to recognize that the CPB operates in a politically charged environment.

    "The board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting always has to take in consideration what the White House and the political leaders in Congress are thinking," Chester said. "There's a balancing act."

    But Chester said Tomlinson has failed to strike a proper balance by infusing politics into so many decisions at CPB: "I think what Mr. Tomlinson has been doing -- in essence, allowing the White House to help direct plans of the CPB -- is unprecedented."

    Changes at the CPB

    The board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is meeting this week to select a new president. One of the prime candidates -- someone championed by Tomlinson -- is Patricia Harrison. She's an assistant U.S. secretary of state. But she's also a former co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.

    Lawson and other critics say her appointment would be inappropriate because, they say, it would represent a politicization of the position. Three Democratic senators asked Tomlinson to delay naming a new president for CPB. One, Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, called on him to step down.

    Prompted by complaints from two House Democrats, the CPB's inspector general is investigating whether Tomlinson's actions constitute political interference. Through a spokesman, Tomlinson says he expects to be vindicated by the inspector general's report.

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